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Mitt Romney
Bright idea, Mitt. Bright idea. (Darren Hauck/Reuters)
Turns out it wasn't a simply a one-time delusional blurt: Mitt Romney's attempt to embrace Bill Clinton—and drive a wedge between President Obama and the Clintons—actually reflects a serious strategy by the Romney campaign.
Seeking to attract Democrats and independents who supported the last Democratic president, Romney has taken to lavishing praise at every turn on Clinton’s boom-era ’90s policies while contrasting them unfavorably with President Barack Obama’s old-school, Big Government ways.

The tactic is designed to drive a wedge between the group of Democrats who supported Obama during the epic 2008 primary battle between Obama and Hillary Clinton: the white, working-class voters who hold the key to many swing states, like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

That's a pretty dumb strategy for a guy who is leading the party that impeached Clinton, who said as recently as January that he took "any chance [he] got to vote against Bill Clinton," and who opposes Clinton's fiscal and economic policy. But Romney and his advisers actually think it will work:
A senior Romney adviser said the campaign sought to use Clinton’s name to drive a wedge between centrist and liberal Democrats in the November general election.

“It’s useful to point out what people already believe about Obama,” Romney strategist Stuart Stevens told POLITICO. [...]

Romney can make the about-face on Clinton, GOP operative Rick Wilson said, because the combination of the primary’s end and Obama’s embrace of gay marriage have coalesced for him the conservative base.

What’s left to target is the political middle and voters who remember fondly the Clinton era.

That's so stupid I hardly know where to begin. Obviously one big problem is that Bill Clinton can speak for himself, and who are voters going to believe: what Bill Clinton says Bill Clinton believes, or what Mitt Romney says Bill Clinton believes. Clinton has been enthusiastic in his support of President Obama and on the major issues, there's no daylight between them.

Not only is Mitt Romney going to be unable to drive a wedge between them, he's going to stub his toe trying. The fact that he thinks such an obviously dumb strategy could work is a reminder of Mitt Romney's weird delusional streak—and that's not something that will play well in November.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu May 17, 2012 at 07:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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