The best/worst of the Jeremiah Wright memo

at 03:20 PM ET, 05/17/2012

A proposal from a Republican strategist to tie President Obama to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright has been condemned by Mitt Romney. The billionaire super PAC founder who was pitched the idea has publicly rejected it, saying it never would have been approved.

This $10 million ad campaign proposed by Fred Davis’ Strategic Perception will likely never see the light of day. But this 54-page strategy document is pretty fascinating as it provides a step-by-step attempt to redefine who Barack Obama really is.

The idea: to argue that Obama is incapable of making good decisions not because he is misguided but because his wordlview was shaped by Wright, who taught him that “America was the problem.”

Of course most loyal Fixistas have day jobs and can’t spend the time reading through the whole Davis memo. That’s where we come in. We read the document for you and below highlight what you need to know.

* The proposal suggests Obama presented himself as “the metrosexual black Abe Lincoln.”

* Davis wanted to put President Obama’s head on an actor’s body:

The face- replacement technology utilized involving the placement of Barack Obama's computer--generated face on the filmed body of a similarly-sized actor is relatively new, not inexpensive, but we feel it will be one of several elements that will insure your film is not mistaken for a typical, political “video.” This is much closer in scale and quality to your theatrical productions.

* The document insults Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who Davis worked for in 2008, calling him “a crusty old politician who often seemed confused, burdened with a campaign just as confused.”

* The proposed ad was aimed at sowing doubts about Obama with independents.

Rather than being part of the general landscape of harsh punching and counterpunching on the issues driving that day's news,we recommend reaching into this independent's gut to dramatically reconfirm and increase the unease he has over Obama's incompetence, his inability to focus on the problem at hand and his overtly political forays that make him look like he's got something to hide.

* There’s a subtle dig at Romney. “They still aren’t ready to hate this president,” the proposal says of independent voters, “but they’re definitely open to the concept that someone else (perhaps even Romney) could do a better job.”

* Racism accusations, the authors say, would give the campaign “enormous free airtime” and could be effectively shot down. 

* The group recommended Larry Elder, a California talk radio host, as the “extremely literate, conservative African American” who would defend the campaign. Elder recently wrote a column declaring that “if Mormonism is fair game, so is Jeremiah Wright.” The team behind the ad was also in “very tentative talks with a group of African American business leaders who could get substantially behind this effort.”

* The proposal included a planned series of focus groups on the ad to tone down “any elements that could reasonably be deemed ‘racist.’”

* As The Fix wrote, a Wright-based attack is likely misguided. But the group did predict the backlash, warning Ricketts to “prepare for a great deal of howling and gnashing of teeth from all of the usual suspects and some of their weak-kneed Republican co-conspirators.”

 
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