On May 17, The New York Times reported that a group of high-profile GOP strategists are planning a massive ad campaign to attack Obama's connections to Reverend Wright. The proposed plan would be funded by Joe Ricketts, billionaire co-founder of TD Ameritrade and owner of the Chicago Cubs. The plan is estimated to cost around $10 million and would be counter to the Romney campaign's strategy, which has made a conscious effort to focus on President Obama's first term record. The New York Times received a detailed outline of the plans when a person who is not involved in the campaign was alarmed by the title of the plan. It is called "The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama: The Ricketts Plan to End His Spending for Good".
The plan received by The New York Times was 54 pages long and professionally bound and illustrated. It included the need to find an "extremely literate conservative African-American" to deflect the accusations of race-baiting. This all suggests that Mr. Ricketts feels that Senator McCain's decision not to attack Reverend Wright was not a moral decision to avoid personal attacks, but a very detrimental one.
Unfortunately it seems as if nothing in politics is out-of-bounds anymore, so there is really no expectation that this plan will be abandoned on moral grounds. What most people seem to be focused on is whether the American people will respond to it. There are many who point out that in 2008 Barack Obama was a relatively unknown and inexperienced politician, whose lack of exposure concerned many people. This makes any possible connections to domestic terrorists (Bill Ayers) or anti-American pastors a much more frightening aspect of Barack Obama. After one term as president these attacks will likely have a much smaller positive effect for conservatives, given that he is no longer as mysterious and unknown as he was in 2008. It should also be noted that although many people are not pleased with his first term, surveys show that many independents still like him personally, which means any attacks that seem unfair or misleading could cause independents to empathize with his cause.