Much could change of course, but it’s clear now that the first campaign week after Labor Day–always an important one–was very good for Obama and bad for Romney. Andrew Sullivan notes here a large bump in the polls for Obama; but even without them, you could draw some conclusions from the fact that Jennifer Rubin is praising Bill Clinton’s speech (because it showed he is more popular than the President). Is that the best she’s got? Oh, and the Chicago teacher’s strike, whose relevance to the presidential race is … marginal at best. Or if that’s too local, the Romney-Ryan team can try to change the subject to foreign policy: here Paul Ryan claims that he has superior foreign policy experience to Obama because he has “voted to send American men and women to war.” What a credential, Paul!
If the big message platforms of the Romney campaign are talking about a strike in Chicago, Paul Ryan’s foreign policy experience, and Bill Clinton, it’s a pretty good sign their “laser” focus on Obama and the economy is proving a dead end. That the Democratic narrative, summarized roughly as “he built a floor under a very scary crash” and “saved the American auto industry” is proving broadly persuasive, at least more so than anything Romney is offering. It makes me think that Romney’s best hope is to go, literally, for the long bomb–and hope his good friend Bibi Netanyahu sets the Middle East on fire, but I don’t think that’s especially likely either. The Obama administration, through General Dempsey and Hillary, seems to have given Bibi a pretty clear signal that if he does that, he can deal with the consequences. All in all, probably the best two weeks Obama has had since the SEAL team dispatched Osama bin Laden.