Credit my formerly mid-level, increasingly higher-level GOP source Middle Cheese; he’s willing to admit when a prediction doesn’t pan out:
Wow, was I wrong about last night’s debate. I was absolutely certain that Obama would mercilessly attack Romney on Bain, “47 percent,” tax returns, etc. Perhaps Obama lost his nerve with Romney standing right in front of him. However, starting today, expect Axelrod and Team Obama to dredge up this slime and go 100 percent negative to halt Mitt’s momentum. I mean, Joe Biden will be a rabid dog at next week’s VP debate with Paul Ryan.
Permit me to interject . . . I . . . can’t . . . wait.
Meanwhile, Team Romney’s single-minded strategy will be to appeal to swing voters in the swing/purple States (and who knows, maybe even in one or two blue States).
As reported to Buzzfeed: “A third Romney aide, granted anonymity to bluntly discuss strategy, told BuzzFeed that Boston is no longer concerned about conservatives’ support, and wanted instead to use the debate to talk to a segment of the electorate they haven’t reached yet.” (Not sure “no longer concerned about conservatives’ support” is exactly what this Romney aide said, but we get the point).
As Mike Murphy cogently observed in a tweet: “We’re seeing that Romney can do when freed of his campaign harness and the worry about ‘the base.’ Base will be fine. They like winning.”
Last night, Mitt energized the base and appealed to swing voters. He was absolutely “Reaganesque.” Romney’s message is a winning one: America faces a big choice between four more years of the last four years of stagnant growth, and a forward-looking, pro-growth agenda that promotes upward mobility and lifts people out of poverty.