Mitt Romney wants to be the John Kerry of this year's Iowa caucuses, while President Obama wants to be the George W. Bush of the general election. Like Romney, Kerry was an early frontrunner later overshadowed by flashier candidates; his case that he was the more electable candidate led to back-to-back wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, essentially endeding the Democratic primary in 2004. But while Romney surely hopes the 2004 similarities end there, Obama hopes that's where they begin. The New York Times' Richard W. Stevenson reports that Obama's reelection team has studied how to do what George W. Bush did to Kerry in 2004 -- take bad news (then Iraq; this time, the economy) and turn it to his advantage, while portraying his opponent as a flip-flopper with no convictions.
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