Yesterday, I asked, if in the second debate, President Obama addressed “the specifics of his second-term agenda“. Not one of our readers wrote in to delineate the Democrat’s plans.
That did seem to be the campaign theme of the day. As I noted in an update to that post, 2008 Obama supporter Megan McArdle asked that very question in a piece at the Daily Beast, pointing out in the subtitle that “The president has done shockingly little to lay out his second term agenda.”
He is attempting, as we noted before, to make this election a “referendum on the challenger” (to borrow Ramesh Ponnuru’s expression). McArdle points out that his entire campaign is “not [to] be Mitt Romney”:
This is really fairly remarkable. Lots of presidential candidates have run on a platform of Not The Incumbent, but Obama may be the first to define himself entirely as Not the Challenger. One of Romney’s pollsters suggested to USA Today that this has been a costly decision, as the Mitt Romney people are seeing in the debates doesn’t look much like the horrific, granny-killing, woman-hating GOP monster that Obama has been running against.
Karl Rove, to a certain degree, echoes McCardle, saying that the “essential flaw in Team Obama’s strategy” is that the “president and his advisers have been so intent on disqualifying Mr. Romney that they have done a miserable job defending the president’s record and virtually nothing to frame a second-term agenda.”
Having posted her piece before Tuesday’s townhall debate McArdle said the president had better “nail” that agenda in that forum. Apparently, he didn’t. Yesterday, Mitt Romney hit the campaign trail, saying that Obama still has no second-term plan. (Via our reader Kurt.)
Funny how things have changed. Last month, pundits were talking about Mitt Romney’s failure to talk specifics. This month, even some on the left are wondering what the president has planned should he win reelection.
Wonder why, in the summer of 2011, the Obama campaign determined that their goal was to “kill Romney” rather than to craft the Democrat’s vision for the future.