The Washington Post

Obama plays to the coarse, ignorant vote

What is President Obama doing? What votes is he trying to get? I said last week he had better find ways to appeal to more white voters, especially white working women, or he was going to lose. Well, the Obama campaign must have had a meeting and decided it needed the campaign message to center on the president's childish, not-quite-cute name-calling, highlighted by vulgar insults. In the meeting it was obviously decided that the clumsy use of “Romnesia” could stay, but that if the president used his own mouth to call Mitt Romney a "bull*****er" that would really appeal to...? Appeal to whom? I have no idea what the Obama campaign is about, 11 days before the election.

In the campaign autopsies that will start in less than two weeks, Oct. 19 could be identified as the exact date that any remnant of Obama's call for hope and change vanished. The president has descended to a new Nixonian level of slander and slur. Hooting about "Romnesia" and now attributing the idea that Mitt Romney is a "bull*****er" to a 6-year-old girl is where Obama has taken us. 

In the final stretch, Obama's campaign isn't about offering hope and change but is about appealing to a coarse ignorance that he sees in voters. Again, calling Romney a liar and using gutter language are meant to appeal to whom? Frat boys? If you have recently decided to vote for Obama, you need an explanation of your decision that is suitable for polite, informed company — otherwise your friends might think you are among the coarse and ignorant that Obama sees as part of his coalition. I said in early August that based on the vapid shallowness of the Obama campaign in the summer, I couldn't imagine what the president would be saying in October.  Well, now we know, and his words are taking us all down.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.


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