Politico's Jonathan Allen thinks Republicans have emerged from their convention with a subtle but potentially game-changing strategy that he sums up in one word: "disappointment." That's the label they want to lay on President Obama, especially with independent voters. Instead of bellicose attacks on policy, the new message boils down to something like: Barack Obama is a decent guy, but he's a lousy president who has fallen way short of the hype of 2008.
Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio were especially effective, writes Allen, citing Ryan's line that "college graduates should not have to live out their twenties in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life." Expect to hear more of the same in the final stretch, and no matter what Obama advisers say publicly, the charge that he is "not the man America fell in love with in 2008" strikes genuine fear through his campaign headquarters. Read the full story here. (The strategy sounds much like the one Karl Rove was advocating in his supposedly secret Super PAC meeting.)