Friday, July 13, 2012
Is it smart PR to call the President of the United States a liar, or is it a gaffe even though the charge is true? Mitt Romney has released an ad that accuses the President of lying about him and about Hillary Clinton when she ran for the nomination four years ago. Romney has third-party support -- the Washington Post and Hillary's own testimony. But, is it smart to do that? Tough question. Those who like the President will be offended. Those who don't will have added evidence for their distaste. It is the large undecided middle that will judge whether the ad and contention have merit or not. There is no room to temper claims. The ad forces a binary choice -- either he is or he isn't a prevaricator. On the other hand, there is a feeling of disgust about down-and-dirty campaigning -- from both sides. It isn't new, of course. Dirty campaigns have been the practice since the beginning of the country and our forefathers engaged in them. Why? Because they work at least to some extent and every vote counts. Political spinmeisters are cynical pragmatists with strong stomachs. It is hard to justify their existence.