Heilemann: Obama's 'Hope' in 2008 to be Replaced by 'Fear' of Republicans in 2012

Forget about 2008's "Hope and Change" mantra.

New York magazine's John Heilemann said on this weekend's "Chris Matthews Show" Barack Obama's message in 2012 will all be about "fear" of the Republican candidate, and the President will spend $500 million on negative attack ads against his opponent to instill it (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JOHN HEILEMANN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: To me the core difference between 2008 and 2012 is going to be politics of hope which we saw in 2008 versus the politics of fear in 2012. They won't call it that, but so much of this campaign in terms of driving turnout among all of these groups to be about making the Republican alternative totally unacceptable. And they are going to have a billion dollars. You are going to see a negative, an onslaught of negative advertising we’ve never seen anything like. We’ve never seen anything…

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: You just split the story. If the story is hope for Obama, how does he build that by trashing his opponents?

HEILEMANN: No, now it's fear this time. 2012 it's fear of the alternative. And it's $500 million of negative ads [Laughs] run against Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman or Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry?

MATTHEWS: Does the public want to see that, the President of the United States trashing his opponent?

HEILEMANN: The public may not want to see it, but they’re going to get it, and in the past even though they say they don't want to see it, it has worked in the past, just not on this scale.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN: It’s a very old Democratic campaign running against Republican extremists.

Interesting how the co-author of the book about the 2008 presidential campaign "Game Change" thinks it's funny the current White House resident is going to spend $500 million next year attacking his opponent.

Remember when liberal media members thought there was too much money in politics and reducing campaign contributions would be a good thing for the nation?

I guess money is only bad when it's going to the GOP.

As for "Republican extremism," heaven help us when low taxes, a balanced budget, and solving the looming crises of Medicare and Social Security are considered extreme.

2012 Presidential 2008 Presidential New York Magazine CNN The Chris Matthews Show NBC John Heilemann Michele Bachmann
Noel Sheppard's picture

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