Poor Mitt Romney. He keeps trying to prop up his bad policy proposals with gimmicky political props that flop.
He recently unveiled his energy policy, for example, in Hobbs, N.M., rather than in ExxonMobil’s boardroom, which is the only place his oil-soaked proposal would actually receive genuine, full-throated huzzahs. But a group of hip-hip-hooraying fat-cats in suits is not quite the down-home, regular-guy image that Mr. Multimillionaire is presently trying to project to voters. Thus, like a flimflam man pitching snake oil, Romney set up an outdoor stage in front of an oil rig in Hobbs, and a local industry chieftain assembled an audience of workers in hard hats to be his regular-guy props.
To add to the hype, he had a chart with a bar graph onstage with him, supposedly to give a smear of credibility to his wondrous claims. However, the chart was too small for the audience to see, plus the wind kept threatening to blow it off the stage. No problem, though — Romney just faked it.
“On the left hand side,” he flimmed and flammed, “you see a bar there that represents, you can’t read the writing, it’s too far back, but I can read it … so I’m going to tell you what it says.” Then he concluded with: “As you can see” — even though people could not see it. It was perfect PR puffery.
Only, it didn’t work. As he pitched a policy that literally had been written by Big Oil drillers, frackers and pipeliners, his audience of hard hats looked on in bafflement. It was as though they were watching a rich financier and buddy of the bosses trying to sell them a pig in a poke — which is exactly what they were selling.
Romney failed to mention it during his show-and-tell flimflam routine, but on his way to Hobbs, he stopped in Texas, where he picked up a cool $7 million from oil executives at an industry fundraiser. Now that’s the genuine Mitt.