Behind the Ad: Yes, President Obama is very cool
Who: American Crossroads, a conservative PAC
What's going on: American Crossroads, Karl Rove's conservative PAC, is very proud of a new ad that many on the right think is one of the most clever things they have ever seen. I'm not so sure.
The basic idea is to attempt to use President Obama's strength against him. To admit that, yes, he is very cool, but does that mean he's the best person to be president? The implication as well is that Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, is dull as dishwater, but that this should not matter.
Cool equals incompetent. Dull equals competent.
I get the basic premise, I just don't know if it works.
Donald Trump, with whom I am not in the habit of agreeing, said on Morning Joe that he thought the ad was a Democratic ad, and that it was terrible for the Republicans. I at least have to admit that Trump knows a thing or two about marketing so I am inclined to listen when he speaks.
Yes, the ad ends with all the bad economic news we have been living with since George W. Bush put the economy in the ditch. Yes, it attempts to blame Obama for that. But, the argument that Obama hasn't fixed the economic mess the Republicans created quickly enough has never really been a very strong one, as far as I can tell.
As for the basic premise of the ad, which is that your opponent is cool, you are not, but vote for us anyway, I'm just not sure it works. I'm also not sure that most people think being cool implies being incompetent. There is no necessary correlation, unless you were one of those loser kids in high school who hated the cool kids who were also the high achievers, like Barack Obama.
At the most rudimentary level, maybe Karl Rove hasn't noticed that Americans really, really like celebrity. They real like cool. Thanks for reminding them, I guess.
(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)