In the past week alone, I have received 35 email releases from Democratic Party sources — the Obama re-election campaign, the DCCC, the state party — attacking Mitt Romney with everything the Dems can think of to throw at him. There have been videos, and ICYMI links to media stories, and — this is the biggest category — releases about press conferences being held by prominent Democrats to attack Romney. Some sample headlines from the releases:
- ROMNEY’S RECORD IS HARMFUL TO THE MIDDLE CLASS
- The Truth About Mitt Romney and Bain Capital
- Mitt Romney no job creator, says a man who knows
- Statement by South Carolina State Representative Bakari Sellers on Mitt Romney’s Vision of Free Enterprise
- TODAY: Democratic National Committee Southern Caucus Chair Gilda Cobb-Hunter Holds a Media Availability on Mitt Romney’s campaign through South Carolina
- TOMORROW: Maryland Governor and DGA Chairman Martin O’Malley and SC State Rep. Terry Alexander to Hold Press Conference on Mitt Romney’s Real Record in South Carolina
- ICYMI: JON HUNTSMAN ON MITT ROMNEY
- NYT Editorial: Taxes and Transparency
- ROMNEY’S REASON FOR OPPOSING THE BUFFET RULE AND CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES IS FINALLY CLEAR – HE’S BENEFITING FROM THEM
- WHAT TAX EXPERTS ARE SAYING ON ROMNEY’S CAYMAN ISLANDS INVESTMENTS
- WaPo: Romney’s tax problems just won’t go away
- TODAY: Former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges and DNC Executive Director Patrick Gaspard to talk about Mitt Romney’s Real Record in South Carolina
And so forth and so on.
At the outset of all that, I received a release telling me it was coming:
DEMOCRATIC COUNTER-PROGRAMMING. Democrats plan what they are calling a “full-time presence” in the Palmetto State this week, starting today. Democratic Governors Association Chairman Martin O’Malley and Democratic National Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse will react to the GOP/FOX News Debate on Monday in Myrtle Beach with a 2:00 PM press conference at the Breakers, one on one interviews with national cable outlets and local and national newspapers before and after the debate. DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Vice Chair and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and DNC Executive Director Patrick Gaspard will all be in the state later in the week to offer their perspective on the GOP race.The DNC says it will be “using a new visual to tell the story of Mitt Romney as the incredible shrinking job creator.” View it here: http://bit.ly/x9nvFZ
That sort of made it sound like the Dems would be commenting on the whole GOP field. But it’s been pretty much all Mitt, all the time.
Occasionally, there’s a Democratic Party release about something else — maybe two or three in the whole week. But of those, only one is even indirectly about Newt Gingrich: A release from Dick Harpootlian demanding that Attorney General Alan Wilson investigate Lt. Gov. Ken Ard for writing an endorsement of Gingrich on official stationery (except that Dick spelled it “stationary”) “with his seal attached.”
And I think you can fairly say that that one was about Ard, not about Gingrich. There has not been a single Democratic press release, that I’ve seen, that directly attacks Gingrich the way all of those others attack Romney.
The unrelenting hammering on Romney has continued yesterday and today, even as it has become increasingly clear that Newt Gingrich has pulled ahead of him, and has the momentum going into Saturday.
A week ago, or a little earlier, this campaign made all the sense in the world. It seemed obvious that, having won in Iowa (as was then thought) and New Hampshire and comfortably leading in the polls in South Carolina, Mitt Romney was definitely going to be the guy that Barack Obama would face in the fall.
But the situation is very different today.
Now… I can think of four possible explanations for Democrats continuing to pursue this course:
- The Democrats are too stupid to figure out that not only did Romney not win Iowa, all the signs now point to Gingrich winning in South Carolina.
- They’ve figured it out, but they’re just not nimble enough to change directions on the fly, and don’t want to waste all those nonrefundable plane tickets or write new scripts for the press availabilities.
- They know Gingrich has the momentum in South Carolina now, but they are convinced that whatever happens here, Romney will still be the nominee.
- They really, really want Newt Gingrich to be the guy they face in the fall, so they’re continuing to hammer the only guy who can deny him the nomination.
What do you think it is?