When Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign plane headed east from Iowa to New Hampshire on Friday, he might have been tempted to look out the window for his White House rival.
President Barack Obama, it turns out, was on a similar flight to and from the same states — albeit in the opposite direction.
The president, after attending a rally in New Hampshire with First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill, took Air Force One to Iowa, even as Romney jetted toward New Hampshire to attend a similar event some 40 miles (64 kilometers) from Obama’s stop in the Granite State.
Welcome to the 2012 cat-and-mouse campaign, where bracketing — the tactic of scheduling campaign or press events after an opponent’s appearance in order to dilute the rival’s message — has become the norm in an increasingly tight race.
The strategy was used in abundance on campaign bus tours and at the recent party national conventions, such as when Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus headed to Charlotte, North Carolina this week to check in on the Democrats and host daily press briefings a stone’s throw from their convention.
Biden had planned to do the same to Republicans in Tampa, Florida the week before, although his plans were scuppered by an approaching tropical storm.
The tactic had rarely been used by the chief protagonists in the 2012 race before Friday, when Obama and Romney could figuratively wave to each other in the skies over the Midwest.
But it shows how their campaigns are increasingly honing in on a handful of battleground states, any of which could determine the election outcome on November 6.
Experts say there are about 10 key swing states, including Florida, Ohio and Virginia, where both candidates have spent considerable time.
Obama heads to St. Petersburg, Florida, later Friday. Romney was in the state last weekend, days after attending the Republican convention in Tampa.
On Saturday he attends a NASCAR race and a rally in Virginia, the same state where Obama campaigned on Tuesday.
They are also making stops in smaller but still-vital swing states such as Colorado, Iowa and Nevada, courting independent or undecided voters where the race is seen as too close to call.
Here are 7 wild, bizarre and pathetic moments from Trump’s ‘campaign launch’
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally that was billed as the official launch his re-election campaign — though he has never really stopped holding campaign rallies.
As expected, the president ranted, lied, and engaged in the raucous attacks that are central to his connection with Republican voters. Some of it was actually just sad, such as his continued obsession with Hillary Clinton.
Here are seven of the wildest, disturbing and pathetic moments from the rally:
1. He said Democrats "want to destroy our country as we know it."
Trump casually accuses Democrats of "want[ing] to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it." pic.twitter.com/4K79KlbEeR
British PM candidates clash over Brexit as Boris Johnson skips debate
Candidates to become Britain's next prime minister clashed over Brexit strategy at their first debate on Sunday but the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, dodged the confrontation.
The 90-minute debate on Channel 4 featured the five remaining candidates and an empty podium for Johnson, the gaffe-prone former foreign secretary and former mayor of London.
In sometimes ill-tempered exchanges, four of the five candidates said they would seek to renegotiate the draft Brexit divorce deal agreed with Brussels even though EU leaders have repeatedly ruled this out.
Michael Cohen ordered back to Congress on March 6
President Donald Trump's so-called "fixer" is being asked to return to Congress for more questioning on March 6.
Outside of the closed-door committee hearing Thursday, Cohen said that the House Intelligence Committee is seeking further information, according to Washington Examiner writer Byron York.
Michael Cohen finished closed-door testimony before House Intel Committee, says he's coming back for another session March 6. Again: No reason for secrecy. Transcripts should be released ASAP.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) February 28, 2019