Obama and Romney Campaigns Maneuver, Misdirect as Election Draws Close

  • Share
  • Read Later
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at the Reno Event Center in Reno, Nev., on Oct. 24, 2012.

With less than a week until Election Day, the campaign spin is so dizzying you may feel like throwing up. 

Mitt Romney‘s advisers say they have the incumbent running scared, with shrinking leads in battleground states, diminished early voting margins from 2008 and states once tucked safely in the President’s column sliding back into play. Barack Obama‘s team calls this a fantasy designed to create the illusion of momentum. Obama, they note, still holds narrow but stable lead in the handful of battleground states that count.

So how do you slice through the spin to get an accurate picture of where the race stands? Watch what the candidates do, not what their campaign says.

Obama stepped off the campaign trail for three of the final 10 days of the race, concentrating instead on the calamitous storm that socked the northeast. This decision was likely in part a political calculation: Obama has availed himself of a chance to wield the power of the presidency in a moment of crisis. And it appears to be paying off. Obama drew plaudits Tuesday from Republican Governor Chris Christie for his handling of Hurricane Sandy. On Wednesday he swoops into Atlantic City for a presidential photo op. The chorus of critics ready to seize on any potential missteps has stayed silent, with the exception of the guy who botched the federal response to Katrina arguing that Obama…acted too decisively.

Romney, on the other hand, has been throwing the kitchen sink at the President. First he launched a misleading ad that suggested Jeep would relocate Ohio-based workers to China. (The radio version is even more dishonest.) Now he is up with a new spot that resurrects the canard that Obama “gutted the work requirement for welfare.”

The welfare argument has been widely debunked, including here. Auto executives roundly denounced the deceptive auto ads. Why is Romney resorting to falsehoods? He’s hoping they work. He needs the help.

The GOP is crowing over their success “expanding the map” — that is, forcing Obama to defend blue-leaning states like Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. To an extent, this is true. Obama has gone up with ads in those states to neutralize a Romney offensive. But it’s not clear that it means much. With both candidates well-funded, money is far less important at this late phase than a candidate’s time. The incumbent’s decision to dispatch Bill Clinton to Minnesota or broadcasts ads in Michigan does indeed suggest he’s playing defense. But it’s not a terrible thing to be on defense when you’re ahead in the fourth quarter. Political science research suggests ads have the ability to significantly move the needle only when they run un-countered. So it is “prudent,” as David Axelrod said, for Obama to rebut Romney in states that may be tightening. Obama remains the favorite there.

Meanwhile, Romney has yet to close a slim but stubborn deficit in most public polls of Ohio, a state that is important to both candidates. And he has been forced to keep fighting for Virginia and Florida, two states that are crucial for him. The Republican nominee is campaigning across Florida on Wednesday. He makes three stops in Virginia on Thursday, then heads back to Ohio on Friday. If Romney can’t put Florida and Virginia away — and the time invested this week says he hasn’t — Ohio may not even matter. Minnesota and Pennsylvania are head-fakes. Until Romney takes a break from the Florida-Ohio-Virginia triumvirate to head to Minneapolis or Philly, it’s hard to take too seriously the notion that those states are really within his grasp.

Campaigns try to create the illusion of momentum because they believe that late-breaking voters want to side with the winner. Are the polls tightening in some states that Obama wanted to bank on? It seems so. Is Obama playing defense? Sure. Four years ago he won virtually every state that’s being contested this cycle. In 2008 he racked up 365 electoral votes. Republicans are playing entirely on Obama’s side of the field, and are going to gain back some ground. But they have a lot of territory to reclaim, and not much time left.

209 comments
AbrahamYeshuratnam
AbrahamYeshuratnam

Team Obama wants to divert the attention of American people by raising flimsy issues such as FEMA, auto bailout, Romney's wealth etc., These are seasonal (FEMA) and local issues. Obama wants to hide explosive national and international issues such as steep recession, mammoth unemployment, unbearable $16 trillion national debt, flawed foreign policy as witnessed in the murder of ambassador and the prolonged bloodbath in Syria -- and to add to these woes inundation of American cities with illegal immigrants, after Obama gave them green signal, although there are thousands of American boys and girls without jobs. He also wants to hide the joint military exercise with jihadist Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and these terrorists are given training in offensive operation so that they can attack America in future. It is to hide the danger that Americans are going to face and the present economic crisis that this silly seasonal issue FEMA is raised. No wonder Romney is leading in polls

allthingsinaname
allthingsinaname

As fast as you can write the polls change, Obama, it looks to me, now has the momentum.

