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The Insiders
Posted at 08:23 AM ET, 07/30/2012

Get ready for Obama’s surrogates to play the Mormon card

Mitt Romney's foreign trip proceeded nicely to Israel, where he has received a warm welcome and avoided trouble. More of the same, after a rough start, would be good for the Romney campaign. Get through Poland unscathed and get back home to talk about the economy. Soon Romney will pick a VP, and there is plenty of startling news and worrisome indicators in the economy that the campaign should highlight and debate.

Yet the question of what President Obama will talk about is more complicated. If he goes near the economy, he is on the defensive and he lacks credibility. Yet it is the issue everyone cares about. He and his supporters are instead eager to pounce on any perceived Romney gaffe. Obama received a favor from the British prime minister and London's mayor when they squealed over Romney's perceived slight of London's state of readiness for the Olympic games.  Time will tell if they knew what they were doing when they exaggerated Romney's slight; perhaps they needed a distraction themselves from the growing frustration with the games at home.

Anyway, attacking Romney on Bain hasn't proved to be effective in any polls, but there is no reason for Obama to stop.  Again, what else does he have? Newsweek is doing its part this week by calling Romney a wimp, a la 1987. That petty insult didn't work against George H.W. Bush, but again, it shows the left is mentally exhausted. It reveals how trapped and empty it has become.

Obama will figure out a few more promises he can make to lure voters to the dole, but that has become old hat. I really believe there are meetings at the Obama campaign and at the White House (what's the difference?) where the question on the table is, "What can we give away to whom that will get us votes?" As the Obama campaign exhausts itself, having misspent money and failed with its messages too early in the election cycle, it is near the bottom of the barrel. The final 100 days are here and all Obama can do is attack — but he needs some new material.

I look for the "September surprise" to be Mormonism on trial. At first the attacks will come from marginal surrogates, then the reliable half-cocked usual suspects among Democrats in Congress.  (Somebody cue Debbie Wasserman Schultz.)  Next, a member of the left's apologencia from the MSM will write a cerebral, somber piece saying the tenets of Mormonism are fair game, and then we will be off to Slimytown. Romney will be confronted with this or that Mormon practice or theological position, the late-night comics will weigh in and Obama will have a distraction that could linger while he hopes for a break or something external to change the trajectory of the race.

By  |  08:23 AM ET, 07/30/2012

 
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