DON'T SAY NO ONE WARNED US – AT 9:25 A.M. ET: There is a clear change, an ugly change, from the Obama of 2008 to the Obama of 2012. In a well-titled piece, "Obama puts bully in bully pulpit," The Hill explains:
President Obama in recent days has provided a taste of the sharp tone he will use in the general election against Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee.
Obama has emerged this year with sharper elbows than the “no-drama" candidate had in 2008. He is injecting drama, cranking up the rhetoric, for example by chiding Romney and congressional Republicans as being "radical" and “members of the flat Earth society.”
Obama, as one former aide put it, "is putting the bully in bully pulpit."
He is deploying mockery, swiping at Romney for not supporting the Buffett Rule and for using the word ‘marvelous,’ which Obama himself has repeatedly used without irony.
Even Republicans say the difference between Obama 2008 and 2012 is palpable.
“He’s gone from No-Drama-Obama to High-Drama-Obama,” GOP strategist Ron Bonjean said. “They’ve gone after Republicans hard in the last few weeks, everything from the Supreme Court to attacks on Mitt Romney but it’s boomeranged. They’re throwing mud against the wall to see what sticks but it ends up splashing back at them.”
But Democratic strategists and those close to the Obama campaign say the strategy is an effective one. Obama needs to come out swinging, to appeal to a dissatisfied base along with the critical independent vote.
COMMENT: It will work with the base. I doubt if it will work with independents. Obama needs to rile the base just to get minorities and "youth" to go out and vote on election day. He needed no such spur in 2008.
Independents, though, are, well, independent. I doubt if they'll be moved by Obama's attacks on the Supreme Court or on Paul Ryan.
It will be rough. Fortunately, one good thing about Mitt Romney is that he's a fighter, not a punching bag. And he needs a fighter in the v.p. slot.
April 14, 2012