I want to point you to an article in New York magazine by John Heilemann, the man who literally wrote the book on the 2008 campaign, Game Change.
Heillemann makes sure to tout the access he has, mentioning sit down interviews with Obama political adviser David Axelrod, campaign chief Jim Messina, and White House political boss David Plouffe.
These three, to whom Heilemann is obviously close, clearly don’t mind the conclusion he comes to:
For anyone still starry-eyed about Obama, the months ahead will provide a bracing revelation about what he truly is: not a savior, not a saint, not a man above the fray, but a brass-knuckled, pipe-hitting, red-in-tooth-and-claw brawler determined to do what is necessary to stay in power—in other words, a politician.
The campaign is making no secret that the original Obama brand, with its “Hope and Change” and “post-politician” labels, was just for laughs. Cornered by the lousy economy over which he presides, Obama will fight viciously to stay in office, changing the subject to Mitt Romney and hoping voters come to view the GOP candidate as just a slightly better than choice than Hitler.
From the piece:
Though the Obamans certainly hit John McCain hard four years ago—running more negative ads than any campaign in history—what they intend to do to Romney is more savage. They will pummel him for being a vulture-vampire capitalist at Bain Capital. They will pound him for being a miserable failure as the governor of Massachusetts. They will mash him for being a water-carrier for Paul Ryan’s Social Darwinist fiscal program. They will maul him for being a combination of Jerry Falwell, Joe Arpaio, and John Galt on a range of issues that strike deep chords with the Obama coalition.
“We’re gonna say, ‘Let’s be clear what he would do as president,’ ” Plouffe explains. “Potentially abortion will be criminalized. Women will be denied contraceptive services. He’s far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.”
The Obama effort at disqualifying Romney will go beyond painting him as excessively conservative, however. It will aim to cast him as an avatar of revanchism. “He’s the fifties, he is retro, he is backward, and we are forward—that’s the basic construct,” says a top Obama strategist. “If you’re a woman, you’re Hispanic, you’re young, or you’ve gotten left out, you look at Romney and say, ‘This fucking guy is gonna take us back to the way it always was, and guess what? I’ve never been part of that.’ ”
The Obama indictment of Romney in the economic sphere will extend beyond Bain and the Bay State: It will go to character. It will drive home the idea that Romney is a skillful but self-serving plutocrat whose résumé is replete with self-enrichment but who has never cared an iota about bettering the lives of ordinary people.
Unlike John McCain, though, Romney will be willing to fight back. As he showed with his utter destruction of Newt Gingrich during the primaries, Romney can aim low and strike hard.
One other quote from the New York piece:
“They kill well,” admits a senior White House official. “And that’s not unimportant.”
Prepare for lots of bloodshed.