On Thursday, President Obama delivered a message of support to Planned Parenthood, highlighting the vital role it plays in providing health care services to millions of women and vowing to fight back against Republican efforts to destroy the organization. Obviously the substance of his message as it relates women’s health care is the most important aspect of the video, but from a political communications perspective this passage seems noteworthy:
So when some professional politicians casually say that they’ll “get rid of” Planned Parenthood, don’t forget what they’re really talking about: Eliminating the funding for preventive care that millions of women rely on, and leaving them to fend for themselves.
The “professional politician” to which President Obama is referring is of course Mitt Romney … who very much likes to define himself as anything but a politician. He likes to call himself a “conservative businessman,” whatever the hell that is. But Romney is a professional politician. His dad was a governor who ran for president, and Romney first ran for office nearly 30 years ago. Sure, he lost, but nobody every accused Romney of being good at politics.
Again, the most important thing here is that President Obama is fighting for Planned Parenthood and against the Republican war on women. But he’s also sending a message that Mitt Romney won’t simply be able to define himself. During the primary, Mitt Romney might have been able to treat his candidacy like an Etch-A-Sketch, but that strategy won’t work in the general.