Whatever might be said about how the presidential campaign was going heading into October, the dynamic has certainly changed. And where I used to struggle with what the Romney campaign was doing, now I do not understand the Obama campaign strategy. From my perch, it seems focused on appealing to voters whose support is not in question.
The ads that run on my Northern Virginia airwaves, which have included brazen lies about Romney's abortion position that I wish were even half-true, are obsessed with the killing of unborn children and keeping women's uteruses empty at all costs.
And while I get that this message appeals to hard-core feminists, the vast majority of the country is much more moderate on abortion than Obama is. Some of us are outright pro-lifers. Others simply wish there was some protection for the unborn.
And then there's the "binders of women" meme that the left and their friends in the media have focused on. Mitt Romney said that he went out of his way to find qualified women for his cabinet in Massachusetts -- that their resumes were provided to him in some kind of organizing device, if you can imagine -- and the left thinks this is the "gotcha" that will bring him down. He hired women! Qualified women! After reviewing their resumes to determine their qualifications! The monster!
Now, a liberal friend showed me this New Yorker piece which explains how some view the binder comment negatively. It can be summed up as, "Sure, Romney hired women and paid them fairly, but he doesn't emote properly. Our guy has been accused by former female staffers of running a 'boy's club' and a 'hostile' workplace for women and he pays female staffers less than the men, but he says the right things."
Let's leave that all aside for a moment. What I wonder is what the campaign strategy regarding binders is. I mean, first you have to provide some type of context for the listener to even know what the heck you're talking about. Then you have to explain that Romney's hiring of all these women was somehow nefarious. It's just not an image that translates. Heck, the whole reason we're talking about it is that it was awkward phrasing.
Is the idea that by talking about how Romney put women's resumes in binders, women will be aghast? Is it merely that by painting him as a kind of robotic dude, we'll vote for Obama in droves? Memo to the Obama campaign: Not only is everyone aware of Romney's mannerisms, the way that you demonized him so thoroughly has made our interaction with the "real" Romney go even better than it would have had you not done so. You set the bar at "Romney is an insane and evil robot." It wasn't hard for him to exceed our expectations after that.
And all this is happening post-Big Bird. That was the campaign's big "gotcha" for the week following the first debate.
So we have a discussion on whether to subsidize the world's wealthiest puppet, binders full of women's resumes, and advocating for an extreme abortion position.
We can make fun of it, but what am I missing? Why is this their strategy? Which voting group are they targeting and why? And how does this help them win in November?