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      05-15-2012, 03:05 PM   #1
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Bad week for Barry

By: Mike Flynn

It's only Tuesday, but it has already been a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad week for the Obama campaign. Saddled with increasingly bad economic data, the campaign has been doggedly trying to change the subject to anything other than jobs and deficits. We've been treated to a mythical GOP "war on women", a "debate" on birth control, a "road to Damascus" moment on gay marriage, an "expose" of Romney "bullying" in high school, and the burning question of who is a better pet owner. Unfortunately for Obama and his allies in the media, none of it is working.

Yesterday's CBS/NYT poll makes it very clear that voters care about only one thing: The Economy. The only other issues that registers in the double-digits? Government spending and deficits--not exactly a winning issue for Obama. Not only do voters not care about the social issues Obama and the media are fixated on, there are signs that focus is backfiring. The biggest shift in voter sentiment in the CBS poll was among women, who, in just one month, shifted their support from Obama to Romney. In April, Obama had led Romney by six points among women. Today, women prefer Romney by two points.

More troubling for the White House is that 67% of registered voters believe his "conversion" on gay marriage, which sent coastal hearts aflutter, was based solely on politics, rather than any personal conviction. This is damning for a politicians whose meteoric rise was based largely on his being "above" politics. It is an Exocet missile to his entire political narrative.

All that said, it's what the Obama campaign tried to do proactively yesterday that convinces me they are in full panic.

Yesterday, the Obama campaign tried to attack Romney's business experience with an ad focusing on steelworkers who lost their job when their company, GST Steel, went bankrupt. GST Steel was controlled by Romney's former firm, Bain Capital. The story of GST Steel has already been told at least twice; by Ted Kennedy in 1994 and Newt Gingrich in this year's primary. Every time, it has been pointed out that the bankruptcy occurred two years AFTER Romney left Bain Capital. So, as hits go, its pretty weak stuff.

It was the opening salvo in what is expected to be a sustained attack on Romney's experience in private equity. So, what did Obama do after he launched this attack on private equity? He, of course, jetted to New York for a fundraiser with private equity traders. Natch!