When Campaigning (Continuously) Goes Wrong

Romney definitely deserves some credit. It’s beyond me how despite his previous absurd campaign blunders, he apparently has made a recent “comeback,” even taking a slight lead over Obama according to some polls. However, regardless of the seemingly small hit these mishaps have caused him, you would think that the campaign managers would be more careful, advise Romney/Ryan to be more cautious in their words and actions, or even take a different approach. And yet the campaign mistakes seem to JUST KEEP ON COMING. Between the picture with the biker chick, the hidden “47% tape,” borrowing the KKK slogan “Keep America American,” and more, the Romney/Ryan pair has produced a blooper reel more hilarious than The Hangover’s. And now the dynamic duo is not only hurting the president’s campaign, they have begun to negatively impact third parties as well. On Saturday, October 13 after an appearance nearby, Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan made a stop at the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society soup kitchen in Youngstown, Ohio. It sounds like a nice gesture, perhaps to “highlight the work of the soup kitchen volunteers,” and to “bring attention to the meaningful charitable contributions the St. Vincent DePaul Society makes to people in need,” as Chris Maloney, Ohio communications director for the Romney campaign frames it. And maybe in theory it could have been so, except for the fact that the charity strives to maintain a strictly apolitical status, Ryan showed up essentially without permission from the charity’s president, and that the appearance was only a 15-minute photo opportunity which took place after the food had been served, patrons had left, and hall had been cleaned. His washing dishes (that didn’t even seem to be dirty) and whatever else he was doing to pose for photos, according to volunteer Juanita Sherba, was “the phoniest piece of baloney I’ve ever been associated with,” and it was clear that he did more damage than good by being there. As Ryan should have known, this soup kitchen, like many other organizations has to uphold an “apolitical” status to maintain private funding, which the organization relies on heavily, and which Ryan has now jeopardized, some donors already threatening to pull their funding.

I find this situation sickening. What has campaigning come to? For whatever reason, the huge influx in donations surely being one of them, it seems to have spiraled out of control to a point of being humorously and ironically detrimental to the candidates and occasionally even other-wise unrelated parties who get dragged into their advertising scheme. Perhaps candidates just need to take a breath and a step back in these final weeks before they really screw up.


Lauren Rhodes


About rowlanda12

This is a blog about the 2012 presidential election. Content is generated by students in Professor Heldman's Politics 101 class. She does not necessarily endorse the views expressed here.
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