Manufacturing a Crisis
To fully understand what is going on with the panic surrounding Governor Romney's comments at a private fundraiser in May, you have to go back to the 2008 campaign. In one of the longest primary battles in history, a Senator with less than three years in office before he started campaigning and no legislation to his name overcame another Senator who had already lived in the White House for 8 years and been in politics for most of her life. That same Senator - Barack Obama - went on to win a general election campaign against a third Senator who is a legitimate war hero with decades of experience in law and foreign policy. Over and over and over again, when his supporters and his campaign were asked what qualifications this man had to be President, the answer was always the same - he's running (or ran) a good campaign.
First, it is by no means true that Senator Obama ran a campaign that was any more efficient or less scandalous than previous or competitive campaigns. That assertion is a myth. While the purpose of this article isn't to debunk this myth consider the following examples. First, Senator Obama pledged to run on public funds alone and even signed a pledge to do so. He then promptly ignored this claim and was even questioned on it when he appeared on the Sunday talk shows. It was then discovered that for 20 years he attended a church that regularly preaches sermons based on race and anti-American sentiment. He made statements in which he referred to his grandmother as a typical white person, and was recorded stating that he would bankrupt any efforts to build coal factories while running commercials touting his support for coal.
While I can sit here for half the day listing the chaos that went on in the Obama 2008 campaign, it isn't necessary. Senator Obama was touted as running a good campaign because he had no real record. This is simply no longer true. He has a record, and it's bad. He had a filibuster proof majority for half of his presidency and chose to pass a monstrous stimulus, alter the TARP legislation to pay for more stimulus, passed a controversial health care law, and used the Federal Reserve Banks to pump trillions of fake money into the economy. He has altered the Social Security system, possibly beyond repair, and he presented almost no plans to address the future.
This is the true reason for the manufacturing of the crisis in question. The best hope for an Obama victory lies in convincing the American people that Romney cannot run a good campaign and Obama can. That's it. This is the election strategy of the Obama campaign and his chief supporters - the media. It lies in convincing the American people that the last 4 years didn't happen, and that the only metric which can be used to compare the two candidates is the proficiency with which they run their campaigns. Once that metric is established, these insignificant incidents are contorted, obfuscated, and often times simply lied about to create the image of a campaign in chaos on the Romney side. At the same time, campaign blunders and even complete governmental break downs - such as what is happening in the middle east - are completely ignored on the Obama side.
To illustrate this point, look at the article written by Mother Jones - the site that broke the story - when discussing the video and the remarks.
Romney's remarks, denigrating nearly half of the electorate, sent the Romney campaign—already roiled by infighting—into panic mode. The campaign hastily convened a late-night press conference to address his controversial statements, and Romney stood by his "off the cuff" comments, while conceding that they were "not elegantly stated."
What is the infighting cited in the article? Well, that text linked to a Politico article asserting that the Romney campaign was tearing itself apart over the speeches at the convention which were originally written by one author and then replaced with the text of another author. This, they claim, resulted in the Clint Eastwood debacle and failed speeches.
Of course, the problem with this assertion is that you must first believe that it is factual that speeches in question were failures when that is obviously an opinion. Then you must believe that Romney and the leadership were not in agreement as to which speeches to use prior to the campaign, an assertion which no one attempts to prove. Then you have to believe that this somehow amounts to a level of infighting not present in the Obama campaign.
Finally, look at the question asked of Governor Romney in the press conference where he addressed the tape. The person asking the question cannot even bring himself to assert that the secret tape of Governor Romney shows him saying anything different from his normal campaign speeches. Instead, he reverts to asserting that the statements are different in "tone" from Romney's typical statements.
Governor this is now the second time where you've made comments at a fundraiser to donors that are different than what you say on the trail either in terms of policy, or at least in this case in terms of tone. What assurances can you give the voters that you are not saying different things to the people who are funding your campaign than what you are saying to them in public and on the stage?
This is not coincidence, but rather strategy. First, a series of articles is written claiming infighting and failure whether they exist or not. Second, find any event that can be exploited to show incompetence in campaigning by Governor Romney. Combine this ineptitude in both leadership and campaigning to assert that Governor Romney is not qualified to be President because he is not running as good a campaign as President Obama.