Obama's Ad a Brilliant Political Pivot
President Obama promised a lot when he ran for president -- to fix the trade deficits with China and on oil, which together steal some five million jobs, curb the excesses at Wall Street banks and curb escalating health care costs.
In perfectly choreographed fashion, the Bain ad characterized Romney as someone who bought up healthy businesses, loaded them with debt and then drove into bankruptcy -- destroying jobs to enrich his private equity partners. Cory Booker, Democratic mayor of Newark, made headlines calling the ad "nauseating to the American public," and that gave Obama the perfect opportunity to attack Romney, oh so effectively.
The president strongly defended the ad, stating Mitt Romney is running on his experience at Bain, not his record as governor of Massachusetts. Then Obama took the opportunity to say a president can't just worry about making a profit but rather whether the country is investing in jobs today and in the future, cutting edge technology and fairer tax system.
The president brilliantly drew the contrast between his public career and Romney's private pursuit of profit -- that's where he wants voters' attention.
Most voters didn't see the Bain ad and certainly won't remember the details, but they will remember Obama's goals -- creating jobs, reorienting the economy and economic justice -- and how Mr. Romney allegedly made his fortune -- buying, borrowing, and burying jobs.
The facts are in the three years since Obama became president the trade deficit is up 40%, J.P. Morgan and other big banks are still running their Manhattan casinos, and health care costs keep rocketing.
It's a lousy economy full of injustice, and Obama can't easily claim to have made things better.
For several days the press coverage will be focused on the Bain ad and private equity, Obama's goals and Romney's character, and not on the incumbent's record and the challenger's solutions.