For the curious, the “Character Matters” anti-Obama ad campaign can be reviewed here.
I don’t find it all that shocking; Obama’s been called worse than a “metrosexual black Abe Lincoln.” It’s not surprising that the campaign goes after Obama’s pastor, religion and race; we know how Jeremiah Wright inflames Obama-haters. Nor am I surprised this kind of stuff is being shopped around; more than a billion dollars will be spent on this election. There are plenty of folks in the political consulting industry vying for a piece of that action, and more than a few multi-millionaires at both ends of the political spectrum that may be tempted to bankroll a super PAC campaign.
I’m a bit surprised at how quickly Ricketts and Romney rejected this campaign, but I won’t be surprised if some version of it gets funded.
And I expect it will happen on the other side. Reading the proposal for the anti-Obama campaign, I found myself imaging a pitch some liberal consultant might pitch to say, a mega-millionaire in the entertainment industry — Jeffrey Katzenberg or George Clooney or someone like that:
“Listen man, we’ve got a chance not just to scuff up the Republican nominee. We can hurt him while also paying back the guys who bankrolled Question 8: the Mormon Church.
“We can’t do the Rev. Wright thing, since non-Mormons aren’t allowed in their services, so there’s no footage of some Mormon bishop saying something outrageous we can take out of context. But we can use that mystery against them, showing footage of locked doors and huge temples, with scary organ music. We can use old photos of Mormon polygamists and their many wives. Don’t know if we can get pix of Mitt’s great-grandfather — you know how many wives he had? — but we’ll find a sepia-toned pic that will be sufficient.
“The great thing is that Mitt didn’t just sit in the congregation for 20 years like Obama did. He was a bishop in the Mormon church, even a “stake president,” which is even bigger than a bishop. Did Romney help make policy? Did he have anything to do with the Mormons’ decision to baptize Jewish Holocaust victims? Romney won’t discuss such stuff — there’s that Mormon mystery theme again — so we can insinuate anything we want.
“Rev. Wright never had any authority outside his congregation or outside Chicago — there’s no hierarchy in the Congregational Church — but the Mormons are a worldwide organization, with gazillions of dollars and business and political interests that go far beyond Salt Lake City. Flash to impressive buildings around the world and scary pictures of Mormon elders. We can raise questions about how the church spends money on politics. We know it spent tons to get Question 8 passed. How much will they spend to get Romney elected? What will they want from him as president?
“Can America afford to find out? Is America ready for — try this for a tagline — its first non-Christian president?
“What do you say, Mr. Rich Liberal? A million now and we can start production tomorrow.”