All you need to know about the week the Democrats just had can be summed up by noting that both President Obama and former president Bill Clinton, the two best campaigners their party has seen in decades, had to clean up verbal messes they’d made earlier. And, oh yes, Mitt Romney’s campaign raised more money last month than Obama’s — by more than 25 percent.
Over the past 10 days, Obama and the Democrats got a taste of what Romney was going through during the winter and early spring. First there was the intra-party angst, fueled by questions about Clinton’s dependability after he seemed to undermine the Obama campaign’s attacks on Bain Capital by saying Romney had a sterling business record.
Then came the employment report that showed the economy had added just 69,000 jobs in May, which renewed concerns among Democrats about how competitive the election might actually be and about whether Obama had any new ideas for fixing things.
Then came another Clinton moment, when he had to walk back a comment saying that the Bush tax cuts, even those for the wealthiest Americans, might have to be extended temporarily because the economy was weak — a comment 180 degrees off from the position of the White House.
Then came the latest evidence that the Democrats were in serious danger of losing the fundraising wars, perhaps by hundreds of millions of dollars, in view of Romney’s success in May and the potential war chests of Republican super PACs raising money through unlimited, and often secret, donations.
Finally, and unexpectedly, the president committed a major gaffe when, in an unscripted moment and trying to defend himself from critics who accused him of blaming Europe for America’s economic problems, he said, “The private sector is doing fine.”At Buzzfeed, Ben Smith wrote on Friday:
Barack Obama's assertion today that the private sector is "doing fine" may be an important pivot in the race for president, a moment when Mitt Romney finally succeeded in casting the president as basically out of touch with Americans' economic woes.
That may not be fair — Obama was making the point that the public sector has been a major drag on job growth — but it is certainly a taste of Obama's own medicine.
The moment reminded me of nothing more than that fatal morning of September 15, 2008, when John McCain pronounced that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.”
And former McCain aides, now, are relishing the moment.
"We very much look forward watching Team Romney put Obama's head in a vice over this," he emailed "What goes around comes around, assholes."
And the RNC has released an attack video that seems to follow an identical template to Obama's 2008 instant attack.