Mitt Romney’s pick of a Democratic punching bag, Paul Ryan, as his vice president, enables Obama and the Democrats to shift the debate from jobs and the economy to pushing grandma off a cliff. The latter actually took the form of an anti-Republican ad on Medicare from a “progressive” group supporting Obama. It has now been resurrected for dramatic effect.
Bulletin News, a good summary of how the major media are framing the campaign, reports, “The consensus media view on both TV and print is that Ryan’s selection is likely to spark a prolonged debate on his budget plan, diverting the public’s attention away from the economy and thus boosting the President’s reelection hopes.”
In order to counter this liberal media bias, Romney and Ryan went on one of the top liberal shows, the CBS News “60 Minutes” program, to defend their proposed reform of Medicare. It was nearly the equivalent of Sarah Palin going on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric to discuss her reading habits. As Palin herself has written, that was done at the suggestion of a John McCain adviser, Nicole Wallace, who used to work for Couric and CBS News. It was a trap designed to carry on a narrative about what the liberal media wanted the public to believe about the Republican ticket. That narrative then was that Palin was not qualified to be vice-president.
The narrative has now been changed from jobs to entitlements, a shift that could cost the GOP many thousands of votes from seniors scared of losing their benefits. Liberals are gleeful. Many conservative commentators, including Rush Limbaugh, are falling in line behind the Republican ticket.
The problem in 2008 went beyond advisers, as the HBO film “Game change” made clear. Despite elements of Palin-bashing, it accurately depicted McCain as a candidate who did not want to take the gloves off when attacking Obama. McCain was shown being offended when Republicans suggested Obama and/or his associates were anti-American or had Muslim sympathies.
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