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Right Turn
Posted at 02:58 PM ET, 11/02/2012

Obama makes a base appeal

This is the president of the United States making his final case to the American people:

That’s the best he can do? “Voting is the best revenge”? And against whom should voters seek “revenge” — other Americans? A candidate who has the support of about half the electorate? It is mind-boggling, really, that this sort of snide, negative motivation is what President Obama has saved up for his final appeal.

But that’s really been the story of his campaign all along. Carpet-bomb Mitt Romney with negative ads during the summer and then make the last week of the campaign about Big Bird, “Romnesia” and “binders full of women.” He apparently has given up on luring independent, less-partisan voters (Romney leads by double digits among independents, most pollsters say). In his yearning to turn out his base he must imagine that those voters bear as much animus against his opponents as he does. But of course that’s not how he turned out his base last time. Then it was hope and change; now Romney is the hope and change candidate.

Voting for president is unlike any other choice voters make. Most people don’t have to feel comfortable, let alone be proud, of their congressman. Not a lot of gubernatorial races turn on who is the more narcissistic candidate. When casting their vote for president, however, many voters want to feel proud of their selection and proud of the vote they are casting not only for themselves but for their future. “Revenge” is the last thing on their minds.

Maybe Obama’s appeal to the worst in voters is well-founded. Somehow, though, I think Americans are better than that. Too bad he didn’t give them a campaign and an agenda worthy of their pride.

By  |  02:58 PM ET, 11/02/2012

 
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