Wherein I Expose Myself As A RINO | Main | Full Context and Quote About "Concern for the Very Poor"
February 01, 2012

Romney: "I'm Not Concerned About The Very Poor"

It's not as bad as it sounds, because he gets out his message: I care about middle income Americans, not the very poor (he says they have a safety net) and not the very rich (he says they're doing just fine).

This will be called a gaffe. I don't think it's as big as a gaffe as people seem to think. (Corrected: I initially said it wasn't a gaffe. It is. Just not a huge one.)

How many possible Republican voters are going to be put off by the message, "I'm not into expanding the safety net further, I only care about you, middle class voters"?

Not many.


Now that I've expressed my contrarian views on this, I should note Andy, Slu, and Drew disagree sharply, and think this is as stupid a statement as it appears.

I guess the problem with this is "Message: I Care." George Bush senior knew what message he was supposed to deliver. "Message: I Care." The problem was he was idiotic in how he delivered it. Which was just saying, "Message: I care." Just like it was written in his notes.

Romney's election strategy is to pitch completely to the middle class, because that's where the votes are. Plus, if he only talks about the middle class, it helps defang (in theory) the attacks on him as a Rich Guy.

But instead of casting it as a positive -- "My real concern is the middle class, historically the engine of growth in this country" -- he casts it as a negative -- "I'm not really concerned about the very poor."

Dumb. It's just a political rule you don't short-shrift issues like that, stating that you don't care. You always phrase it in the positive way: "Soledad, what really concerns me is X." That was Mitch Daniels' error in discussing social issues -- he didn't have to declare a truce to declare a truce. All he had to do was talk up economic issues to the exclusion of all else.

But -- I just don't think the actual method of expression matters that much. I really just don't think people are paying attention to the extent we are, taking into account poor word choices ("Phrasing!" screamed Archer).

I think they're pretty bullet-point. I think "Message: I care" was mostly obsessed over by the media -- people paid to work with words, to whom specific phrasing is a matter of professional interest. I don't think the public really cared that "Message: I care" was clumsy or "on the nose."

So yeah, this is a gaffe, and we can goof on Romney ("Phrasing, Lana!").

But does it matter? Are voters who are barely paying attention deducting points for style?

This seems to be a type of mostly non-partisan media bias that only I'm really noticing. Star Trek geeks will naturally notice if a candidate says that Chekov was the helmsman. (No! It was Sulu!) They are biased in that manner -- they care about that more than most people.

Word-workers really care about words. I don't say that in a dismissive way. I care about words too. However, as in the case of Trekkies, if all you have is a hammer, all the world looks like a nail. So word-workers of the media are constantly scoring statements with an Editor's Eye. And, I think, de-emphasize the content of a communication in favor of nitpicking the particular expression of that communication.

And they do this, of course, primarily to Republicans, when they can score points off it.


digg this
posted by Ace at 11:11 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Christopher R Taylor: "[i]There were several high profile atheists, among ..."

kraken: "Binders full of tampon earrings.... ..."

Deplorable Jay Guevara [/i][/b][/s]: "[i]157 Like others, don't want to jump on the band ..."

Chris M: ""Pretty soon there will only be women in the FNM." ..."

garrett: "Cocoa Pebbles are crap. The whole Pebbles Line ..."

Monk: "Give a modern woman the right to kill their unborn ..."

Burnt Toast: "I never understood, in the slightest, the outrage ..."

Grump928(C) predicts: " Moore 53% Jones 45% Other 2% ..."

Circa (Insert Year Here): "Binders full of liberal douchebags. ..."

BackwardsBoy [/i][/s][/b]: "[I]*wanders in * http://bit.ly/2AcanHW *wa ..."

logprof: "305 Cocoa Krispies > Cocoa Puffs Posted by: garre ..."

Your Decidedly Devious Uncle Palpatine, Booking Agent, Aero Pinochet: "314 Lord! That thing would have been hell on win ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64