Ed Driscoll

I Question the Timing

As Ace writes, “Wait a Minute: Joe Soptic’s Wife Wasn’t Even Diagnosed With Cancer Until 2006?”

Romney left Bain in 1999.

GST was shut down in 2001.

Soptic’s wife had her own health insurance through 2003.

Now, in 2006, she was diagnosed — diagnosed! — with very late-stage cancer.

She died 22 days after diagnosis.

Is the argument made that Romney owed this guy another seven years worth of insurance coverage?

And what good would it even have done? She wasn’t even diagnosed until just over three weeks before she would die.

Moe Lane adds:

But wait!  It gets even more convoluted.  You see, the Media is balkingabsolutely balking – at taking this line of attack seriously, and the Obama administration has already done its best to distance itself from the Priorities USA ad, to the point where Obama for America (OfA) spokesman Stephanie Cutter denied that they had any knowledge of Soptic’s story.

So… who’s that voice at the end of this conference call, Stephanie?  Your evil twin?

Of course, it all fits in with the Obama strategy to paint Romney as the second coming of Barry Goldwater*, as Jay Cost writes at the Weekly Standard: 

It is extraordinarily difficult for incumbent presidents to win the votes of people who disapprove of the job they are doing. Hence, this race is Romney’s to win.

But it is not his to lose. And that’s an important distinction.

It is difficult to overcome the hurdle that Obama faces – to win voters who think you’ve done a bad job as president – but not impossible. Richard Nixon in 1972 won a significant chunk of his disapprovers because the McGovern-Shriver ticket was not a serious option. Lyndon Johnson managed the same in 1964, as he made the Goldwater-Miller ticket out to be a threat to humanity itself.

The 1964 election is particularly important to understanding the 2012 campaign. I have argued in the past that, bereft of popular legislative achievements, a sound economy, or a manageable deficit, President Obama is left running a version of LBJ’s 1964 campaign. Johnson was worried that passage of the Civil Rights Act would spark a backlash that would keep him from his goal of the largest victory in history. Hence, the “frontlash” strategy, designed to make typically Republican voters (mostly moderates in the Northeast) scared to death of Goldwater. “The stakes are too high,” LBJ warned the country in ad after ad.

Obama is basically running this campaign. If LBJ made Goldwater a threat to western civilization, Obama is trying to make Romney into a corporate raider who will bring about a new feudalism.

Is the Soptic ad Obama’s equivalent of the Daisy ad, or are there worse smears to come? Where do you go from essentially positing that a presidential candidate gave a woman cancer?

We’ll find out in due course.

* Would that that were true.

Update: “OMG!… Joe Soptic, the Anti-Romney Cancer Ad Steelworker, Admits Bain Capital Offered Him a Buyout (Video).”