So, So Complicated

This video isn’t the first time a Romney spokesman went out in front of the media and was eaten alive because he won’t answer a simple question about immigration, but it’s the best I’ve seen so far. Apparently, the Romney campaign thinks they can repair things with Latinos with weasely answers from a Spanish-speaking spokesman, but Soledad O’Brien isn’t buying what this guy is selling.

(Also, too: TPM has gone from a site where it was easy to embed their videos to making it almost impossible. Good work, Josh.)






168 replies
  1. 1
    kindness says:

    I used to read TPM several times a day. Now, not so much. It’s dull, it’s content isn’t all that useful so…..

  2. 2
    Betty Cracker says:

    Why, TPM, whyyyyy? I got disgusted and gave up the other day.

  3. 3
    Walker says:

    TPM is useless. They have an RSS feed that links to articles which are no longer than the text in the RSS feed and which are intentionally cryptic. These cryptic “articles” link to another article, which is the actual article.

    It is like they intentionally want to make it impossible to find anything on the site.

  4. 4
    Alexandra says:

    Complicated? In what respect, Charlie?

  5. 5
    Hunter Gathers says:

    You’d think that the Pansy King would have focus-grouped these issues by now, but he must be too busy with dressage, shitty pranks and blowing the rich to come up with answers to them.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    beltane says:

    @Hunter Gathers: I don’t think Romney feels the need to focus-group these issues. It is becoming increasingly clear that Romney feels himself to be the anointed one as per the teachings of his religion and that the concerns of outsiders are far, far beneath him.

  8. 8
    elisabeth says:

    Cant’t get the video to play on my phone but last night on Twitter Ana Navarro admitted it is hard to positively spin Mitt on immigration.

  9. 9
    dedc79 says:

    Not to pile on, but has anyone noticed that since TPM expanded their coverage they publish a lot of articles that don’t support their headlines. I also occasionally get the feeling their writers don’t know much about the topic they are covering.

    As for Romney – I think it’s fine to hit him on all the indecision, but I also think we should be doing more to hold him to things he said to get through the primaries.

  10. 10
    jnfr says:

    Just FYI, TPMTv posts all their stuff to their channel at YouTube, so you can embed from that pretty easily.

  11. 11
    flukebucket says:

    Rmoney is getting his ass kicked in the game of politics and we have not even gotten to the debates yet. Those will be embarrassing to watch. Almost as embarrassing as watching the MSM declare him the winner of every damn one of them.

    Love Obama or hate Obama, the guy knows how to play the game.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The Rmoney people are fortunate that abject stupidity is not a capital crime in this country, or they’d be in front of a death panel faster than you can say Captain Jack Sparrow.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    Why do I get this login pop up for some sitemeter page ever time I click on a post?

    Whatever they’re doing must be working for TPM, since they keep doing it. I know I have pretty much quit going there. Doesn’t work for me.

  14. 14
    Michael Demmons says:

    On immigration, Mitt Romney is a Dick in a Box.

  15. 15
    redshirt says:

    That Mitt – he really knows how to assemble a crackerjack team of experts.

    Ha! Yes men can never succeed in the long run.

  16. 16

    @Michael Demmons:

    On immigration, Mitt Romney is a Dick in a Box.

    FTFY.

  17. 17
    Wag says:

    Watching that, I’m reminded of my favotie line from “Psycho Killer” I wish rommney’s spokespeople would take the last few lines to heart.

    You’re talking a lot
    But you’re not saying anything
    When i have nothing to say
    my lips are sealed.

    Say something once,
    Why say it again?

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    Okay, I just watched the video. That’s hilarious. “What’s Gov. Romney’s plan?” “This isn’t about Gov. Romney.” “Yes it is! What’s his plan?” “His plan doesn’t matter.”

    That’s probably not verbatim, but that’s how it sounds. Romney is a coward. He refuses to say what his plan is.

  19. 19
    bemused says:

    I could only watch about half of it. Romney and his campaign is a big old mess. When the not filthy rich Republicans planning to vote for Mitt see a train wreck like that, how do their brains alter it into a positive for Mitt? My head hurts trying to imagine how they can so easily turn crap into caviar.

  20. 20
    Kane says:

    The Romney campaign strategy is breathtaking. Offer nothing about what he would do, while lying and distorting President Obama’s record and blaming him for problems that existed even before he was president.

  21. 21
    burnspbesq says:

    OT, John Kiriakou’s lawyers have moved to dismiss the Espionage Act and Intelligence Identities Protection Act charges against him on the ground that both statutes are unconstitutionally vague. Ironically, if they succeed it blows a big fucking hole in Julian Assange’s political asylum claim.

  22. 22
    Sibelius says:

    I have no idea what TPM has done, but every time I click on a link there my computer freezes up for a good 20 seconds. Every. Single. Time. I don’t bother anymore.

  23. 23
    Mark S. says:

    It blows my mind that this stupid issue has blown up at a time when illegal immigration is at a 60 year low. But the GOP really has nothing in its playbook but hatred of women and minorities. Well, and tax cuts for job creators, but that doesn’t get the rubes into the tent.

  24. 24
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @flukebucket:

    I think Mitt is going to lose it during the debates. All Obama has to do is keep his cool and contradict him a few times, and Mitt is going to go into a blubbering rage. My only question is whether he’ll say something like: “I’m not going to let some ni99er talk to me like that!” and storm off.

    But even if he dodges that bullet, do you think he could muster up what it takes to give a gracious concession speech when he gets his ass stomped? I can’t. I think he’s going to toxify the Republican brand for quite some time to come.

  25. 25
    dedc79 says:

    @Wag: I think Romney’s campaign must instead have these lyrics from an Alison Kraus song in mind:

    It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart
    Without saying a word, you can light up the dark
    Try as I may, I could never explain
    What I hear when you don’t say a thing

  26. 26
    General Stuck says:

    The Romney campaign is being run from an undisclosed location by these guys

    http://www.xfilesuniverse.com/.....gunmen.jpg

  27. 27
    shortstop says:

    @Walker: They want click-throughs. Period.

