The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The Rapidly Shifting Anti-Mitt Message from Obama


The Obama campaign and the White House — pardon me for repeating myself — will use the “Mitt has no principles” and the “Mitt is a crazy right-winger” charges interchangeably, even though they obviously contradict each other.

Politico, today:

[Axelrod mocked Romney as an Etch-a-Sketch] a day after a top West Winger went the other way during a briefing with national political reporters, unexpectedly rejecting the entire empty-core storyline and arguing that the real Romney was the 2012 conservative, and not the moderate, pro-choice Romney of the 1990s.

The aide’s argument — which can’t be recounted here because of the strict no-quotes, no names ground rules the White House imposes on such sessions — set off alarms among the White House press corps, political cadaver dogs paid to sniff nearly imperceptible changes in tone and language. Reporters, who can be quoted under the rules, harrumphed.

“He has a core now! You said he didn’t have a core — are you saying he has a core now?” asked an incredulous TV network correspondent.

Permit me a literary reference in response to this extraordinary message fluidity:

Just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally. There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy.

Tags: Barack Obama , David Axelrod , Mitt Romney


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