July 23, 2007

Mitt Romney and the sign that read "No to Obama Osama and Chelsea's Moma."

This was a truly minor controversy, but Romney needs to show better political skills. It was slightly inept to let himself be photographed near the sign and quite stupid to hold up the sign, but once it happened, he should have had an elegant explanation. With all the characters running around to campaign events trying to lure the candidate into a "macaca moment," how is it Romney wasn't ready for this guy?

ADDED: The second link was wrong for a few seconds. If anyone saw it, they would have found this post waaaaay more amusing than it is!

35 comments:

Jeremy said...

If he's making a practice of holding up signs without reading them, you'd think someone would be able to come up with a sign that would make for a much funnier picture.

hdhouse said...

Romney is no smarter than his father and that is no smarter than my pet goat. He will step in it daily for months and wonder why his shoes smell.

He may be slick but he has zero brains and savy. Clinton and Obama willl eat his lunch.

Nels said...

I like how Romney smiles the whole time he's being questioned. By necessity the smile drops a bit when he speaks, and then it's instantly back up again. The only reason his haircuts don't cost $400 is that he's made entirely out of plastic, and they just hose him off after each campaign stop.

AlphaLiberal said...

Is there anything wrong with equating a Presidential candidate to a leading international terrorist (who is still at large 6 years after striking us)?

Or basing that equivalence on race or ethnicity? Perhaps Ann, you might say why it's a problem. Take a stand! Because you're not clear on why you think it's a problem.

Just an idea.

jane said...

Alphaliberal, commas went missing on the sign. Intentional subliminal messaging or, given the penmanship, punctuation and spelling, a Child got Left Behind?

Roost on the Moon said...

Isn't MoMA east of Chelsea?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Clinton and Obama willl eat his lunch.

Well at least it will be a Federally funded hot lunch.

DKWalser said...

Ann,

I'm sorry, but I just don't get the controversy. Romney was at a fund raiser and was being photographed with supporters (who had lined up and paid for the privilege). One of those supporters had a sign that said "No" to the two Democrat front runners and "No" to terrorism. Romney should be expected to agree with those sentiments (just as Hillary and Obama can be expected to be against the Republican front runners and against terrorism). Should Romney (or his staff) be required to vet every sign a supporter brings to a rally? I don't think so.

Nor do I think Romney should be held responsible for the purposefully wrongful interpretation of the sign's message: The writer didn't mean to equate Hillary and Obama with Osama. She's against the election of either Democrat. She's also against al Quaida. That does not mean or imply that the Democrats favor al Quaida. (Although a cogent argument can be made that the Democrats' policies and actions might encourage al Quaida; just as a similar argument can be made about Republican policies and actions.)

You were right. This is a very minor controversy.

DKWalser said...

Romney is no smarter than his father and that is no smarter than my pet goat. ...

He may be slick but he has zero brains and savy...."


hdhouse, why do liberals (almost) always call conservatives stupid? I would have thought with Romney, at least, this attack wouldn't be made. Romney's academic and business records show a man with outstanding intellectual ability. I understand the charge that he's too slick. I can see flip flopper. Stupid? No way.

Hoosier Daddy said...

why do liberals (almost) always call conservatives stupid?

The same reason they call conservatives nazis, fascists, racists, bigots, or killers of small furry animals because when all else fails, just make it up.

The Mechanical Eye said...

(Objective) observers of national politics won't be surprised -- the "base" of the Republican Party has internalized the notion that the Democrats are, if not pro-terrorist, at least sympathetic to jihadist causes.

It doesn't help when someone pulls out an argument like this:

The writer didn't mean to equate Hillary and Obama with Osama. She's against the election of either Democrat. She's also against al Quaida. That does not mean or imply that the Democrats favor al Quaida. (Although a cogent argument can be made that the Democrats' policies and actions might encourage al Quaida; just as a similar argument can be made about Republican policies and actions.)

This, from a comment on a blog where the host found a connection between onion rings and vaginas!

The connection between "Osama" and "Obama" are pretty clear on the homemade poster -- both terms rhyme and the rhyme suggests a connection -- why else would you put the words together? Since this is a political rally, it's not just a nonsense rhyme, the connection is meant to propose something.

By doing this, you're not merely making a "cogent argument," you're openly comparing a sitting Senator of the United States to a mass-murdering terrorist. It's only clever if you think of Democratic senators only as targets for your political movement and not as people with ideas.

The Obama-Osama link is no more a "cogent argument" than it was for some to associate all liberals with Communism.

For more of the same, simply look at Michael Ramirez's blunt cartoon showing a grinning terrorist wearing an "Obama" campaign pin.

In short, Romney should have been a lot smarter with what he stands next to at rallies.

DU

Roger said...

Hmmm Obama-Osama.....isnt that a bit like comparing a sitting president to a nazi dictator? To paraphrase the above poster's words.

Luckyoldson said...

Do people here really think Mitt has the intelligence, backbone and core beliefs to be President of the United States?

Over the past 10 years or so this guy has changed his spots on so many issues it's hard to understand what the hell he believes...and you can rely on the Democrats to ferret out everything they can before any face to face debates take place.

Also, I personally could care less what religious beliefs anyone hass, I'm an Atheist, but there have to be plenty of people who will never vote for Mitt because of his Mormon beliefs.

I also think Rudy will have the similar problems, not related to religion, but to his demeanor and whatever the hell he still has rattling around in his closet...that we haven't heard about yet.

Oh, and you can bet there are plenty who will never vote for Obama because he's black. (Polls show about 20-25% of America wouldn't, but many would never admit to it, so I'd say the percentage is probably closer to 30-40%.)

Justin said...

DKWalser said...

Should Romney (or his staff) be required to vet every sign a supporter brings to a rally?

Only if they want to win.

The writer didn't mean to equate Hillary and Obama with Osama.

You're giving the benefit of the doubt to the creator of the sign. That's fair. But I don't think the other interpretation (that she was equating Obama and Osama) is completely out of line. There are a number of people on the right who are willing to make such a comparison.

The Mechanical Eye said...

The connection between "Osama" and "Obama" are pretty clear on the homemade poster -- both terms rhyme and the rhyme suggests a connection -- why else would you put the words together?

Not really. Osama also ryhmes with "Moma". I don't think the sign was comparing Bin Ladin and Clinton. Also, Obama rhymes with Moma. Was the sign comparing Obama to Clinton?

As far as comparing people to terrorists goes, the meaning of the sign is unclear. The stupidity of Romney standing next to it is not.

This, from a comment on a blog where the host found a connection between onion rings and vaginas!

Wow. Watch out for that non-sequitor.

Luckyoldson said...

the mechanical eye,
Michael Ramirez is one of the most disgusting weasels on the planet.

Political cartoonists are always cutting, but this guy is way beyond the pale, using extremely "personal" attacks on people that have absolutely nothing to do with politics.

I've lived in three different cities that the readers of the local paper were so upset by his cartoons that he was fired.

Zeb Quinn said...

Do people here really think Mitt has the intelligence, backbone and core beliefs to be President of the United States?

Yeah. None of that will get in his way. It's his religion.

Luckyoldson said...

Hoosier Daddy said..."Well at least it will be a Federally funded hot lunch."

Yeah, those damn commie bastards trying to shove that communist/socialist crap down out throats.

We don't need no frigging government!!

Invisible Man said...

People can conflate the two issues, but I've never seen Pelosi or Reid amening the Bushitler jokes. Major officials usually take a step away from such crude and puerile partisan taunts, but here we have a "SERIOUS" Presidential candidate joining in on the joke. Romney has shown time and time again that he isn't ready for prime-time. All of the makeup and hair care in the world won't get him elected as President.

And as for the sign in general, I'm not saying that we should start WWIII over it, but its more than just silly to be comparing Barak Obama and Hillary to Osama Bin Laden, a terrorist responsible for murdering thousands, but I guess that this is what can expect from our "friends" across the aisle during this campaign.

Luckyoldson said...

DKWalser said..."Ann, I'm sorry, but I just don't get the controversy."

Really? Tying the names of two leading Democratic candidates for President...to the guy who masterminded the killing of 1,000's of Americans?

