Public Equity, Not Bad

Romney's Campaign Is Smart

Romney's move countering Obama attacks with "pubilc equity" is pretty savvy.

This attack planned by the Romney campaign and GPS Crossroads is pretty savvy:

Mitt Romney’s campaign events and the firepower of American Crossroads will both focus this week on President Barack Obama’s jobs record as a way to fight off charges about the Republican candidate’s private-sector experience, with a Romney aide attacking the stimulus as “the mother of all earmarks.”

This week is a preview of coming attraction for the general election campaign, with American Crossroads, the outside Republican group poised to spend $300 million this cycle, pushing a message that amplifies the Romney campaign’s storyline.

Someone coined the phrase "public equity" for all this, which is pretty sharp. Now of course this will be overstated; that's a given, it's a campaign. Last August, Dylan Matthews in The Washington Post reviewed the nine most authoritative academic studies of the stimulus, and seven of the nine concluded that it did at least some good, with six of them saying it worked well. So obviously the Obama campaign will be able to pluck many counter-examples from its file and probably fight this one to a draw.

But it shows that the Romney team is pretty quick on the uptake. He has a strong campaign team. They're disciplined, and they seem to know what they're doing. I still think he's a weak candidate, first because he's just not a likeable guy and second because he embraced positions too far to the right, positions a smart Obama campaign should be able to exploit. But as strategists, the Romney people are on the ball, much better than the McCain team so far.