For the last year, we’ve watched all the hand-wringing from Republican insiders in Washington. Fresh off a whipping in 2008, they were all scared to take on the President in a campaign. “Attack Pelosi and Reid,” we heard so many say. “Don’t make this a referendum on the President, make it about his policies.”
Outside the Beltway, Tea Parties were taking the President on directly, and with wins in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts — well-run campaigns, each of which tapped into the grassroots angst and anger — we started to see some cracks in the Obama veneer.
Still, it has seemed at times that the Republican establishment in Washington was, how to put this nicely … cowed.
They’d all beat up on the President’s policies on talk radio and cable news, but when it came time to put money behind it — i.e. campaign advertising — there was a reticence to take on The One.
As of last night that changed. Why? Well, it seems it takes a woman to man up to Obama. The President is on the road in Colorado today to do three fundraisers for his loyal ally, appointed Senator Michael Bennet. When Air Force One touches down, he’ll be greeted by TV ads from GOP Senate candidate Jane Norton that lay down a pretty tough message. Norton, talking straight to the camera, calls the President out, reciting back a line from his 2008 convention speech in, appropriately enough, Denver. Obama said then that he promised to “go through the federal budget line by line eliminating programs that no longer work.” We all know what happened to that promise, and Norton holds his feet to the fire. “You should balance the budget or decline to seek re-election,” she says. Not much nuance there, huh?
It’s the first time that a major statewide Republican candidate has directly taken Obama on. And in a state that he carried handily — one of those “red to blue” states that were supposed to herald a new era of Democratic governance.
I can think of a few reasons why it’s a woman who is the first to politically take on this President head-on — and kudos to Norton for doing it. People will say that people will be more willing to accept the message from a woman than from a man. That Norton’s personality makes it possible for her to be this aggressive on the campaign trail.
But I think there is something bigger going on here. Eight years ago, after 9/11 people talked about how all those “Soccer Moms” were becoming “Security Moms.”
And these slightly more independent women voters were inclined to go with the candidate who would make their families safer.
Well, I think all those “Security Moms”– watching the man who promised them a more fiscally responsible government, who ran up enough debt to saddle our children and grandchildren with historic levels, and who has failed to make our nation safer and more respected around the world — are now “Accountability Moms.”
The “Accountability Moms” want results. We want fiscal discipline and soundness. We want security for our children, with the economy and against enemies foreign and domestic. We want and strength and safety, so that when our sons and daughters go to war, it is for good reason and with good resources to fulfill the mission.
We’ve had it with promises. We want action with forethought, and in the great tradition of America’s values and principles set forth by our Constitution. And beyond that, we can handle our own lives and those of our families.
Who’s with me?