Thursday, February 2, 2012
January 2, 2012
Every once in a while in a campaign something happens which is perfectly bizarre and improbable. That's how you know it's a campaign. My favorite example for this week is Mitt Romney's campaign manager rolling on the ground after his candidate has said where a reporter could hear it, "I'm not concerned about the very poor." To be fair, he went on to add, "We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I'll fix it." Common sense there, to be sure. Consolation for a campaign manager contemplating lurid headlines? Sorry, pal. It says something about American politics that the candidates are out there so long, talk so often, that some blooper like that one is almost bound to break free. What is the staff to do about it? After you get past pray, the choices are hard. Putting a line that that one back into context is like putting the genie back into the bottle. It can't be done. The other side of the long campaign coin, I suppose, is that they are out there so long that we really can get a pretty good notion of who they are. The great American electorate can make mistakes, of course. I'm old enough to remember a president who famously declared, "I am not a crook." Most of us came to feel he was wrong about that but by then two elections had gone by and it was, to put it mildly, too late. Now what was it Romney said about the very poor again?