If I were to write a script about a day in an American Presidential contest and it contained the series of events that occurred yesterday, it would have been sent back as unbelievable.
It started off rather innocuous, as days like theses always seem to do. The Republican National Committee released this ad:
This ad by itself is a good ad, but would have just been another drop of water that is the chinese water torture of political advertising. Granted a big cold drop, but still just a drop. The President, however, decided it was time to take the message to the people and hold a Friday morning Press conference. Morning press conferences are about as significant as a flea breaking wind in a hurricane. Usually, Friday morning press conferences are even less significant. unless the President says something like this:
It wasn’t enough that the man decided he was going to have a press conference to remind us of the headwinds the economy faces. Yes folks, the day the RNC released an ad titled “Headwinds”, the President comes out in a press conference and provides what should have been a simple addendum to the campaign ad, but the President gave us his John McCain moment for 2012.
Mitt Romney and the Republicans pounced.
The RNC came out with their second ad of the day, once again displaying their formidable rapid response team. The best part of this ad, they used the same technique the Obama Camp used against John McCain in 2008.
You would think this was enough for one day, but it was still just the mid-afternoon. If there was any doubt about how bad of a day the President was having, his apparent backtrack of his comments confirms the firestorm the President’s original comment sparked. I say apparent backtrack because Daniel Halper of the Weekly Standard got it correct when he said:
“Now, I think if you look at what I said this morning and what I’ve been saying consistently over the last year, we’ve actually seen some good momentum in the private sector,” Obama said in his follow-up remarks. “We’ve seen 4.3 million jobs created — 800,000 this year alone — record corporate profits. And so that has not been the biggest drag on the economy.”
Yesterday’s event represents more than a major fix for political junkies. Yesterday was a moment that all voters and many non-voters noticed. As far as the campaign goes, the President once again provided Mitt Romney inoculation from a line of attack the Obama Campaign was attempting. The campaign cannot paint Mitt Romney as “out of touch” when their candidate is saying “the private sector is doing fine.”
The worse consequence for the President from his remarks? While he continues to say “we are recovering from the worse recession since the Great Depression,” people may now stop, look, and see, this is the worst recovery since the Great Depression.