    I could forgive them a lot if they’d just get a copy editor. They just refuse to believe that the cavalcade of errors and awkward sentences compromises their professionalism. Marshall’s own stream-of-consciousness screeds are particularly embarrassing.

  28. 28
    rlrr says:

    @Mark S.:

    It’s like the GOP’s obsession with “OMG criminals are going to kill us all!” when violent crime is on the decline (and has been for some time)…

  29. 29
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    Romney is a coward.

    He has been all his life. A disgusting coward.

    He has that in common with the Preszint who never was, seeing how everything between 2001 and 2009 was somehow the fault of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

  30. 30
    Ruckus says:

    @Violet:
    It’s not that he refuses to give his plan, he hasn’t been told what it is yet.

  31. 31
    Steve in DC says:

    @Violet:

    Because he’s a consultant. Consultants don’t tell you what their plan is, oh no. Consultants simply point out all the areas where things aren’t working or could be working better and then claim that if you fork over the fee’s and put them in charge they’ll make everything work better, but they never tell you how.

    Romney is running for president like a consultant fishing for contracts.

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mark S.:

    Facts. They have a liberal bias.

  33. 33
    rlrr says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You noticed the 8 years that never happened, too…

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: I don’t know about that. If Sarah Palin couldn’t toxify the Republican brand I don’t think Mitt Romney can either.

  35. 35
    rlrr says:

    @beltane:

    Their stupidity and/or willful ignorance are seen as a virtue by too many Americans…

  36. 36
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    I don’t know about that. If Sarah Palin George W. Bush couldn’t toxify the Republican brand I don’t think Mitt Romney can either.

    FTFY

    ETA: on second thought, if the Great Depression didn’t kill the Republican Party, I don’t know what the hell would.

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    My only question is whether he’ll say something like: “I’m not going to let some ni99er talk to me like that!” and storm off.

    It’s far from clear that doing that would hurt him with certain segments of the voting-age population.

  38. 38
    Ruckus says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:
    I think he’s going to toxify the Republican brand for quite some time to come.
    More than it already is? What could be used to contain it? Unobtainium? Reality sure isn’t working.

  39. 39
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge says:

    @beltane:

    I think if McCain had allowed her to speak at the concession event she could have managed it.

  40. 40
    Valdivia says:

    So their plan is to answer to every question “Romney is a leader, he will be a leader, he will be bipartisan and fix everything because Obama is the sux!” And then when pressed to give details say it’s a distraction to talk about Romney’s specifics? Please tell me Soledad is not the only one committing journalism and they’re not going to let him get away with it.

  41. 41
    beltane says:

    @rlrr: @Chris: We have to accept that a certain percentage of Americans are horrible people who are drawn to all the negative traits of the Republican party because they themselves are just as bad.

  42. 42
    ding dong says:

    @dedc79: that’s actually a. Keith Whitley song originally. I gave up on TPM a couple of years ago. I figured out my computer would have problems after I went there. Nothing earthshattering just annoying stuff.

  43. 43
    Kane says:

    TPM is a shell of what it used to be. Gone is the in-depth analysis as well as the interesting reader blogs. Now their headlines are often as disingenuous and misleading as HuffPo and Drudge, and their articles too often follow the daily MSM narrative. The other day they had a story linking to breitbart! It’s a shame.

  44. 44
    japa21 says:

    @dedc79:

    As for Romney – I think it’s fine to hit him on all the indecision, but I also think we should be doing more to hold him to things he said to get through the primaries.

    You mean like Obama did at NALEO? When he quoted Romney as saying “I keep my promises” and then quoted Romney saying “I will veto the DREAM Act.”? This will be done over and over and will be tailored to the specific group Obama or his surrogates are speaking to.

  45. 45
    beltane says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge: At the very least it might have put a damper on her family’s reality show stardom. I do notice that Sarah herself became a lot less starbursty after her odious Blood Libel comments in the wake of the Gifford’s shooting.

  46. 46
    MattF says:

    Romney’s message to Latino voters is “We think you’re stupid and that you have short attention spans.” More of this! Please!

  47. 47
    Wag says:

    @Ruckus:

    And Rommney won’t declare what his plan is until after the election.

    With immigration, Rommney can’t let the GOP know that his plan is exactly the same as Obama’s.

    With health care, Rommeney can’t let the GOP know that his plan is to extend his own Mass. plan to cover everyone.

    Between the Tea Party and Obama has Rommney been tied in knots. Everything that Rommney believes in has been co-opted by that blah guy, and he can’t stand it, and can’t come out and say what, if anything, distinguishes him from obama.

  48. 48
    NCSteve says:

    I no longer understand what the hell is going on over at TPM anymore. That’s why I’m here more now.

  49. 49
  50. 50
    Steve in DC says:

    @rlrr:

    I really don’t think it’s completely this. A lot of people vote Republican because it’s the right thing to do from a moral view point. A lot of the other ones are what’s called “South Park Republicans” which is a “I hate conservatives but I hate liberals more” sort of deal (the name coming from what the South Park creators actually believe and are on record with). Some people just always voted Republican and always will.

  51. 51
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Kane:
    @Valdivia:

    “Hey, I’m Not Obama.” Might not be enough to win with, but enough to run on, sure, yeah…

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Chris:

    People used to think that Nixon was the final straw, the thing that would kill the GOP.

    Then Reagan came along, and reenergized the brand with all the tinsel beneath the tinsel of tinseltown.

  53. 53

    @Kane:
    Yes. Their basic plan seems to be to make the campaign a referendum on Obama: if you don’t like the job he’s been doing, vote for the other guy. It’s a classic strategy for a candidate who’s facing an unpopular opponent but has nothing of his own to offer.

  54. 54

    @Chris:
    Political parties don’t die fast. The GOP is thrashing around like a poisoned hippo, complete with projectile diarrhea.

  55. 55
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @burnspbesq: This is a graph of turnout v. age.

    The rest, as Rabbi Hillel said while standing on one leg, is commentary.

  56. 56
    Cacti says:

    @beltane:

    I don’t think Romney feels the need to focus-group these issues. It is becoming increasingly clear that Romney feels himself to be the anointed one as per the teachings of his religion and that the concerns of outsiders are far, far beneath him.

    I don’t think this part can be underestimated. However, most Americans haven’t heard of the “White Horse Prophecy”.

  57. 57
    kay says:

    @Valdivia:

    I’m surprised at how far they’re taking it.

    I knew media and conservatives decided this was a “referendum on Obama election”, which is fine, whatever, they need a Broad Operating Narrative or they can’t get thru the day, but this is ludicrous.

    Romney really believes he doesn’t have to say anything, define himself at all other than in reference to other people: Obama, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker. Obama, Ryan, Rubio and Walker, whatever else they are, are fully-defined PEOPLE. Romney’s nothing.

    I think he does have to BE something or other.I don’t think he can continue as this strange….contrast with/composite of, other people. Maybe they know it, because when he was asked on immigration prior he would (ridiculously) point to Rubio. He didn’t do that yesterday, so they must know that’s not something he can do forever, or he’s liable to disappear completely.

  58. 58
    Redshift says:

    @rlrr: Fear is very important to authoritarians. If crime and illegal immigration are very low, and terrorism is being combated effectively, you don’t need Stern Father to rule over you and control you for your own good.

    Ever notice how a lot of trolls try to claim that we’re “afraid” of whoever it is we’re mocking? It’s all part of the pattern. They’re the party of fear and punishment, offering nothing more but a lottery-odds hope that you could become rich and be on the giving end instead of receiving.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @Wag:
    Notice that I didn’t say he didn’t have a plan, he has not been told what the plan is. He can’t tell anyone.

    Mitt is a pissant in the scheme of really, really rich fuckers, he’s their lackey, their lad, their boy. He may not know this. But they do.

  60. 60
    beltane says:

    @Cacti: Why isn’t this being circulated via email like all that anti-Obama stuff was in 2008? The Obama campaign shouldn’t do it themselves, of course, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

  61. 61
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kay:

    Romney really believes he doesn’t have to say anything

    All he has to do, really, is be not near.

    That’s pretty much it.

  62. 62
    dww44 says:

    @Steve in DC: Yep, this is too true. Know lots of these folks.

    Some people just always voted Republican and always will.

    And, a comment about the video with Carlos Guiterrez. I clicked on it and said, “Aha, I know who that guy is. He was the former CEO of Kellogg and after leaving the company during the GWB era, I believe he became the Secretary of Commerce in the latter Bush years. So, he’s long since bought into the Republican Business Brand. Don’t believe the guy has a lot of credibility with your average Latino.

  63. 63
    MomSense says:

    @Roger Moore
    It didn’t need fixing!

    @Michael Demmons
    Perfect description! Now could you please post the name of a song that might take that song out of my head where it is running in an endless loop.

  64. 64
    MattF says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: …and, by the way, if you’re at the zoo and you see a hippo spinning its tail… GET BACK:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJlVdemAieE

  65. 65
    Valdivia says:

    @kay:

    It does seem they think they can just go all the way up to November this way, but if the media are noticing now (there are already rumblings about lack of specifics coming from a few MSM voices and people on his wingnut cocoon) by the convention it will be a joke. Once it’s a joke and a meme he will be utterly defined as someone who can’t take a stand and is a coward. That’s fine by me but what are his people thinking?

    I think this is the reason why they can’t choose a VP that is wholly defined and the answer to that will be Portman.

  66. 66
    middlewest says:

    Their strategy makes a lot of sense when you know that Obama struggles against “generic republican” but cleans Mitt Romney’s clock.

  67. 67
    Cacti says:

    @beltane:

    Why isn’t this being circulated via email like all that anti-Obama stuff was in 2008? The Obama campaign shouldn’t do it themselves, of course, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

    Too soon. Most people still aren’t paying much attention yet.

  68. 68
    Bago says:

    @Sibelius: 9/10 it’s a DNS lookup by an ad blocking the rendering engine.

  69. 69
    kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I don’t know, though. I think it looks weak to stand with these conservative media celebrities and defer to them on everything. I think the groveling ass-kissing he does is part of his personality, he’s discovered the way to win people who have huge egos over is to pretend to admire them, but that’s not the bigger problem.

    If he’s going to be Paul Ryan, we could just elect the actual Paul Ryan, rather than Mitt Romney AND Paul Ryan. Why do we need Mitt Romney at all?

  70. 70
    Culture of Truth says:

    I get what team Romney is trying to do, but they are not good at it. Sure I’m biased, but objectively, they’re losing this race, and they could be winning it. They have a bad candidate, but his people are also failing to prepare him for tough interview questions like, name something you would do as President.

    Who is his Plouffe or Axelrod? or he out there alone?

  71. 71

    @MattF:
    I am not following that link, because I suspect it’s a video of a hippo marking its territory. I have seen that up close and in person, and I am going to spare myself any repeats, thanks.

  72. 72
    Kane says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    From Romney’s concession speech in 2008 at CPAC: “If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and frankly I’d be making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

    He had to withdraw or the terrorists would win.

  73. 73
    MattF says:

    @Culture of Truth: This is an important point, since Romney-as-manager is supposedly one of his strong points. In fact, it looks like he’s hired people who just do as they are told, and don’t do it very well.

  74. 74
    kay says:

    @Valdivia:

    I think this is the reason why they can’t choose a VP that is wholly defined and the answer to that will be Portman.

    I hope they pick Portman. Two completely vacant…entities :)

    Maybe he has to. If Romney picks a human being, he’ll disappear, in comparison.

  75. 75

    @kay:
    So that people can claim they’re not voting for Paul Ryan. You know how this works.

  76. 76
    AliceBlue says:

    I hate to sound concern-trollish, but I can’t help but notice that while Obama’s people are saying that the Bain ads are working, Mitt seems to be gaining on Obama in some of the swing states.

    Take deep breaths, remind myself “it’s just June” . . .

  77. 77
    Culture of Truth says:

    I think both can be true. The Bain thing is working, but the race invariably tightens.

  78. 78
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @kay:

    If he’s going to be Paul Ryan, we could just elect the actual Paul Ryan, rather than Mitt Romney AND Paul Ryan. Why do we need Mitt Romney at all?

    Well, because the White Horse Prophecy won’t be fulfilled by a weird Catholic who embraces Ayn Rand as if she were Mary herself. Although he’s claimed to have renounced the one true deity for that Jesus guy, at the prompting of his local child rape coverup cadre.

    Personally, I don’t buy that story for a second. You do not go apostate on Rand. Someone at Reason will put out a fatwah on you if you try.

  79. 79
    Valdivia says:

    @kay:

    This is exactly my point. It is not only that Romney’s ego won’t take someone at the bottom of the ticket getting the crowds and adulation and media love, but that if the person is someone who actually takes stands everyday on things Romney will look even more cellophany than he is now. The contrast will make it glaring that he is a coward.

  80. 80
    Brian R. says:

    Wow, that was pathetic.

    I like how they keep insisting Obama isn’t leading on this issue, even though he’s proposed legislation and now acted on his own when Congress wouldn’t, all the while Mittens refuses to even say if he supports the Arizona law or not.

  81. 81
    Redshift says:

    @Wag: I think you give Romney a lot more credit for having actual beliefs and plans (rather than just whatever is politically convenient at the moment) than I do.

    If Romney were to be elected, he’d almost certainly have a Republican Congress. Do you honestly think he’d stand up to them to implement Obama’s immigration policy? Or that he’d be able to get anything passed with a party that’s more extreme than when Bush couldn’t get anything passed?

    On healthcare, he went big in MA because he wanted to have a big accomplishment to run for president. He doesn’t have any core conviction about it, and he’s not going to try to fight a Republican Congress for it. His “plan” will be conservative orthodoxy — cut spending for the poor, cut regulation, turn the health insurance into the credit card industry, and “let the free market solve it!”

    The single honest thing Romney has said is when he said he doesn’t want to tell us his plans because we wouldn’t vote for him — and he’s not just talking about the wingnuts.

  82. 82
    CardinalRed says:

    I agree about TPM – I’ve been reading them since the late 90s I think and they are about to come off the bookmark list for good – like what the Fluffington Post deserved and got years ago – deleted. I also wiped AmericaBlog cuz I just couldn’t take Avarosis’ childish whining and no answers any more. Unfortunately, my blog list gets shorter every year. Fortunately, I found Balloon Juice and even Charles Johnson may get an add…crazy world.

    I fixed the sitemeter crap – it’s called Adblock.

  83. 83

    @AliceBlue:
    Mitt ain’t gaining on jack. Every outlier poll is proclaimed by the media and the blogosphere as the True Measure Of The Horse Race. We’re in the part of the race where historically Mitt should be trying to hold onto his big lead over Obama coming out of the primaries. He hasn’t even pulled that off. The main public waits until very late in the election to get their first good look at the challenger, and the polls are very clear: To know Mitt is to hate him.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Culture of Truth says:

    Well that’s the real question, isn’t it. Does Mitt want to win. I mean, does he REALLY want to win?

    If he does, he’ll tap Ryan or make Christie take the slot. If he doesn’t want to be shown up, then pick Portman. or Siri.

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kane:

    And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

    Mittens learned a great deal about war when he was in Vietnam.

    Oh, my bad. He wasn’t in Vietnam. He was in Paris. In a chateau.

  87. 87
    Valdivia says:

    The Bain ads right now are about defining Romney in the people’s mind’s ahead of the convention. These ads aren’t meant to be the heavy artillery. That will come after September. Just like Romney is using ads that define him in the public as already president with his First Day and First 100 day ads. The really heavy stuff won’t come til later. The movement in the polls right now is just noise. Look at the aggregation sites and you see it’s pretty static with Obama ahead 2-4 points.

  88. 88
    lacp says:

    He doesn’t know the plan because Baldrick hasn’t told him yet.

  89. 89
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    To know Mitt is to hate him.

    This, this, this.

    Eventually, even the Village idiots will come to despise him, and it will seep through into their coverage.

  90. 90
    Cacti says:

    O/T but happy news just the same…

    Rush Limbaugh gets dropped by Philadelphia CBS affiliate, who carried his program for 20 years.

  91. 91
    General Stuck says:

    @kay:

    Maybe he has to. If Romney picks a human being, he’ll disappear, in comparison.

    LOL, line of the day.

  92. 92

    @kay:

    Romney really believes he doesn’t have to say anything

    I think it’s more than that. He thinks that he’s only going to hurt himself by saying anything substantive. Large parts of the Republican platform are toxic, so he wants to avoid talking about them. Only by making the election exclusively about how bad a job Obama has done- and avoiding how much of that is the result of Republican intransigence- can he hope to overcome the inherent disadvantage of that platform.

  93. 93
    kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, because the White Horse Prophecy won’t be fulfilled by a weird Catholic who embraces Ayn Rand as if she were Mary herself.

    very funny.

  94. 94
    lacp says:

    @Culture of Truth: If he really wanted to win, Tom Ridge would be his best bet (IMO). Don’t think it matters, though – he’s such a shitty candidate that a Washington/Lincoln/Teddy Roosevelt composite at the veep position wouldn’t save him.

  95. 95

    @lacp:
    ‘Vote for us because I will personally shoot Romney in the head ten seconds after he’s sworn into office, take the reins of power, and save this country from sociopathic moron businessmen like my running mate.’

  96. 96
    beltane says:

    @Cacti: He was dropped by a Rutland, VT station also. Maybe Rush isn’t the ratings maker he once was.

  97. 97
    Mark S. says:

    I’m beginning to see why Romney had such a hard time sewing up the nomination against a clown car of opponents. “It doesn’t matter that I don’t stand for anything. I’m rich, so I’m obviously smarter than you are.”

    And I agree with Culture of Truth, the Romney surrogates I’ve seen have pretty much all been terrible. There are ways to dance around a question, but these guys just come across as insincere dipshits.

  98. 98
    lacp says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Sounds like a plan….

  99. 99
    rlrr says:

    @Mark S.:

    but these guys just come across as insincere dipshits.

    Probably because they are insincere dipshits.

  100. 100
    Kane says:

    What is so surprising is that Romney and his campaign and his surrogates are so often flat-footed in their defense of his policies, as well as responding to the unfolding news of the day. Yes, Romney is a flawed candidate, but his campaign staff doesn’t have a clue.

  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mark S.:

    but these guys just come across as insincere dipshits.

    Hey, they are only following the example of their boss.

  102. 102
    Ron says:

    Gah, can’t even watch a video on TPM without turning off ad blockers. boo hiss.

  103. 103
    Cacti says:

    @lacp:

    If he really wanted to win, Tom Ridge would be his best bet (IMO). Don’t think it matters, though – he’s such a shitty candidate that a Washington/Lincoln/Teddy Roosevelt composite at the veep position wouldn’t save him.

    Nobody has ever been saved by their VP pick. If so, Vice President Kemp’s high favorables would have carried President Dole across the finish line in 1996.

    And the ticket topper is rarely sunk by a bad choice. Poppy Bush cruised in 1988, despite having the original Breck Girl politician as his running mate.

  104. 104
    rlrr says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Wasn’t that close to what Palin supporters were thinking: “Vote for McCain, because he’ll drop dead soon and Palin will be President.”

  105. 105
    Redshift says:

    @Culture of Truth: Based on numerous reports, Romney is completely resistant to training. He’s all alpha-CEO, and always knows better than anyone else. (Also, he tends to surround himself with yes-men, so I suspect the subtext is that anyone who dares to tell him he’s doing it wrong won’t last long.)

  106. 106
    lacp says:

    @Cacti: “What a waste it is to lose one’s mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” Good times indeed.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rlrr:

    I’m pretty much convinced that if McCain had won, he’d have had an “accident” about six months in, and the Quitta would have taken over, and Todd Palin would be using the IRS to get revenge on anyone that slighted him in any way right now.

  108. 108
    Culture of Truth says:

    there are levels of insincerity. Some can fake it better than others (John Edwards)

  109. 109
    rikyrah says:

    22 times they asked him.

    TWENTY TWO TIMES.

  110. 110
    rlrr says:

    @lacp:

    Anyone remember, back in 2000, a right wing chain email attributing a bunch of Dan Quayle quotes to Al Gore?

  111. 111
    flukebucket says:

    @The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    I think Mitt is going to lose it during the debates

    I agree. For the first time in his life Mitt will be up against somebody who can and will without fear kick the ever-loving shit out of him and never stop smiling during the process. It will not go over well.

    I think of that every time I hear Mitt say that Obama is in over his head and he has said it countless times. I can’t wait to see that fucker and his pearly white teeth ground into a fine powder on the debate stage.

  112. 112
    rlrr says:

    @Cacti:

    If the VP pick actually meant anything, Dukakis would have won in a landslide.

  113. 113

    @Kane:
    Good point. We know the biggest Supreme Court ruling in a long time is coming up Thursday. It seems to me that right now is a good time for any campaign to be doing things:

    1) Bringing up anything mildly unpleasant that they want to get flushed out of the news cycle by a bigger event, so they can dismiss it as old news. Maybe tomorrow evening would be the idea time, but even today wouldn’t be bad.

    2) Working out exactly what they’re going to say about various possible rulings on the ACA, assuming they haven’t suborned a clerk to give them advance copies of the majority opinion.

    Somehow, though, I doubt Romney is doing either one. He never wants to let bad news out, even if it’s better for the campaign in the long run, and I bet he’ll be flat-footed by the ruling no matter what it is.

  114. 114
    lacp says:

    @rlrr: Never heard of that one, though it does make sense as a political ploy – it’s exactly the sort of thing wingnuts would find credible.

  115. 115
    beltane says:

    @Redshift: Bush Jr. might have been surrounded by yes-men but he also had Karen Hughes to tell him whenever he was doing something wrong on the campaign trail, a designated no-person so to speak. Romney doesn’t even have that, nor would he listen to such a person if he or she even existed.

  116. 116
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore:

    He never wants to let bad news out, even if it’s better for the campaign in the long run, and I bet he’ll be flat-footed by the ruling no matter what it is.

    As I was assuming brigade staff duty officer on New Year’s Day, 1982, the brigade commander himself advised me that bad news does not improve with age.

    Obviously OvenMitt never got this sort of counsel in all his years of bidness and politics.

  117. 117
    Culture of Truth says:

    Mitt’s peeps should be worried about the debates. Not about his losing it which at this point might help his image, but on that third follow up to yet another evasive answer, and he glares at the moderator and flashes that grin that say “If we were anywhere else, I’d fire you.” But he can’t leave the stage and looks like a deer in the headlights.

  118. 118
    Redshift says:

    @Cacti: Exactly. If he picks someone newsworthy, like McCain did, it won’t show that Romney really wants to win, it will show that he’s desperate and he knows he’s going to lose unless he tries something unorthodox. (And Romney’s only core principle is to play it safe — even writing the words “Romney” and “unorthodox” in the same sentence filled me with a sense of fundamental wrongness.)

