BARTLET They told you to make sure you didn’t seem condescending, right? They told you, “First, do no harm,” and in your case that means don’t appear condescending, and you bought it. ’Cause for the American right, condescension is the worst crime you can commit.
OBAMA What’s your suggestion?
BARTLET Appear condescending. Now it comes naturally to me —It's not that he needs to act like he's better than Romney. He needs to make it clear he has better (even if only marginally) policies and some allegiance to truth and reality. Obama needs to call out and shame Romney when he catches him in a lie. Rub Romney's nose in it like he peed the damned rug.*
It is evident he will be a better President than Romney. Obama is no progressive, but he's closer than Romney is and, unfortunately, we are presented with two evils, the lesser of which we should prefer.
* I'm told rubbing a puppy's nose in a pee stain is not an effective housebreaking method and teaches the puppy the wrong lesson about urinating -- not to do it ever. This should by no means deter an honest man from running a liar's face in its own, figurative, pee. The wrong lesson for puppies is absolutely the right lesson for Presidential candidates: when it comes to lying, don't do it.