What Mitt Romney did on his Labor Day weekend!


From the land of the snark and the snide: We’ve been re-watching Wednesday night’s debate.

Obama is doing better this time. It’s amazing how much expectations affect what a person sees.

That said, most people who watched the Wednesday night fight thought Romney walked off with the prize. He seemed brisker, more aggressive, more focused.

It seemed he might have prepared himself a bit more thoroughly. That possibility made us recall the snark and the snide we had seen on some cable TV shows.

It was Monday evening, September 3—Labor Day itself! The GOP had held its convention the previous week. The Dems were about to begin.

On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow was snarking about the way Romney was spending his weekend. She posed as the world’s leading authority, as she so frequently does.

How was Romney spending his Labor Day weekend? Badly, Rachel Maddow said. He ought to be touring the country with Ryan, the world’s leading expert informed us:
MADDOW (9/3/12): Today, in this past weekend, there`s sort of a weird interregnum, over the holiday weekend but between the two conventions. Republicans just had their 72-hour infomercial for Mitt Romney and for the Republican Party.

In this interregnum, and maybe through the Democrats’ three days this upcoming week, the Republicans are supposed to be capitalizing on what they did last week. They’re supposed to be capitalizing on the momentum they built with their 72-hour infomercial. This is the part where you’re supposed to be campaigning at warp speed.

In 1992, after the Clinton/Gore convention, these guys [Clinton and Gore] did a 1,000-mile bus tour right after their convention.

In 2000, after the Republican convention, George Bush and Dick Cheney left straight from their convention to Ohio and Michigan and Illinois to tour it by train.

In 2004, John Kerry and John Edwards did the same sort of cross- country tour through Pennsylvania and West Virginia and Ohio and beyond.

In 2008, Barack Obama and Joe Biden went straight from their convention to Michigan and to Pennsylvania and to Ohio by bus.

You’re supposed to go out there and make it stick, right? It is post-convention momentum time.
Romney was supposed to be taking a tour, the way those other candidates did. But Romney wasn’t doing any such thing!

Rachel continued to snark about Romney’s strange inaction. Just listen to what he had done:
MADDOW (continuing directly): Mitt Romney today is not on a bus tour, or a train tour, or any kind of tour. When you get to be the presidential nominee of your party, you have what’s called a press pool that follows you around at all times. It’s basically a small pool of reporters who track your every movement all day long 24 hours a day and then they distribute that information to the rest of the press.

Well, today, the Mitt Romney press pool was informed at 10 AM that Mr. Romney was down for the day. That he had no events scheduled. The press was essentially told to stand down, Romney watch is over for the day, nothing to see here. You can leave, you got nothing to cover. That was at about 10 AM.

Then, an hour and a half later, this almost never happens, the press was called back into action. After being told that he was down for the day, they were informed an hour and a half later that Mr. Romney actually was going to be on the move. So the press pool immediately had to snap into action in order to cover this event.

(Videotape of Romney in boat)

Mr. Romney taking his boat out for a spin, on a lake. Instead of a cross-country whistle-stop tour, Mr. Romney spent the day boating, and also jet skiing with his family in a lake in New Hampshire.

They reopened the press pool for that, after closing it for the day earlier. Mr. Romney had no campaign events yesterday. He had no campaign events today, unless something is happening on this boat, and he had no public events scheduled for the rest of the entire week.

You know, that’s their call. They can do whatever they want to do. They can put Clint Eastwood on network primetime coverage instead of the candidate intro video, do what you want, it’s your campaign. But it’s not like they have it in the bag here and they can be this relaxed.
Rachel agreed that the Romney campaign could do whatever they pleased. But she was sure it was wrong.

Rachel Maddow snarked at length about the way Romney was wasting his weekend. But then, the rubber hit the road.

We learned what Romney was doing:
MADDOW: I mean, the news isn’t all totally bleak. There do seem to be little upticks in Mr. Romney's favorability numbers and his numbers among Latinos, very small upticks. We'll be talking about those a little bit later on. But basically, the Republican convention appears to have a negligible political impact and by the broadest measures, it appears to have no impact at all.

And now the Romney campaign is responding to that by doing absolutely nothing to try to improve on that! I know they won’t take advice on me on how to campaign, but it’s a little weird.

Their story is that Mr. Romney is too busy to do events this week because he`s doing debate prep for next month. But dude, there he is on a boat! Maybe Rob Portman is hidden on the boat prepping him and we can't see him because the boat is going too fast or something.

Is Rob Portman in the glove box? Do boats have glove boxes? I have no idea.

On the other side, the Obama/Biden ticket is not taking time off. Vice President Biden was in Michigan today. He addressed the AFL-CIO. President Obama again was in Toledo talking to autoworkers.
Posing as the world’s leading authority, Maddow told us how stupid it was that Romney was prepping for the debates! Is there any chance that this expert was wrong in her snark-laden assessment?

Maddow often poses as the world’s foremost authority. After Romney whipped somebody’s keister this week, we found our thoughts drifting back to this snark-laden expert report.

More recent snark from Mouseketeers Lawrence and Krystal: By late September, the boys and girls were eager for the debates to begin.

Last Thursday, Lawrence and Krystal were snarking about the approaching carnage. Disaster was still six days off:
O’DONNELL (9/27/12): [Republicans] are, of course, desperately trying to lower expectations for Mitt Romney in the debate to the point where if he can just stay standing for the 90 minutes, it will be considered a victory. Team Romney says, "It’s clear that President Obama will use his ample rhetorical gifts and debating experience to one end attacking Mitt Romney. Since he won’t and can`t talk about his record, he’ll talk about Mitt Romney. We fully expect a 90- minute attack ad aimed at tearing down his opponent."

