—–GOP MEAN MACHINE ALERT—–
GOP Ads About to Take Lower Road in a Big Way
Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg report in the NYT that top GOP strategists have joined forces with conservative billionaire Joe Ricketts to prepare for a political ad campaign that may set a new standard for viciousness. According the the authors, one part of the plan includes,
…running commercials linking Mr. Obama to incendiary comments by his former spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose race-related sermons made him a highly charged figure in the 2008 campaign.
“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.
The ad would reportedly front an “extremely literate conservative African-American” who would say that Obama presents himself as a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln.” This particular group of conservatives seems terminally obsessed with the Jeremiah Wright fuss, which the public may now see as a no-longer relevant yawner.
But it is a clear harbinger of the depths of the low road Republican campaign to come. It’s all part of the strategy of using Super PAC’s to do the dirty work, while the Romney campaign stays on the ‘higher’ road:
…Should the plan proceed, it would run counter to the strategy being employed by Mitt Romney’s team, which has so far avoided such attacks. The Romney campaign has sought to focus attention on the economy, and has concluded that personal attacks on Mr. Obama, who is still well liked personally by most independent voters surveyed for polls, could backfire.
…The strategists grappled with the quandary of running against Mr. Obama that other Republicans have cited this year: “How to inflame their questions on his character and competency, while allowing themselves to still somewhat ‘like’ the man becomes the challenge.”
Lamenting that voters “still aren’t ready to hate this president,” the document concludes that the campaign should “explain how forces out of Obama’s control, that shaped the man, have made him completely the wrong choice as president in these days and times.”
The ad would run during the Democratic convention in Charlotte. It also calls for billboards and aerial banners etc.