AP Desperately Defends Obama from Likability Attacks

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AP Desperately Defends Obama from Likability Attacks

Unread postby rjames » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:45 pm

This latest "straight news item" from the Associated Press:

Mitt Romney is portraying the outwardly calm President Barack Obama as a man seething with animosity and power lust as the Republicans seek to undermine one of the Democrat's greatest campaign strengths — his personal likability.

The president's re-election effort, Romney said Wednesday, "is all about division and attack and hatred." Obama, Romney added later while campaigning in Charlotte, is an angry man who "will do or say anything to get elected."

Whether by calculation or not, Obama highlighted his most genial side as he campaigned in Iowa, joking with voters about the pleasures of state fair junk food, and joshing with his wife, who made a rare campaign appearance with him.

"It all boils down to who you are and what you stand for," Michelle Obama told Iowans in Dubuque, on the final leg of the president's three-day bus tour of that toss-up state. "We all know who my husband is, don't we? And we all know what he stands for."

With polls showing Obama with a slight lead, Romney is focused on the "likability gap" that is evident in surveys that consistently show Obama ranking higher on general favorability questions than on handling the economy, which until now has been the Republican's chief focus. Romney's approach also comes as he and his running mate, congressional budget writer Paul Ryan, face increasing questions on a touchy economic issue for many Americans" their stance on Medicare.

While some GOP strategists question whether Romney's tactic will work, they agree that he is vulnerable among voters who find Obama more personally appealing. Romney and his allies appear bent on persuading voters that Obama is not what he seems.

Appearing on CBS Wednesday, Romney said the Obama campaign is "designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger." The comments echoed the candidate's call on Tuesday for Obama to "take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago."


Since "likability" is by definition a 100% subjective judgement, there's something a little oxymoronic in suggesting that Mr. Romney thinks he can talk people into disliking the president simply by commenting on his venomous rhetoric, and relentless demagoguery. But just in case, the AP feels compelled to spell it out in terms most likely to make Mr. Romney look small-minded and envious. The pervasive sycophancy of the mainstream media seems to have no limits.

That said, I was struck by Mrs. Obama's comment:

"We all know who my husband is, don't we? And we all know what he stands for."

Speaking as a Republican who voted for her husband, and am now the proud owner of a lengthy list of the lies he repeated over and over during his 2008 campaign, I can answer her rhetorical question in the affirmative:

"Yes indeed Mrs. Obama, we now know exactly who he is and what he stands for."
rjames
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AP Desperately Defends Obama from Likability Attacks

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