In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Bill Clinton To Obama Camp: Paint Romney As Right-Wing Ideologue, Not Flip-Flopper


The passage from Lizza's New Yorker article:

Messina brought a PowerPoint slide show and briefed the former President on campaign strategy. At the time, the Obama team was alternating between two arguments about Romney. One presented him as an inveterate flip-flopper, the other as a right-wing ideologue who would return the country to a pre-New Deal dystopia. Clinton advised them to stick with the second argument. It would help with fund-raising, he said; liberal donors would be more motivated to fight a fierce conservative. If they defined Romney as a flip-flopper, undecided voters might think that he could return to his moderate roots once he was in office. "They tried to do this to me, the flip-flopper thing," Clinton said, according to someone in the room. "It just doesn't work." He told the Obama aides that voters never held the flip-flopper attacks against him because they felt that he would simply do what was right.

The piece details the changing relationship between the two presidents -- from the acrimony that developed during the 2008 campaign to their current friendship of convenience. Obama and his aides have come to rely on Clinton -- who will be a keynote speaker at the Democratic convention this week -- as a uniquely effective figure to make the case for re-electing the president to a second term.