Saturday, July 21, 2012

Brother From Another Mother

In the annals of unforced errors, this one is small but telling: death squad candidate Willard Mittington Rmoney III runs a tone-deaf hit ad contrasting (free signup required to read entire article at FT link) his smooth Pat Boone-isms with those of Soul Brutha #1:

Mr Romney’s senior moment came as he responded to a withering television commercial released by President Barack Obama’s campaign last weekend. That advertisement features Mr Romney delivering an off-key rendition of “America the Beautiful”, while the viewer is treated to scenes of empty offices and factories and headlines alleging that Mr Romney moved jobs from the US to other countries and kept money in offshore accounts.

Mr Romney counter-attacked with a commercial noting the country’s dismal economic condition and suggesting that Mr Obama only cares about helping his campaign donors. To drive that point home, it concluded with the president singing “I’m so in love with you”, a line from the old Al Green hit “Let’s Stay Together” to cheers from supporters at a fundraiser this year that was attended by Mr Green himself.

Viewed from a tactical standpoint, I was surprised that the Romney camp used Mr Obama’s performance. I could see why Mr Obama featured Mr Romney in his commercial; the Republican’s warbling suggested a lack of harmony between his rhetoric and his record in government and the private equity business. But unlike Mr Romney, Mr Obama sang quite well, raising the question of why the opposition would show him off to his advantage, even in this limited sense.

Fortunately, Rmoney's fambly-valyews advocates from the ownership class (seriously, are the Welches just really terrific human beings or what?) take a moment from lecturing their pool boys and nail ladies on the virtues of bootstrapping to explain just what Mr. Finger-On-The-Cultural-Pulse really meant:

In an appearance on CNN with her husband, Mrs Welch suggested that Mr Obama’s personal style and choice of musical material define him as a member of a “different America”. I would imagine this is why Mr Romney’s campaign included the snippet of Mr Obama singing “Let’s Stay Together” at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. They hoped it would convey his otherness.

“It’s the difference between the songs that they’re singing,” Mrs Welch said. “Mitt Romney didn’t exactly do a beautiful job on that song, but think about what he’s singing, OK? I mean it’s that patriotic song and he goes all the way through it. Then you’ve got the very cool Barack Obama singing Al Green. That is the two different Americas. Isn’t it?”

Indeed. The guillotines can't arrive fast enough.

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