As it became increasingly clear during the Republican presidential primaries that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would emerge the party’s nominee, the Obama campaign geared up for what it thought was a winning strategy: Attack Bain Capital, Romney's wealth, and malign private equity.
But if recent polls regarding "likeability" are to be believed, the strategy clearly didn’t work.
Indeed, despite their most sincere assurances that private equity is the stuff of vultures and vampires and non-stop attack ads (some more ridiculous than others), Team Obama simply couldn’t make the “Bain equals Satan” angle stick (of course, it probably didn’t help when Obama campaign surrogates New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker defended private equity and former President Bill Clinton Romney’s business record).
So now that we’re in the final week of the election, what’s Team Obama’s closing argument? Is it his recently revealed second term agenda? Is it some brilliant new plan to grow the economy? Is it his continued promise to protect access to birth control from the non-existent confiscatory policies of the GOP?
Nope. It’s more anti-Bain Capital attacks. POLITICO reports:
For the final days of the 2012 campaign, the Democratic groups pummeling Mitt Romney on television have returned to the weapon they started with last spring: Bain Capital.
The Obama campaign and its super PAC allies have spent months trashing Romney’s policies and personal values across the airwaves, branding him as a job-killing, abortion rights-opposing, Medicare-privatizing tycoon who disdains working-class and poor Americans.
But with a little over a week left in the race, several of the Democrats’ top independent spenders are leaning hard into the Bain message, eschewing a pure policy message for a gut-punch reminder that the former Massachusetts governor made his fortune through controversial deals in the private-equity industry.
The late emphasis on Bain, Democratic strategists say, reflects both the potency of Bain as an attack against Romney in general, and the pivotal significance of Midwestern states such as Ohio where the Bain message is especially resonant. Though Romney remains no better than tied with Obama in most national and swing-state polls, he has gained enough ground since the first debate on Oct. 3 that reinforcing Obama’s standing in states such as Ohio and Wisconsin is of paramount importance.
It shouldn't be surprising that Team Obama would fall back on attacking Bain Capital (as opposed to touting the president's second term agenda) in the final days of the election. Indeed, as we noted with those ridiculous Amazon binder "reviews," the Obama campaign and its supporters have consistently focused on why Romney would be “bad” for America rather than underscore why President Obama would be "good."
This is just more of the same.
Bottom Line: The Obama campaign isn’t exactly coming off as confident here. On the contrary, per the POLITICO report, revisiting the Bain Capital attacks in the final hours of the election sounds a lot more like desperation.
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Front page photo source courtesy the AP. This story has been updated.