Tales from the Trail

The Obama campaign’s Friday morning silence

By Eric Johnson
May 4, 2012

President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign was relatively quiet early on Friday morning, marked by an absence of national media outreach and hits on presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The Chicago-based leviathan was indeed gearing up for the president’s first campaign rally in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, a campaign staffer said.

The silence stood in contrast to some deafening news: the jobless rate in April ticked a tenth of a point lower to 8.1 percent, as hiring slowed and people left the workforce — which Romney called a “disappointment” during an early morning CNN appearance — dampening hopes that strong winter hiring marked a crescendo in America‚Äôs recovery.

Ditto on a response to the international kerfuffle over blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, whom White House critics and human rights groups say may have been persuaded to leave his protective shelter at the U.S. embassy in Beijing so that high-level U.S.-China talks could go more smoothly.

The incident “deeply embarrassed the White House and threatens to sour relations with Beijing,” according to the lede in an article in the New York Times. China said on Friday that Guangcheng, who the U.S. State Department said has been offered a fellowship from an American university, could apply to study abroad.

Issue resolved?

Yesterday, the campaign introduced voters to a now viral Internet slideshow showing how President Obama’s policies help one composite woman — Julia – over her lifetime, and reporters received a PDF memo hitting former Massachusetts Governor Romney for putting “women’s economic security at risk.” Republicans took to Twitter saying the campaign focused on Julia’s government dependency and the Republican National Committee sent out an email blast titled: “The Big Fail: #Julia Needs A Job.”

The stream of morning outreach has proliferated since the campaign rounded the corner toward the general election, which the White House insists starts officially on Saturday with Obama’s visits to the swing states of Ohio and Virginia.

“Even though he’s been campaigning on the taxpayers dime for more than a year now, President Obama will bring his message of “Hype and Blame” to more battleground states,” an email from the RNC said on Friday.

Photo credit: President Barack Obama walks up to the stage before he speaks to students and parents about the rising costs of education at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia, May 4, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

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