Doing Obama’s Work
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
Rarely has an incumbent President awaiting the general election been as helped by the fighting among the various potential candidates from the opposition party as President Obama is this year. The President can close down his opposition research team completely. The attack teams, ads, and movies of the Gingrich-Huntsman-Paul-Perry-Santorum campaigns are setting out the entire anti-Romney campaign for him. The red-lines between the Tea-Partiers and the more moderate voices in the GOP are being written with chapter and verse, videos, and quotes. By the time the South Carolina primary– and for the survivors the Florida one—are over, there will be enough material already out there for Obama, to plaster the airwaves from September to November. Even if the GOP contest is truly over after Florida at the end of the month, the damage will have already been done. All the President’s campaign will need to do in the fall is run the attack ads again, now being paid for by Romney’s primary opponents.
Underlying this is a very disgruntled Party that still seems not to be very enthusiastic about Mitt Romney and would rather spend their time slinging mud-balls at him. So polarized have things become with Ron Paul even getting almost 23% of the vote in non-Evangelical New Hampshire, that the possibility of his running an independent campaign seems greater than ever. Paul needs to satisfy his flock of faithful, even if it will insure Obama’s re-election in a cake-walk. Rumors that he would not run as an independent because it would hurt his son, the recently elected Senator from Kentucky Rand Paul, seem frivolous. Senator Paul is not up for re-election until 2016 at which time all of this year’s jockeying will be old history.
Perhaps the most ironic thing for the Obama team and the Democratic National Committee is that it has cost them not a penny of the reported $222 million that they raised in 2011. Obama can keep his powder dry while the Republicans are raising it and burning it.