The untweetability of Obama’s campaign message

Perhaps the most telling of President Obama’s growing body of moans is his complaint that “you can pretty much put [the Romney] campaign on a tweet and have some characters to spare.” Obama is right. Romney’s message boils down to this statement, the usual theme of a successful anti-incumbent presidential campaign: “Look at the economy; this is a failed presidency.”

It’s not quite as abbreviated as “hope and change,” but it has the virtue of being a proposition, not a content-free slogan. It also has the virtue of being true.

Obama knows that the briefer the message, the better. The more explaining a candidate has to do, the worse his situation. “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” would fit in a tweet, with characters to spare. But this message, the usual theme of a successful presidential re-election campaign, is unavailable to this president.

Glibness is Obama’s most impressive trait, and it has carried him far. But even Obama must question whether he can talk his way around this economy.

One thing is for sure — he can’t do it in a tweet. And this must be driving him crazy.


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