Obama’s Bain attack may well have flopped. (Joe Klein says no, because it must have “been extremely effective with focus groups.” But do focus groups replicate the real world in which an attack is met with powerful pushback?) And Obama’s embrace of tendentious statistics in an attempt to demonstrate that he’s not a big spender may be too against-type to work–his Keynesian approach to the economy required lots of big spending, after all, and his team has been telling the liberal base that he would have spent more if he could have gotten it past Congress.
Fortunately for Obama, the actual election is 20 years away in modern media time. Why does he have to find the perfect line of attack now and stick with it for 6 months? Suggested answer: He doesn’t. He can try out one line of attack, then another, then 10 or 20 more until he finds one that will work in the final post-Labor Day drive. It’s another way my friend Bruce Feiler’s “Faster” thesis works in Obama’s favor. (The other way is even more fundamental: He will benefit from even relatively late-breaking good jobs news.) ….