I didn’t know, until this year, that Obama:
- ate dog
- snorted “a little blow”
- came from a line of polygamists
- had claimed to be born in Kenya in the first draft of his autobiography
That’s a problem for Obama. Not because it denies him my vote; such was never going to be his anyway. But these are things that the public should already know. They should have come out in 2008, so they would be old news now. Instead, we’re hearing about them now.
The advantage of being the incumbent lies in being a known quantity. The incumbent’s dirty secrets and questionable decisions are already out, and demonstrably unimportant, as he was elected anyway. But when the incumbent has been protected from vetting by a compliant media, then those boils are still sitting there, ready to pop.
Whereas Mitt Romney’s long primary campaign has “vetted the hell out of him.” We know about Bain Capital because Gingrich brought it up. We know about his flip-flop on abortion, because John McCain brought it up in 2008. We know about RomneyCare. It’s all old news.
And that’s why, as Powerline and others have noticed, that Romney can be a ” a top-notch counterpuncher” (h/t: Instapundit). It’s not just that Romney, unlike McCain, has no illusions that the media is going to dig into Obama’s past for him. Romney also knows Obama has soft spots no one’s hit before. And every time Romney hits one of those soft spots, someone else can say “You know, I didn’t know that when I voted for Obama last time…”