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May 03, 2012

Is Philip Klein Right? By Fighting Against Obama's Distractions of the Day, Is Romney Losing the Big Picture and Thus the Election?

I was just talking about this yesterday with someone (not anyone in some kind of campaign).

I don't know.

Since [Romney wrapped up the nomination for all practical purposes], three stories have dominated the political news cycle. The first came when Hilary Rosen, a Democratic operative, said Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life." The next came when the Romney campaign promoted a Daily Caller story recounting that Obama had eaten dog as a child in Indonesia. The most recent came as Obama decided to spike the football before the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's killing, releasing an ad suggesting Romney wouldn't have made the same call.

In all of these cases, the Romney campaign has taken the bait, reacting to whatever Team Obama has decided to make an issue.

I honestly don't know about this. A few weeks ago I declared that we mustn't get drawn into Obama's distractions -- I was speaking of the Hilary Rosen kerfuffle -- even when we can "win" them, because even fighting on those grounds is a loss.

Our path to victory, I said, is keeping it on the economy and Obama's failures and incompetence. Period.

And then, having proclaimed that, I spent the entire day on the Hilary Rosen affair.

I don't know. I get what Klein is saying, but the media sets the national conversation at Obama's direction. Yes, I agree with him that the Optimal Option is to focus on precisely what we wish to focus on -- but is that option actually on the table?

I'm also reminded of football. Or boxing. Or any sport. Yes, we might have a plan. We would prefer to execute that, and only that. But the opponent has a plan too, and we also have to react to the opponent's moves.

I really have no idea.

I guess the right thing to do is defend/rebut and then, always, pivot to our preferred narrative -- the narrative about America being in a Depression (per New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning Princeton economist Paul Krugman) and how Obama's lack of boldness and vision keeps us in such (also per New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning Princeton economist Paul Krugman).

Quotes: Formerly Known as Skeptic offers these--

There are two military axioms which I think sum this up nicely: 1) "No plan survives first contact" (sometimes stated as "the enemy gets a vote") and 2) "You have to have a plan to deviate from" (one of my favorite sayings BTW).

And now it's one of mine.

It's Spring: On Twitter, @baseballcrank argues you can't win elections in the Spring; you can only lose them, and Romney's current goal is to refuse to permit Obama to define him. He says he agrees on the ultimate strategy -- economy, economy, economy -- but not right now.

That's true. Right now most of the politically-uninterested types are still forming opinions.

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posted by Ace at 01:18 PM

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