Sorry, Mitt

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 15.678% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

I have two apologies to deliver to Mitt Romney, and one kind-of defense for the Mittster:
I mocked him, via Twitter, for asking why airplanes don’t have roll-down windows.  It’s been reported that Mitt was joking, which I certainly can see happening, so sorry about mocking you for that, Mitt.
I also dinged Mitt for saying that “Middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.”  Now, I think that this statement is thoroughly troublesome in that it defines the starting point of middle class way above what the average American earns, and I think it is symptomatic of Mitt’s inability to understand what normal Americans make.  It was a terrible phrasing to make on television.  However, Obama’s policies define the middle class as “under $250,000,” so what he said was technically true and in line with Obama, even if I’m pretty sure Obama understands that $250k is still an awful lot to make (and I’m not sure Romney does).  But Mr. Romney was technically correct – the best kind of correct, as the bureaucrats on Futurama like to say.
And lastly, I’m a little uncomfortable with the way Romney’s 47% comments have been taken.  Not that his interpretation of those 47% as being slacker wastrels with no sense of morality was good, at all – it summarizes the elitist way that Romney views anyone who disagrees with him.
However, his statement of “My job is not to worry about those people” was miscast.  He was discussing himself as a candidate, not a President.  His current job is to get elected.  And from a marketing standpoint, no, he really has no incentive to reach out to those 47% of people who will never vote for them.  He cannot worry about the people who will vote for Obama no matter what, just as Obama really can’t worry about the 47% of people who will never vote for him.  Both candidates have to worry about a) energizing their base to get out, and b) attracting swing voters.  If you’re a Democrat, fuck it, “pleasing committed Republicans” probably shouldn’t be a part of your campaign strategy.
Reframing that as “Here’s what I’ll do as President” was incorrect, and problematic on many levels.  The rest of those comments were sufficiently damaging, really.  I’m not sure you needed to take that bit out of the context. I feel the same distress I do at, say, the Republicans taking “You didn’t build that” out of context.
However, there is a certain irony here: in discussing what his job was as a candidate, he was sufficiently cold and businesslike that he’s alienated at least some swing voters.  His job wasn’t to worry about those 47%, but he probably should have thought how some of that 6% would have interpreted it if they heard him – which, in this age of “a videophone in every pocket,” he should have anticipated.
Anyway.  Sorry, Mitt.  Now that I’ve apologized and clarified, I’m sure you can rest easy.

1 Comment

  1. alexander
    Sep 26, 2012

    My issue with the 47% is the automatic assumption that people who don’t pay taxes are inherently lazy, and also that anyone on any kind of welfare or support is automatically an obama supporter, sucking at the government teat. (considering that red states get a higher percentage of federal aid money per capita, an incorrect statement on his part)

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