The Federal Reserve Wednesday downgraded its forecast for the economy, meaning that when all is said and done, when the smoke clears from all the little initiatives and pronouncements, President Obama does not have a record to run on.
From today’s New York Times:
The central bank predicted that the economy would expand 2.5 percent to 2.9 percent in 2012, well below its June projection of 3.3 percent to 3.7 percent . . . The unemployment rate, it predicted, would still be at least 8.5 percent at the end of 2012.
Let’s think about this for a second. The main issue for a president is the economy. After four years, the economy is going to be bad. So what’s a president to do?
Disembowel the opposition.
What we are seeing right now is an effort to define the likely GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, before he can fully define himself. We know Mitt Romney, but we won’t form our full picture of him or any of the GOP candidates until they have become the prospective nominee and reap the enormous attention that goes with the upgraded status.
So the White House, which has the biggest bully pulpit around, wants to color in Romney for us, right now.
It’s a tactic used to great success by George W. Bush in the 2004 campaign, in which the impression of John Kerry as a flip flopper who threw SOMEONE ELSE’S medals over the White House gate and embellished his war record was ingrained in America’s collective conscious by the summer before Election Day.
The early Obama take on Romney: He has no soul.
White House political adviser David Plouffe took to the airwaves Sunday to pronounce that Romney “has no core.” On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was not denying that this is official White House policy.
Well, I mean, Mr. Plouffe works for the White House, so I would say that his views represent the White House’s views . . . I think as anybody who’s watched this campaign and watched Mr. Romney’s previous campaigns, it is always a question as to where he was and where he is and where he might be on any given issue.
You will hear this theme of “Mitt the Empty Suit,” again and again, until you have been fully hypnotized and your spouse tells you that you are repeating in your sleep.
Of course, for such tarring to stick, there must be some truth to the allegations. And Romney, who provided the template for Obamacare, who courted gays and pro-abortionists in Massachusetts when running for governor there, who has waffled on global warming, and who now runs as Barry Goldwater, provides plenty of material for the Obama attack machine.
The deepest irony, of course, is that Romney is being accused of having no core by a man, Barack Obama, who in the space of just three years has transformed himself from a visionary unifier who transcends politics into a Chicago-style political hitman.
Two hollow men. Is this the best America can do?