Romney: Don’t let this election go to the dogs

Good grief. Or, as a certain presidential candidate might say, “For Pete’s sake!”

It seems the long-running inanity about the time — 29 years ago — Mitt Romney transported the family dog in a cage strapped to the top of his car has finally gotten to the Romney campaign. It has responded by dredging up from “Dreams from My Father” a snippet of an anecdote about Barack Obama, as a child, eating dog meat while living in Indonesia.

Seriously. This is what stands to dominate the news cycle today. It’s already being branded “the dog wars.”

Memo to the Romney campaign: Democrats are not bringing up the Seamus-in-a-cage story because they are confident Americans approve of Obama’s presidency. It’s not a roundabout way to steer the conversation back to taxes and spending, deficits and debt, jobs and the economy, high gas prices and low employment — you know, the stuff voters repeatedly say they care about.

It is the opposite of that. So why do y’all keep falling for it?

Mitt Romney is not going to beat Barack Obama by winning the most “Twitter fights” or fighting distractions with distractions. (In fact, I blame Twitter — or, more accurately, the temptation of those who tweet to win the approval of an small number of people with a well-turned, but fleeting, bit of snark — for much of this silliness.) He can win only by hammering relentlessly at the president’s record — a record of which voters still view, at best, as “meh.”

Heck, even Obama’s campaign strategist can’t keep his story straight when it comes to the country’s current trajectory.

Every day the campaigns focus on fluff instead of bread and butter is a day the incumbent wins. Don’t let Obama off the hook by indulging in these micro-kerfuffles.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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27 comments Add your comment

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 18th, 2012
11:11 am

Kyle, I have no problem with the way the Romney campaign and it’s supporters are kicking back at Obama’s “dogwashers” ;) every now and again. It’s a great way to let off some steam and have a bit of fun during this grueling campaign cycle.

And I don’t for one minute think it takes their eye off the ball regarding the rest of the campaign issues. It’s not as if this will run any longer than a couple of days as it is. There will be plenty of time for the Romney campaign to get their message out to voters, especially when it really matters in the Fall.

Very few people are even paying attention to this race right now, except for those who have already made their choices.

Jefferson

April 18th, 2012
11:11 am

The dog story is silly, no harm, no foul.

Kyle Wingfield

April 18th, 2012
11:20 am

Tiberius: Look, I think humor is a powerful weapon. I just see this is less “Ha, ha” and more “Look, Obama treated dogs even worse! HYPOCRITE!”

But maybe I’m alone.

Kyle Wingfield

April 18th, 2012
11:21 am

When there’s an incumbent in office, the burden of proof to look presidential is on the challenger. Poke fun at yourself, show some thick skin, and you can do that. I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 18th, 2012
11:27 am

“When there’s an incumbent in office, the burden of proof to look presidential is on the challenger.”

Agreed, however, when Howdy Doody can look more Presidential than the incumbent, this issue becomes moot.

kelly

April 18th, 2012
11:29 am

That’s right Kyle. To win the title, you have to beat the Champ. So far, Romney has been mostly reactive. And when he does seem to take the upper hand, he steps on himself with a gaffe. And now he’s blaming the media. Not really the right stuff.

Kyle Wingfield

April 18th, 2012
11:32 am

kelly: The blaming the media piece only goes so far even in a GOP primary; just ask Newt. It doesn’t move the needle very much in a general.

But at least, unlike McCain, Romney understands that most political reporting during this campaign is not going to burnish his image at the expense of Obama.

Cutty

April 18th, 2012
11:36 am

Yawn. Jay’s blog puts up more numbers before 9 am than Kyle’s will put up all day. You say don’t get distracted by the sideshows, but you’ve posted two sideshow (events and Rosen) pieces in the last couple days.

@@

April 18th, 2012
11:43 am

The War of the Twits.

Well, Romney can kiss the Indonesian vote goodbye.

I was wonderin’ if anyone was gonna mention Obama getting caught IN-THE-BUFF.

In their zeal to pass the “Buffett Rule,” President Obama and Vice President Biden leave the false impression that many, if not most, millionaires (people who earn $1 million or more a year) are paying a lower tax rate than the middle class. The fact is that even without the Buffett Rule “more than 99 percent of millionaires will pay” a higher tax rate than those in the very middle of the income range in fiscal year 2015, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Pitiful…just PIT-EEEE-FUL!!!!!

Romney needs to act like the adult and let Obama be the man child that he is.

Jefferson

April 18th, 2012
11:47 am

What is there to like about Romney ? Not many do.

