Will it play in Peoria?

Some of the Romney campaigns’s new ads feature clips of alt-country star Bob Schieffer and heartland icons Mark Halperin and David Brooks. Halperin and Schieffer have complained publicly, but thus far, Bobo’s been too much of a Burkean minimalist to say anything about it.

I don’t know if it’s ethical, legal, or whatever for the Romney campaign to do this, but I wonder why the Romney people thought that Halperin and Brooks were the ideal mouthpieces for a message aimed straight at the heart of Real America. Were Chris Buckley and Woody Allen not available?






63 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    Come on, David Brooks understands the Applebee’s salad bar crowd like no one else on the planet.

  2. 2
    Valdivia says:

    the other ad with Obama singing and accusing him of corruption is just pathetic.

    Someone should pointedly ask BoBo what he thinks.

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    I wonder why the Romney people thought that Halperin and Brooks were the ideal mouthpieces for a message aimed straight at the heart of Real America.

    Don’t know about Halperin, but that nice Mr. Brooks? He’s so knowledgeable and friendly. You know, his editorials are in our local paper. He knows so much about politics. If he’s saying it, it must be true.

  4. 4
    catclub says:

    Ted Nugent shot up the set when they tried to get him asking the same question as Scheiffer.

  5. 5
    Walker says:

    They are all media whores. They only reason they are upset is because Romney did not pay them for their services.

  6. 6
    Steve LaBonne says:

    I’m sorry, but the Rmoney campaign HAS to be full of Democratic moles. It’s the only explanation for this kind of bizarre flailing. I mean, Newt freaking Gingrich ran a better campaign than this.

  7. 7
    Ash Can says:

    I’m sure Bobo’s positively thrilled that the Romney campaign noticed him. (Gasp! “He waved at me!” ::faints::) As for the others, it amazes me that Romney wouldn’t care about alienating any of the pundit class. Has this campaign done anything right so far at all? Not that I’m complaining, mind you…

  8. 8
    the Conster says:

    @Valdivia:

    Romney’s team has apparently settled on “I know you are but what am I” as their winning strategery, now with moar pissed off journamalists. VICTORY!

  9. 9
    Tom65 says:

    Halperin’s only pissed because he doesn’t want to lose that philo-thin veneer of objectivity.

  10. 10
    hueyplong says:

    At first I couldn’t understand how Romney could be such an idiot as to think his tax return issue parallels that of Teresa Heinz when his attempt to hide behind John Kerry’s disclosures blew up.

    But then seeing Ch Pierce’s item made it clear. In Romney’s mind, Teresa Heinz “got away with” a lack of tax scrutiny, not because she was merely the spouse of the candidate as opposed to the candidate himself, but instead because she’s super rich, like him.

    In his mind, you simply don’t check out the tax returns of people to the manor born.

    I’m not even sure I’m making this up for effect.

  11. 11
    RaflW says:

    Bob Schieffer is “the most trusted name in news olds.”

    .

    ETA: Yes I know I’m conflating CBS and CNN. Who cares? The news desks don’t bother with facts, why should I.

  12. 12
    shortstop says:

    @Violet: I swear to dog an old lady on a CTA bus said almost this exact thing to me about David Broder a couple of years ago. She was scrambling to get off at the next exit (about three miles before what she’d said was her destination) after I got started. She was near tears. I’m kind of sorry. Kind of.

  13. 13
    Turgidson says:

    @Tom65:

    You’re probably right, but that’s just too rich. This is the guy who said the following:

    after Obama accurately called Republicans out on their debt-ceiling treason: he was “kind of a dick.”

    after Obama points out that McCain doesn’t know how many houses he owns: (paraphrasing) “this is good news for McCain”

    in anticipation of the SCOTUS ruling on the ACA: “no matter how they rule, it’s bad news for Obama.”

    Objective!

  14. 14
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Legal doesn’t have to be ethical so Romney’s all over it. His campaign statement is that they’ll “consult the lawyers”.

  15. 15

    I wonder why the Romney people thought that Halperin and Brooks were the ideal mouthpieces for a message aimed straight at the heart of Real America.

    Because to Romney, they’re lower class working stiffs.

  16. 16
    EconWatcher says:

    This certainly isn’t an original observation, but it’s more and more obvious that Romney is too arrogant to let campaign experts tell him how to run his campaign.

    When I was practicing criminal defense, we used to say that we could win a lot more if we could just do the trials without the clients. Romney reminds me of some nightmare clients, who wouldn’t listen, had to do it their own way, and (inevitably) were quickest to point the finger of blame when their own stubbornness sealed their fate.

