The Obama presidential campaign seems to be concluding that they lost in Ohio, and kinda sorta in Texas, because negative works. So, they can’t be patsies anymore, and must also go nuclear!
I’d argue this is the real lesson of Ohio: Obama lost because they responded to negative, and susequently let Senator Clinton frame the debate on her issues. In the process, they surrendered the approach that had won them 26 of 37 primaries. The Audacity of Hope became the Paucity of Hope.
But Obama has a completely different campaign to run than Clinton, and the old lessons don’t work here. The Obama staff are like old generals going back to the arsenals they’ve used in past wars. But they don’t seem to understand how different this candidate’s appeal is.
If Obama’s campaign goes nuclear, they risk surrendering Obama’s unique base appeal. You can’t go negative with a candidate whose central premise is a break from the negative. You can’t go whiney and victimy with a candidate whose central premise is optimism and hope. You can’t make a case against an opponent’s tired, failed and divisive approach by taking the same approach.