    The fundamental rule of choosing a VP is to pick someone who doesn’t outshine the candidate. That’s why a complete nonentity like Pawlenty is getting so much buzz. (And again, “Pawlenty” and “buzz” in the same sentence tells you what bizarre territory we’re in.)

  119. 119

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Obviously OvenMitt never got this sort of counsel in all his years of bidness and politics.

    Did he never learn that you’re supposed to release disappointing earnings reports on Friday after the markets have closed? I thought that was in Business 101.

  120. 120
    Valdivia says:

    @Roger Moore:

    According to Greg Sargent both yesterday and today the Romney team is going to aggressively come out swinging not about the ACA ruling proper–what to do with healthcare–but about how Obama made the economy worse by overreaching with his unconstitutional communism of tyranny called the mandate and now, with it gone, has nothing to show for it.

  121. 121
    Culture of Truth says:

    The fundamental rule of choosing a VP is to pick someone who doesn’t outshine the candidate.

    Romney / Black Hole 2012

  122. 122
    burnspbesq says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    If this is intended as a response to my 37, it seems like a non sequitur, but anyway …

    Interesting data, but they only cover 2000 and 2004. I suspect that if the 2008 data were to be added, the data-set would tell a somewhat different story, and I think (extrapolating from my just-turned-18 kid’s eagerness to vote) that the 2012 curve will again be flatter than prior elections.

  123. 123
    amk says:

    @Redshift: Didn’t mehmney fire the debate coach who made him a bit better during the rethug primaries just because he (the coach, not mittbot) got some credit for it?

  124. 124
    lacp says:

    The only thing I can picture him saying during a debate is
    “Resistance is futile.”

  125. 125
    beltane says:

    @Valdivia: That is the type of complex, overly nuanced argument that will go over most people’s heads, especially as the Romney campaign is unlikely to execute the argument particularly well.

  126. 126
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Valdivia: That’s a good plan, actually.

  127. 127
    Valdivia says:

    @beltane:

    I completely agree. I saw this “Romney will be aggressive in reply to ACA ruling” from Halperin yesterday and after seeing how aggressivene they were in not saying anything I couldn’t make heads or tails what they were talking about in relation to ACA. Today Sargent reports on this line they are taking. Just don’t see how it works.

    @Culture of Truth: it’s works only if there is one result from the Court, they can’t answer that with a mixed bag, as we had yesterday with the immigration ruling. And even if everything is struck down, he will be asked what he plans to do. Not answering will make him look like a coward, again.

  128. 128
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @burnspbesq: Look at the slope — you can flatten that significantly, and still not change the prevailing political landscape.

    In 2008, the over-60 Presidential vote did not go to the eventual winner for the first time in 40 years.
    In 2008, 65+ was the only demographic that didn’t go for Obama — it was 10+ for McCain
    In 2010, 65+ went 20+ in House races.

    (CNN/Time exits…)

  129. 129
    burnspbesq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m pretty much convinced that if McCain had won, he’d have had an “accident” about six months in

    Is today Batshit Crazy Tuesday? I thought it was Taco Tuesday.

  130. 130
    Redshift says:

    @Culture of Truth: Given the general competence level of Romney’s team, I can imagine them thinking that if he gets pummeled, they’ll just blame it on media bias of the moderators, and the base will love it! I don’t know if it’s the bubble, or what, but they don’t appear to grasp that getting the hard-core wingnuts even more excited doesn’t actually give them any more votes.

  131. 131

    @Valdivia:
    That strikes me as a terrible plan. As beltane points out, it’s a complex argument that’s going to have trouble gaining traction, even with the RWNM behind it. More importantly- assuming that the mandate really is overturned- it ignores the real effect of the ruling on potential voters. You can bet that Obama will be talking about that and what he wants to do to help people who got screwed by the ruling, and that argument will have a lot more resonance. Romney absolutely needs to present an argument about what he’s going to do, or he’ll look like an asshole who doesn’t care about the people who are going to lose their insurance.

  132. 132
    Culture of Truth says:

    Not necessarily too complex. It goes like this, ‘instead of focusing on jobs, when Obama got into office he spent all his time and effort pandering to his base creating an unpopular health care mandate which made the economy worse. And now it’s been overturned the former Con Law prof has nothing to show for 3 1/2 years in office but high unemployment, a stagnant economy and higher cost of health care.’

  133. 133
  134. 134
    Redshift says:

    @amk: Yeah, you’re right; I’d forgotten about that one. I bet that incident was a refresher for everyone else in the campaign.

  135. 135
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Culture of Truth: ‘Help Us Get That Awful Negro Out Of The White House — Then We’ll Talk’ is shorter, and polls well…

  136. 136
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Davis X. Machina: that’s what I said, essentially…

  137. 137
    beltane says:

    @Culture of Truth: That argument is a lot of “blah, blah, blah, Higher Cost of Health Care.” The natural response to this argument will be to ask “Hey Mitt, what are YOU going to do about the high cost of health care?”

    If he doesn’t have an answer to this question, nobody will give a crap about the “blah, blah, blah” part of his argument.

  138. 138
    Ash Can says:

    @kay: We don’t need Romney; it’s the Republican/RW PTB who need him, precisely because he’s an empty suit that they can fill up with whatever they want. Romney doesn’t refer to his donors as his “investors” for nothing.

  139. 139
    Valdivia says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    and then they will ask what he plans to do. and crickets. Again, he has to come up with something. Concrete. The Obama is the Sux works on the trail and Fox news, when the focus of something this big they better have something more than that. Also–assumes only one kind of result. If the mandate is struck down but everything else stands–how do they reply?

