No votes have been cast. No Republican nominee has been picked for the 2012 general election.
But make no mistake, it is on. That is, the one-on-one fight between Obama vs. Romney.
In web ads, and via surrogates, the two men are already going after each other, as if there weren’t any Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary, and as if there weren’t actually several other candidates vying for the Republican primary nod.
It started with a Mitt Romney TV ad that had Obama quoting his 2008 GOP rival John McCain on the economy. Obama’s camp shot back, calling the ad “deceitful and dishonest.”
Then, the Democratic National Committee ran its own ad that went viral on Monday that pitts Romney against Romney as “two men trapped in one body” for flip-flopping on abortion and health-care.
Romney is utterly ignoring the flip-flop attacks, claiming that Obama is “obsessed” with him and doesn’t want to see him as the nominee (a way of saying he’s the inevitable choice, without actually saying it).
A slew of Romney surrogates came out against Obama on Monday, calling Obama a failed president .
So what have we learned? Romney’s strategy on flip-flops seems borrowed from Pee Wee Herman, as in “I know you are but what am I.” (A campaign e-mail was recently titled Obama vs. Obama, similar to the Mitt vs. Mitt meme).
And Democrats just keep hitting Romney, releasing an ad Tuesday that features New Hampshire voters criticizing Romney as...you guessed it...a less than honest broker because of his own ad about Obama, and by extension everything else.