DannyX

April 18th, 2012
11:47 am

To prove his love for dogs Romney carved a picture of a dog on his Etch-a-Sketch.

However he quickly wiped it clean and drew a cat, not wanting to alienate cat loving voters.

Shake ‘em up Mitt!

Lyman Hall

April 18th, 2012
11:48 am

This election has not gone to the dogs.
.
It has gone to the brain-dead trained seals. Why long for the Vast pacific and Freedom.
Obama/Romney will give you all that you want……………..in your State constructed pool.
.
Romney’s Big government record versus Obama’s Big government record..
.
One Flipper clap for Romney.
Two Flipper clap for Obama.

[...] that I’ve gotten that out of my system … a real debate of policy and principle in what’s left of the GOP [...]

Kyle Wingfield

April 18th, 2012
12:11 pm

Cutty: You think “events” and how candidates react to them are a sideshow? Really?

Dumb and Dumber

April 18th, 2012
12:18 pm

I agree that Obama eating dog meat as a child is much, much worse than Romney, as an adult, strapping the family dog to the roof of his car while on a vacation to Canada. No comparison. Obama should have known better. Romney does not eat dog meat, or drink Coca-Cola.

ragnar danneskjold

April 18th, 2012
12:28 pm

I think I disagree, mildly, with the thesis today. Obama’s economy weighs on his campaign – every time anyone stops at the gas station, or the grocery, the inflation in basic goods comes home. Everyone knows a handful of good decent people who are involuntarily unemployed, due entirely to the economic policies of the administration.

I agree that every lead item in the mainstream media – contraception, stay-at-home moms, allegedly abusive treatment of a family pet, 20 years of tax returns – are nothing more than Obama shills’s effort to distract from the reigning disaster. I do not agree that allowing such distractions to fester is a good idea. The only positive Obama has in his public polling is that people mistakenly think he is a nice guy. Every Romney-camp response to Obama silliness, if efficiently focused on “hypocrisy” or Obama character-flaws, is a win for the Romney camp because it wounds Obama where he is allegedly strongest. I do not disagree with the Romney strategy.

To the extent that you worry about intellect-overload, that Obama will be able to successfully distract the small minds with such nonsense, I think that is a potential strength for Romney – final week advertising should be sufficient to destroy whatever “positive” lingers for the incompetent Investor Banker in Chief.

ragnar danneskjold

April 18th, 2012
12:46 pm

By the way Kyle, thanks for the Axelrod link. I heard rumors about it – hilarious.

Hillbilly D

April 18th, 2012
1:30 pm

As I’ve said before, I fail to see the big deal about putting a dog, in a cage, on top of a car. If anybody wants to eat a dog, or doesn’t want to eat a dog, as long as it’s not my dog, it’s none of my business. Disclaimer: While I currently don’t own a dog (the move-ins from the flat lands have made owning a dog a hassle up here, with all their dog laws), I’ve owned more than I can even count, in my time.

Cutty

April 18th, 2012
1:38 pm

Some of the ‘events’ you listed, yes I do. This secret service story is a sideshow, and so is the Trayvon Martin case that you brought up. Somehow you call these potential ‘dangers’ for Obama. How so?

Kyle Wingfield

April 18th, 2012
1:40 pm

Cutty, the explanations are all in the piece.

Just saying..

April 18th, 2012
2:54 pm

“But maybe I’m alone.”

You’re not alone.

“When there’s an incumbent in office, the burden of proof to look presidential is on the challenger. Poke fun at yourself, show some thick skin, and you can do that. I don’t think that’s what’s happening here.”

Exactly.

Kyle Wingfield

April 18th, 2012
5:01 pm

Happily, it appears Romney himself agrees with me.

Edward

April 18th, 2012
6:28 pm

I like Romney’s response. The 2012 election is about jobs, not dogs:
http://brianekoenig.com/2012/04/mitt-romney-to-obama-election-is-about-jobs-not-dogs/

[...] days – US politics liveThe GuardianLet Them Eat Dog: A World TourNational Review Online (blog)Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -International Business Times -TheNewsTribune.comall 5,515 news [...]

Michael H. Smith

April 18th, 2012
8:16 pm

Jefferson

No harm no foul hooey!

Tell that to the dog your messiah obumer ate, panty waste!

[...] News (blog)Dog Wars Escalate: Barack Obama Ate Dog MeatHuffington PostThe Guardian -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -International Business Timesall 5,763 news [...]

[...] this is bound to be a campaign full of substance and thoughtfulness. [...]