Published for www.keithhennessey.com, June 18th, 2012
One speech isn’t that important, but I’ll be watching over the next five months to see which of these develop into campaign themes.
1. President Obama blames Republican theory for the financial crisis, recession, and slow recovery and links Governor Romney’s policies to that “failed experiment.”
In the past President Obama has harped on the problems he “inherited” and blamed President Bush for the financial crisis, ensuing recession, and even the slow recovery. Similarly, the Obama campaign is attacking Governor Romney’s experience and record, both at Bain and as Governor.
In this speech he instead attacks “Republican theories” and “the failed experiment” of the previous decade. He links Governor Romney to those policies and [what he argues is] the result. This is a broader attack on policies, ideas, and a small(er) government policy philosophy. It allows President Obama to attack Governor Romney for policies Romney proposes, as well as for policies Romney has not proposed but were implemented during the Bush Administration, and also those being proposed by any Congressional Republican. By bundling all these into “Republican theories” he has a wider range of targets.
President Obama’s flawed syllogism works like this:
- Romney policy X was tried during the Bush Administration. It is part of a failed Republican theory.
- Republican theory caused the financial crisis, recession, and slow recovery.
- Governor Romney’s policy on X may cause a repeat of the financial crisis and recession.