A couple of themes have emerged from a media battle for the presidency.
The fight between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney is being waged on TV and online, by the campaigns and parties alike. And it boils down to this:
Obama and the Democrats are warning voters about “Romney Economics” — and, in pointing to his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, saying: “It didn’t work then. It won’t work now.” (How long will it take the campaign to boil this down to Romney-nomics, just as Romney has distilled the president’s health care law to ‘Obamacare’?)
Romney and the Republicans are promising a bright new day: With the promises of “Day One” of a Romney presidency now expanded to “The First 100 Days.” (Talk about writing history before it plays out.)
The Democratic National Committee is showing a Web-video on “Romney Economics” featuring people who appear as a firefighter, a police officer and schoolteacher. “Mitt Romney says there should be fewer of them,” the firefighter says, striking up the theme of an Obama campaign Web-video: “Mitt Romney’s ‘Jobs Plan’ — fewer teachers, fewer firefighters, fewer police.
The teacher in the Democratic National Committee Web-video says: “You know what we really need less of? Romney economics.”
An Obama campaign TV ad citing Massachusetts for being No. 1 in per-capita state debt as Romney left office banners: “one of the worst economic records in the country… That’s Romney economics. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.”
The Republican National Committee fired up its Web cameras with a video quoting Obama on his pledge for a “sustained and relentless focus” on job creation, and then media accounts of the White House “pivoting” to the economy, after promoting issues such as cap and trade and new regulations: “Tomorrow. Obama will pivot again.”
The Romney campaign, following up on TV ads that made promises about Romney’s agenda on Day One of his presidency, offers an “infographic” at his Web-site: “How Would a Romney Presidency be different?”
Lining up Romney’s first 100 days against Obama’s in a second term, it says Romney will immediately approve the Keystone pipeline and will begin the process of “repealing and replacing Obamacare,” while Obama will “double down on the failed energy policies that have led to higher prices and fewer jobs” and start to “hit the economy, raising taxes and stifling growth.”
Romney, it says, will impose a regulatory cap on federal agencies while Obama will push through “job-destroying regulations,” Romney will pursue tax reform, “cutting taxees across the board,” while Obama will pursue “one of the biggest tax increases in history.” Romney will “stand up to China’s unfair trade practices” while Obama will “continue to resist labeling China as a currency manipulator.”
One thing’s certain: Their messages will get plenty of replay.