Sunday, September 2, 2012

Defining Moment

    Michael Grunwald of Time Magazine noted today that the perennial question of presidential campaigns since 1980 "Are you better off now then you were four years ago?" has reared its head again this time around:
[Obama campaign advisors] really need to find an answer to the question: Are Americans better off than they were four years ago? On “This Week,” David Plouffe repeatedly dodged it before saying “we’ve made a lot of progress.”  David Axelrod also stonewalled on “Fox News Sunday,” saying only that we’re in a “better position” than we’d be under Republican rule. On “Face the Nation,” Obama surrogate Martin O’Malley actually replied: “No, but that’s not the question of this election.”
    Grunwald boldly asserts the Obama campaign should answer the question with a "yes." If the campaign is going to follow this advice, it'd better have its act together more than it did today, and quickly.  Here's how a campaign ad called "Defining Moment" begins, and it's an excellent argument for Mitt Romney and the Republicans:
At this defining moment in our history, the question is not, "are you better off than you were four years ago?"   We all know the answer to that. The real question is will our country be better off four years from now?  How will we lift our economy and restore America's place in the world?
This is a fairly devastating framing of the choice facing the nation this November.  If Barack Obama hasn't delivered in three and a half years, why should the American people trust him with another four?  What will he do differently this time that will actually turn the country around?

    By the way, that campaign ad, "Defining Moment"?   It's a Barack Obama ad from 2008:

Defining moment, indeed.

Note:  I originally posted about this ad back in March.

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