If President Obama wins Ohio (and I mean “if”), it will be because he re-ran on a larger scale Ted Strickland’s witless populist campaign against John Kasich from 2010. Noam Scheiber of The New Republic had a shrewd post after Strickland’s narrow loss in that race on the potential political power of such a populism — and its pitfalls, namely the stupidity and crudity. It may turn out it was a mistake for Romney not to play aggressive offense-defense on the auto bailouts from the beginning, the way he did on Medicare. His 2008 op-ed stands up very well, although the headline given it by the editors of the Times opened it up to easy distortion. I write about all of this in my column today.