Link bait, in action.
You're not going to believe this
: Obama is going to go negative against Romney! I know this is shocking, and all, that in a presidential campaign, one candidate will go negative against the other, and that the other candidate will then go negative as well.
Of course, any such article should have good sources, right? Well, we have "a senior campaign adviser", whatever that means. Then there's "a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House", which is even more vague than the first source. What the heck does "aligned with" even mean? That they're both Democrats?
Then there's "Chicago Democratic consultant Pete Giangreco"—a real name! Except he just makes this obvious point:
“First, they’ve got to like you, and there’s not a lot to like about Mitt Romney,” said Chicago Democratic consultant Pete Giangreco, who worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign. “There’s no way to hide this guy and hide his innate phoniness.”
Well then, that has nothing to do with Obama's plans to "destroy" Romney. That's followed by another "senior Obama adviser." He apparently has dozens of those. David Axelrod is quoted taking a shot at Romney, but nothing more than a rote attack:
“He was very, very good at making a profit for himself and his partners but not nearly as good [at] saving jobs for communities,” said David Axelrod, the president’s chief strategist. “His is very much the profile of what we’ve seen in the last decade on Wall Street. He was about making money. And that’s fine. But often times, he made it at the expense of jobs in communities.”
Does that support the hysterical headline? Doubtfully. That headline would be more like, "A for-real senior adviser to Obama ties Romney to Wall Street". Far less sexy, isn't it? But the article isn't done. Maybe there's an actual quote from a real person that would support the headline.
We have "another top Obama adviser", a generic reference to "Obama officials", and yet another "an adviser". Okay then ... Wait! There's Bill Burton, who used to work for the White House but doesn't any longer. He says Romney flip flops! But of course, that has nothing to do with the headline.
Ahh, but here's where it gets good:
None of the Obama advisers interviewed made any suggestion that Romney's personal qualities would be connected to his minority Mormon faith, but the step from casting Romney as a bit off to raising questions about religion may not be a large step for some of the incumbent's supporters.
See? Out of the "dozens" of "advisers" they apparently interviewed, not a single one said anything about religion. But Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin, who wrote the piece, know better! Of course, if anyone brings up Romney's religion, it'll be his Republican primary opponents. They're the ones who obsess over those matters, not Democrats.
So what did we learn from this piece? That one presidential candidate will go negative on the other! Breaking! Except there's nothing Obama's team can say about Romney that won't be said dozens of times by his Republican opponents during the primary campaign.
We also learned that Obama has about 50 "senior advisers", all of them desperate to talk to the Politico.
And we learned that Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin think they know better than the "dozens" of "senior advisers" they interviewed.
Bonus punchline: Follow up Politico headline:
Romney manager responds: 'Disgraceful, despicable, desperate'
Rhoades responds to the Obama campaign plan.
What campaign "plan"? The vague mentioning that one candidate will attack the other? Quelle horreur!
This is so stupid that it may very well finally signal the official start of the 2012 presidential campaign season. It's also proof that Politico's "link bait" strategy works.