Decoded

Republican confidence about the presidential election is breaking out in all the usual places. Talk radio has become a gloat-a-thon, Fox talking heads are giddy. Donors’ checkbooks never close.

Even in more sober GOP circles, the Obama-can’t-win industry is in growth mode.

For a window into that, read John Ellis’s missive.

The wicked smart New Englander says the incumbent will struggle to get sufficient numbers of white voters to get another term. Thus, in Ellis’s view, it comes down to this:

This leaves Team Obama with two options: a scorched earth campaign and/or a “framed choice” campaign. They’re warming up the scorched earth campaign, running negative ads about Romney’s business career, his record as governor, etc. It’s not working. Romney has risen in the polls since it began. And it has diminished Obama; made him look hackish and small.

“Framed choice” is Team Obama’s only hope of holding enough white voters to avoid dismissal. The “framed choice” strategy is basically this: Everyone knows that pensions (Social Security) and health care (Medicare, Medicaid, child health programs) are going to bankrupt the nation unless they are “right-sized” to revenue and existing debt. Whoever is elected president in 2012 will have to “right-size” these programs over the course of the next four years.

The framed choice for the white voters who will decide this election is this: Who do you think will better protect the interests of working-class and middle-class families when the inevitable cuts are packaged? Who do you want negotiating for you when it comes down to who gets hurt and who doesn’t? Do you really want Mitt Romney and a bunch of right-wing congressmen making these decisions? Only a Democrat can be trusted to properly right-size the great Democratic social welfare programs.

As of now, the confidence and momentum are still with the Republicans.

Related Topics: John Ellis, Mark Halperin, 2012 Elections, News, Republican Party, The Page

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