President Obama "doesn’t like, admire or even grudgingly respect" Mitt Romney, according to a new e-book by Politico's Glenn Thrush. This is a new feeling towards Obama's electoral enemy, because Obama at least thought John McCain was kind of okay, per Thrush:
"There was a baseline of respect for John McCain. The president always thought he was an honorable man and a war hero," a longtime Obama adviser said. "That doesn’t hold true for Romney. He was no goddamned war hero."
It's funny that the aide phrases it like that, because the "you're no war hero" line is how McCain expressed his contempt for Obama in 2008. McCain hadn't thought very highly of Obama for a couple years before they ran against each other, and it showed on the campaign trail and in debates. That attitude did not serve McCain well.
In June 2008, when Obama said he didn't understand why McCain opposed the G.I. Bill, McCain snapped, "And I will not accept from Sen. Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did." In an October debate, McCain's contempt was so obvious that CNN's Wolf Blitzer said immediately afterward, "Sen. McCain has some disdain, I think it's fair to say, for Sen. Obama. That was very apparent throughout the course of this debate." The disdain came out despite a deliberate McCain campaign strategy to cover it up. The New York Time Magazine's Robert Draper reported aides advised him to show "a very generous patience with Obama — in terms of, 'I'm sure if he understood...'" The point was to not look condescending, but it backfired. "You put a bullet in a gun, figuring it’ll get shot once. We had no idea it would be shot 10 times," an aide said.
Politico reports Obama thinks Romney stands for "nothing" and is "weak." But he might want to take a lesson in controlling those emotions from McCain, the Republican he respects, before it comes back to haunt him.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.