Pull up a chair kids. It’s time for a lesson in political optics 101.
After touting a SOLD OUT event and your having to move it to a larger venue, what do you do:
A. Relocate the event to a venue that you cannot possibly fill?
B. Get caught trying to stagecraft the bad news away
C. Have a photo come out that is utterly embarrassing (or two)
D. Pick a venue that is associated with a vulnerable position you’ve held
E. None of the above
If you picked E, then you pass this lesson in political optics. Congratulations! You are ready to run Mitt Romney’s campaign!
Mitt Romney, who has a serious American automobile industry bailout problem picked the worst possible place to give an address in Michigan. Ford Field. Now, granted, he’s involved in a primary and not a general election against Obama but why even open yourself up to this?
Here is what 1,100 people in Ford Field looks like (It holds 65,000):
Romney actually said this out loud:
I want to thank Beth and her team at the Detroit Economic Club for hosting us. And I want to thank Ford Field for making room for us.
Mitt tried to position himself as a favorite son of Michigan, but he wasn’t exactly met with open arms by the locals:
That last one spells out with letters on GM and Chrysler vehicles: DONT LET DETROIT GO BANKRUPT
A reference, of course to Romney’s position on the bailout of both GM and Chrysler. That the guy can go to Detroit and talk about “the Obama Economy” speaks volumes with how out of touch he is. He talked about getting government out of General Motors, which is laughable given the facts. The saddest part is that is pretty much it in terms of what he addressed related to the auto industry. Come to Ford Field and that’s all you have to say? They’ve got a messaging problem.
Obama’s Press Secretary issued this statement following the speech (emphasis mine):
“Mitt Romney today stood in the midst of a monument to an industry he would have let go bankrupt leading to the elimination of 1.4 million American jobs. Rather than introducing a plan that would restore economic security for the middle class, Mitt Romney has proposed a fiscally irresponsible plan that would increase the deficit by $5 trillion over the next decade, provide millionaires with tax breaks 800 percent larger than those for the middle class, hollow out retirement security and allow the wealthiest who earn their income off of investments to pay a lower tax rate than middle class Americans. The President has provided every working American with a tax break, and has put forward a plan to boost competitiveness, create jobs, ensure everyone pays their fair share and reduce the deficit by $4 trillion. The lip service Mitt Romney paid to the middle class today was as empty as the stadium he stood in.”
Of course, this is Michigan. Romney is way better positioned here in Ohio, right? Um. No. Today the Romney campaign officially opened it’s State Campaign Headquarters in Columbus. We’re getting word that it was attended by a few dozen people. Meanwhile, Obama offices are opening to hundreds of supporters all over the state. I wonder if GOP bloggers will be taking about enthusiasm gaps this time around?
The fact of the matter is the Obama plan to save GM and Chrysler has worked. Economic indicators, though slow to turn around from a near Depression, are on the rise. Troops are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is dead. I think Barack will have a pretty decent case to make in the summer and fall.