Fear You Can Believe In

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The Hill reports that the Obama campaign is struggling to come up with a good campaign theme. In 2008 it had "Change You Can Believe In". Apparently Obama's team feels this won't fly second time around.

Obama at various times over the past year has taken "Winning the Future," "A Fair Shot," "An America Built to Last," and "We Can't Wait" for test drives, but none has found lasting traction. Vice President Biden has suggested one possible bumper sticker slogan: "GM's alive; bin Laden's dead."

John Heilemann explains that the unofficial slogan will be "Fear You Can Believe In".

They will pummel [Romney] for being a vulture-vampire capitalist at Bain Capital. They will pound him for being a miserable failure as the governor of Massachusetts. They will mash him for being a water-carrier for Paul Ryan's Social Darwinist fiscal program. They will maul him for being a combination of Jerry Falwell, Joe Arpaio, and John Galt on a range of issues that strike deep chords with the Obama coalition. "We're gonna say, 'Let's be clear what he would do as president,' " Plouffe explains. "Potentially abortion will be criminalized. Women will be denied contraceptive services. He's far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage"...

[T]o a very real degree, 2008's candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012's candidate of fear...

For anyone still starry-eyed about Obama, the months ahead will provide a bracing revelation about what he truly is: not a savior, not a saint, not a man above the fray, but a brass-knuckled, pipe-hitting, red-in-tooth-and-claw brawler determined to do what is necessary to stay in power--in other words, a politician.

I see the logic but I wonder whether Romney is scary enough for these purposes. As for revealing Obama to be just another power-hungry politician, I wouldn't call that playing to his strengths.

How about "The Audacity of Despair"?

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Clive Crook is a senior editor of The Atlantic and a columnist for Bloomberg View. He was the Washington columnist for the Financial Times, and before that worked at The Economist for more than 20 years, including 11 years as deputy editor. Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics. More

Crook writes about the intersection of politics and economics.

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