If Barack Obama loses the presidency, blame for the outcome may come down to a fatal mistake in tactics: The Democrats made fun of Mitt Romney. Too much fun, as it turned out.
Uncomfortable with talking about Obama’s own domestic record, the Democrats’ campaign against Romney essentially amounted to portraying him as a nitwit — an ignorant, insincere, and gaffe-prone dolt who had no business being on the national stage, much less becoming president. That message was relentlessly pushed over the summer and early fall by the Obama campaign and it was undeniably effective. By the end of September, literally every single respected national poll showed Romney trailing the president. The National Journal, for instance, gave Obama a margin of 7; Fox News, 5; NPR, 7. Republicans were discouraged; the race seemed over.