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Eric Zuesse Headshot

Does Obama Really Want Romney to Win?

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Why are undecided voters finally deciding now, overwhelmingly for Romney? Obama is convincing them that Romney isn't as scary as they had feared Romney to be.

Obama's campaign strategy in the final days is portraying Romney as a flip-flopper, which is exactly Romney's appeal in the minds of undecided voters, who had been afraid of the far-right Romney and are thus now relieved to learn that he's really nothing at all. Previously, they couldn't choose between a failed President Obama and a scary far-right President Romney. But now, Obama is telling these undecideds that Romney is just an empty suit, no real right-wing politician. So, independents are finally deciding whom to vote for: It's Romney, of course, because they prefer an empty suit to Obama. (They think an empty suit will be open-minded once in the White House; this doesn't scare them at all.)

If Obama were trying to win, and were intelligent, he'd instead be scaring the living daylights out of the few remaining undecided voters. For example, he'd be running an ad with Romney telling CNN's John King that FEMA should be defunded: "We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids."

At a Republican candidates' debate, on 13 June 2011, John King asked Romney, "FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] is about to run out of money. ... How do you deal with something like that?" Romney said: "Send it back to the states," because of "the federal budget," and because FEMA is something "we've got to stop" spending federal money on. Romney said: "We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral. ... It makes no sense at all." There was no follow-up, and the Republican audience expressed no shock at such a comment. But today's undecided voters would be shocked, if only they knew about it.

Romney has said and done lots of such far-right things. If Obama were intelligent and wanted to win, he'd be telling the public about them, not saying that Romney has no beliefs.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.