More impressive action from the rebels of the Mitt Romney camp as they opened up a three-front skirmish against forces loyal to the Emperor Hussein yesterday in Boston, Fremont, Calif., and Washington, D.C.
There was the candidate himself, giving a sharp speech about the crony-capitalistic disaster of Solyndra outside the shuttered headquarters of the green pipe dream itself. At the same time, President Obama was pinned down in the capital, grinding his teeth through some typically solipsistic remarks while his detested predecessor grabbed the spotlight at the unveiling of his official presidential portrait — and wowed the crowd with some folksy self-deprecation and love for his family.
But the most important engagement of the day was the public heckling of presidential consigliere David Axelrod, including orchestrated chants of “Solyndra, Solyndra.” Never elected to anything, the former Chicago Tribune reporter and city-hall bureau-chief-turned-campaign-consultant made an unforced error in emerging from the shadows, where the general public could get a good look at him. As Charles Krauthammer observed last night:
You’ve got to ask yourself on today’s events: Who is David Axelrod, and who elected him? Who decided he should stand outside the [statehouse] and give a speech? He’s an adviser of the president. He has no stature. I think that looked bad, [his being] drowned out. Why wouldn’t you… have the vice president of the United States speaking… or a surrogate who’s elected?
Good question. Is Obama so short of allies that he’s reduced to having the Mr. Peachum of his administration front for him public? For Axelrod, like the fence in The Beggar’s Opera, could honestly say:
A Lawyer is an honest Employment, so is mine. Like me too he acts in a double Capacity, both against Rogues and for ‘em; for ’tis but fitting that we should protect and encourage Cheats, since we live by them.
It ended badly, as somebody at the White House should have known it would. But it’s a sign of desperation: Axelrod is a charter member of Obama’s Chicago mafia, the man behind the curtain, and to send him out where he could be humiliated was a dreadful blunder. What, Bill Clinton wasn’t available? Oh, wait . . .
But that’s the difference between strategy and tactics. The Romney camp has already shown itself to be an adept counter-puncher, but now seems to be moving toward a more aggressive, offensive posture. Yesterday was a series of Doolittle Raids, to test the enemy’s reactions.
The real action will come after Labor Day. The Citizens United decision allows the GOP to match and even surpass Obama’s 2008 fund-raising prowess (no wonder he reacted so bitterly to it), which means that the Romney campaign will be able to deploy the big guns further down the line and pound what’s left of Obama’s defenses into rubble.
If David Axelrod is all Obama’s got, his campaign is in bigger trouble than any of us thought — or hoped.