Of course not.

And, hey...how about when people refer to Obama as: Barack Hussein Obama?

Think there's anything to that..or do you just think they're trying to make sure we understand that they're talking about the candidate and not some other Barack Obama out there?

*And then you have the guts to ask house: "why do liberals (almost) always call conservatives stupid?"

Well...

Luckyoldson said...

Zeb Quinn said..."Yeah. None of that will get in his way. It's his religion."

I have no idea what you're trying to say.

Luckyoldson said...

Justin,
The meaning of the sign was obvious.

The person who created it was basically saying: American doesn't want-like-need or whatever: Osama, Obama or Hillary. (Or...maybe that the Democrats are soft on terror? Ya think?)

It's the tying together of the terrorist's name with the Democrats that's out of line.

*How about a nice poster with Rudy holding a plunger?

DKWalser said...

Lucky,

I didn't say it is impossible to become outraged over the sign. I'm saying such outrage is more likely to be manufactured than genuine. The writer of the sign (I'm guessing) did not intend to equate Hillary and Obama with Osama bin Laden -- no one (that I know) on the Right believes that Hillary or Obama want Osama to win. (Plenty of folks on the right believe the Democrats want Bush to lose the war, but that's different than wanting al Quaida to win.) If you took offense it's because you wanted to, not because of the message the sign's writer intended to convey.

So, yea, I don't see the controversy. Just like TPM's attempt to hurt Rudy over his use of the word bullsh*t, people on the left are trying to hold Romney accountable for a message he did not intend to convey. Ann's point was that being photographed with the sign allowed Romney's enemies to make a disingenuous argument. She's got a valid point. You, Lucky, don't.

Luckyoldson said...

DKWalser,
So explain why YOU think Osama's name was on the poster.

Luckyoldson said...

dkwalser says...with a straight face: "...no one (that I know) on the Right believes that Hillary or Obama want Osama to win."

Don't know many people on the right, do you?

AlphaLiberal said...

Look, when you hold up a sign, (in front of cameras, no less), you are endorsing that message.

And the sign clearly links Osama to Obama. Clinton, too.

Romney is also the guy who praised Ann Coulter after her hateful remarks at a recent CPAC meeting. It's a pattern emerging from a guy who supports and incites the most extreme, most hateful elements of his party's base.

And that's saying something!

Luckyoldson said...

DkWalser,
I didn't think so.

DKWalser said...

So explain why YOU think Osama's name was on the [sign].

Lucky, I explained my reasoning in my original post on the subject. I'll allow you to reread it.

dkwalser says...with a straight face: "...no one (that I know) on the Right believes that Hillary or Obama want Osama to win."

Don't know many people on the right, do you?


Lucky, I don't know anyone who believes Reid or Pelosi (or Hillary or Obama) wish harm for the US. Are you saying that we should believe that? If I were you, I wouldn't question their patriotism. They tend to get annoyed when you do. Even when you don't.

Reid, et al, clearly want us to lose the war in Iraq and they want Bush and the Republicans to take the blame for that loss. There are at least two legitimate reasons for those on the left to hold this position: 1) They think we cannot win in Iraq, so our only options are losing now rather than later. Now is better than later in this context. 2) They don't believe that the costs of our losing in Iraq are greater than the benefits that will accrue from greater Democrat majorities in Congress and a Democrat President.

You don't have to question their motives (or their patriotism) for wanting us to lose to believe they are wrong on all counts. Nor do you have to think that they want Osama to win. You simply have to take them at their word: Terrorism is not that much of a threat. It's just a bumper sticker slogan, after all.

Beth said...

Saying "Mitt Romney is stupid" is not "calling conservatives stupid." Mitt is one conservative, and evidence keeps pointing to him being stupid. But arguing that pointing that out is a slur against all conservatives is, well, there's no way around it, stupid.

Eli Blake said...

In general I pay very little attention to gaffes. 'Macaca' is an exception because it was clearly thought out in advance, the setting carefully selected and it was repeated twice. As such it revealed something about George Allen, his character and what he believed was the way to win an election in Virginia.