Krystal Ball, the president will not be allowed to speak for the full 90 minutes of the debate, I don’t think. Surely, Jim Lehrer will get something in there too. So I think the most we could possibly expect is maybe a 30-minute attack ad on Mitt Romney?

BALL: Although you never know. You know, the Romney camp, given how ineffectual he has been at talking at all, maybe they should put that in the rules that President Obama can just opine for 90 minutes instead of Mitt Romney having to say anything.
On The One True Pseudo-Liberal Channel, you frequently get the snark and the snide. In the aftermath of Wednesday’s defeat, our mind wandered back to the snark and the snide about Mitt Romney’s foolish debate prep.

In fairness, Obama is doing better this time as we watch the debate on tape.


  1. Thanks for the timely report of what Rachel Maddow said a month ago.

  2. You have to wonder if the smug overconfidence MSNBC has been projecting infected the Obama campaign. "Hahaha, let's talk about what dumb thing Romney said today! What a moron!" Unfortunately, the moron cleaned Obama's clock mon Wednesday.

  3. "Obama is doing better this time. It’s amazing how much expectations affect what a person sees."

    Isn't it though? And it is equally amazing how easy it is to run with the pack and rush to your blog to proclaim the debate a "massacre" and a "debacle."

    1. On paper (reading the debate transcript), Obama comes off much better than Romney despite Obama's failure to counter Romney's "dissembling" on a number of occasions.

  4. I can assure you that the Democratic fund raisers don't think the debate was a massacre, but they are less confident now than they were a week ago.

    At least, they are demanding larger contributions than previously, and their requests have a more ominous tone.

    Karl Rove didn't help the mix, either.

    1. Isn't the tone of fundraisers always rather ominous?

  5. This is confusing. I thought the sainted Al Gore explained President's performance by saying thus:

    * * *

    AL GORE: I’m going to say something controversial here. Uh, Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today, just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep, in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust, uh — I don’t know, maybe.

    1. "Sainted?" By whom? Link please, or be thought the tool you are.

    2. Can you imagine the week's worth of blog posts on this site if Rachel Maddow said that?

      I still think that Al Gore was the single most qualified candidate I have ever voted for president, but that remark was just about the dumbest thing I have heard in quite some time.

  6. Rachel Maddow is a tool and she needs to go. She's awful.

  7. How it looks on second viewing doesn't matter, unless the mass of the electorate is going to watch it again. The punditry sure won't. Anyone watching that debate saw an ass whipping, pure and simple. They saw a guy who mumbled and bumbled through a debate, not defending himself, and not attacking his opponent, who smoothly spewed out a bunch of attacks, most of them lies and distortions, not that Obama pointed it out. The narrative is set, and the damage, looking at the polls, is done. Anyone wanting to try to chew over that disaster again and try to claim it as less than a catastrophe, is welcome to do so, but it's a waste of time, unless you're engaged in the endless liberal pursuit of making yourself look smart.

    1. Anyone? Please don't project the way you watched it on the rest of the world.

      As I noted before, after about 10 minutes of watching a variety of pundits proclaim "ass whipping, pure and simple," and review the thing like it was a pro football game or opening night on Broadway, my wife turned to me and proclaimed, "When are they going to talk about what they said?"

      I think if you watched the thing that way, for what each guy was actually saying, and paid less attention which guy was "energetic," or which way he was looking, or all the silly body language analysis, you might also realize that the president really didn't do as bad as conventional wisdom verdict of the pack says he did.

  8. FWIW, on second viewing Obama did better than I had remembered, but it was no less of an ass whipping.

  9. "Wasted draftpick" is the best description there will ever be. Congrats for a HOF remark.

  10. So , it is simple: Romney triumphed, Maddow hates America and is determined to take it down with her. But meanwhile, unemployment fell, Romney called off his 47% comment entirely.
    Look , Bob.! Over there! A once proud blog has lost it.

  11. Less an "ass whipping" or "masacre" but rather Mitt ran so much bullshit around him that Obama couldn't keep up. No credit to either. Romney's "plan" has a remedy for exiting conditions as he claimed? Lets face it, if "liar" is too strong a word for some, then may I suggest Bullshit Artist? Mitt's so well studied in the smooth pivot that some liberals favor up special elegance points, down grading to the milder Dissembler of Merit. Life's simply too short to waste time pretending to ponder the depths of Mitt's veracity or perhaps bend over backwards to consider if he's simply not just a bit confused about the basics of his Presidential policies?!? One don't have to be an Obama partisan to grasp that Romney is a chiseler. As one wag said, he's made his fortune turning $22.50 an hr middle class jobs with benefits into $9.00 an hour jobs without.

    I never give prizes to liars, dissemblers or cheaters.

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuBU3pzy7is

  12. I give TDH more props re: Jack Welch's sickening antics of yesterday. Another creep he warned as about way back when...

  13. Can hardly wait to read about the Jack Welch appearance on Hardball. Caught the briefest of soundbites today, Matthews literally prefaces an incredulous question by thanking Welch for making them a lot of money.

    1. My guess is that Matthews, for all his other multitude of flaws and faults, did such a thorough, professional, and precise job of exposing Welch and even forcing him to admit that he had absolutely nothing to back up his extremely serious charge that Somerby will have nothing at all to say about it.

      Or maybe he will pick out one question that Matthews could have/should have asked better and devote an entire post to that while ignoring the totality of that devastating segment.

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