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Flip-Flopping on Romney

A number of analysts and commentators have noted that since Romney sewed up the GOP nomination recently, the Obama machine has changed tactics.  Where they once attacked him as a flip-flopper–one of the most potent ways to undermine any candidacy–and as a quasi-liberal for his support of the Massachusetts version of Obamacare, they now attack him as a right-winger and agent of the 1 percent.  Michael Tomasky explains what’s behind this shift in the New York Review of Books:

After the Romney aide made the Etch A Sketch remark on March 21, suggesting that after securing the nomination, Romney could in essence wipe the slate of his positions clean and adopt entirely new ones, a debate broke out among liberal commentators about whether it would be more effective for the Obama campaign to attack Romney along Etch A Sketch lines—as a flip-flopper—or as an agent of the top 1 percent. [John] Sides set out to quantify this, and he found, after studying some poll results and crunching some numbers, that an attack on Romney as an Etch A Sketch flip-flopper would make political independents 31 percent more likely to support Obama, but that a strategy attacking Romney as an economic elitist would make those same independent voters—strangely ignored in much recent commentary—61 percent more likely to back the president.

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