Team Obama's Prescription: Daily Dose of Hardball Video
It's not our imagination. For seven of the last eight days, the Obama re-election campaign has been out with a new video or TV ad, all but one going hard after Mitt Romney. Spokesman Ben LaBolt says the Obama campaign is merely picking up a torch that had been carried by the Democratic National Committee, and he's not sure if the near-daily releases will continue. "We roll with the news cycle," he said in an email.
It's hard to imagine enough news - or enough Romney gaffes - to fuel the current blistering pace for the next six months. There's also the question of whether that would be productive for Obama over the long run. Does he want to live up to charges by Romney and the GOP that he's running a relentlessly negative campaign?
In the short term, you'd think Democrats would be heartened by Obama's aggressive moves, just as Republicans were happy to see that Romney could be ruthless when necessary toward his primary opponents. Obama's timing is good, too - early enough to help frame what could be a close race.
Not to dump on John Kerry and his 2004 campaign, but he locked up the Democratic nomination early in March and then ceded the airwaves for nearly two months. Although the Massachusetts senator was virtually unknown outside of early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, Kerry's aides pooh-poohed the idea that immediate ads were needed to introduce him to the country. The upshot: He was a blank slate for Bush and his allies to write on. They wrote up a storm, defining Kerry in TV ads as a weak-on-defense flip-flopper while the Kerry campaign, perhaps fatefully, bided its time.
When it comes to defining Romney, Obama had a big assist from Romney's rivals in the lengthy and closely followed Republican nomination race. Even so, he's leaving nothing to chance. Here's what we're in for if the rest of the year is anything like the past week: