Political Animal


October 31, 2012 2:42 PM Mitt’s Doritos Turn Into a Kitten

By Ed Kilgore

Like a lot of progressives writers, I had some good clean fun this morning with the hastily contrived and poorly executed “storm relief event” Mitt Romney put on in Ohio yesterday. But as Alec MacGillis noted in a tweet, it did the trick, gaining Romney positive front-page headlines in Ohio newspapers.

It kinda reminds me of that scene in the movie Wag the Dog, where during the filming of a fake war “news” segment, an actress is supposed to be fleeing violence with a kitten held tightly in her arms. No kitten was available, so the director shot the segment in front of a blue screen with the actress clutching a bag of Doritos; the kitten was inserted later. In the present case, Mitt’s “donated” relief goods purchased by the campaign from Wal-Mart were the bag of Doritos; the headlines were the kitten. And that’s probably all that matters.

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.


  • gregor on October 31, 2012 2:52 PM:

    Even Nixon was not this brazen in his utter lack of any respect for the intelligence of the voters.

  • MuddyLee on October 31, 2012 3:07 PM:

    If the "donated goods" were really purchased from WalMart (a rightwing company - I thought the Romneys were Costco shoppers...), this should be publicized by email and on facebook by every Obama supporter. This is outrageous, like the Jeep-China lie, like the Mormon Church Trust tax evasion, like the whole Moderate Mitt act (was he just KIDDING during the republican primaries?) - no wonder Christie didn't want to appear with Mitt touring the disaster areas in NJ.

  • c u n d gulag on October 31, 2012 3:13 PM:

    If our MSM was anymore gullible, the rest of the nation could make a comfortable living running 3-card monte stands near every studio and office.

    They're all afraid of the Reich Wing backlash if they ever do tell the truth about Republicans.


  • troglodyte on October 31, 2012 3:15 PM:

    We can cut Mitt some slack on this. The symbolism of leading a food and diapers drive is not especially presidential, so positive press on this isnt much of a boost with voters. In the Mittsters' position, there is little that he can do regarding Sandy beside such symbolic acts, but he would be sharply (and justifiably) criticized if he didnt do something symbolic. His best strategy is to mark time until the MSM needs another shiny object. Sandy could easily absorb a few more news cycles, and each cycle gives Obama a chance to demonstrate his administration acting effectively. Hence the desperate advertisements.

  • T2 on October 31, 2012 3:25 PM:

    gulag....is gullible the word you want to use? I'd pick complicit.

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

    Tell me the people of Ohio aren't that stupid. Please.

  • biggerbox on October 31, 2012 3:39 PM:

    Sadly, a President Romney wouldn't even bother digitally inserting the image of a recovery into his green-screen economy, except for the pay-per-view customers.

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

    And BTW the Red Cross had specifically asked that donations should be made in money, NOT in canned goods and other materials - which Mittens and his crowd ignored.

  • Renai on October 31, 2012 3:49 PM:

    Not to worry you, schtick, but on another site where this story surfaced (Rachels) the trolls were out, defending Mitt's humanitarian use of the bag of Doritos.

  • angler on October 31, 2012 3:52 PM:

    Not all bad news here: The front page linked to by Ed has a story debunking Mitt's Jeep lie right below the relief story, and even the headline for the Romney event is somewhat ambiguous.

  • Zinsky on October 31, 2012 4:00 PM:

    Just like Lyin' Ryan washing clean pots and pans at a soup kitchen, these guys are as phony as a $3 bill.

  • Steve LaBonne on October 31, 2012 4:03 PM:

    Tell me the people of Ohio aren't that stupid. Please.

    Enough of them aren't, anyway. Mitt is not going to win here. Take it to the bank.

  • SteveJ on October 31, 2012 9:27 PM:

    Even CNN bought it, saying over the video feed something along the lines of "The Romney campaign took the day off for disaster relief." No mention of the fake food, the campaign video that was shown, making the "donors" wait 40 minutes so they could hand their donations to Romney. Echh.