Snitty Mitty is done.

LidiaKirov
LidiaKirov

Please note that these teachings are documented from Mormon writers, not anti-Mormon writers:Book of Mormon.The book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible, (History of the Church, vol. 4, p. 461.)Devil, theThe Devil was born as a spirit after Jesus "in the morning of pre-existence," (Mormon Doctrine, p. 192.)Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163.)GodGod used to be a man on another planet (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333)."The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as mans..." (D&C 130:22).God, becoming a god.After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354)."Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them," (DC 132:20).God, many gods.There are many gods (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163)."And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light," (Book of Abraham 4:3).God, mother goddess.There is a mother god (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).God, TrinityThe trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. "That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man," (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).HeavenThere are three levels of heaven: telestial, terrestrial, and celestial (Mormon Doctrine, p. 348).Holy Ghost, the.The Holy Ghost is a male personage (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, Le Grand Richards, Salt Lake City, 1956, p. 118; Journal of Discources, vol. 5, p. 179).Jesus"Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body... of flesh and bones," (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38)."The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood - was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115)."Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh..." (First Presidency and Council of the Twelve, 1916, God the Father, compiled by Gordon Allred, p. 150).Joseph SmithIf it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation [the context is the full gospel including exaltation to Godhood] outside the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670).Pre-existenceWe were first begotten as spirit children in heaven and then born naturally on earth (Journal of Discourse, vol. 4, p. 218).The first spirit to be born in heaven was Jesus (Mormon Doctrine, p. 129).The Devil was born as a spirit after Jesus "in the morning of pre-existence," (Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).Salvation"One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation," (Miracle of Forgiveness, by Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206).A plan of salvation was needed for the people of earth so Jesus offered a plan to the Father and Satan offered a plan to the father but Jesus' plan was accepted. In effect the Devil wanted to be the Savior of all Mankind and to "deny men their agency and to dethrone god," (Mormon Doctrine, p. 193; Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 8).Jesus' sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins, (murder and repeated adultery are exceptions), (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, 1856, p. 247).Good works are necessary for salvation (Articles of Faith, p. 92).There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 188)."The first effect [of the atonement] is to secure to all mankind alike, exemption from the penalty of the fall, thus providing a plan of General Salvation. The second effect is to open a way for Individual Salvation whereby mankind may secure remission of personal sins (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 78-79)."As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements -- 'obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,'" (Articles of Faith, p. 79)."This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts," (LDS Bible Dictionary, p. 697)."We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do," (2 Nephi 25:23).Trinity, theThe trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. "That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man," (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).This article is also available in: Español.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Happy Halloween everyone.  Have a good time with your kids out tonight, and if you don't have kids make sure you have plenty of candy!

I'm sure our Right Winger friends here are staying in tonight and keeping their doors locked.  To do otherwise would be to encourage entitlements and handouts.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Brace Yourselves...Alex Tweeted this Post....

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

I think LL is trying to pick up the slack for Paul today.

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

Romney is inept, smug and disconnected. Yet, you want this man who could not govern MA, to govern our country. 

Blood bath in Syria? Obama's fault too?? I know Fox News specializes in bogey man politics inyour own little Far Right cocoon. But, you should know you are totally messed up when you start to believe the hype!! Gosh!! Fox News is a partisan "news" station full of angry, loud and semi illiterateblowhards.  News Flash: Compared to Romney, Obama CARES, Obama is competent, and has worked around a TOTALLY malevolent Congress, a Congress that has no interest in working for their constituents. Their sole interest was in making sure Obama was not re-elected. We can seethat they will not be getting their wish. 

Romney is a lying, sleazebag business man and will not be elected!  

Hmmm  I think you should save your hysteria for when you call into the Limbaugh show.   

