In 1992, the Democratic mantra was, “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” and the media, thoroughly behind Bill Clinton, wholeheartedly agreed. Not so much 20 years later when it’s the Romney campaign hammering home their message on the shaky Obama economy.
After Crowley detailed the abysmal economic climate in 1980, he wrote that “Reagan’s campaign wasn’t singularly focused on Carter’s economic record.” The liberal media have attempted to use Reagan to attack Republicans — from the Left no less — numerous times already this campaign season, but this is particularly ridiculous.
Crowley’s piece also launched another trap with him stating that “Reagan extensively blasted Carter on foreign policy (including the Iran hostage crisis and alleged weakness against the Soviets in Afghanistan and elsewhere). He depicted the President as wimpy in general, proclaiming that “There is a leadership crisis in America.” And he peddled a vigorous anti-Washington message (“Get the government off our backs”) that fired up both Goldwater conservatives and blue-collar Democrats.”
In essence, Crowley is hoping Romney will move into a stronger focus on Obama’s foreign policy, hoping to give the president, and the media, another excuse to spike the football over the successful bin Laden raid. Nevertheless, Crowley hasn’t achieved this narrative-altering move and tries to spin the economic woes that are hurting the president’s re-election campaign as a unprecedented event that should help Obama. He claims that the “two recent presidential elections are remembered primarily as referendums on an ailing economy that cost an incumbent his job – Ronald Reagan’s 1980 defeat of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton’s win over George H.W. Bush in 1992. But while we remember the defining slogans, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” and “It’s the economy, stupid,” both those contests were more complicated in ways that should give Barack Obama some comfort.” Don’t bet on it.
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