  140. 140
    Redshift says:

    @Roger Moore: What, talking about letting insurance companies incorporate under Wyoming law doesn’t show he cares? How about talking about how the people running insurance companies are good people? I’m sure if he keeps digging, he’ll find a pony in there somewhere…

  141. 141
    Culture of Truth says:

    @beltane: Are you sure about that? How did the GOP take the House in 2010?

    Anyway, Romney has no plan, at least nothing decent, so I would stick with my advice. And some in the media would eat it up.

  142. 142
    EconWatcher says:

    Interesting to compare Josh Marshal to Ezra Klein. Both started out as lone and interesting bloggers and got noticed.

    Marshal then decided to try to create a media empire, which is essentially filled with boring crap. Marshal is now only interesting when he recycles his insights from the past, some of which are genuinely useful (eg, “bitchslap theory of politics”.)

    Klein, at least for now, decided to stick with quality instead of going for quantity. He hired several people, all of whom seem to generate well-researched and thoughtful copy, as Klein continues to do himself.

    I do hope Klein is rewarded for his efforts. He seems to have more respect for his craft than Marshal.

  143. 143
    kindness says:

    As far as the Romney campaign goes….this is their game plan. It really is this simple:

    1) Romney (or his minions) will release a statement. Doesn’t matter if the statement makes sense or says anything at all.

    2) Karl Rove & ever other Fox/wingnut welfare talking head will proclaim Romney’s position/statement as brilliant.

    3) Romney wins & cashes in BIG!

    That’s all it is. That is the plan. And for the 27%ers that’s all they will need.

    Now why the MSM apes the 27%ers I have no clue.

  144. 144
    Valdivia says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    the problem is that it is no longer 2010, the repeal bit is no longer theoretical. and the media, now have a new toy to play with–what will happen next? and the answer Romney is giving is one that worked as long as there was no what next bit. I think the ruling from yesterday is instructive as the media actually did hound him to say–what next with the Arizona law. and he had nothing.

  145. 145
    Culture of Truth says:

    Oh they’re roll out something concrete. They actually talked about putting some of Obamacare back immediately, like preexising coverage and young person’s coverage on their parent’s plan. Hell they might put everything but the mandate back, which was their idea in the first place.

    That’s why I don’t think overturning the law is the win for the GOP the media is so sure it is.

  146. 146
    quannlace says:

    ased on numerous reports, Romney is completely resistant to training. He’s all alpha-CEO, and always knows better than anyone else

    And there you have the simple refutation of the whole ‘A good businessman makes a good president.” argument.

  147. 147
    Kane says:

    Whether Romney knows it or not, his constant refusal or inability to answer simple direct questions from the media is like throwing buckets of chum in a pool of sharks. It now becomes a game for the media to see who can get him to respond. And in the meantime, the public sees a candidate who is unwilling to answer questions and who has difficulty being honest with them about anything.

  148. 148
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Valdivia:

    and he had nothing.

    So he should stick with my script! LOL

    We actually agree. A Scotus overturn is a political disaster for Romney, not that you would ever think so from our media.

  149. 149
    gene108 says:

    @beltane:

    If Sarah Palin couldn’t toxify the Republican brand I don’t think Mitt Romney can either.

    You can’t toxify bitter frustration and seething rage, because by default it is already toxic and those, who embrace it, i.e. conservative voters, are immune to its effects, such as voter apathy.

    The real problem is when non-political junkie liberal voters, who are usually reliable Democratic votes end up with a bit of frustration and/or rage because of how crappy the economy’s been the past 3+ years; they may just choose to sit this November election out.

  150. 150
    Valdivia says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    :)

    I am actually very curious (also nervous about the decision) to see how the Republicans react either way. I did not know but saw from an article in WaPo about the Arizona decision and Romney’s problems with it that the conservatives are VERY angry with Roberts.

  151. 151
    ericblair says:

    @quannlace:

    And there you have the simple refutation of the whole ‘A good businessman makes a good president.” argument.

    Well, Rmoney is a businessman. I have my doubts about “good”, considering the disempowered, unprepared, and unmotivated staff he’s got around him. Is there any history of anyone honestly praising him for his business skills? It’s not a rhetorical question; I’m wondering if there is, or whether he’s a total empty suit that had a governor and CEO for a daddy.

  152. 152
    Ash Can says:

    @Kane: I think this is a good point. It’s entirely in keeping with a group of people long on ambition and short on smarts and maturity. It could become a game for them; the one who gets an actual answer first wins. So they’ll be trying harder and harder to be the one who gets the scoop and lords it over his/her colleagues. We may need to buy popcorn futures for this campaign after all.

  153. 153
    gene108 says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Not necessarily too complex. It goes like this, ‘instead of focusing on jobs, when Obama got into office he spent all his time and effort pandering to his base creating an unpopular health care mandate which made the economy worse. And now it’s been overturned the former Con Law prof has nothing to show for 3 1/2 years in office but high unemployment, a stagnant economy and higher cost of health care.’

    Pretty much my mom’s opinion of Obama and she’s pretty liberal on many issues.

    What I will say is Obama and the Democrats grossly underestimated the size of the downturn. They spent a lot of time trying to get cap ‘n’ trade for greenhouse gasses passed, for example, when the economy was still reeling from the crash of ’08.

    I can understand the argument that they shouldn’t have been out to radically change the rules of the game, when companies were really worried about their own survival and the survival of the overall economy.

    At some level, I’m not sure what else Obama couuld’ve gotten done, if he and the 111th Congress didn’t focus on things like cap ‘n’ trade.

    HCR and Fin Reg, to me, were no brainers to put in place because our healthcare system is a drag on the overall economy and Fin Reg…well you know…those bankers weren’t all that bright or else they’d not have helped tank the global economy and so had it coming (there opinion of themselves no withstanding)…

  154. 154
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Valdivia:

    Again, he has to come up with something.

    I don’t see why. November is a one-question referendum. Most referenda are yes-no votes. If the GOP is smart, they’ll treat it like the California recall election.

