President Obama is attempting to shore up the 2008 coalition that helped him achieve a decisive victory over John McCain, but he is doing so in a more piecemeal way this time around.
As an incumbent, Obama's method is to target various constituencies -- albeit ones that supported him four years ago -- and make the sale with this argument: On the issues they care most about, he has advanced specific policies to help them, programs opposed by the Republican Party and its presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney.Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei write at Politico:
Mitt Romney and his top aides are building a strategy, partly by design and partly because of circumstance, around what they consider John McCain’s disastrously run campaign in 2008.
The strategy: Whatever McCain did, do the opposite.
Many of the current strategy discussions are centered on not falling into the traps McCain did: looking wobbly as a leader and weak on the economy in the final weeks of the campaign. The private discussions include ruling out any vice presidential possibilities who could be seen as even remotely risky or unprepared; wrapping the entire campaign around economic issues, knowing this topic alone will swing undecided voters in the final days; and, slowly but steadily, building up Romney as a safe and competent alternative to President Barack Obama.
Charlie Black, an outside adviser to the Romney campaign, said the biggest lesson to learn from 2008 is, “Do whatever it takes not to get outspent.” Much of the Romney money is being invested heavily early to eat into Democratic strengths, especially with technology. By the time Romney finishes his current hiring spree, about one-fourth of his 400 staffers will be on the digital team — fundraising, communications and organizing.