How Romney might win
If you are interested in American politics, then this account of Karl Rove, Republican strategist, addressing a breakfast meeting of some very rich people on the last day of the convention really is worth reading. Rove does not say anything surprising, unless you find it surprising that George W Bush’s successful adviser thinks that elections are won on the centre ground, but it is important.
“The people we’ve got to win in this election, by and large, voted for Barack Obama … If you say he’s a socialist, they’ll go to defend him. If you call him a ‘far out left-winger,’ they’ll say, ‘no, no, he’s not.’” The proper strategy, Rove declared, was criticizing Obama without really criticizing him—by reminding voters of what the president said that he was going to do and comparing it to what he’s actually done. “If you keep it focused on the facts and adopt a respectful tone, then they’re gonna agree with you.”
In Rove’s estimation, things are going well. “Barack Obama unleashed hell on our candidate on May 15,” he said. “Between May 15 and July 31st, he spent $111 million on ads out of his campaign war chest, and there was about another $17, $18 million spent by outside groups. The day that this started, the Gallup poll was 45-45. On the 31st of July, it was 46-46.”
“We spent—outside groups spent $110 million and Romney spent $42 million,” Rove continued. “So the bad guys [Democrats] spent $130 million and the good guys [Republicans] spent $152 million, and our money didn’t go as far as theirs because we couldn’t buy at the lowest unit rate. Really, it was sort of roughly equivalent, and we fought it to a draw.”
This is advice that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are clearly following. I thought their speeches to the convention were poor, a reminder that surprisingly few American politicians of front rank are any good at the basics of public speaking, but their “more in sorrow than in anger” line on the President was striking. They were appealing beyond the delegates at the convention to the people who voted for Obama in 2008 but who are disappointed with him.Tagged in: barack obama, Mitt Romney, US politics
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