Thursday, July 12, 2012

Romney at the NAACP: Using Black People to talk to White People

So Mitt Romney went to speak at the NAACP yesterday. Please listen to the above snippet of music before, after, or while reading this blog post to really understand what happened yesterday. It's very important.  The sung part is what's going on in Mitt Romney's head; the spoken part is just what the rest of us are thinking...

BTW, I've always thought it was a good thing for Republicans to reach out to black people because black people should not vote in a block. I've said this numerous times over the years. And so I give Romney some credit for showing up. This is not the first time he has reached out to black people. He's done it rather ineptly (see "who let the dogs out, woof woof video. Classic comedy) but that's how he is with everybody. He's like the generic rich guy character in an Andy Griffith episode: "He's not like anybody round heyah!  But he shore's got nice hair, Opie!"

So then he got booed by the crowd when he referred to "Obamacare" and repeated his promise to repeal it. But many pundits on the right and the left after the speech were saying things like this:
Here’s our question: Is it possible that the booing incident will actually be good for the Romney campaign?  
Some conservative analysts think it will. Their argument is that Romney will win few African American votes anyway, and that his willingness to say things he knew would be unpopular to the NAACP audience will win him support from other demographic groups. 
“This gives him all sorts of instant credibility on the Right and in the middle,” writes conservative talk show host/blogger Ed Morrissey on the Hot Air website. “The middle will be pleased to see that Romney went to the convention at all, in the face of overt hostility, plus the NAACP audience comes across as a bit immature. The Right has doubted Romney’s commitment to repealing ObamaCare at times, but this shows that Romney is willing to repeat that pledge anywhere, even when it’s guaranteed to turn the audience against him.”
or this:

headline from

and, perhaps most notably, this:
Say what you will about Romney; talk about his same-sex marriage stances; bring up RomneyCare; show Youtube videos of him calling the individual mandate a penalty/fine/tax; do whatever you want, but at the end of the day the guy has done very little during this campaign outside of having laser-like focus on the economy.Romney branded himself today as the ‘The Serious Adult’ candidate. He didn’t avoid talking about ObamaCare or any other topic just because he knew the crowd wouldn’t like it. He acted like a leader. 
“He wasn’t speaking to the NAACP audience at all,” Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed said. “To his base it will make him look strong, but he never stands up to anybody else.” 
So what? Obama’s teleprompter has been telling him to tout the black hole mystery magical “Hope” and “Change” for going on five years now 
We've been bamboozled!! He didn't come to the NAACP just to talk to black people's most heralded interest group. He came just to get street cred' to show his boys, white Conservatives, that he can be tough, a leader even. Even though everybody was on to him minutes after he came off stage (as observed by me because EVERY SINGLE STATION carried the boo clip and played it repeatedly, with the same rhetoric each time about how this speech was good for Romney), the strategy still appears to have worked. No one can say he didn't try. Black people did boo him. They even gave him a standing ovation at the end!  If he doesn't get any significant portion of the black vote, he'll say, "I did my best but I'm no flip flopper; I told them what I tell everybody. Those people of color can't scare me!"

But then he showed that he knew exactly what he was doing mighty quick at a fundraiser that same night:

...Mitt Romney responded to being booed during his speech at the NAACP for saying he would end "Obamacare," at a fundraiser in Hamilton, Montana and showed his true colors when he said this: 
ROMNEY: Remind them of this, if they want more free stuff from the government tell them to go vote for the other guy -- more free stuff. But don't forget nothing is really free. 
Wow. I guess he wants to make sure he drives that African American support from 1-2 percent all the way down to zero. As Rachel Maddow noted, it was pretty obvious Romney wanted to get booed and he's not wasting any time showing us why.
I bet his political operatives did all laugh when he said, "See, I've got this plan…it'll be perfect and solve all our problems…I'll be king of the world…errr, I mean President of the United States, same thing…I'll have the world on a string…sitting on a rainbow..."

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