With no solid line of attack going into 2012, the Republicans are forced to launch old and antiquated lines of attack against President Obama. With Vice President Joe Biden’s alleged comment at the end of the debt ceiling drama likening negotiating with the Tea Party Republicans to “negotiating with terrorists,” former half-term governor Sarah Palin responded by saying that there’s no way the Tea Party are real domestic terrorists because if they were, “President Obama would be wanting to pal around with us, wouldn’t he?”

How retro of Sarah Palin! “He didn’t have a problem palling around with Bill Ayers back in the day when he kicked off his political career,” she added, clearly thinking that she was still in the closing weeks of the 2008 presidential campaign.

Palin famously attacked then candidate Obama for his relationship with his former colleague at the University of Chicago and an infamous 60s radical, Bill Ayers. Unfortunately for Palin and the rest of the GOP it’s not 2008 and President Obama has proved through health care reform all the way to the debt ceiling that he is resilient to their constant barrage of attacks, past and present. Nothing seems to stick to this Teflon president.

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The current slate of Republican presidential primary candidates (official and undeclared) is stumbling trying to find an attack line that sticks to the Obama administration. Palin seems increasingly out of touch with the rest of the GOP because Republicans have themselves admitted holding the debt ceiling as a “hostage.”

After the debt ceiling fight ended Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,” he said. “Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done.”

Palin’s rebuttal and McConnell’s comments are evidence of a Republican party uncharacteristically out of sync without their talking points in lock step. Neither comment seems to be fazing the president who already pivoted to jobs and campaign fundraising in Chicago to celebrate his 50th birthday.

The weakest area for President Obama is definitely the economy and current frontrunner Mitt Romney has released several campaign videos where he shows abandoned factories, storefronts and city streets to highlight the dismal economy.
However, Romney is having a serious problem escaping his own poor record on jobs during his tenure as Governor of Massachusets. Romney’s attacks the president on the economy but continues to have the light reflected back on his own history.

Romney’s line of attack is failing to stick because polls consistently show voters still put the majority of blame for the economy on the Bush administration. They want Obama to perform better and get Americans back to work but voters realize whose policies caused them to be laid off en masse.

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Another Republican presidential hopeful Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is attacking President Obama on the economy in her latest web video claiming that the president has “driven our economy into a ditch” which is ironically a take off of the president’s favorite riff about congressional Republicans last fall.

The bottom line is that the challengers continue their relentless attacks on the Obama administration’s core weakness — the lagging economic recovery. The problem with Bachmann’s claim is that she is also championing her vote against raising the nation’s debt ceiling, a position which would have resulted in a global economic catastrophe. It remains to be seen if voters beyond the staunchly conservative base in Iowa will buy Bachmann’s latest attack on the Obama administration.

Month-after-month the unemployment rate jumps and nation is shedding thousands of jobs. Voters are frustrated yet still seem able to identify the origin of the problem. It’s only a matter of time before President Obama’s vulnerability on the economy will allow his potential challengers to mount an attack that sticks.

With nothing working, Republicans have now been forced to recycle played out attack lines from the last presidential cycle but it’s clear the unemployed no longer care about anyone named Bill Ayers unless he’s hiring.