Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The Fat Lady Has A Long Wait In The Wings

Mitt Romney wiped the Floridian floor with Newt.  So what does he do to celebrate?  He steps in a brand new mess of his own making.

One of these days I'm going to develop a sense of humor about all this.  So what did he do now?  He structured one sentence that was ripe for taking out of context.  He's not worried about the 'very poor'.  Well, of course he is.  All the candidates are.  They just have to be more cognizant of the 'gotchas'.

In context he cited the very poor have safety nets that can be repaired if necessary and that the very rich can fend for themselves.  It's the middle class that is the most vulnerable.

It emphasizes one area where Newt has a point.  The media loves 'gotcha' questions.  That leaves the responsibility of digging deeper to the voters and my guess is most are uninclined to do so.  It's so much easier to latch on to a twisted phrase and run with it, especially if it tends toward what you want to believe.  For Romney haters it shows one more rich guy looking down his nose at the poor. I can already imagine both the Gingrich and Obama campaigns using it!

We owe it to ourselves to do that digging because if left to the media there will be much that's not picked up.  Take, for instance, this excerpt from Newt's non-concession speech,
So designing and putting together a people's campaign, not a Republican campaign, not an establishment campaign, not a Wall Street campaign, a people's campaign, and saying to every American of every background and every ethnic group and every community: We have a better future for you and your family...This is a future we ask you to join us in imposing on the establishment in Washington and imposing it on both parties.
It jumped out at me the moment I heard it. It sounds to me like Newt is asking us to  join with him to impose his vision on the country, not necessarily our own nor a conservative one and certainly not a Republican vision.

I could assume I'm reading too much into this because the media hasn't said one word about it.  On the other hand maybe I'm not reading enough into it for the same reason!

I make a point of this because a mere three years ago many of us fell for an empty suit with an unarticulated vision other than the innocuous hope and change. We envisioned what we wanted to with nothing to confirm it from the candidate.  Every word that is uttered on the campaign trail has a purpose.  Some candidates do it better than others.  We owe it to them and as I said above, to ourselves, to make sure we know exactly what those words are intended to mean.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How perceptive of you! Yes, you are absolutely right about the final responsibility for vetting our leaders comes from the people. Yes, I like great stump speeches like anyone else, catchy sound bites and stirring patriotic music in the background of a 30 second television Ad, but sometimes I wonder--given today's political climate--if a Abraham Lincoln or Dwight Eisenhower could muster favorable coverage from the media? Here we have two great men of strong character and conviction, yet something tells me neither would sell their soul to engage in "gotcha" style politics.

Gingrich is starting to sound like he is running against the "establishment", but President Obama already has that market cornered. No offense to him or his candidacy, but the former House Speaker may wish to do the right thing, venture over to the Fat Lady, escort her up to the podium, so she may sing her swan song on his campaign. Another interesting and informative read, Mari.