Their Names are Bush and Cheney, Mr. President
Democrats and their supporters in the press got some good shots in during the Republican primary season. "The war on women" worked well until a "Democratic Strategist" killed the momentum with her master stroke "Mrs. Romney has never worked a day in her life." And the Romney gaffes provided a series of nice little side bars.
But the Democrats unbelievably let pass without a single counter message the Republican party's linking of itself to Reagan prosperity, passing over Bush and Cheney as if they never existed. No Republican candidate, from the serious people to the nut jobs, would even mention Bush. And with good reason... in 2012 a big majority of the country still blames Bush for the econmic collapse.
So, why doesn't Obama and team link Romney and Ryan to Bush BY NAME every day? It is obvious. Bush (or Bush and Cheney) references are entirely too clear, crisp, and easily repeated by one voter to another for Democrats to be bothered.
Why compose a media and headliine friendly phrase that's easy to remember, Bush/Ryan economy, The Bush/Romney recession, Cheney/Romney war mongering, when you can unleash a vague, clunky gem like this one from Saturday's rally in Ohio:
"(Romney will take us) right back to the policies that created this mess."
What policies? The audience has to now think or read up on four-eight year old policies to be able to take this message and talk to anyone about it. No one can remember policies, They remember people, numbers, familiar images. (He bungled it again two weeks ago when he accused the Republicans of SOCIAL DARWINISM. Hang out at your local diner or McD's during breakfast tomorrow morning. I'll bet you will overhear quite a few people talking politics. I'll bet not one of them will mention social darwinism -- or be able to attach a name to a single Bush economic policy from 2004-2008,
How about "Mitt Romney is George Bush with better suits and hair cuts. (or if that is too low brow for the pres, have one of his staffers or aids feed quotes of that nature to the press.)."
For the umpteenth time, Republicans make their messages sound like things voters can easily remember, can easily explain, and can use as a launching point to talk politics with their friends (which is why Romney "off message" is so un-Republican).
Democrats make their messages sound like something civics students will have to know for the essay portion of the final exam. ("War on women" was a refreshing, albeit short lived exception).
Mr. President, his name is George Bush, not "policies that created this mess." And 56% of the American people still blame him for the current economy. The GOP, message masters of the universe, are scared to death to even mention his name publicly. Does that give you any ideas?