I can hardly wait for this ad to hit the air. Joe Ricketts, A pro-Romney billionaire, is considering a new political attack on President Obama centered on his past association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The campaign would be funded by $10 million of Ricketts fortune and produced by his SuperPAC, Ending Spending Action Fund.
In a document obtained by the New York Times, the group of “high-profile Republican strategists” is planning on revealing Wright’s “influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way.” Finally! The secret story of Rev. Wright that was suppressed by the liberal media four years ago will be exposed to a nation that has never heard of him and his power over our puppet-like president. Never mind the fact that according to the PEW Research Center, the controversy generated by Wright “made more news than both Hillary Clinton and John McCain” in the spring of 2008 at the height of the presidential primaries. By summer PEW’s analysis showed that…
“The story-line or event that has received the most coverage so far is Obama’s relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, which accounted for 6% of all stories and dwarfed all of the other episodes or storyline of the campaign that didn’t have to do with the horse race itself.”
Now Romney’s wealthy backers have determined that America was deprived of this highly pertinent information and they are promising to reach back to the past and dredge it all up again. The twist that they are proposing is to racialize this attack even more than previous attempts. The proposal refers to Obama as a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln” (whatever that is), and in order to to respond to any charges of racism, they plan to hire as a spokesman an “extremely literate conservative African-American.” I wonder if that’s anything like the IWSB (intelligent, well-socialized black) that noted racist John Derbyshire aspired to befriend.
The Romney campaign has issued a rather tepid response that merely stated their intention to focus on economic issues. That is in sharp contrast to the McCain campaign that decisively rejected these sort of character attacks, although some on his campaign (i.e. Sarah Palin) advocated for them. One of the strategists for the pro-Romney PAC, Fred Davis, is a former McCain adviser who pushed for more emphasis on Wright, but was shot down by McCain. Davis is also the genius behind the inadvertently hilarious “Demon Sheep” ad that so embarrassed Carly Fiorina in 2010.
The purpose of this project is clear. The extremists behind it have determined that they can’t beat Obama as long as he is regarded so favorably by a majority of the public. They note in their proposal that Americans “still aren’t ready to hate this president,” so they have taken it upon themselves to manufacture reasons to do so. It is a cynical and divisive strategy that concedes that Romney is so unlikeable that there is no positive argument to make for voting for him.
It didn’t work in 2008, and there is no rational reason to expect that it would work now. It would only serve to further embarrass those associated with such a repugnant effort to smear a president who is popular and well-liked. And that’s why I can’t wait see them follow through. Although there is already speculation that they are chickening out due to the publicity they are receiving. Too bad. But I have great confidence they’ll come up with something just as embarrassing before long. It’s what they do best.
[Update] Romney is now “repudiating” the Ricketts plan. However, his surrogates on the right are going all out in pushing the Rev. Wright theme. Sean Hannity is featuring the disreputable author Ed Klein on his program to discuss Wright. Glenn Beck has offered Wright $150,000 to tell him “the truth” about Obama. So Romney has merely stepped aside to let his comrades mount the attack.