Inside the Beltway: Obama campaign’s ‘damn cool’ contest

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It could be a first in the annals of excruciating politics: the Obama campaign has used the word “damn” in a voter outreach. On the scale of offensive public language, it doesn’t rank up there, say, with an “F-bomb.” But still. It is a breech of civility, and perhaps a journey into casual familiarity that is unbecoming of a presidential campaign. And the exact phraseology? Here it is:

“It’s safe to say this campaign has run a lot of contests. But even I think this convention contest is pretty damn cool,” said Ann Marie Habershaw, CEO of Obama for America, in the opening lines of a fundraising email Sunday that boasts a face-to-face meeting with President Obama and a seat with first lady Michelle Obama during the Democratic National Convention.

In contrast, this is how Mitt Romney’s chief of staff Jeff Larson worded the first lines of a similar email outreach, also sent on Sunday: “The convention is just days away — and we are excited to watch Mitt accept the nomination in front of the entire party. Would you like to be there with us for that historic moment — when the confetti and balloons drop?”

THE BIG REVEAL

Stupendous, colossal, patriotic, aglow? Looks like it. The stage and podium for the 2012 Republican National Convention will be unveiled with great majesty on Monday morning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum by none other than Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and convention CEO William Harris.

It’s big doings for the event, which touts the theme “A better future” and opens in a mere seven days. There will be a press conference as stage and podium — stars in their own right — are put through their paces.

Journalists then get to scurry forward and do their on-camera stand-ups and/or snarky remarks from the mighty stage itself, which measures 60 feet wide and 40 feet deep. And will it glitter and reverberate with mighty words of mighty Republicans? You betcha.

Organizers also reveal that 200,000 pounds of lighting and audio equipment will do the job.

MINING THE POSSIBILITIES

Behold, here’s a politically charged cultural moment that could be repeated many times along the campaign trail: On Saturday, some 75 coal miners took to the stage during Mitt Romney’s appearance in Beallsville, Ohio, on Saturday. They wore overalls and work denims, their hardhats smudged with coal dust — and they were cheered by thousands of their own friends and relatives who had come to see the Republican presidential nominee in action.

The local press framed it as a “stunning” image from the Romney campaign.

“This election is his and Paul Ryan’s for the taking. They need to be bold and remind people of what we stand for, that we are the backbone of this country,” miner Tim Wales told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“Looks like Obama has lost the Reagan Democrats,” observes Glenn Reynolds, the “Instapundit” for Pajamas Media, referring to working-class Democratic voters with conservative takes on national security or immigration.

JUST A QUICK JAUNT

It’s robust campaigning that in another distant era would have been deemed “mind-boggling.” President Obama departs the nation’s capital Tuesday bound for Columbus, Ohio, then it’s on to Nevada for stops in Reno and Las Vegas and to New York City before his rapid return on Wednesday.

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