    Maybe we should pity Romney campaign staffers. Well, maybe not.

  17. 17
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @EconWatcher: Chances are, Romney hasn’t heard, or listened to, anyone who told him ‘No’ since Noah shut the door on the Ark.

    In the business community, the technical term for a person who tells the boss ‘No’ is ‘unemployed’. This is, inter alia, what ‘run the country like a business’ entails. All those other people running around are there to tell him how to do what he wants to do, not that he can’t do what he wants to do. If they still tell him he can’t do it, he just replaces them with people who tell him he can.

  18. 18
    Valdivia says:

    @the Conster:

    maybe I am just an elitist coastal communist but I truly don’t get that strategy at all.

  19. 19
    rikyrah says:

    @hueyplong:

    I’m not even sure I’m making this up for effect.

    It’s funny as shyt.

  20. 20

    @EconWatcher:

    This certainly isn’t an original observation, but it’s more and more obvious that Romney is too arrogant to let campaign experts anyone tell him how to run his campaign do anything.

    FTFY.

  21. 21
    Nathan says:

    Don’t the Dems have ads that feature clips from the Rachel Maddow Show? I think I saw them featured on… the Rachel Maddow Show.

    Maddow is a lot smarter and more of a journalist than those other guys, and yet, she seems perfectly comfortable with being used as a campaign tool.

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    Sully has a good piece on WILLARD’S PERJURY

    http://andrewsullivan.thedaily.....mself.html

  23. 23
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Romney apparently didn’t get permission to use these people in his ad. He must be a Republican because we know they can’t bother with getting permission to use music. This seems very similar.

  24. 24
    system its says:

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  25. 25
    Zach says:

    I really want to see a “Even Glenn-Kessler/WaPo Says Obama’s a Liar!” supercut of all the Sunday shows this week.

  26. 26
    shortstop says:

    @Davis X. Machina: And yet all kinds of people who were well used to that hierarchical work culture have managed to at least appear to understand that politics isn’t business, and that “my way or the highway” does not turn on voters. Romney’s continuing failure to do so after 18 years of running for office would seem to indicate a real personality issue on top of his limited business perspective.

  27. 27
    cmorenc says:

    @EconWatcher:

    When I was practicing criminal defense, we used to say that we could win a lot more if we could just do the trials without the clients. Romney reminds me of some nightmare clients, who wouldn’t listen, had to do it their own way, and (inevitably) were quickest to point the finger of blame when their own stubbornness sealed their fate.

    I recall one criminal defense client who, during his jury trial, was 95% of the way toward winning a likely acquittal on sexual assault charges against an accuser with a seemingly very shaky story, when he just couldn’t help himself from spontaneously blurting out: “but I only touched her on her beezers!”

    OK, so in the larger picture of things his digging an unnecessary hole for himself likely did a larger service to society and women, but OTOH I wouldn’t be relating this tale if this particular guy had been truly a dangerous or violent predator against women rather than simply a schmuck with offensively poor social judgment in the situation at hand. And yes, there are way too many true sexual predators running around, including at US Military academies.

  28. 28
    EconWatcher says:

    @cmorenc:

    There is nothing like the terror and frustration of sitting there at counsel’s table during your client’s cross-examination, completely helpless, while your client undoes all of your meticulous work in crossing prosecution witnesses. Trying to maintain your hold on every facial muscle to avoid flinching as your client digs his own grave. Which is why we try to keep them off the stand.

  29. 29
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @Valdivia: the other ad with Obama singing and accusing him of corruption is just pathetic.

    Yet more 2008 deja vu. Wasn’t it someone here at Balloon Juice that summed up McCain’s campaign as “Everything Obama does, only smaller and shittier?”

  30. 30
    Svensker says:

    @cmorenc:

    I recall one criminal defense client who, during his jury trial, was 95% of the way toward winning a likely acquittal on sexual assault charges against an accuser with a seemingly very shaky story, when he just couldn’t help himself from spontaneously blurting out: “but I only touched her on her beezers!”

    No! Really? Ha ha ha. Classic.

  31. 31
    bemused says:

    @Valdivia:

    The Romney campaign came out with that in response to Obama’s ad, right? What a pathetic ‘so are you” rebuttal. Mitt and his campaign are unbelievably bad at this.

  32. 32
    jibeaux says:

    @Nathan: So you’re saying Rachel Maddow, noted liberal and lesbian, probably wants Obama to win rather than the other guy? Damn. That’s quite an accusation.

