"So much for the promise of hope, change and bipartisan unity", the AP noted. "To win a second term, the Democrat who once pledged to usher in a more civilized political era has turned to highly critical commercials — at turns personal and snarky."
The AP goes on to say:
There was never any doubt that Obama would run hard-hitting ads.It is worthy to note the mainstream media's contradictory statements on Obama's campaign strategy:
For one, he's proven to be a cut-throat campaigner, having assailed Sen. John McCain on TV four years ago even as he cultivated an image as someone who always played above-board politics.
Democrats long have said Obama's best hopes for re-election may lie with disqualifying Romney given that the economy remains sluggish and the country is divided over or outright opposes some of the president's signature policies, like the health care law.
The president seemed to acknowledge his campaign's gamble in one of his newest TV ads.
"Sometimes politics can seem very small," Obama says, as he speaks reassuringly into the camera.
Obama advisers say they have little choice but to assail Romney in ads, both to raise questions about the former Massachusetts governor... and to deflect attention from the president's stewardship of the economy. The campaign's ad spending has totaled about $100 million so far, most of it on negative ads. Democratic independent groups... have kicked in another $20 million for advertising, almost all of it trashing Romney.
To that end, the Obama campaign has sought to make Romney an unacceptable alternative...
Bob Shrum, a Democratic strategist..., said Obama could not rest on a good guy image....
"'Obama the positive uniter' is not in the cards at this point," said Shrum.
On one hand, Obama is said to have changed tactics since the 2008 campaign and to have suddenly resorted to negative campaigning. On the other hand, Obama was already a "proven... cut-throat campaigner," four years ago, "having assailed Sen. John McCain on TV."
Nevertheless, it is also worthy to note that Obama's campaign strategy, namely, his tactic of disqualifying his opponents, goes as far back as 1996, albeit Obama, at the time, was able to accomplish this feat without the negative ads.
While running for the Illinois State Senate in 1996, Obama, who had no record to run on, invalidated the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers [because of mere technicalities], which enabled him to run unopposed and to cruise to victory.
Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass, noted about Obama's 1996 tactic: "That was Chicago politics. Knock out your opposition, challenge their petitions, destroy your enemy, right?... In that first race, [Obama] made sure voters had just one choice"
Hence, when the AP says, "Obama's best hopes for re-election may lie with disqualifying Romney" and that the President's "advisers say they have little choice but to assail Romney in ads... to deflect attention from the president's stewardship of the economy", it should come as no surprise: Obama had no record to run on in 1996, and he has no record to run on in 2012, hence he is simply doing what he knows best: attempting to disqualify his opponent.
However, since it is humanely impossible to invalidate Mitt Romney's voting petition signatures, the President has simply moved on to Plan B: he's running a negative campaign.
But of course, as the AP noted, Obama has already "proven to be a cut-throat campaigner, having assailed Sen. John McCain on TV four years ago even as he cultivated an image as someone who always played above-board politics."