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Big Bird, Small Campaign

The Obama campaign’s “Big Bird” attack line is being panned by the media as “goofy” and “small.” Politico’s Maggie Haberman writes:

The Obama campaign is out this morning with a goofy video of the Big Bird variety, mocking Mitt Romney, as the president has put it, as going easy on Wall Street but heavy on Sesame Street. …

And the president, as others have noted, and his team have been going fairly small at a moment when Romney is consistent in a message and pivoting toward going bigger (the foreign policy speech, more emotion on the trail, and so forth). And this video is the kind of small ball that Boston smacked over for months.

According to the Obama campaign, the ad is intended as a “parody” and it’s going to run during “comedy shows.” Somebody should stop the campaign staff before they embarrass themselves any further. The ad might be mildly amusing if it wasn’t such an obvious attempt to change the subject.

The Obama campaign’s normal reaction to good performances by Romney or Paul Ryan has been to attack them as liars, with help from friends in the media. That didn’t work this time around, probably because most people realize that if Romney was incessantly lying throughout the debate, Obama would have (or at least should have) called him out on it right there on stage.

The Obama campaign wasn’t able to discredit Romney as a liar, so it’s moved on to trying to discredit him as an object of ridicule. But the Big Bird meme is backfiring on Obama, making him seem focused on the trivial. As the Republican National Committee pointed out, Obama has mentioned Big Bird and Elmo 13 times on the campaign trail over the last few days. He’s mentioned the attack in Libya zero times. While the Obama campaign was joking around about Sesame Street, Romney was giving a major foreign-policy address that captured the news cycle yesterday.

People wondering why Obama’s debate performance was so dismal should look at the last few days. Has his post-debate defense been any better? When you have no good arguments, the only defense is ad hominen attacks; calling someone a liar, or an idiot, or a joke. Notice that’s all the Obama campaign has been doing since the debate.