Like their focus on whether or not President Barack Obama was born in the United States, those Republican operatives who are once again focused on his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright are wrong.
Certainly there are important things to be said in both cases but there is little new to add, despite what some people are now arguing. It is highly unlikely that enough people who voted for Obama in 2008 will change their vote in 2012 based on either of these issues. During the last election they might not have been analyzed with the level of detail some would have liked, but they are not, today, the most important issues facing the country.
It is important for the GOP, if they want to win, to spend a lot of time talking about who Obama really is. That doesn't mean delving into his past looking for secrets and silver bullets. His record as president provides plenty of ammunition with which to wage that particular battle.
Obama is the president who tried to nationalize the U.S. healthcare system, making it more expensive for everyone in a way that will almost inevitably lead to rationing. Obama is the president who promised he wouldn't raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 per year but did anyway—and who wants to raise them again. Obama is the president who promised his massive stimulus spending package would keep unemployment below 8 percent but under whom it actually went over 10 percent. Obama is the president on whose watch almost 30 years of job creation evaporated, with the labor force now being the smallest it has been since 1981. And that's only the beginning of a very, very long list.
Rather than looking for the "knock out punch" the Republicans need to plan for a long fight, one in which lots of jabs are traded. They need to fight like Muhammad Ali against George Foreman, not Mike Tyson against just about everybody. They have to have a plan to go the distance.