Via Ed Morrissey: The Obama campaign couldn’t be happy to wake up to this front page of the Des Moines Register today:
I wrote yesterday about the Obama campaign’s tussle with the DMR over an editorial board interview the president initially demanded be off the record. After the Register’s editor blogged about the unusual stipulation, the campaign relented and released the transcript of the interview without comment or explanation. I’m not sure that has anything to do with today’s front page, but it can’t be a good idea to ding the Iowa media days before election day in a highly competitive state.
Here’s the Register’s lede on Romney, who apparently received an enthusiastic greeting at Eastern Iowa Airport yesterday:
This must be what momentum looks like.
It was a dramatic entrance into Iowa for Mitt Romney on Wednesday: As stirring music played, his campaign airplane, with his motto “Believe in America” visible along the fuselage, touched down at the Eastern Iowa Airport, taxied toward a hangar and parked just 50 feet behind the stage.
Romney stepped down the jetway to meet a cheering crowd of more than 3,000 and deliver a high-energy speech that was by turns sharply critical of incumbent President Barack Obama and confidently optimistic about the nation’s future under new leadership.
And here’s the lede on the paper’s Obama story:
Fighting a tense re-election battle, President Barack Obama let loose a blistering attack on GOP opponent Mitt Romney during a campaign rally here Wednesday, the first leg in what he called “a 48-hour, fly-around marathon campaign extravaganza.”
Obama was more forceful than usual on the stump, using a booming voice to tear into Romney as an untrustworthy double-talker and then, in more measured tones, to concede he hasn’t achieved all the goals he spelled out in Iowa four years ago.
That’s an accurate description of the dueling campaigns. As we’ve recently been noting at Contentions, the Obama campaign has been acting as if it thinks it’s losing, even if the polls haven’t reflected that. The president’s stump speeches have taken on a notably negative and sarcastic tone. Not that Romney is running a totally positive campaign, but recently he’s focused more on his vision for the presidency on the trail.
Obama still has a two-point lead in Iowa’s RCP polling average, but two of the latest surveys show there could be some movement in Romney’s direction. Romney is up one point in PPP, a bump from last month when he trailed Obama by seven points. They’re are also tied in the Rasmussen poll, after Obama led by two points last week. Romney is making his “closing argument” — a speech on the economy — in Ames on Friday.