President Barack Obama expects the U.S. economy to remain in recession throughout the 2012 presidential General Election. Indeed, his handlers almost seem giddy about the notion. They hope to use it against Mitt Romney, whom they expect to be the Republican nominee.
That’s one important takeaway from Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith’s big piece in this morning’s Politico. The two campaign reporters shine a light on one of the most naked displays of cynicism I’ve seen in presidential history … well okay, since Obama’s debt ceiling posturing just last week, but still.
As Martin and Smith tell it, advisers to Obama peacock around the office gleefully war-gaming a strategy against Romney based on his “weirdness” and his business success.
“The second aspect of the campaign to define Romney is his record as CEO of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm which was responsible for both creating and eliminating jobs,” write Martin and Smith. “Obama officials intend to frame Romney as the very picture of greed in the great recession – a sort of political Gordon Gekko.”
In other words, they expect Obama’s policies will still have the U.S. economy in the toilet come November 2012 and are basing their reelection strategy around using it as a club with which to pound Romney.
Or in the words of one cynical Obama advisor, to “kill Romney.” Someone get Gabby Giffords on the phone.
Romney’s business record is fair game and if the Obama’s hatchet men can back him into a corner based on his financial success, well more power to them. I guess. But we’re willing to bet most voters will welcome someone as President of the United States who has held a job in the private sector at least once in his life. Especially if the economy is still tanking fifteen months from now, which appears to be a central assumption in Obama’s re-election strategy.