On thing Team Obama seems to have a clear memory of is the primary hammering it took from Hillary in the Rust Belt. If you recall, the Clinton campaign had a field day pigeonholing Obama as an Ivy League, pointy-headed elitist while she was busy aligning herself with the hard hats. (Remember how she also made him pay for the comment he made (at a private event in California) about ‘bitter people in small towns clinging to guns or religion.’)
What is probably still ringing in the ears of Axelrod and Plouffe is the litmus at the time: who would you rather have a beer with? The leafy characterization on the Newsweek cover took their man downtown on that one.
You might also remember a photo-op in an Indiana bar in which Clinton one-upped Obama, still tentative around the brew, by joining locals in graduating to whiskey shots.
That said, what a difference four years (and a couple of blue collar routs) make.
Not that Romney is much of a threat when it comes to the Beer Olympics, but Obama 2012 (running through the Clinton playbook) is leaving nothing to chance. I mean, if you didn’t know he was the President of the United States and you saw these pics from the unannounced stop at Ziggy’s Pub in Amherst, Ohio, you would think he was just folks, right? Certainly, the way he shares a toast with his toasty-looking pal, then chats up the blonde like he’s putting on the moves, all trace of arugula is long gone.
(photo 1, 2 & 5: Jim Watson/AFP/GettyImages caption 1: US President Barack Obama (C) toast with a bar patron at Ziggy’s Pub and Restaurant Amherst, Ohio, July 5, 2012, during an unannounced visit while on a bus tour of Ohio and Pennslyvania. photo 3: AP.)