New Hampshire was no surprise, really. I couldn’t really get inspired to write about results we all knew were coming. It was obvious that Romney would win and pretty obvious that Paul and Huntsman would could in behind him. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted different results, but I am not too disappointed because coming in the top three ensures Huntsman will stay in and put up a good fight.
This post, though, is about this particular primary process. The Republicans are doing the same thing here that they did in 2008. Which was okay then, because there was no incumbent in the race. But, the Republicans are facing a Democratic incumbent for the presidency. The “throw candidates at the wall and see what sticks” strategy is a very poor one.
Here’s the reason why: The Democratic candidates were attacking each other at the same time Republicans candidates were. No one was really going in unscathed. This time around, however, Obama has no one (serious) challenging him. He’s going through with ease while the Republicans decimate themselves. They are also giving Obama plenty of ammo to use.
Near the end of the Han Dynasty in China, early third century, a now-famous strategist was tasked with crafting 100,000 arrows for an army. He took a small fleet of straw-covered boats in the middle of a foggy night and moved the little fleet down the river toward the enemy fleet. With war drums beating, the small fleet attracted the attention of the enemy, who in turn fired volley upon volley of arrows at the boats, unable to see in the fog that the “troops” they were firing at were straw men.
Because the boats were covered in straw, and the troops on the small boats were hiding safely in the cabins, the arrows stuck to the boat without dulling or breaking the tips. The strategist got the troops to thank their enemy for the arrows before turning around and going home. The arrows they brought home numbered in the hundreds of thousands.
This is exactly what the Obama camp is doing now. The Republican candidates are going to be so busy with each other, that Obama will ultimately take very little in the way of attacks, allowing him to keep his campaigning to a minimum and save money, as well as stay clean in the mud flinging.
If things don’t change, he will become very difficult to defeat this Fall.