  33. 33
    SatanicPanic says:

    @bemused: It would only make sense to do that if Romney were a better singer. Highlighting that your guy is dorkier is not a winning strategy.

  34. 34
    kd bart says:

    Halperin so wants to be Press Secretary in a Romney White House

  35. 35
    grandpa john says:

    @Nathan: It has to do with asking the creators of the material for permission to use the clips instead of simply stealing someones creations.

  36. 36
    grandpa john says:

    @Nathan: It has to do with asking the creators of the material for permission to use the clips instead of simply stealing someones creations.

  37. 37
    bemused says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Hahaha…

    I think I heard a Mitt spokesjerk say on MJ that Obama was mocking our American patriotic songs.

  38. 38
    red dog says:

    Halprin and Brooks are only known by those on the coasts and inside the beltway so using them in flyover states is their reward for being good mouthpieces. who! who!

  39. 39
    Maude says:

    @grandpa john:
    CBS owns the show. If the remark was said on the show, well, Romney is a thief. He is stupid.

  40. 40
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @kd bart:

    See the Looney Toons short Tree for Two. Romney is Spike; Halperin et al. are Chester; Sylvester is what the Republicans believe Obama is; the escaped panther is what Obama really is (the fact that the panther is black is entirely and completely coincidental; please read nothing in to that).

    Except that instead of switching places, Spike and Chester just get steadily more pathetic and annoying.

  41. 41
    SatanicPanic says:

    @bemused: Mitt was making of mockery of that song. That’s the voice of a man who has always been surrounded by people too chicken to make fun of him.

  42. 42
    wrb says:

    I wonder why the Romney people thought that Halperin and Brooks were the ideal mouthpieces for a message aimed straight at the heart of Real America.

    Brooks plays very well. That is why his op eds are featured in papers all over middle America.

    Polite, friendly, clean-cut, not a shouter or a hyperbolist.

    Just the sort of guy who would improve your Rotary.

  43. 43
    the Conster says:

    @Valdivia:

    That’s because you’re not an 8 year old boy.

  44. 44
    Ash Can says:

    @bemused: I saw that over the weekend. LOL! Romney’s establishing himself as King Offshore of Tin-Earia, but it’s Obama who’s mocking patriotic songs.

  45. 45
    Tonal Crow says:

    Wha? Wait? Romney is pirating intellectual property? Isn’t that a felony? And worse, isn’t that sockialism that takes the bread out of the mouths of the babies of righteous Galtite entrepreneurs like Sony?

  46. 46
    shortstop says:

    @SatanicPanic: True, but I haven’t seen the ad. Is the subtext this? “The president keeps singing black songs by black people!”

  47. 47
    psycholinguist says:

    Next time Mittens goes on TV to spout the Kerry two years of tax returns crap, I really, really wish the stenographer doing the interview would have the balls to ask him if he’s willing to release the same number of tax returns as Kerry did, and then pull out the 20 years of tax returns that are part of Kerry’s public record. Of course, mitt knows that, so he wouldn’t agree, but that would pretty much put that canard to rest for good wouldn’t it.

  48. 48
    EconWatcher says:

    This analysis from Ezra Klein is quite insightful, I think:

    7. The best-world version of Mitt Romney is running a campaign that embraces creative destruction and outsourcing and buyouts and all the rest of it because these things help our economy become more dynamic. That’s where his business experience at Bain might actually help him understand the economy — he has seen the costs of firm-level sclerosis and stagnation firsthand. Think something along the lines of this essay by Reihan Salam. The problem is that the candidate running that campaign needs to have a real answer for the workers who are hurt by that dynamism. Part of that answer would need to be a larger safety net — something akin to Denmark’s “flexicurity” system. But the modern GOP won’t permit Romney to run a campaign that embraces a larger safety net. And so he can’t embrace his own economic experience without appearing cruel.

    8. The irony is that the candidate who could have squared this circle is…Mitt Romney. He would have been perfect, in fact. As the former CEO of Bain Capital, he would have been credible on the economic argument in a way most politicians simply aren’t. As the first governor to successfully pass and implement a universal health care program in the United States, he would have been credible on the safety net in a way most Republicans simply aren’t. But rather than merging Bain and Massachusetts into one campaign, he’s running from both.

  49. 49
    pragmatism says:

    shorter bob shieffer: sure i did some speaking gigs for Bain owned entities and sat on the board of a company that Bain bought that made me a bunch of money, but none of this Bain stuff matters in the election.

