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Posted at 10:23 AM ET, 10/09/2012

What Big Bird means for the presidential election

It pains me to say this, but Barack Obama's campaign is throwing Big Bird under the bus.  As part (a small part, one hopes) of its strategy to combat the continued fall-out from its principal's poor debate performance, the campaign released an ad making fun of Romney's odd debate moment with Big Bird.

One can argue that the ad is a trivial attempt to address Obama's real post-debate problem, which is that he let Mitt Romney begin a dangerous reinvention as a moderate, and that the president needs a much more serious response. But I would make a separate point: The last thing Big Bird, specifically, or PBS, generally, needs is more politicization of its brand. There is a group of Republicans who have railed against the public broadcasting subsidy for years, and Romney was silly to join them if he wants to be seen as moderate. So, in words that Big Bird's audience would understand, "The Republicans started it (the politicization).” But the Obama campaign has continued it, and the ad will not be forgotten come the next fight over public broadcasting subsidies. That may be the real legacy of this otherwise completely forgettable ad.

By  |  10:23 AM ET, 10/09/2012

 
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