A couple GOP strategizers, Ari Fleischer and Nicholas Thompson, have some words of advice on how best to attack the president: stick to branding him a flip-flopper and skip the personal critiques because people may actually like the president as a person. Those strategy tips were part of the outline for framing the argument against the president mentioned during a conference call organized by the Republican National Committee which Yahoo News Rachel Rose Hartman was somehow inadvertently invited to listen in on. The results of which, as Politico's Ben Smith put it, were "mild" although it did elicit telling quotes from Thompson about the president's higher polling when it comes to his likability:
"We're hesitant to jump on board with heavy attacks" personally against President Obama, Nicholas Thompson, the vice president of Tarrance Group, a Republican polling firm, said on the call. "There's a lot of people who feel sorry for him."
Recent polling data indicates that while the president still suffers significantly low job approval ratings, voters still give "high approval" to Obama personally, Thompson said.
Which makes sense, in theory, even if the "feel sorry for him" quote seems more like a backhanded compliment. Even though it's hard to believe that attacks against Obama will just stick to position flip-flops, Ari Fleischer, for one, has already followed up on the Yahoo report, emailing Ben Smith a set of ready-made, long-list of talking points on the president's many perceived flip-flops like "Promised shovel ready jobs; then admitted they weren’t shovel ready" etc.