Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Did Romney Just Lose the Election... or Did His Campaign Just Punk the Media?

In the wake of a viral video of Governor Romney's off-the-cuff remarks to wealthy Florida donors about the supposed feckless nature of Obama voters, the Republican nominee's Intrade contract has just sunk to 32%, the first time it's been below 35% since March.  Accordingly, some say he just lost the election.  I wonder, instead, if his campaign didn't just "punk" the media.

David Brooks has commented in the NYT that Romney "violated the social contract." 

William Kristol, an actual supporter, chastises him:
It's worth recalling that a good chunk of the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes are Romney supporters—especially of course seniors (who might well "believe they are entitled to heath care," a position Romney agrees with), as well as many lower-income Americans (including men and women serving in the military) who think conservative policies are better for the country even if they're not getting a tax cut under the Romney plan. So Romney seems to have contempt not just for the Democrats who oppose him, but for tens of millions who intend to vote for him.
When Romney has lost Kristol...

Yet Romney's remarks in the video also highlight what has been an explicit appeal repeatedly made to Obama voters... and now Democrats themselves and the media (but I repeat myself) are the ones spreading this "meme," and reminding the electorate.

Meanwhile, it's worth flashing back to 2010 to watch another viral video, of Nancy Pelosi speaking to a group of young voters about the appeals of the signature piece of legislation of President Obama's first term:

That's right.  She said: "You can quit your job, and not worry about paying for your own health care."  Of course, that's not precisely how things work.  And who in Pelosi's young audience for her speech has a job to quit?  And of course what she suggests here also violates the social contract.

Read William Kristol here.

Read David Brooks here.

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