Spin Doctoring: Lessons From Mitt Romney
This exchange between Mitt Romney and John McCain, and the follow-up dialogue with George Stephanopoulosshows everything that’s wrong with the bland, I-didn’t-mean-what-I-said-and-in-fact-I-never-said-it, duck-the-real-issues treacle that U.S. presidential politics has become.
Could you ever imagine Hugo Chavez spouting that sort of junk?
I’m no fan of McCain, but Romney should be ashamed of himself–except that he has made it abundantly clear to me for years that he has no shame. He specializes in the flip-flop.
And a lot of the other candidates imitate this crap. We, the American people, ought to flat-out reject it. We should demand that our candidates say what they mean, mean what they say, and be held accountable when they screw up or retreat into this sort of meaningless blather.
Columnist Chris Kelly analyzed it like this:
And then remembers that it’s probably on videotape somewhere. So he clarifies:
I would never stoop to accusing you of doing the horrible things everyone knows you do. I’d just insinuate it.
But it’s even more remarkable than that. Mitt Romney has the power to reverse-insinuate. Sometimes when he directly says something, it turns out he’s really just hinting.
He can unsay things by saying them. Don’t ask me how that’s possible. It resists interpretation, like abstract expressionism.
BTW, I’m using “treacle” as Lewis Carroll used it–to describe a bland, unappetizing mishmash–think of it as Muzak(TM) without music. I actually do like molasses.