It was the talk of the political world on Friday--at a rally in Virginia, President Obama rolling out a new riff on Romney and his etch-a-sketchy ways, particularly on women's issues but also on the economy and, well, everything else.
The vid and for the printcentric the quotes are courtesy of Think Progress:
“[H]e’s changing up so much – backtracking and sidestepping. We’ve gotta name this condition that he’s going through, I think it’s called ‘Romnesia,’” Obama announced, referring to Romney’s efforts to abandon the positions he held in the Republican primary in order to appeal to more moderate voters during the general election:
OBAMA: Now, I’m not a medical doctor but I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you because I want to make sure nobody else catches it.Apparently the term Romesia has been twittering around for awhile, and has even been in print. But it's the first time President Obama has used it, and what's interesting about this is how polished it sounds already--suggesting that it's a natural fit for President Obama, who is having fun delivering it. I think we may be visiting Romnesia for awhile.
If you say you’re for equal pay for equal work, but you keep refusing to say whether or not you’d sign a bill that protects equal pay for equal work – you might have Romnesia. If you say women should have access to contraceptive care, but you support legislation that would let your employer deny you contraceptive care – you might have a case of Romnesia. If you say you’ll protect a woman’s right to choose, but you stand up at a primary debate and said that you’d be “delighted” to sign a law outlawing that right to choose in all cases – man, you’ve definitely got Romnesia. [...]
And if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can’t seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, or the promises you’ve made over the six years you’ve been running for President, here’s the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions.
We can fix you up. We’ve got a cure. We can make you well, Virginia. This is a curable disease."
Romnesia arrived just in time to echo sentiments showing up in newspaper endorsements, especially in Utah's Salt Lake City Tribune's editorial endorsing President Obama:
[This] is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: "Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?"
It also reinforces the idea that those who know Romney best--like the citizens of Massachusetts, where he was governor--and Utah, where he managed the Olympics, also like him least.
But as Andrew Sullivan points out, the other part of his newly refined stump speech is the final argument, the case for re-election:
Chris Matthews has gone back to ethics-free hardball politics in once again seeing Romney as the favorite, so his prescription for what the President must do is lay out a bold vision for an FDR-style second term.
For those of us puzzled by the polls--which by some interpretations are starting to edge back to Obama, though the swing states polls Friday were very mixed--Sullivan also isolates an unbelievable stat, which is that Romney's favorability number has been going up, and is now marginally higher than President Obama's. If this is so (and it may be as much bullshit as women voters' sudden attraction to Romney), it could be traced to that infamous first debate. And if that is so--if it is a combination of Romney's energy and Obama's lack of it, that impression would be countered by the second debate, seen by even more viewers. I just can't believe this new Romney romance (if it exists) will last another 18 days.
President Clinton Thursday kept isolating the main GOPer assumption: "They think we're stupid." I guess we'll see.
One prediction about the effect of the second debate has come true--the margin by which President Obama won it has increased. A Gallup poll says he won by 51-38; among Independents it was 54-33.
And something else happened the night of the debate: the next 24 hours constituted the Obama campaign's biggest single fundraising day ever. Although the total hasn't been released, the previous one-day winner was $50 million in 2008, the day after Sarah Palin was announced as McCain's running mate. With the big haul in September, it seems that the campaign won't have money problems, and even with the carpet bombing from GOPer billionaire-funded groups, a smart and agile video ad campaign can continue, including a superior ground game, at least in terms of numbers.