As we near the South Carolina primaries, the media is abuzz with the drama unfolding among the Republican candidates for president, and the harsh attacks being leveled by each faction. Some see this as detrimental to the eventual Republican nominee, but I tend to disagree. In 2008, when Mitt Romney graciously stepped down and conceded to John McCain, it allowed the Republican Party to coalesce around “their man”, who promptly went on to get an Electoral College tail-whipping, losing 365-173 to a smooth-talking political neophyte with no record to speak of, but a catchy, feel-good slogan and the media on his side.
This year, make no mistake, the gloves are coming off, and the Republicans had better have a battle-tested candidate that is ready to go up against Obama. The “Hope and Change” campaign is no more, and Obama knows it. He now has a record that can be used against him, so rest assured, the absolute last thing he will focus on is that record. He’s accumulated more debt than every other president combined, signed off on a nearly trillion dollar stimulus bill that actually increased unemployment by more than two percent, the size of the federal government has grown by a quarter, and we have the scandals surrounding voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party, the Solyndra scandal, Fast and Furious, his latest unconstitutional power grabs, and more.
Since he can’t run on his record, so what will he do? My guess is, first, he will claim that while things have been bad under his administration, he has the right policies, and therefore it would have been even worse under Republicans. The second angle I believe he will use, and indeed we saw it implemented in part during the 2012 mid-term elections, is to paint his opposition as being against him because he is black, and because they are just bad people. Why that route? Because if you can demonize the messenger you can avoid having to address the message.