Desperation grips Team Obama

Obama's reelection team is desperate, and  

"planning a ferocious personal assault on Romney's character and business background...."

With their man reaching new lows in approval ratings, President Obama's reelection team appears ready to pull out all the stops on negative campaigning.  From Politico: 

Barack Obama's aides and advisers are preparing to center the president's reelection campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney's character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early-stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee.

With just a touch of irony, Obama's campaign handlers hope to emulate George W. Bush's "takedown" of Sen. John Kerry in 2004, according to Politico.  And with nary a touch of civility, a Democratic strategist says of candidate Obama:

Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney.

Jonathan Tobin, writing in Commentary, points out, however, that the change in tone from hope and change to a campaign run in the gutter "undermines the president's credibility at a time when he is already perceived as lacking this quality."

Politico further reports that Obama's campaign advisors plan to portray Romney as "weird," a word "used repeatedly by Obama's advisers in about a dozen interviews," including this from one senior advisor:

There's a weirdness factor with Romney, and it remains to be seen how he wears with the public.

But in Tobin's view, the "weirdness factor" may be problematic for the Obama campaign:

The leaking of the idea they intend to prove Romney is "weird" speaks to something more sinister than pointing out inconsistencies in his record. When people say "weird" about Romney, a man whose personal and professional life has been a picture of upright conformity, it can't be a comment about his stances on abortion. It can only mean one thing: his religion.

Trying to tell voters to be wary of electing a Mormon without actually venturing into direct incitement of religious bigotry is a tricky business.

...Unleashing the demons of prejudice is bad for the country under any circumstances. But for a president-whose historic status is based on the triumph over bias-to play this game would be political suicide.

In the wake of Obama's unfolding economic destruction, his campaign team will be hard-pressed to promote their man as the solution for the next four years.

Whether the Republican front-runner is Bachman or Romney, Palin or Perry, expect the Axelrod machine to plumb new lows in the depths of negative campaigning.