Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Hollowness And Lies Of The Presidential Campaign: Links Edition

1. The headline says it all: Coal Miners Forced to Attend Romney Event Without Pay.

2. Which Romney staff intern majored in sign-making? From the New York Times Magazine:
In his speech, Romney asked everyone in the room who had started their own businesses to please stand. A few dozen people did, some holding signs that said things like “I opened my own business” and “I created a business. Not the government.” “These are fun; these are fun signs!” Romney gushed. “For those who made those signs, thank you for reminding us who it is in America that creates jobs.”
After the event, I met one of these business owners, Wayne Michaelis, standing outside the auditorium. I knew he had opened a business, because his sign said so. He is a retired orthodontist. “I build smiles,” he said proudly. But he did not build his own “I opened my own business” sign. That was handed to him, as were many others, by the campaign.
3. The same article reports that Obama campaign staffers are so on message that they may be a bit paranoid.
They are wary of speaking on the record, for fear of compromising their message of discipline. “I don’t want to be telling Matt Rhoades everything we’re doing,” Messina told me, referring to his counterpart on the Romney campaign. When he did speak on the record, it was often with a mouthful of string cheese, around which he spewed a litany of poll data (“Univision says we’re up 70-22 with Hispanics”), tech stats (“Facebook was one-ninth the size in 2008 than it is now”) and demographic trends (“the fastest growing population on Facebook is people over 50”).
I then headed down the hall for a brief separate interview with Cutter, whom I’ve known for years, going back to when she was John Kerry’s spokeswoman. “How are you?” I asked.
 “Are we on the record?” she replied.
4. Finally, I wish that I had been there to see this occurrence. Dana Milbank reports:
The Romney campaign had taken pains to stifle the Paul rebellion, by denying him a speaking role, expediting the roll call, changing party rules and even unseating Paul delegates from Maine. But as Romney and the Republicans have learned repeatedly this week, politics does not always go according to plan.
As the new rules disenfranchising the Paul delegates came to a vote, shouts of “no!” and a cascade of boos poured from Paul supporters across the hall. Maine delegates at one end of the arena and Texas delegates at the other began chanting, “Point of order!” Demonstrators shouted down the next speaker, a Republican National Committee member from Puerto Rico, and party chairman Reince Priebus hammered his gavel, pleading for quiet. A Nevada delegate raised his middle finger at Priebus and called him an “[expletive] tyrant.”
What did CSPAN viewers think of that little free speech exercise?

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