Gov. Rick Snyder is not a Democrat, although some far-righties are convinced he is, but that didn't stop him from swiping a strategy that Democrat Barack Obama effectively used against Mitt Romney. The incumbent president broke the mold on running TV commercials.\u00a0 Normally a candidate, especially the person in office, waits to run those spots, but the Obama team dumped millions of dollars into a summer barrage aimed at defining Mitt Romney before he could spend the money to define himself. So if you are searching for the reason statewide TV ads boasting Governor Rick Snyder's record are on the air now, a full 14 months before this goes to the voters, read the second paragraph again. The Snyder campaign whiz-kids had seen a steady stream of incoming fire from his likely Democratic opponent Mark Schauer. "There were too many unanswered accusations.\u00a0 It was time to create our own spin" and put a more positive image in the mind of voters, a source reveals. Note that the governor does not counterattack in his ads.\u00a0 He ignores the constant Democratic criticism that he slapped a pension tax on some seniors, "swiped" money from education to fund a hefty business tax, and signed Right to Work. In keeping with his own steady-as-she-goes positive attitude, his spots are all about boasting and boosting the stuff he did that he likes. In fact it is a sutble, yet deliberate change in his thinking.\u00a0 Heretofore the governor would say this about issues that were resolved:\u00a0 "No credit. No blame." Well here he was getting all the blame and no credit from the other side, and it was decided it was time to flush the "no credit" mantra and start glowing about his record. Otherwise, the Snyder campaign might have been doomed to the same blunder Mike Dukakis made when the Massachusetts Democrat ran for president.\u00a0 The GOP hammered away at him for months, while Mikey sat on his checkbook and his mouth and when he finally opened both, the damage to his image was unrepairable. As for the Snyder commercial itself, several items are cleverly woven into the piece that seek to portray Rick Snyder as "one of us" which is an objective Mitt Romney had but never achieved in his bid for the White House even though they put blue jeans on him ... starched at that. "He grew up in a 900 square foot house," the pro-Snyder spot tells the viewers\/voters.\u00a0 And then a woman appears on camera recounting that "He didn't have any money when he was growing up" and "Rick" borrowed money to go to college and on the day he graduated he paid the loans off "with interest." Mr. Romney grew up in wealth, probably had a bedroom that was 900 square feet and didn't have to borrow squat to get through college.\u00a0 So anybody out there wanting to compare this governor to that guy may have a challenge although both\u00a0 are millionaires\u00a0 but with distinctly different personas. Democrats will blast the ad's pronouncement that this governor achieved "incredible results." They will batter away at the jobless rate, the alleged lack of job creation and suggest that four more years of this guy will mean four more years of more pro-business and anti-middle class policies. Which is exactly why these ads are up and running right now even though the governor, tongue in check, suggests they are not campaign commercials.\u00a0 Everyone in the biz will chuckle at that but not the strategy. The commercials are a preemptive strike to inoculate the candidate before he's annihilated by the other side leaving you to wonder if the Democrats, with considerably less in their war chest, will respond now or let the governor have free access to the airways until Mr. Schauer decides to get into the ad game, too. Tim Skubick is Michigan's Senior Capitol correspondent and has anchored the weekly public TV series Off the Record since 1972. He also covers the Capitol and politics for WLNS-TV6 in Lansing.