Pause for two beats and pay Prizzi’s Honor-style homage to the ruthless killing machine that is the combined White House-Chicago operation.
They have parceled out their opposition research in a manner both strategic and tactical, selecting specific news organizations at times of their choosing to maximize the drip-drip-drip of the twin stories. They have used left-leaning Web outfits as recipients of over-the-transom gifts as effectively (cumulatively) as the Romney campaign uses Drudge. And they have seen the Boston Globe use its credibility to drive a ton of news.
The Obamans have dominated numerous consecutive news cycles since the last unemployment numbers came out. And there is more to come for sure. The Gang of 500 is confident it is just a matter of time before Romney relents and puts out additional years of tax returns, an eventuality that the Obama campaign will drag out for days. When some said that the Bain issue was burning out through its use by Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and others in the nomination fight, Chicago was quietly confident the matter could be easily revived with new information and heavy advertising — and Chicago was right. And, make no mistake, the Obamans are sitting on even more research that they will unfurl down the road.
From the President, to Joe Biden, to senior White House aides, to the entire re-elect operation — there has been impressive coordination on every one of their Bain-tax return hits, and there’s no reason to think that the teamwork will stop.
Romney still hasn’t answered all the Bain questions (despite Boston pretending otherwise) and he still hasn’t satisfied the call (including from some Republicans) for his tax returns. For now, without a doubt, Romney is losing on two fronts: the politico-media dialogue is not focused on the Obama economic record and Romney is being defined by the opposition.
But Romney has not collapsed in the polls by any means, and the President remains short of the magical 50% in most surveys. Maybe Romney’s foreign trip, VP selection, and convention will organically turn the page for him in time. But there are a lot of nervous Republicans outside the campaign who don’t think that’s true. And most of those nervous Republicans would be even more nervous if they knew what Chicago was still, patiently, sitting on.