Perhaps because I'm not a big fan of the Republican Party or most of its candidates, I'm able to watch its campaigns with a bit of distance. Even if I didn't find Sen. John McCain to be a horrible politician, I'd say his campaign was the worst. It was like he and his strategists could be counted on to always pick the wrong the thing to do.
And I find many other Republican campaigns to be similarly unwise -- too timid or too reactive. So I have been watching this Romney campaign with interest. Byron York has highlighted a few examples of how this campaign is doing things differently.
In this piece from earlier this week, we learn that Team Romney is passing on calls for it to repudiate outlandish statements made by any of its supporters. They see this as a complete waste of precious time and a one-sided game to boot. In other words, they'll get on denouncing Trump right after the media is done forcing Obama to denounce Maher or the media denounces its own incendiary members.
Here we learn that Team Romney got wind of a super-secret Team Obama press conference that was supposed to denounce Romney from the steps of the Massachusetts State House and pre-empted it with one of their own an hour prior. And for added measure, 100 or so Romney supporters stuck around and heckled David Axelrod as payback for all of the protest groups he's organized at their events. But by doing it bigger and badder, there was a message being sent that they wouldn't just sit around and be victims to his strategy.
And then, while President Obama was going for a photo opportunity at a bipartisan unveiling of Presidential portraits, Mitt Romney held a press conference at little old Solyndra, the bankrupt solar energy company that received $535 million in loan guarantees from the Obama administration. This was a secret event and the campaign was able to keep a lid on it until reporters were on the bus there. York sums it up:
The bottom line is, Thursday marked a new escalation in the day-to-day fighting between the Obama and Romney campaigns. And Team Romney hopes it has sent a very clear message that it will punch, and counter-punch, as hard as is necessary.
It doesn't hurt that the Obama campaign has had an inept few weeks. But if these stories are any indication, Team Romney is very different from Team McCain.