phlip wrote:I dunno, there is a mindset many people have, where when an outsider criticises one of us and ours, we get defensive. I know I do it sometimes, along with much of the Internet, when someone outside attacks nerd culture, or gaming, or the like. Could be that being pilloried by the UK press will help Romney more than it will hurt him, among the more nationalistic parts of his base.
I'm not saying he went in with that being Plan A, that wouldn't be particularly clever, but still...
Well the problem here is that the issue isn't so much that the British press didn't receive him warmly, it's that he failed to appear like a statesman in waiting. He essentially antagonized relations with the leadership that he was there to meet, even if everyone will still play the game of not being unkind to him. That part of his visit leaves the question of "Which of our allies will he alienate next?". It makes him appear completely unprepared for diplomacy on a global scale when he's unable to think through minor remarks to the point that they make such a ruckus with the people he's visiting.
phlip wrote:As I understand it, what with voting being optional in the States, campaigning is less about convincing the middle ground to swing your way, as it is about convincing the people already swung your way to actually go to the polls... which changes the dynamic somewhat.
That's more of a factor in midterm elections when voter turnout goes down. For presidential elections, turning out the base is still hugely significant, but a lot of important and smaller swing states are more heavily independent. There are also different extents of your base -- people who are ultranationalist and think Obama is a muslim are almost certain to turnout to vote for Romney anyway, he doesn't need to do more work to get them to the polls. A deeply christian voter that has doubts about mormanism but also dislikes Obama's stance on gay marriage -- that's someone that if they vote is a lock for a Romney vote, but he needs to convince them to vote. Similar to the latter for Obama is most minority voters -- if he can get them to polls, he has their vote, but he needs them there first. When they say they need to turn out the base, those are the types of voters they're going after.