Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Obama Campaign's Ad Strategy Goes Against Political Grain Obama Campaign's Ad Strategy Goes Against Political Grain

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / ELECTION ANALYSIS

Obama Campaign's Ad Strategy Goes Against Political Grain

President's team shows willingness to spend money on ads to defend him.

photo of Alex  Roarty
September 14, 2012

For President Obama’s campaign, the best offense is a good defense.

On Saturday, the incumbent's team launched an ad that takes on the question once flubbed on TV by three allies in one day: the question of whether Americans are better off now than they were four years ago. It's running in seven battleground states.

 

The spot uses news reports, studies and graphs to show progress on jobs since "the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression." It also says opponent Mitt Romney would, among other things, raise middle-class taxes (Romney says he won't) and roll back new regulations on "the banks that cratered the economy."

The Saturday ad came a day after the campaign unveiled another new ad that directly rebuts a Romney spot released only a day earlier. The 30-second TV ad, airing in the nine battleground states, mocks the Republican’s suggestion that he would “get tough on China” after a private career marked by sending jobs overseas. (Notably, it doesn’t mention his own record on China.)

Obama’s response seems to violate an old political maxim: If you’re explaining, you’re losing. Rather than opening up a new attack on the GOP presidential nominee, Obama is using valuable time and ad dollars to defend himself.

But time and time again in this race, his campaign has responded directly to Romney attacks. His first ad of the presidential campaign, in fact, was a rebuttal to an outside group attack on government loans to the failed solar company Solyndra.

Other instances in which the Obama campaign responded:

Responding to a rival’s ads isn’t unusual for a campaign, but the Obama campaign’s pattern in this race is unusually aggressive. And it seems to indicate a concern, on issues such as welfare reform or ethics, that the attacks could fester if left unchecked.

Campaigns always prefer to play offense. Defense, nevertheless, is still critical.

More The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field
Job Board
Search Jobs
Digital and Content Manager, E4C
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
PRODUCT REVIEW ENGINEER
American Society of Civil Engineers | CA
Neighborhood Traffic Safety Services Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Bellevue, WA
United Technologies Research Fellow
American Society of Civil Engineers | New York, NY
Process Engineering Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Conshohocken, PA
Electrical Engineer Co-op
American Society of Civil Engineers | Findlay, OH
Application Engineer/Developer INTERN - Complex Fluids
American Society of Civil Engineers | Brisbane, CA
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Detroit
American Society of Civil Engineers | Livonia, MI
Chief Geoscientist
American Society of Civil Engineers
Application Engineer - Internships CAE/CFD Metro Boston
American Society of Civil Engineers | Burlington, MA
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Civil Enginering Intern - Water/Wastewater/Site-Development
American Society of Civil Engineers | Sacramento, CA
Staff Accountant
American Society of Civil Engineers | Englewood, CO
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus