Since June 1, Obama has played a smaller role within his campaign than has Romney. His staff has also been responsible for most of the offense while Obama himself has focused more on policy issues with a less negative tone.

On June 8, 4thEstate published this post that examined the bench strategies of the Obama and Romney campaigns. It showed that from May 3 – 31, Romney played a larger role within his campaign than did Obama. Over 72% of statements from the Romney Campaign came from Mitt himself in that time period, whereas just 56% of statements from the Obama Campaign came from Barack.

Since that time, Obama has played a slightly larger role in his campaign. From June 1 – August 4, 61.4% of statements from the Obama Campaign in media coverage of the election have come out of Barack’s mouth, 6% more than the month of May. However, in comparison with Mitt Romney, Obama has continued to play a lesser role in his campaign, letting his staff do more of the talking than Romney has allowed of his staff.

Chart shows percentage of statements from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney out of total statements from the Obama and Romney campaigns (Candidates & Staff).  Time frame is June 1 – August 4.

Chart shows percentage of statements from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney out of total statements from the Obama and Romney campaigns (Candidates & Staff). Time frame is June 1 – August 4.

Chart shows statements from Barack Obama categorized by topic and sentiment.  Time frame is June 1 – August 4.

Chart shows statements from Barack Obama categorized by topic and sentiment. Time frame is June 1 – August 4.

When we break down the statements of Obama and the statements of his staff, we get two very different pictures. Obama has focused more on policy topics such as the Economy, Taxes, Immigration and Healthcare, putting very little emphasis on campaign topics such as Campaign Strategy and Candidate Character. This is where his staff has come in. 43% of the statements from Obama’s staff have been about Campaign Strategy and Candidate Character.

Obama’s campaign staff has also been much more aggressive than has Barack himself. On the Economy, Campaign Strategy and Candidate Character, Obama’s campaign staff has been especially critical of Romney. On the other hand, the majority of Obama’s statements are largely neutral. Overall, just 18.7% of Obama’s statements in media coverage of the election have been negative to Romney from June 1 – August 4, and 74.1% have been neutral.

Chart shows statements from Obama’s campaign staff categorized by topic and sentiment.  Time frame is June 1 – August 4.

Chart shows statements from Obama’s campaign staff categorized by topic and sentiment. Time frame is June 1 – August 4.

Conversely, 49.6% of statements from Obama’s campaign staff in this time period have been negative to Romney, and just 35.5% have been neutral. This shows that Obama has allowed his staff to get personal and do more of the Romney-bashing while Obama has sat back and focused more on policy issue discussion with far less negativity.