Saturday, 20 October 2012

President Obama’s jokes can’t hide the truth


MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Obama can make all the jokes he want about Mitt Romney’s “binders,” but Obama’s the one in the bind.
He’s tossed everything and the kitchen sink at Romney. He’s even thrown in Big Bird. Now he’s calling Mitt “sketchy” — a term women use to describe men who give them the willies.
But scare tactics and one-liners won’t work anymore. Romney’s impressive performance in the first debate, and mostly solid showing in the second, has rendered Obama’s attacks mostly ineffectual.
Even Obama’s perceived gift in this week’s debate — moderator Candy Crowley “fact-checking” Romney over his claim that the president never said the attacks in Libya were due to an “act of terror” — hasn’t had much impact. All the exchange did was ensure that the terror attacks would dominate the next few days of the campaign.
The final debate Monday night is on foreign policy — without questions from alleged “uncommitted” voters — so that should help Romney make his case that the White House has been weak in responding to the attacks.
So barring a third debate collapse, Romney is heading into Election Day in a strong or at least even position in most swing states such as Ohio and New Hampshire, which means he has a good shot at winning the White House.
“All of this is conspiring with Benghazi and the debates with a general Obama fatigue in this country, and that’s a hard headwind for any president to pull off,” New Hampshire GOP strategist Patrick Griffin said.
At an outdoor rally in downtown Manchester, the president tried his best to look confident, but in interviews with some supporters, there was an air of concern. Four years ago, Obama took New Hampshire by 9 points and now he’s deadlocked with a guy who could only manage to win 39 percent of the vote in the GOP primary.
In his rally speech yesterday, Obama didn’t offer up much new, except a stream of Romney attack lines that was mostly aimed at women. His campaign’s obviously read the polls showing women voters moving toward Romney.
And of course, there was the “binders full of women” reference that Democrats are now trying to turn into the new “47 percent” line. Just to make sure, the campaign passed out “Women for Obama” signs for the crowd to hold up.
“We don’t have to order up some binders to find qualified, talented, driven young women who can learn and excel in these fields right now,” Obama said.
It’s a good line, but it underscores Obama’s problem right now — he’s trying to win back voters who deserted him after the first debate. That’s not usually a winning strategy.

Read the full story here.

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