Why the Optics Matter

After Obama’s address at Ohio State yesterday, we’re not off to a good start in terms of having a substantive presidential campaign, are we?

On Twitter on Saturday, campaign operatives jousted over the visuals of the Ohio rally.

“View from floor during @BarackObama speech. Not the “overflow” crowd he promised,” tweeted Romney spokesman Ryan Williams.

Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse fired back with a photo of Romney’s February economic speech in Detroit, where 1,200 people turned out for an event in a stadium that seats 65,000.

On the one hand, it’s all a bit excruciating. On the other, it’s a telling sign of the GOP strategy: Argue that Obama’s magic is gone, that his glory days are over. He’s just another politician now. Cut him down to size: That’s how the GOP plans on competing against an incumbent who is a lot more likable than their guy.

Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a former opinion writer for The Boston Globe and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. He is currently a master's student at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Policy. Follow him on Twitter at @jessesingal.