The campaign Obama promised and what he delivered
In the innocent, bygone days of February, President Obama told NBC News that the campaign would get negative against him, but provided this assurance: “I think that you will be able to see how we conduct ourselves in the campaign. I think it will be consistent with how I conducted myself in 2008 and hopefully how I have conducted myself as president of the United States.”
Not since Gary Hart urged reporters to follow him around because “they’d be very bored” has an assurance been more of an indictment. The Obama campaign has targeted and intimidated Republican donors on an Internet enemies list. It has engaged in the juvenile mockery of Mitt Romney’s singing. It has suggested, without evidence, that Romney may have committed the felony of falsifying Federal Election Commission documents. It has speculated, without proof, that Romney has avoided paying taxes. When Joe Biden engages in racially charged hyperbole, he is awkwardly but accurately reflecting the spirit of the 2012 Obama campaign.
But the most vivid accusation (made by a closely associated PAC and embraced by the campaign itself) is that Romney’s ruthless business practices were responsible for the closing of a firm, the loss of a couple’s health insurance and thus the death of a woman from cancer. Except that Romney wasn’t connected to the closing of the firm, the woman continued to have health insurance from another source and her cancer was diagnosed five years after the plant shut down. . . .