I don’t know about you but ads like these should be pretty effective. I really like the way they use Obama’s own words against him.
Too bad that all the options are so crappy.
Here’s the original version of the ad:
Mitt Romney has a sensitive side, after all — and that side of him has felt most wounded by attacks on his one-time, long-ago treatment of Seamus the Dog, the Romney family’s former pet. At least, that’s what he recently told Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.
The Seamus story was first unearthed in 2007 by a reporter at The Boston Globe assigned to write a piece about Romney for a biographical series the newspaper published. By now, almost everyone knows the tale because, as Chris Cillizza put it, “Seamus is the dog who won’t die — politically, at least.” In 1983, the Romney family loaded up the family station wagon to drive from Boston to Ontario, strapping Seamus’ dog carrier — with Seamus inside — to the roof of the car. At some point on the trip, though, Seamus became ill (“he really had the runs” is how Ann Romney put it). Evidence of his sickness dripped down the window until the oldest Romney boy, Tagg, noticed it and yelled, “Dad! Gross!” Romney pulled into a nearby gas station, hosed down Seamus and the car, reinstated the dog in his carrier and strapped the carrier to the roof once more. In other words, he kept calm and carried on …
Plenty of Romney opponents have painted the episode as illustrative of Romney’s allegedly uncaring attitude — not just toward dogs, but toward everything. They’ve cited the Seamus story as evidence of Romney’s “otherness,” yet another way he’s out of touch with ordinary Americans.
But in the interview with Sawyer, Romney not only said he has been most wounded by attacks that include a mention of Seamus. Ann Romney also said Seamus “loved” trips atop the car.
I grew up in semi-rural California. Back in the day it was commonplace for dogs to ride in the back of pick-ups. Even people rode that way. When I was about 15 I took a 3-hour trip to the far side of Yosemite Park in the back of a pick-up that didn’t even have a tailgate. The guy driving was a California Highway Patrolman.
Standards change. Now it’s illegal to transport people in the back of a pick-up and dogs have to be tethered. But I can still remember dogs with their heads out a car window, expressions of bliss on their faces as the wind made their ears flap behind them.
The Romney’s dog was riding in an enclosed carrier. I’m sure it was a little breezy but probably not much different from riding in a convertible with the top down. Back in the days before air conditioning driving down the highway with the windows down was the only way to travel here in the summer.
Would I recommend transporting your pets that way? Probably not, but I would not assume you were being cruel and inhumane if you did.
Exit question: Would it have been kinder to leave Seamus locked up in a kennel with strangers while the family took a vacation without him?
How’s THAT for tin-foil hat Tuesday?
The story broke last night at Buzzfeed, and of course I was up to catch it. You know it’s my job now to track and speak out against injustice against women. Meet Liz Benjamin. She’s a New York journalist who’s been working for a number of years, and now she’s Editor-in-Chief at a big New York political blog run by NY1 called State of Politics, and has a weekly show by the same name on YNN. The story, according to Buzzfeed, is that Cuomo aide Richard Bamberger (it’s always Dick, ain’t it?) assembled a 35-page dossier of Benjamin’s work that was construed as critical of the Gov. That’s bad enough, but then this is what happened to that dossier:
Bamberger said the document was prepared for a meeting last fall between Bamberger, generally viewed as the most media-friendly of Cuomo’s aides, and a top Cuomo confidant and campaign pollster, Andrew Zambelli; and senior executives at YNN, a Time Warner Cable subsidariy [sic] that provides local cable news programming to most of New York State, on which Benjamin hosts the public affairs show Capitol Tonight, also the title of her blog.
Bolding mine. The paragraph, like the article, is sloppily written (and filled with typos) and it’s necessary to parse what actually went down. He took this dossier to her bosses so he could go over and complain about every inch of it with them. To what purpose, we can’t know right now. Was it to get her fired? Or just reign her in? I’m calling this as a significant case of sexism and an example of why Obama and his brand of Democratic politics must be stopped in its tracks. Don’t think this was a case sexism, huh? Think maybe there are other dossiers on other journalists, some of whom might be male? We have a confession straight from the horse’s mouth:
Bamberger said that there are not files on other reporters. He also denied that the Benjamin document constituted a “file.”
So, if this is true, we have a case of a male-heavy, jocular New York governor’s team going after one woman in a sea of male journalists. How does that sit in your craw today? It’s sticking all up in mine.
Even if you aren’t convinced it’s sexism in action, you must admit that it’s a rather authoritarian, bully thing to do. And it paints Cuomo in a creepy light. His team is pushing back hard, with Bamberger simultaneously suggesting it’s a garbage file he threw away and that the leak of it is “dangerous.” Which is it, big boy? It’s only dangerous because you got caught.
The dossier itself is worth checking out. It’s a collection of her articles with snippets highlighted, and if these were the comments Cuomo’s or Bamberger’s complaints centered around, they have to be the thinnest-skinned men in politics alive today. Here’s an example, in a story about the aftereffect of Hurricane Irene:
Cuomo declined to put even a ballpark figure on the cost of the storm clean-up, but he did say there will be “significant” economic impact at the end of the day.
See what I mean about thin-skinned? The dossier is littered with such objections. And Benjamin isn’t exactly a hostile, right-wing journalist. She’s pretty mainstream.
I remember when I used to read stories about Bush and his lackeys doing this sort of thing. (more…)