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Mitt Romney has assembled a large, and eclectic group of advertising veterans, in a modern four room video production studio, and "massive video archive," in his Boston headquarters, with a $200 million plus budget to attempt to relaunch his image, according to a Philip Rucker, in a Washington Post story entitled, Mitt Romney team of ‘Mad Men’ creates ads to sell nation on candidate

The creative team is trying to create an emotional bond between a candidate who reveals little emotion and a still-unsure body politic. And they are trying to tell the story of “the Obama economy” — searching what one of them dubbed “the trail of tears” for powerful voices among the roughly 23 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed or have stopped looking for work. ...

“A lot of people around here, when Barack, you know, was running and all that, everyone believed, everyone had hope,” Knapp says in the video. “They all thought, ‘Man, this guy’s going to get something done.’ When he is in office now, it just seems like nothing’s getting done.”  ... Instead, he said, he wants Romney’s ads to “get that one simple idea out there — and it is what Stuart says, ‘It’s the economy, and we’re not stupid.’ ”

Americans have been digesting economic data since the financial collapse of 2008, and the Romney team thinks they can make those numbers resonate with independent voters by putting stories behind the statistics.  ... “You just listen and weave stories together,” O’Connor said. “If I were Obama, I’d be terrified of these people telling their stories.”

Ezra Klein, of the Washington Post Blog describes two of the the "harder hitting" themes we will be seeing more of, in The New Romney Campaign. These were the themes Chris Matthews pushed back on Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Morning Joe concerning Mitt's "birther joke and false welfare ads," which seem not to be accidents, as some others thought then, but an intentional strategic choice to use racial dog whistles, and lies about Obama's "welfare payoffs," to win the election. I certainly hope this is not true, as it would be so destructive to our social fabric.  But, Klein makes a compelling argument which i can only give you a small sample of here.

Mitt Romney is heading into his nominating convention with his advisers convinced he needs a more combative footing against President Obama in order to appeal to white, working-class voters and to persuade them that he is the best answer to their economic frustrations … in a marked change, Mr. Romney has added a harder edge to a message that for most of this year was focused on his business and job-creation credentials, injecting volatile cultural themes into the race.

What Matthews is saying Romney is doing isn’t that different from what Romney’s advisers are saying Romney needs to be doing. And it’s certainly what polling evidence suggests they’re doing.

Recall that Team Romney began with three premises for how to win this election. The first was to make this a referendum, not a choice. The second was to keep it focused on the economy. The third was to bow to Obama’s essential likability by treating him as a decent guy who is simply in over his head. ...  In recent weeks, the Romney campaign has jettisoned every single one of those premises.  ... In focusing on Medicare cuts and changes to the welfare program, he’s taken the campaign almost entirely off the economy. And in moving toward  ”a more combative footing,” he’s abandoned his effort to try to avoid alienating voters who basically like the president.

And, from a very long, and detailed story in the New York Times, we learn that a major strategic shift has been under way for several weeks now, as Romney advisors have concluded that even though many voters are disappointed the economy, they remain willing to give our President more time to fix it. Mitt Romney's Campaign Adopts a Harder Message. Something Republicans are planning to spend money to change.  
... But in a marked change, Mr. Romney has added a harder edge to a message that for most of this year was focused on his business and job-creation credentials, injecting volatile cultural themes into the race. ... Republican strategists said that many middle-class voters had proved reluctant to give up entirely on Mr. Obama, and that they still needed to be convinced that Mr. Romney would look out for their interests. ... “They’re somewhat seduced by the thought, ‘If the guy had more time, maybe he’d be able to turn it around,’ ” said Mr. Law, whose group is spending tens of millions of dollars to change that.
Discouraged that the swing states have remain behind President Obama, despite months of campaigning, the Romney forces see hope that the appointment of Paul Ryan may have opened up opportunities in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan, so they want to up the ante, by inflaming racial themes, and lies about President Obama's welfare work waivers, implying these are payoffs to "Obama's people" that poor, and unemployed white blue collar workers are not getting.
Mr. Romney’s chances hinge to a large degree on running up his advantage among white voters in swing states who show deep strains of opposition to Mr. Obama but do not yet trust Mr. Romney to look out for their interests, Republican strategists say.

Many of those voters are economically disaffected, and the Romney campaign has been trying to reach them with appeals built around an assertion that Mr. Obama is making it easier for welfare recipients to avoid work. The Romney campaign is airing an advertisement falsely charging that Mr. Obama has “quietly announced” plans to eliminate work and job training requirements for welfare beneficiaries, a message Mr. Romney’s aides said resonates with working-class voters who see government as doing nothing for them.

The moves reflect a campaign infused with a sharper edge and overtones of class and race. On Friday, Mr. Romney said at a rally that no one had ever had to ask him about his birth certificate, and Mr. Ryan invoked his Catholicism and love of hunting. Democrats angrily said Mr. Romney’s remark associated him with the fringe “birther” camp seeking falsely to portray Mr. Obama as not American.

So, fasten your seat belts Kossack, and maybe have your airsickness bags handy, as Romney and and the Republican National Committee have $186 million in their advertising budgets, and have thrown our any remaining shreds of moral scruples, or concern of truth to pull all the stops inflaming race, and class divisions between middle class white voters and President Obama and us Democrats.

4:39 PM PT: I'm sorry to bring you such upsetting articles tonight, but perhaps, it is better to hear it first here, while we still have time to do something to fight back.  If these stories of how low Republicans are willing to stoop to win this election make you as angry as they make me, please consider donating to President Obama's campaign, and those of all of our down ticket Democrats, or volunteering.


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