  50. 50
    SatanicPanic says:

    @shortstop: I haven’t either. But I’ve heard clips of Obama singing and I can’t imagine him singing anything more painful than Romney’s rendition of America the Beautiful.

  51. 51
    LAC says:

    @grandpa john: Oh, honey, don’t upset Nathan. He just put a quarter in the slot to ride the “false equivalency” pony ride in front of Romney headquarters. A free lollipop is thrown in there as well.

  52. 52
    Valdivia says:

    @the Conster:

    whew! and here I thought I was missing some sort of genius!

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    somehow I had erased that from my mind…

  53. 53

    @Maude:

    CBS owns the show. If the remark was said on the show, well, Romney is a thief.

    Not necessarily. Reuse of a short clip for a political ad probably constitutes fair use. The problem is when the clip is used dishonestly to borrow CBS’s credibility for a point they weren’t making. I’m not sure what the correct legal term for that is, but that’s the real objection.

  54. 54
    Maude says:

    @Roger Moore:
    What the Romney team did was not fair use. It was twisted for political purposes. They stole it.
    It’s copyright infringement.
    I keep saying that Romney is stupid.

  55. 55

    @EconWatcher:
    Quoting Ezra Klein:

    The problem is that the candidate running that campaign needs to have a real answer for the workers who are hurt by that dynamism. Part of that answer would need to be a larger safety net — something akin to Denmark’s “flexicurity” system. But the modern GOP won’t permit Romney to run a campaign that embraces a larger safety net. And so he can’t embrace his own economic experience without appearing cruel.

    I don’t know if the Republicans even need to go that far. I think their best story goes something like this:

    Yes, Bain had to shut down some plants and people lost their jobs, but it also built places like Staples that created new jobs. You can’t have one without the other; that’s the meaning of “creative destruction”. The best solution for people who have lost their jobs isn’t expensive government programs that give them handouts. The only real safety net is a vibrant economy that creates plenty of jobs for everyone, and there’s nobody better to do that than an experienced businessman like Mitt Romney.

  56. 56
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    @EconWatcher:

    The irony is that the candidate who could have squared this circle is…Mitt Romney. He would have been perfect, in fact. As the former CEO of Bain Capital, he would have been credible on the economic argument in a way most politicians simply aren’t. As the first governor to successfully pass and implement a universal health care program in the United States, he would have been credible on the safety net in a way most Republicans simply aren’t. But rather than merging Bain and Massachusetts into one campaign, he’s running from both.

    Sounds like a variation on “Only Nixon could go to China.” But today’s wingnuts are having no more of that.

  57. 57
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Roger Moore: You shouldn’t post rhetoric like that where just anyone can read it.

  58. 58
    FlipYrWhig says:

    That “credible” alterna-Mitt who had invested energy in talking up the need for a safety net to aid the victims of corporate rapacity… would never have gotten out of the primaries, which were a race to the bottom for harshness and cruelty.

  59. 59

    @Tonal Crow:
    I don’t see why. The Romney campaign won’t accept advice from anyone. Maybe the best strategy would be to come up with a list of reasonable solutions to his problems and send them to him as a suggestion. The NIH syndrome will guarantee he’ll refuse to follow any of them.

  60. 60
    The Moar You Know says:

    @EconWatcher: That’s good stuff with a very disquieting implication; Romney would be the perfect president for times like these but he’s too much of a coward to stand up to his own party.

    Which brings me to the core of why I’m not a big fan of Mittens: when does it stop? When does he say “enough, I’m my own man” and run for president as Mitt Romney, and not Ronald Reagan II, or George Romney II, or George W. Bush II…when he gets sworn in? One year in? When?

    I don’t know and as a hypothetical swing voter (I am not one) this would be what would keep me from pulling a lever for the man. I literally don’t know who he is, who he will be, or what he wants to be.

  61. 61
    Tonal Crow says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Which brings me to the core of why I’m not a big fan of Mittens: when does it stop? When does he say “enough, I’m my own man” and run for president as Mitt Romney, and not Ronald Reagan II, or George Romney II, or George W. Bush II…when he gets sworn in? One year in? When?

    When he’s had his Precious long enough to begin regularly wearing black robes that hide his face.

  62. 62

    @The Moar You Know:

    Which brings me to the core of why I’m not a big fan of Mittens: when does it stop?

    Never. Being his own person is what ruined his daddy’s chances, so there’s no way Mitt will try it.

  63. 63

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