But most gaffes are slips of the tongue or a tired candidate stumbling. I don't consider that in general they represent poor judgement either (in an international crisis, no matter how dire things are, the candidate as President would have at least a few minutes to think things through, not half a second.)

Revenant said...

Clinton and Obama willl eat his lunch.

Unless Hillary nominates Obama to be her VP -- which would be foolish for a wide variety of reasons -- Obama won't be doing much of anything to any of the Republican candidates, besides commenting from the sidelines.

Anyway, figuring out if this is a gaffe or not would require more effort than I'm willing to waste on the third-place candidate. My guess would be that it would hurt Romney if more than one in eight Americans cared that he was in the race at all.

Cedarford said...

Hdhouse - Romney is no smarter than his father and that is no smarter than my pet goat. He will step in it daily for months and wonder why his shoes smell.

Uh, huh. And I suppose you, being smarter, got better grades than stupid Mitt did while you were also at Harvard doubling as a MBA and Law school student?

Then of course, hdhouse ran rings around Romney in his work career and made even more than he did....making hdhouse "the smart" the only multibillionaire posting here..

Yeah, dumb Lefty litany #11 -

"Conservatives are stupid! Stupid, I tell you! Hey, got ten bucks? My skills are too great and high level to get a common job, and I'm a little short of cash until the government check comes in...."

Nice try, Henhouse.


************
Beth - Saying "Mitt Romney is stupid" is not "calling conservatives stupid." Mitt is one conservative, and evidence keeps pointing to him being stupid.

Sadly, the evidence only points to you, Beth, being too stupid to understand that very bright people - Romney, Bill Gates, Biden, Hillary, Bill Clinton, President Brodhead of Duke - occasionally say or do stupid things.

Pedestrian minds can't seem to fathom that smart people do flub some things up.

I watched in amazement once at an appointment as a genius Admiral with two PhDs and a photographic memory managed to cross thread a lightbulb at his desk screwing it in, caused a short, and burned his hand then gave a brilliant staffing & logistic answer to a vexing Fleet problem at the meeting (why we consulted him) - with his hand in an ice-filled towel.

******************
The incident smacks of a set-up. Most posters face away from the candidate, being for the media cameras at the back to record, not for the candidate to see. The identity of the person trying to get Romney in the photo is unknown, but the person who got up and angrily demanded Romney apologize for "slurring" other candidates by being in a picture of a poster he couldn't read is a known Democratic campaign operative.

Jerid Kurtz, a New Hampshire-based contributor to Buckeye State Blog. "How can you compare any American to Osama bin Laden? How can you do that?"

Kurtz's bio on the Web site notes he is a former Democratic campaign operative.


Guilt by association is a centuries-old campaign smear tactic. Try and get the opposition in a set-up picture or embarassing face-to-face meeting at a rally with a person hired to be there who is a porn star, a Nazi, a family member of someone Bill Clinton signed an execution warrant on, a person claiming to be their illegitimate child (that one goes back to John Adam's time) - then the opoeratives in on the set up arise to announce they are shocked! shocked! shocked! and demand an apology.

Romney was right to blow off the attempted set-up, refuse to apologize for something he did not endorse...All too much of the meaningless public apology demands these days...

Hoosier Daddy said...

but its more than just silly to be comparing Barak Obama and Hillary to Osama Bin Laden, a terrorist responsible for murdering thousands,

I agree and is just as silly comparing Bush to Hitler.

And, hey...how about when people refer to Obama as: Barack Hussein Obama?

Well...that his name isn't it?

hdhouse said...

DKWalser said...
"hdhouse, why do liberals (almost) always call conservatives stupid?"

well because almost always.....

David said...

You guys might be much smarter than Romney, but he knew that the sign is a Ted Kennedy joke. The Kennedy clip is played all the time on Boston talk radio.

Now, if you want to attack Kennedy for conflating Barak Obama and Osama bin Lande, feel free.

Fen said...

Now, if you want to attack Kennedy for conflating Barak Obama and Osama bin Lande, feel free.

[chirp...chirp]

DKWalser is right, the outrage here is feigned.