Slinging muck fraught with risk for both presidential campaigns, Grayson says

08/20/2012 07:16 AM

Newspaper columnists , editorials and the pundits on the Sunday talk show circuit are all abuzz about the harsh, uninspiring tone of the presidential race.

Trey Grayson, former Kentucky Secretary of State and now the director of the Harvard Institute of Politics, said in an interview Friday that President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney going after each other can fire up their respective bases. Grayson made a similar point to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

But he said it could have a far more damaging long-term effect for each of them. For Obama, it could erase the image he forged four years ago.

“It really does call into question, what is the Obama brand? And if the brand that helped him get elected in ’08 isn’t working in ’12, it has a risk for him,” Grayson said (3:45).

And Grayson said Romney already is viewed as “a rich guy” who needed more powerful policy chops. Hence the pick of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate. But if the conversation never gets back to issues, that move is moot, he said.

Grayson started by outlining three factors that have turned the presidential race into a a nasty mess (0:30).


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.