Competing ads tell the tale of who is ahead

Ed Morrissey thinks that Obama's "Romnesia" insult is a sign of desperation by his campaign. I'm not sure of that, simply because this is the way Obama normally campaigns; ridicule, mockery, sarcasm etc.

But this is surely a sign of desperation. The Obama campaign has released an ad in Ohio that claims Mitt Romney is "not one of us."

A perfect follow-up to the last post insofar as both demonstrate betrayals, in different ways, of the Hopenchange brand circa 2008. Back then, Senator Above The Fray scolded people about small, divisive politics. Today, President Above The Fray runs ads on Big Bird and binders and openly describes his opponent as not "one of us." Had Romney pulled this on him, we'd need a special two-hour episode of "Hardball" to deal with the dog-whistle implications; as it is, Team Obama will skate on this even though Romney also famously belongs to a group that's fairly high up on the list of "others" for whom some people simply won't vote.


The punchline here is that the "let 'em fail" spin on Romney's op-ed doesn't even make sense under an unflattering view of Romney the candidate. He's supposed to be the guy who'll say anything, at any time, to maximize his chances of winning, right? ("Romnesia!") Well, a man who's thinking of running for president again in 2012, as Mitt surely was when he wrote that op-ed, isn't about to tell an industry that's critical to Ohio's and Michigan's economy that he hopes it dies. Even if he secretly felt that way, for whatever strange reason, it'd be electoral-college suicide and Romney surely knew it. So the "let 'em fail" read on his position is false under any circumstances, but it does fit nicely with Obama's caricature of Romney as some sort of Gekko/Scrooge hybrid who hates working people and loves giving them cancer, just because. Read the fine print on that 2004 convention speech; O said we shouldn't be divided into red states and blue states, not that we shouldn't be divided between "us" and those heartless one-percent bastards.

Note that Candy Crowley didn't interrupt Obama during the debate to correct his lie that Romney advocated letting the car companies go under. Having gotten away with it at the debate, Obama has now put the lie in an ad that is a long way from hopenchange 4 years ago.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney released an ad calling for bi-partisanship:

If there are any common issues upon which the low-information, swing-able, independent-to-moderate voters can likely agree, I'd reckon that "too much partisanship and gridlock" is one of them. Congress is pretty deeply unpopular, and after their recent low-output performance, it makes sense that a message about bipartisanship, working together, and getting things done would resonate with a lot of people. In that light, I think this is probably a pretty smart ad:

Which campaign do you think is behind?