Toby Harndon in The Telegraph writes that Barack Obama, 2008 man of hope and change, becomes 2012 candidate of fear and status quo:
[Blaming the Tea Party for the dispute over Obama’s appearance before Congress] fits with the campaign strategy Obama appears to have decided on – portray Republican leaders as prisoners of the racist, Right-wing nutters from the Tea Party. They’re to blame, the argument goes, for the gridlock in Washington because of their intransigence in the face of nice, reasonable Obama.
The problem is that every smear and insult possible was thrown at the Tea Party in last year’s mid-term elections but the grassroots movement still drove an historic Republican victory. It is also an obvious attempt to change the subject, moving discussion away from the economy by fixating on alleged racism or religious fundamentalism on the Right.
Such a strategy also sits uneasily with the one that brought Obama victory in 2008….
Certainly, attacking the other side can bring victory…. But the risks are high. Obama seems to intend to urge Americans that he be allowed to stay in the White House to prevent Republican extremists taking over the entire government. The candidate of hope and change in 2008 is fast becoming the candidate of fear and the status quo this time around.
I think Harndon calls the current strategy right, but gives Obama too much credit for being the candidate of hope in 2008. Obama always has run a campaign based on fear.
Shortly before the 2008 election, in one of my first blog posts, I called it as it was, Fear Stalks the Land:
Fear is stalking this land, and being stoked by Obama. The genius of Obama is that he has taken a message of fear, and sold it as hope. And the public buys it.
I was right then and I’m right now. The hope thing always was phony and contrived.
The only difference is that others have come to see it my way. (As I pat myself on the back)