Politico points out today how the Obama 2012 machine has been thrilled with Rick Perry’s attacks on Mitt Romney, occasionally piling on to wound the erstwhile Massachusetts governor. The reasoning goes that Perry (or anyone else from the GOP field) would be easier for the President to beat in the general election.
That may sound familiar. In 2008, with their own nomination pretty much decided, some Republicans went to the polls in late primary states intending to affect the Democratic ballot. In Texas, a vote for then-candidate Obama was a way to put the final nail in the coffin for the Clinton Era. In Virginia, some Republicans insisted on voting for Obama to encourage the Democrats to nominate an inexperienced, first-term Senator as their nominee.
Whether as part of an “Anybody But Hillary” movement or whether they believed that Obama was the weaker candidate, would those Republicans vote the same way if they could go for a spin in Doc Brown’s DeLorean? If they had a hot tub time machine, do you think the 2007 Patriots would have rooted a bit harder for the talented-on-paper Packers or the Cowboys to come out of the NFC for Superbowl 42?
Similarly, Team Obama may think Rick Perry, with his low poll numbers and early campaign missteps, would be a more attractive opponent in November 2012. It certainly looks like that match up would favor the President prohibitively – and the President looks good up against any of the other GOP hopefuls, too. It isn’t even November of 2011 yet, though – and a year is a long time.