Political Animal


October 31, 2012 9:43 AM Change of Plans

By Ed Kilgore

This morning’s most amusing read by far is McKay Coppins’ BuzzFeed account of the Romney campaign hastily transforming a “victory rally” in Dayton, Ohio, into a “storm relief event.” One problem was the possibility that the word wouldn’t get out about the change of plans, or it wouldn’t sink in to attendees:

The plan was for supporters to bring hurricane relief supplies to the event, and then deliver the bags of canned goods, packages of diapers, and cases of water bottles to the candidate, who would be perched behind a table along with a slew of volunteers and his Ohio right-hand man, Senator Rob Portman. To complete the project and photo-op, Romney would lead his crew in carrying the goods out of the gymnasium and into the Penske rental truck parked outside.
But the last-minute nature of the call for donations left some in the campaign concerned that they would end up with an empty truck. So the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in, according to one staffer.

You have to feel for the “base voter” participants, though. There they were, getting themselves all lathered up to greet the conquering hero and celebrate the impending ejection from the White House of that Kenyan socialist baby-killer, and suddenly they are in the middle of a charity event to benefit people in New York. The only thing that would have been stranger is if Paul Ryan had been there to taint himself with all that altruism.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • c u n d gulag on October 31, 2012 9:56 AM:

    My 80 year-old Mom, a US citizen now for a dozen years, was watching some news last night, saw this about Romney's event, and Trump extending President Obama and extension, and, in her heavy Russian accent asked, "Why don't both of them just donate $5 million to the Red Cross? If they want to help, why don't they do that? They're both rich enough!"

    Instead, his campaign spends $5,000 on useless BS to make the gathering crowd look generous, in front of the reporters.

    And what's he going to do with what actually was collected, that the Red Cross told him it can't use?

    My guess is that Mittís relief supplies are being flown into NJ on some of his palís corporate Lear jets Ė itís tax deductible.

    And when the supplies are finally unloaded by non-union labor, people in NJ will be instructed as to which dockís to go to, where the canned goods will by distributed from yachts.

    And if there are no docks left, people on the shore may take a ticket, and then swim up in an orderly fashion when their number is called.

  • storsmkies on October 31, 2012 9:58 AM:

    What a perfect symbol for deception that is, in essence, buffoon's Romney's entire campaign.

  • Mudge on October 31, 2012 9:58 AM:

    Buying those goods ahead of time is like seeding a goldmine. I believe the truck was supposed to head to NJ, not NY, but that is a minor issue. I haven't seen the size of the Penske truck, nor have I seen video of the delivery (color me skeptical that it ever left Ohio), but that was an SUV-load of food if I saw the right photos.

    That display by Romney demonstrates mendacity of purpose.

  • Steve LaBonne on October 31, 2012 10:14 AM:

    Romney is a truly vile excuse for a human being. (I know, that in no way distinguishes him from many other Republicans...)

  • biggerbox on October 31, 2012 10:15 AM:

    The idea that canned goods are what people in Sandy's path need is just about as clueless as Romney's suggestion that federal disaster functions should be pushed to the states or ideally the private sector. They might as well have been washing already-clean pots, like Paulie.

    But coordinating an actual fund-raising event would require them to actually give a damn, and perhaps as much as half-an-hour of time from a competent campaign staffer familiar with Internet resources. SO much better to rent a truck and send some interns to Walmart for a load of photo-op props.

  • Peter C on October 31, 2012 10:25 AM:

    All hat, no cattle. They care more about the optics than about the substance.

    This is why the response to Katrina was so pathetic.

  • Al on October 31, 2012 10:26 AM:

    Naturally liberals are flailing around, trying to blame Governor Romney for something, anything to distract the fact that this is Katrina all over again, and this time the president really is to blame.

    BHO is curled in a fetal position in the white House. Why isn't he campaigning? As John McCain said four years ago, when you're president you've got to be able to do more thane one thing at the same time.

  • T2 on October 31, 2012 10:29 AM:

    anyone curious about what a Romney/Ryan presidency might look like...the stupid mess he made of that Ohio "victory/relief" rally is it. He couldn't just say "hey, I'm suspending public rallies for the time being and will be ready to help out the president and Federal Government in any way they see fit to help cope with the disaster".
    But no. He's running for president, for pete's sake.

  • T2 on October 31, 2012 10:31 AM:

    one other thought.....think of all the millions of Citizens United lie ads purchased to elect Romney - and think how much better that money could be spent to help out the disaster victims.....but the Republicans want to do away with ANY relief funding.

  • Renai on October 31, 2012 10:43 AM:

    Granola bars all around for those Breezy Point residents, from your Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

  • Barbara on October 31, 2012 10:49 AM:

    A Potemkin charity event. What a stupid idea.

  • Gummo on October 31, 2012 10:50 AM:

    Ha, Al, you sad little lying loser, Governor Christie, the Republican Party's darling, thinks President Obama is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    And while Me-Me-Me-Mitt goes through the motions of his useless self-serving photo op, the President is getting ready to tour the affected areas, after mobilizing FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers to start recovery efforts.

    Right there, the difference between a cardboard cutout of a human being and a real leader. Enjoy your cardboard cutout, the country needs a leader.

  • Werewolf on October 31, 2012 10:53 AM:

    "Al" is a long-time parody troll on this board-and a classic example of Poe's Law.

  • Tired Liberal on October 31, 2012 11:11 AM:

    Ask anyone who is familiar with disaster relief and they will tell you that what is needed after a disaster is money, not used clothing or granola bars or canned corn. These items trickling in are simply a logistical distraction that takes away from the real relief efforts.

  • Gummo on October 31, 2012 11:15 AM:

    Werewolf, huh. I've been reading these boards for years and Al never impressed me as anything more than a knee-jerk right-wing fool. Now "Hedda Peraz" is an obvious -- and often funny -- parody troll.

  • jpeckjr on October 31, 2012 11:27 AM:

    Now some idiot campaign staffer is going to demand the "RomneyAid" get priority attention from someone important who should be giving their time and energy to figuring out how to remove the debris from the streets, how to shelter those who homes are uninhabitable, and how to restore basic infrastructure like transportation and electricity.

    "Can we get a photo opp of the mayor giving our fruit cocktail to an actual needy person? Do you have any clean pots Paul Ryan can appear to be washing? A fallen tree Mitt Romney can stand next to while holding a chain saw so it looks like he's helping?"

    Besides, the relief charities like the Red Cross and Salvation Army and many others know how to mobilize volunteers and leverage resources. They began activating their plans as soon as the storm's trajectory was known. I've worked with them and they know what to do. Send them a check and stay out of their way.

  • Werewolf on October 31, 2012 11:32 AM:

    Poe's Law:

    "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

  • Brian on October 31, 2012 12:24 PM:


    On behalf of Al, thank you for straightening him out.

    Now, Al. Back to your little toasts with all the sharp corners cut off...

  • Brian on October 31, 2012 12:26 PM:

    Nice comment at the end there, Ed.

  • j on October 31, 2012 1:27 PM:

    Republican Steve King is worried that the storm victims will spend aid on Gucci handbags and Massage parlors!

  • schtick on October 31, 2012 3:47 PM:

    I hope they save those diapers for themselves on Nov. 7.