Elections 2012: Barack Obama Takes Multiple Pages From GOP Playbook

In his reelection campaign Barack Obama is adopting much of the strategic playbook Republicans have developed and used for 40 years.

As he tries to become only the second Democratic president since Franklin Roosevelt to win reelection, Barack Obama is adopting much of the strategic playbook Republicans have developed and used for 40 years. Photo: Pete Souza/The White House

Beginning with Richard Nixon in 1972, and moving on to Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George W. Bush in 2004, Republicans adopted a strategic doctrine that includes the following basic plays: Stress culture, and exploit cultural and regional divisions, reports The Huff Post.

Republican nominees prefer to declare one’s own strength as commander in chief and the opponent’s ignorance or weakness (or both) in military and foreign affairs.

They paint the foe as out of the mainstream and/or elitist in terms of money, education or both and point out wedge issues to expand fissures in the other party. They speak in sweeping historical terms where possible about the greatness and uniqueness of the country. And they also evoke symbols of manly recreational endeavor.

In the 2012 reelection campaign Barack Obama has already used some of these tactics. For example, by declaring his belief in the full right of same-sex marriages, the president turned the four-decades-long culture war on its head.

Barack Obama wil also speculate on Osama bin Laden topic, as he is a Democratic presidential candidate who has the upper hand on defense and foreign policy. His Republican rival Mit Romney has no experience on the topics, and Obama will press his advantage.

Moreover, Salon has already linked Obama’s campaign with George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign. The counterfactual campaign theme — which sounds like vote for me not because of what happened, but what might have but didn’t — is a common thread for Bush and Obama who is counting on it working again in 2012.

Obama’s campaign may not go so negative against Romneyas the Bush camp did against John Kerry in 2004. But don’t be surprised if attacks on Romney’s record and even character get plentiful, harsh and relentless.

The Obama campaign is to highlight two major critiques of Romney: that he is a flip-flopper willing to say anything or reverse any position to win; and that he is an economic royalist whose personal and public life suggest a person who cannot understand the lives and struggles of average Americans.

But at the same time Romney campaign is preparing to shoot back. According to The Washington Post, GOP officials in Washington are preparing what operatives are calling “the book” — 500 pages of President Obama’s quotes and video links that will form the backbone of the party’s attack strategy against the president leading up to Election Day 2012.

“The book” lays out how GOP officials plan to use Obama’s words and voice as they build an argument for his defeat: that he made specific promises and entered office with lofty expectations and has failed to deliver on both.

For example, one Obama quote will be featured prominently. In 2009 he said that if he could not fix the economy in three years, “then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

“That’s a clip the American people will hear and see over and over and over again throughout the next year,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “The nice thing about Barack Obama is that he’s given us plenty of material. The one thing he loves to do is give speeches.”

In “the book” a 2009 Obama statement that his stimulus bill would lift 2 million Americans out of poverty is paired against census data showing that more than 6 million Americans have fallen into poverty since he took office.

Meanwhile, Obama’s team is compiling data to defend his record, such as a Congressional Budget Office report showing that the stimulus raised employment by millions of jobs and testimony from economists that the legislation helped end the Great Recession.

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