Potential Obama opponent Mitt Romney is “the gift that keeps on giving” according to the Obama campaign team, the New York Times' Helene Cooper eagerly reports in her Monday “Political Memo,” “The Flub Watch Never Stops for Obama’s Team.” The text box reads: “If Romney makes a misstep, the Democrats are ready to pounce.” And Cooper is right there to cover Team Ohama's glorious Twitter victories in loving detail.
For Brad Woodhouse, the spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, it was when he came across a Twitter post about a CNN interview in which Mitt Romney seemed to shrug off concern for the very poor.
And Bill Burton’s moment came a week and a half ago while he was in his family room watching Mr. Romney take Newt Gingrich to task for talking about putting a colony on the moon. If someone made such a proposal to him, Mr. Romney said, “I’d say, ‘You’re fired.’”
Both moments were perceived by the Obama re-election campaign as another gift from Mr. Romney -- now dubbed “the gift that keeps on giving” by some on the Obama team. “Just when you thought we had enough videotape about him firing people, he gives you one more,” Mr. Burton, who leads a political action committee backing the president, said before laughing.
Recently, that prize has been giving the Obama camp plenty to work with as a series of missteps have played into the Obama re-election machine, with its arsenal of Twitter feeds, e-mail blasts and quick-to-the-punch Internet advertising. On the Web, which even rivals have long considered a strength of the Obama political apparatus, criticizing Mr. Romney has become arguably as big a focus as defining the president.
After pausing from the party to note that “A Gallup poll taken in 12 swing states in late January showed the men in a dead heat,” Cooper continued to bask in the “Obama camp’s delight.”
That is not dampening the Obama camp’s delight in watching Mr. Romney endure the burden of contested primaries.
Mr. Woodhouse, a high-octane party spinmaster, was getting his children ready for school around 7 Wednesday morning when he spotted a new present from the Romney camp. “Romney on CNN: I’m not concerned about the very poor,” the Washington Post blogger Rachel Weiner reported over Twitter.
Mr. Woodhouse sprang to action. “It was a two-fer!” Mr. Woodhouse said. “First, it was just the most incredibly insensitive thing that someone in his position could say.” And second, Mr. Woodhouse said, “he gave us an opening to go after his record on the middle class,” since Mr. Romney’s comments were part of an effort to show that it is the middle class he is actually concerned about.
The Obama partisans came up with their plan for the day. “It was clear by 9 a.m. that this thing had a life of its own,” Mr. Woodhouse said, as Mr. Romney tried to clarify his remarks while news anchors, bloggers and reporters gave his comments round-the-clock coverage. Mr. Woodhouse sat back and enjoyed the melee for a few hours.
“We took some time to let a thousand flowers bloom,” Mr. Woodhouse said. “And then we took out our ad.”
The Internet ad cobbled together by the Democratic National Committee hit the Web on Wednesday afternoon.
Cooper quoted the ad generously.
“In a shallow attempt to show concern for the middle class, Mitt Romney told CNN today he’s not concerned about the very poor,” the ad said. “But his policy proposals make clear that he also isn’t very concerned about the middle class -- his tax plan provides a modest tax cut, about $167, for middle-class families but provides about $146,000 for families making more than $1 million.” It continued: “Mitt Romney: Not concerned about the poor, or the middle class.”