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Friday, October 26, 2012

Pandering Mitt Romney Throws Change at a Crowd of Iowans

Posted by on Fri, Oct 26, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Today, Mitt Romney made what his campaign is billing as a "closing argument" on the economy. You can watch video of the speech at CSPAN. Turns out, the speech is basically a potpourri of every Romney speech ever, full of "facts" about energy independence and taxes that President Obama himself refuted at the debates. (One of the pillars of the Romney plan to get the economy to "come roaring back" is to stand up to teachers' unions. How cutting teacher salaries and benefits will affect the economy on such a huge scale was never explained.) There were, finally, no new facts and figures. No specific policies. It was beyond insulting to claim that this wet tissue paper was the Romney campaign's best, most compelling argument for the economy, but the crowd ate it up, anyway.

The only modification from the speeches I've heard Romney give for the last year and a half is the inclusion of his new, late-term campaign slogan, "Big Change." Romney used the word "change" a whole lot during this speech. At the eighteen-minute mark of the video, Romney begins machine-gunning the word "change" all over the crowd through the end of his speech, and the audience eats it up. They can't get enough change.

All this change talk is a shameless attempt to emulate the Obama 08 campaign, but it's probably a smart decision for Romney's speechwriters. The last three major national elections have been change elections: 2006 brought the Democrats to power in the House. 2008 brought the Democrats to power in the White House. 2010 brought Republicans back to power in the House. Again. With such a partisan political environment in government and in the media, pretty much the only choice left for the electorate is a binary, either/or proposition. Compromises are presented as antithetical to the very idea of politics, which encourages voters to vote for the other side if they're unhappy. (And voters are always unhappy.) So the electorate flops back and forth between "either" and "or" in every election, desperately hoping that one of those choices will actually work. For a change. That's the real reason the Romney campaign has drawn so close to the Obama campaign in the last month or so: It's basically sports. Politics is less about what's best for the country and more about crushing the other guys any way you can. Mitt Romney's speech today reflected this reality. If he wins—and Democrats need to remember that with a little over a week to go, the possibility of a Romney win is very real—it will be because his people played the change game better.


Comments (10) RSS

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Max Solomon 1
for "change", you need the WH, Senate, and the House. for "big change", you need 60 in the senate, and dead senators don't count.

willard's not that dumb. he knows even "change" won't happen if he wins. the regressives will have the house, and the dems will have the senate.

big change? it's just some words he decided to say toady.
Posted by Max Solomon on October 26, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
cressona 2
When Mitt Romney uses the phrase "Big Change," I can't help but think of Big Love.

I'll take that as an unintended association coming from our first presidential candidate who belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Posted by cressona on October 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Olo 3
Am I a bad person for briefly really enjoying the image of Romney flinging handfuls of coins at Midwesterners?
Posted by Olo on October 26, 2012 at 2:24 PM · Report this
MacCrocodile 4
Awww. I was hoping for a story about Romney hucking coins by the fistful at a crowd. You're a tease, Paul Constant.
Posted by MacCrocodile on October 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
Politics being basically sports is why I don't pay more than minimal attention to national politics, except on a theoretical level. I don't give a shit about some blowhard's claims about change or hope or etc, just like I don't give a shit about who won the superbowl last year. The particular team isn't the point, it's the effects.
Posted by zobot on October 26, 2012 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
I have a picture in my mind of Rmoney dressed as a Roman emperor, tossing coins to the crowd of citizens dressed in rags.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on October 26, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
"Change" is why back-up quarterbacks are so popular, even though there's a reason they didn't win the job in the first place.
Posted by DOUG. on October 26, 2012 at 3:09 PM · Report this
merry 8
@ 3, 4, 6 - Same here.

Oh well... It's a lovely mental image, isn't it?

"Let them eat change!"
Posted by merry on October 26, 2012 at 4:18 PM · Report this
watchout5 9
I assumed Mitt Romney was throwing nickels and dimes at the crowd in the hopes of getting some more votes. After reading the article I was disappointed.
Posted by watchout5 on October 26, 2012 at 6:33 PM · Report this
The Republican candidates lately are always sleazy liars, but their campaigns always play the game better.
Posted by sarah70 on October 27, 2012 at 5:30 PM · Report this

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