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@AbrahamYeshuratnam Yes Obama wants to divert the attention of the American people from the fact that the Republican party has no idea of how to run this country successfully. Silly Obama.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@Ivy_B "UPDATE: 5:54 p.m. -- By late Wednesday, some conservative groups began distancing themselves from ccAdvertising, with Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform telling Roll Call that it was dumping the outfit because of the unsolicited texting"

Shorter Grover "Now that the horse is gone, close the barn door" 

MrObvious
MrObvious

@DonQuixotic 

Nah, righties love halloween - it's the one day they can walk outside showing their ugly personas without wearing makeup.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@LiberalLies2012 And idiots like you will open wide and say ahhh. Or at least you would it if that a Republican politician in the men's room.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

@kbanginmotown Alex will later feel like Pharaoh Ramses waiting for the locusts to arrive. And they will. Earlier today Karen Tumulty tweeted about the flood of nasty emails she's getting, recent ones about Benghazi. Certainly she gets lots of nasty RW replies at her blogs posts, often more than received here (except for some MMR's and Joe posts). Little wonder if that's why she doesn't reply as often to readers as she used to here. But certainly if Adam can get the High Sheriffs and Livefyre to cut off the automatic Twitter crossposts, it will help. Maybe.

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

@LiberalLies2012 Worst of all, Obama used his Kenyan Mind Trick to dupe the unsuspecting Christie into actually showing genuine appreciation and admiration for the President!!!  How much it must suck to have the keynote speaker of your Tampa Luv-N-Gun Fest essentially tell Mitt to stay the hell out of NJ, and "Fox and Fascists" to go pound salt.  The apostasy!

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

Keep lying, Rusty, since most of us saw the speech live all on CNN we know what he said.  BTW, there may not global warming in your alternative universe but the ocean level is up 1 foot in the NYC area over the past 100 years which already means that the impact of any tidal surge  or wind action has one less foot it has to rise to flood tunnels and other infrastructure.  You can act like the NC legislature all you like but the storms are getting worse and hopefully they will avoid where you live.  And holding your breathe until you turn blue won't change anything!

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@LiberalLies2012 

"and how he had turned around and denied them when they called for backup on Sept 11"

Blatent lie.  Maybe they wanted it taken down because it's offensive, and the Seal's families have asked the GOP to stop politicizing their deaths?  Nah.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@LiberalLies2012 

So basically those that can't provide for themselves.  What's your problem with this, aside from the fact that you want to live in Somalia?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@LiberalLies2012 

Chris Christie thinks it was very successful.  What about his handling of the storm don't you agree with?  I'd wait but I know you wont answer.  You don't have an answer.

La_Randy
La_Randy

@Paul,nnto @LidiaKirov You read this? You need an award or something.

OT. Has anybody heard from Stuart Zechman or Patrick Sartor?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@Paul,nnto

Sucks when people finds out...it's not like they're doing it because they find it distasteful.

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

@deconstructiva @kbanginmotown It almost seems like TIME is enjoying this random collection of drive-by comments more than having an engaged, informed (for the most part), growing commentariat...

MrObvious
MrObvious

@deconstructiva

Obama is handling the effort really well so obviously the squirrels have to squeak louder.

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

No, Rusty, time to run over to one of those right-wing ultra religious fanatic sites if they will putt up with you.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

@La_Randy @Paul,nnto Now that you mention it, Stuart hasn't tweeted anything recently. They may be without power. Yesterday Jay Rosen of NYU was asking if anyone in NY had a desk and power where he could work.

doddeb
doddeb

@kbanginmotown: I second that emotion. I feel constrained to point out, however, that we did not have near the number of truly batsh!t crazy comments with discus. LiveFyre is pushing people over the edge, clearly.

nhautamaki
nhautamaki

Honest question Rusty:  I don't frequent right-wing boards (or left wing ones either) but I assume you do.  Are there a bunch of obnoxious trolls from the left on those boards constantly spouting ridiculous accusations like 'Romney is a secret member of the KKK' and 'Tea Partiers receive secret training from former Nazi propaganda ministers' and whatnot?  Or is the constant trolling via absurd and completely unsubstantiated accusations strictly a right-wing practice?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Nope we always knew the Right Wing cornered the market on trolls years ago.

outsider
outsider

Beat me to it!

@deconstructiva @mantisdragon91 @ahandout @LiberalLies2012

outsider
outsider

Apparently, I was out trick or treating :)

Honestly, I don't tend to think of handy as a troll (a la paulie and rusty). More like a yappy dog, so I didn't put one and one together.

@nflfoghorn @outsider2011

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

@outsider2011 ...but I can't stand not being able to correct my typing!

He's is just being very disparate  s/b   He's just being very disparate.

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

@outsider2011 @DonQuixotic @LiberalLies2012 Considering the latest Nate-O-Gram, desparation is understandable and expected.  Obama is now projected to take 300 electors and has a 79% chance of re-election.  I expect more and more ravings as the election approaches.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

He's is just being very disparate.

Fixed.