Years ago I read of a political dirty trick — I thought it from Heinlein, but cannot find it in a quick search. The trick is to find something legit but unpopular your opponent paid or subsidized. Take for example: paid $1,000 for a couple of nights at a political conference in Las Vegas.
You bring it up, but you shift the decimal in the claim. “My opponent spent $10,000 for trip to Las Vegas for a ‘political conference’.” [and make sure you get the bit of skepticism in the voice]
Your opponent will deny the amount. He attacks the number, but in the process repeats and locks in the mind the associated trip to Las Vegas; the underlying event with which people are unhappy.
There is a great deal of press from Republican supporters over Obama’s involvement in the bin Laden attack. They’re concentrating on just how much involvement Obama had. In the process they’re repeating the model’s error: they’re reinforcing the fact that bin Laden was killed under Obama’s watch. Nobody really buys that the government works against the orders of the president — if they did we’d be seeing a lot more panic about a rogue military.
In the end it isn’t huge. It is, however, an error on the part of the republicans. The best thing would have been to drop it and concentrate on Obama’s flaws.
If this is the game that continues, Romney is in trouble. There’s a limit as to how many errors you can overcome.