  155. 155

    “You’re making this issue about Governor Romney!” The sumbitch is actually whining that they’re trying to make him take a position. Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

    It is gratifying, however, that there’s at least one newsperson who’s not letting them get away with the usual word salad. At least this one time.

  156. 156

    @Redshift:

    What, talking about letting insurance companies incorporate under Wyoming law doesn’t show he cares?

    Actually, I think talking about that would be better than trying to twist the whole thing into one more story about how the economy sucks. He needs to present some kind of response to the actual situation created by the ruling. Letting insurance companies start a race to the bottom would at least be talking about health care.

  157. 157
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yes. Their basic plan seems to be to make the campaign a referendum on Obama: if you don’t like the job he’s been doing, vote for the other guy. It’s a classic strategy for a candidate who’s facing an unpopular opponent but has nothing of his own to offer.

    Except the problem is they Obama isn’t unpopular, people just wish Obama would do more. Mittens has to show were he is the one to do more.

  158. 158

    @Culture of Truth:

    How did the GOP take the House in 2010?

    Election patterning. Midterm backlash election. I’d hoped we could buck the trend, but nope.

  159. 159

    @gene108:

    What I will say is Obama and the Democrats grossly underestimated the size of the downturn.

    The big problem is that everybody underestimated the size of the downturn. It wasn’t just the politicians, the technocrats did, too. That’s why the stimulus wasn’t as big as it should have been, and why Obama pivoted as quickly as he did to the rest of his agenda. By the time it became clear just how big the problem really was, it was politically difficult to go back and ask for another round of stimulus, especially because Congress was already wrapped up in HCR.

  160. 160

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I don’t see why. November is a one-question referendum. Most referenda are yes-no votes. If the GOP is smart, they’ll treat it like the California recall election.

    They can’t. The California recall election was actually two questions: whether we wanted to recall Davis and who we wanted for Governor if he were recalled, for which there was a big list. Because of that, Davis had to justify himself without being able to compare himself against a single obvious alternative. Obama can try to make the election as much about Romney as it is about him, and there’s not a lot Romney can do about it.

  161. 161
    MattR says:

    @Cacti: I hate to be a downer, but that was part of a pre-planned move by Limbaugh to an FM station in Philly.

  162. 162
    grandpa john says:

    @AliceBlue: All polls are not the same you need to look at these pollsters, I am seeing polls named that I have never heard before and find little about their methods .
    The famous Nate Silver once said that if polls don’t give their crosstabs and demographics they are not worth much.
    To be able to say the race is tightening you have to compare the same pollsters. comparing say Rasmussen to PPP would be an exercise in futility. Look at Qpaic in FL. They went from O +5 in march to R+6 in April Back to O+4 in june, did the voters opinion change that much in months. No what changed was the people polled and demographics used to pick the ones polled. Q’s April poll contained some highly questionable numbers of percentages of different groups polled. It is very easy for a pollster to manipulate a poll to give certain results, why would they do that?
    Why does every time someone comes out with a good favorability poll for Obama we can expect to see a Rasmussen poll with high numbers for Mitt? Watch RCP and see if this doesn’t happen. The reason is to flatten the poll average and people fall for it.
    .In Ohio RCP has Obama +1 counting in a newbie and RAS both for mitt, check the extended list, that have only been 3 polls this year in Ohio that has had mitt in the lead, Fox, Ras, and Purple strategies the newbie. Not exactly a ringing endorsement is it.

  163. 163
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Kane:

    He had to withdraw or the terrorists would win.

    Well, and look what happened: Obama won anyway, and he then promptly signed the treaty of surrender to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, under whose yoke we’ve been living ever since. If only Romney had fought on!

  164. 164
    gene108 says:

    @Roger Moore:

    especially because Congress was already wrapped up in HCR.

    I do wonder with the demise of Ted Kennedy did to not only HCR, but also Stimulus II.

    Seriously. Sen. Kennedy was going to put his mark on this and get it through the Senate, but he became ill and couldn’t do squat.

    The onus of crafting a Senate bill fell to Baucus and Dodd. Dodd finished his bill before the summer recess. Baucus dawdled.

    What should’ve been a “victory lap” for Democrats in August ’09, after HCR was passed in July, turned into a mess because Baucus just had to “go slow”.

    If HCR was finished by July ’09 as planned, I really think a second round of stimulus could’ve been on the table.

    What impact Sen. Kennedy’s role getting replaced by Sen. Baucus caused, no one will ever know, but I think it would be significant.

  165. 165
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    I deleted TPM because their commenting section was connected to Facebook, and I hated it. I now only read and comment on sites like this one that has regular comment sections.

  166. 166
    shortstop says:

    @phoebes-in-santa fe: You’re not missing much. The average IQ in that comment section is about 72. That almost everyone there is liberal does not make up for the glaring lack of quality.

  167. 167
    rikyrah says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m pretty much convinced that if McCain had won, he’d have had an “accident” about six months in, and the Quitta would have taken over, and Todd Palin would be using the IRS to get revenge on anyone that slighted him in any way right now.

    if Country Last had been 52 instead of 72, Palin wouldn’t have mattered.

    but, he was 72

    and a former POW

    and a cancer survivor.

    who was dumb enough to choose Caribou Barbie

  168. 168
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Marshal then decided to try to create a media empire, which is essentially filled with boring crap.

    There was a coffee shop around here whose proprietor had grand ambitions: he moved into a bigger, swankier building, started doing a full menu, and hired a bunch of surly waitstaff in black uniforms. If you went into the new place and ordered a coffee, you got looked at like you were dogshit.

    That’s TPM. Maybe whoring for pageviews and clickthroush pays the bills for Josh Marshall and his staff, but the site can’t keep trading off a long-squandered reputation. Going to Facebook comments was, like with every site that goes to Facebook comments, an admission that he doesn’t give a shit about fostering a distinct community of readers.

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