President Obama and his Democratic allies vastly outspent Mitt Romney over the summer. Hardly any of Obama’s resources went to defending his record, which is indefensible. Rather, he spent more than $100 million smearing Mitt Romney with baseless accusations. It was a frustrating summer for Republicans, but we were told things would get better after the convention. Until Romney accepted the Republican nomination last Thursday night, his campaign could only spend money that was raised for the primary season. Beginning on Friday, he could start using the cash hoard he has been accumulating. From then until November, Romney’s people assured us that they would be able to significantly outspend Obama, who blew his cash advantage over the summer.
So since Friday, I have been watching for the anticipated Romney blitz. So far, I haven’t seen it. Maybe it’s because, despite some recent indications, I don’t live in a swing state. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch enough television. For whatever reason, all I see is clear blue sky, marred only by the Democratic convention. No incoming Romney fire.
The Republican National Committee has released some new web and television videos over the last few days. This one is called “Incomplete:”
It is OK, I guess. Any time Republicans spend 30 seconds talking about the economy it gets a passing grade. But can’t we be a little more hard-hitting?
This one, also by the RNC, came out just this morning. It is called “The Breakup,” and it introduces a new web site, BreakUpWithBarackObama.com. It is aimed at people who voted for Obama in 2008 but are now disillusioned, which must be a large demographic:
It’s a cute ad, and I suppose a light touch is appropriate when going after converts. Some of the time, anyway. But where is the ad blitz reminding voters of 8.3% unemployment, $16 trillion in debt, the worst recovery ever, 23 million looking for work, more Americans in poverty than ever before, economic growth stifled? I am not seeing it. If your experience is different–if you are seeing evidence of the long-anticipated Romney blitz where you live–we’d be interested to hear about it in the comments.
PAUL adds: John, here in the Washington D.C. area we get ads political directed at Virginia, a major battleground state. In recent days, my radar has detected no Romney ad blitz in this market; indeed it has detected no Romney ads.
I figure, the campaign is waiting for the end of the DNC, perhaps out of some old-fashion concept of fair play. If the “fire” isn’t “incoming” by early next week, I’ll be alarmed.
UPDATE: So the blitz apparently is on the way:
Senior Romney-Ryan campaign officials tell Fox News the campaign will launch an enormous media offensive on Friday, the day after President Obama accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for a second term. The push will include ad buys in several states that will cost tens of millions of dollars.
Aides said more than a dozen new ads, each tailored to different regions and segments of the electorate, will begin airing Friday, aimed at dramatically shifting the dynamics of a contest that Romney-Ryan aides acknowledge, in terms of the hard realities of the electoral map, have until now favored the Obama-Biden ticket.
So tomorrow is the big day. I don’t agree with that last statement, by the way, and I don’t know why Romney’s aides would. More:
“Time is short,” said one campaign aide. “We have $100 million we’ve just raised. If you look at our burn rate to date and our cash on hand, there’s not much more we can spend on infrastructure. So we’ve got to start spending our general election funds in a big way, because you know what the value of that money is on the day after the election? Zero.”
That last observation is stunningly obvious. And why is time short? Because the Romney campaign didn’t spend much over the summer, because it allocated too much of its fundraising to the general election, and not enough to the primary (i.e., pre-convention) season. Now the language gets colorful:
Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, an adviser to the Romney campaign, said this week that its strategy going forward will be to “carpet bomb” the president and vice president.
Romney-Ryan officials did not repudiate such talk; indeed, one official, in speaking to Fox News, likened the offensive that will begin Thursday to the “daisy cutter” bombs used in the Iraq war.
Watch for every fundraising email the Dems send out for the next month to feature the terms “carpet bomb” and “daisy cutter.” But that’s all right, as long as the Romney campaign’s ads are hard-hitting and effective. Like a carpet bombing or a daisy cutter.