On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough reacts to a really awkward clip of Mitt Romney by covering his face and muttering “Sweet Jesus.”
They start off by reading an upbeat campaign announcement that Ryan is going to be joining Romney in order to get more enthusiasm on the campaign trail but according to reports, they need Mr. Ryan to fire up supporters (which translates to they are still too busy trying to appeal to the base with Ryan no matter how toxic he is with the middle, and that isn’t a good sign, but whatever, let’s roll with some good news for the Romney campaign for once).
Mika quips, “That may have been evident during a campaign stop yesterday outside the….”
They roll a clip of Romney and Ryan in Ohio.
Romney is introducing Ryan to the crowd and the crowd starts cheering spontaneously “Ryan, Ryan, Ryan!”
All is well! They crowd is fired up! This is the point, right? Right?
But then immediately the sun goes out.
Romney looks at the crowd and at Ryan and then he admonishes the crowd with his hand held up in the HALT position, “Wait a sec, wait a sec! Romney, Ryan, Romney, Ryan, Romney, Ryan.” (Emphasis Romney)
The crowd falls silent. They are not chanting Romney Ryan. Awkward.
Romney, befuddled, seems to think the crowd has complied, “There we go. That’s great.” Gesturing confusedly back to Ryan, he says, “Thank you.”
Ryan fidgets in the background, sticks his hands in his pockets.
Romney is oblivious that he just ruined the one moment of energy they were going to get. Another self inflicted wound.
End clip. Cut to Joe and Mika in the studio. Joe has his hands over his face, and he mutters in agony, “Sweet Jesus.”
Joe groans and mumbles “What do the Catholics say?” Mika assures him that it won’t work.
Giving in, Joe says it’s the end of the Godfather and he’s “Fredo in the boat saying that about to get it in the back of his head.”
End Morning Joe clip.
This brings to mind Michael Corleone’s warning, “Fredo has a good heart, but he is weak…and stupid, and stupid people are the most dangerous of all.”
Romney picked Ryan to shore up the conservative base, but according to new polls, Ryan is toxic with core Republican support such as seniors. Romney alone can’t fire up the base let alone get the middle. What to do?
Romney is coming off like a guy who has been running for President for so many years that he feels entitled to this win, and he can’t quite face the reality that he’s not winning. Even worse, his own base likes his running mate better than they like him.
The Romney campaign’s problems aren’t just due to Romney being an exceptionally bad candidate, but rather they are symptomatic of the failed product the Republican Party is selling. What we have here is a product packaged with silly yet cruel Randian ideas that only appeal to people who haven’t figured out that teenage novels aren’t a realistic basis for public policy (and who don’t notice that these policies are taking aim directly at them).
Romney/Ryan encapsulates the modern day Republican Party’s platform and policies, and the American people don’t like what they see. Paul Ryan certainly can’t like what he’s seeing, as he must feel his career is being forever tainted with the stench of Romney fail. But that is unfair, because the truth of the matter is Ryan’s own “ideas” are plenty unpopular with the people.
It’s hard not to pity Romney’s socially awkward lurches or his seemingly desperate need to be liked no matter what. But then we remember that this same trait is what caused him to double down on his disdain for half of America and we realize that he is nothing but a privileged high school bully who can’t quite figure out why running for office as a grown man isn’t the same thing as running a posse at Cranbrook, nor does he seem to realize that sneering contempt for those whom he deems “weaker” than him isn’t as attractive or effective as it was in high school.
Not even Joe Scarborough can ignore this level of fail. They blamed Palin in 2008, and they’ll blame Romney this time around. The real question is when will conservative pundits face up to the reality that it’s not Romney and it wasn’t Palin — it’s their failed ideology. Their ideology attracts this level of fail because only a politician as craven and desperate for attention and power as Romney would embrace so blindly an ideology that clearly does not work.
Until Republicans man up and face their denial of the Bush music that opened the door for the tea party extremists, they are doomed to keep repeating Romney.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.