Why, Republicans made him do it, don’t you see, by lying about him.
But all that nastiness wasn’t really comfortable for Obama, don’t you see, and so his heart wasn’t in it:
The key to understanding the Obama enigma of 2012, according to more than a dozen Obama associates interviewed by POLITICO during the campaign, is that the president enthusiastically approved the message of relentless attacks against Mitt Romney. But until the last week of the campaign — when optimism made a major comeback — Obama executed it mirthlessly and mechanically, at times reinforcing the “meh” vibe of his supportive but uninspired base.
Obama’s pollster, Joel Benenson, told him early on that hope and change couldn’t be recycled in a country enduring three years of grim recovery, and the campaign’s highly effective June and July anti-Romney blitz in battlegrounds was brutally effective. But the attack-first, hope-second strategy never quite suited Obama personally — in fact, it seemed to directly contradict his transformational, upbeat brand…
Obama officials say their boss had no choice but to run the campaign he did, given Romney’s fact-challenged attacks on Obama’s record.
Unfortunately this divisive nastiness that was forced on Obama will make it harder for him, if he wins (perish the thought), to be the reach-across-the-aisle transformational healer he would so like to be, if those Republicans hadn’t forced him into the opposite:
“I get why he had to do what he did. It was smart politically. But he’s become the embodiment of the partisanship he once decried,” said The New York Times’s David Brooks…
It’s so sad, isn’t it? Poor guy. Reminds me of how the Republicans forced Obama to go back on his public campaign financing pledge in 2008.