The dramatic and unabashedly negative turn is the product of political reality. Obama remains personally popular, but pluralities in recent polling disapprove of his handling of his job and Americans fear the country is on the wrong track. His aides are increasingly resigned to running for re-election in a glum nation. And so the candidate who ran on “hope” in 2008 has little choice four years later but to run a slashing, personal campaign aimed at disqualifying his likeliest opponent.
Politico‘s Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin say that the Obama campaign even plans to steal a page from the Bush playbook in the way it discredited John Kerry in 2004.
Not only will the Obama campaign portray Romney as inauthentic and unprincipled, but it reportedly plans to cast the former Massachusetts governor as “weird.”