Anyway, here’s this New York Times story now. It’s by Helene Cooper. “Now that Mitt Romney has squeaked through with the narrowest of victories in the Iowa caucuses, President Obama and his campaign aides are facing a conundrum as they decide how to tarnish the man they see as their likely opponent in the battle ahead. Do they go the flip-flopper route? Or do they go the out-of-touch, protector-of-Wall-Street route? The two tactics are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and in fact, the president’s re-election proponents have in recent days been gleefully highlighting both aspects of Mr. Romney’s public persona.

“In one portrayal, he is the one-percenter Wall Street type — witness the Democrats’ display in Iowa this past weekend of a worker who was laid off from a company that was restructured by Bain Capital on Mr. Romney’s watch. That portrait makes him out to be a conservative ideologue. The other picture paints him as the weathervane-watcher who was for Roe versus Wade before he was against it; who said he believed that humans contributed to global warming before he said that actually he was not so sure about that; and who said he was glad Mr. Obama was ‘copying’ parts of his Massachusetts health reform before he said he would seek repeal of the federal health-care overhaul. ‘Yesterday, Mitt predicted victory. Today, he says 3d would be fine. He can’t even stick to the same position on THAT!’ an Obama adviser, David Axelrod, said on Twitter on Tuesday.”

So the New York Times says Obama’s licking his chops, can’t wait to go up against Romney, and here’s a pull-quote from the story. “It is a high-wire rope to walk — accenting the more conservative parts of Mr. Romney’s record, while at the same time arguing that he is a politician who is more than willing to shift ground as the ground shifts. There are signs that the Romney-as-ultra-conservative narrative seems to be gaining favor within the Obama campaign.” Now I think this story is fascinating because it is jumping the gun. The presumption here is that Romney’s the nominee, which tells me — and I can’t tell you how many of the professionals and the consultants have told me, not directly, but they’ve let it be known that they think I’m full of garbage when I’ve said the White House wants Romney. I have said for months that I think the White House wants Romney for both of these reasons.

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