Mitt Romney is frustrated. Barack Obama and his left-wing pals have been saying nasty things about him all month. They even blamed his old company, Bain Capital, for the death of a steelworker’s wife, because Bain closed a mill and took away the steelworker’s health insurance.
And yet, the American people still like Obama more than Romney. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 67 percent of the voters said they like Obama as a person. Only 47 percent said they like Romney.
Romney can’t understand how people would like a guy who calls him “Romney Hood” and accuses him of wanting to steal from the poor and give to the rich. So on Tuesday, he lashed out, not just at Obama, but at his hometown.
“He demonizes some. He panders to others. His campaign strategy is to smash America apart and then cobble together 51 percent of the pieces. If an American president wins that way, we all lose,” Romney said in Chillicothe, Ohio. “So, Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago, and let us get about rebuilding and reuniting America.”
That’s right. Obama can’t be a likable guy because he’s from Chicago, America’s capital of dirty politics and gangland murders. A divisive, angry, hateful place.
Last month, Romney told Fox and Friends that, “the president had only one thing going and that is constant attacks on me. They’re dishonest, they’re misdirected and I think the American people recognize that kind of politics is something of the past. It may work in Chicago, but it’s not going to work across America.”
Personal attacks on politicians were not invented in Chicago. They don’t work any better here than they work anywhere else. But along with the honor of being the president’s hometown comes the opprobrium of his enemies. In another poll, Illinois was named the second least-popular state (after California) due to Republicans’ enmity toward Obama. This year, Chicago will be demonized more than in any political season since 1968, when Mayor Richard J. Daley’s cops beat up protestors outside the Democratic National Convention.
Bill Brady tried to base his campaign for governor on attacking Chicago. It didn’t work for him. It won’t work for Romney.
This month, Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland’s Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President will be available on Kindle for $2.99. Tracing Obama’s career in Chicago from his arrival as a community organizer to his election to the U.S. Senate, Young Mr. Obama tells the story of how a callow, presumptuous young man became a master politician, and of why only Chicago could have produced our first black president.