Campaigns hitting the home stretch

As the campaigns hit the home stretch in the presidential race between President Obama and Mitt Romney, it’s interesting to see the various tactics both campaigns are using to get to the finish line. The Obama team is clearly focused on a very sophisticated and get out the vote (GOTV) strategy with very clear microtargeting. The Romney team is focused on an avalanche of television ads. Strangely the Romney campaign held back on TV ads for a long time, underspending the Obama team. Also, they seem to pay a lot more per ad based on some highly questionable purchasing strategies coming out of Boston.

Then we have the old-school tactics. The Romney team seems much more invested in yard signs, based on what I’m hearing from some sources. The Obama team has just released their plan in the form of a 20 page brochure to counter the Romney attack that Obama has not focused on a positive agenda. Some in the media have criticized this move for a lack of new ideas, but they will be mailing this to over 3 million voters.

Many campaigns will be focusing on these old school tactics with brochures, posters and yard signs, using online printing options to reduce costs, if they’re smart, like shopping for brochures at UPrinting. The key with these strategies involves efficiency and plenty of volunteers. The new wave stuff, like social media and online advertising, still eludes some of the smaller campaigns. That’s where they can really make a difference between winning or losing.

Do you have a case of Romnesia?

This new riff from President Obama is hilarious, hitting Mitt Romney over his “severely conservative” positions that he’s desperately trying to hide now.

The Obama campaign has focused more on Romney’s extreme right wing positions over his flip-flopping, but the Romnesia line nicely encapsulates both arguments.

Expect to hear much more of this argument for the rest of the campaign, highlighting Romney’s disingenuous attempts to hide hos own record.

Have the culture wars flipped?

For years, Republicans used the culture wars to bludgeon Democrats as issues like abortion and gay marriage were used to rally their base.

Now we’re seeing Democrats get much more energized about these issues as Republicans have gone so far to the right on issues like abortion and contraception.

This election will provide an interesting test as to whether this strategy will work. Take a look at the Obama ad above calling out Mitt Romney for some of his more extreme statements he made on the subject of abortion.

Paul Ryan has trouble with the truth

If Paul Ryan were so serious and brave as many on the right claim, why wouldn’t he just give an honest speech detailing the plans he has for America? If he and Romney really believe we need to turn Medicare into a voucher program, why wouldn’t he make that case in his speech, instead of lying about what Paul Ryan did with Medicare?

The Lyin’ Ryan meme is starting to gain some momentum. The fact-checkers are having a field day, and the one at USA Today offers a scathing take-down of Ryan’s lies and distortions from his speech.

From a purely political point of view, I understand what they are trying to do, particularly on Medicare. If the American people know their real plans to take away the Medicare entitlement, we’d have a revolt and they would get crushed in November, so they have to try to confuse low-information voters.

But it’s odd how clumsy and blatant Ryan and Romney can be with their other lies and distortions. Romney consistently makes statements that are refuted by simple videotape. As for Ryan last night, he ripped Obama for not supporting Simpson-Bowles, when Ryan and his House GOP buddies on the commission killed it by voting against it. It’s laughable. He blames Obama for the closing of a GM plant that was announced in December of 2008 while Bush was still in office. Then the far right lemmings try to defend this outrageous charge by saying the last worker left in April 2009. So that plant closing was announced under Bush, but it’s Obama’s fault because around 100 workers stuck around through April to fill the last order? How desperate are these guys?

When you’re afraid to defend your own ideas, you come up with these distortions. Yes, both sides are attacking and this campaign is very rough, but Ryan is setting himself up to be humiliated when the fact checkers have to argue about the top five lies and distortions in his speech.

An end to the Medicare promise

This new ad from the Obama campaign hits Mitt Romney on Medicare.

We all know that the national debt needs to be addressed, but undercutting the fundamental entitlement of Medicare isn’t the way to accomplish this. By choosing Paul Ryan, Romney has doubled down on this fundamental change to to Medicare, and the Obama campaign will hammer him on this through election day.

Romney has tried to fight back by focusing on Obama’s cuts to Medicare, but those cuts have nothing to do with benefits for seniors. The only way to address the nation’s long term medical costs is too reform the way we pay for health care, particularly through Medicare. We can’t continue the destructive fee-for-service system we have in place, and we need to stop reimbursements for expensive procedures that don’t work.