Tell me it's not going to happen. Tell me it's going to get more interesting than this. This is only April, and already the election campaign is following a script as desultory as one of those Hollywood B movies that go straight to DVD. Call it "The American President" meets "Groundhog Day."
Hence, today we had President Obama speaking in the critical swing state of Ohio and using the exact same catchphrases against Mitt Romney that we heard Obama use last week in the critical swing state of Florida: "Two competing visions of our future." "The choice could not be clearer." And as he did last week, Obama defended his programs by invoking past Republican presidents going back to Lincoln--all by way of demonstrating how far right today's Republicans, and their captive candidate, Mitt Romney, really are.
He reminded us, as he did last week, that the greatest GOP presidents "starting with the first one," Lincoln, have used government in bold ways to invest in America's future. The interstate highway system. The transcontinental railroad. He reminded us, again, that he's no socialist with a "grand scheme to redistribute wealth" but a passionate believer in the idea that "the free market is the greatest force in human history."
He did it in Lorain, Ohio, a state with an impressively low unemployment rate thanks in large part to Obama's auto bailout--and a state that Romney almost certainly has to win (no Republican has ever been elected president without it) if he is to overcome an already substantial deficit in likely electoral college votes.
Romney, scheduled to deliver a "prebuttal" the same day, also promised to perform a fair imitation of Bill Murray waking up on Day 10,000 of his ever-repeating nightmare. To wit: Obama inherited a bad situation that he only made worse. I've met a payroll and I can make it better. QED.
So it's here, folks. The general election. It's pretty clear already what we're going to hear for the next seven months. From Obama: Romney is too extreme to be trusted. From Romney: Obama is too incompetent to be kept on.
My mud. Your mud. Mudfight. Fun!
Is there anything else on TV?