The Obama and Romney Joke Night

President Obama and Mitt Romney both spoke at the Al Smith Dinner on October 19th, to raise money for charity. Their job was to amuse the diners, not to play politics. For the most part, they did well. But…

I thought these Obama jokes, in particular, were rather rude:

  • “In less than three weeks, voters in states like Ohio, Virgina and Florida will decide this incredibly important election. Which begs the question, what are we doing here?”
  • “Early today, I went shopping at some stores in midtown. I understand Gov. Romney went shopping for some stores in midtown.”

Until I read the more tasteless jokes, from Romney:

  • “As President Obama surveys the Waldorf banquet room, with everyone in white tie and finery, you have to wonder what he’s thinking: so little time, so much to redistribute.”
  • “He knows how to seize a moment, this president. And already he has a compelling new campaign slogan: you’re better off now than you were four weeks ago.”
  • “By the way, in the spirit of Sesame Street, the president’s remarks tonight are brought to you by the letter O and the number 16 trillion.”
  • “My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their (the press) job is to make sure no one else finds out about it.”

particularly disliked that last comment. Mitt Romney’s “positive vision” has few numbers, fewer specifics on them. When one of his statements is proven or debunked, Romney doesn’t offer more facts, he calls foul and claims he’s smarter than everyone else–that’s why normal humans don’t understand his math.

Romney will never admit, accept, or understand that this lack of data is why the press offers so much attention to those who crunch numbers to get data about how a Romney plan would affect Americans.

Romney believes the media prints this stuff because they support Obama, not because they can’t get the specifics from his campaign. He’s wrong. If Mr. Romney would give some specific numbers, they’d crunch them night and day. Instead, Romney floats “could be” numbers (I’m thinking of a tax deduction between…). He’s publicly used $17,000, $25,000, and (maybe!) $35,000. As soon as those numbers get debunked–and they always get debunked, because Mitt can’t budget to save his life–his campaign manager calls any information produced using his number du jour “false”.

I’m so tired of the right’s “mainstream media” persecution complex. When Mitt won that first debate, Obama’s positive press went down. Way down. Immediately. They got pretty vicious. News and blogs considered liberal were bashing the president in at least half of the headlines. They were writing his obituary.

Overnight, Mr. Romney went from “loser” to a man who could do no wrong: No gaffes, no awkward moments, no stupid statement published. Every story was about how he’d come into his own. There were glowing articles about an “intervention”–how his family prevailed against the campaign staffers who’d been keeping their man down. No one described his performance (save the Obama supporters who weren’t in the MSM) as “Etch-a-Sketch” or “flip-flop”.

If Mitt Romney had released specifics after the first debate, the press would have been swooning… and they’d have been gentle. But Romney didn’t do that. There were still no details, especially about taxes, that they could write glowing reports about.

When you keep the facts to yourself, Mitt, the media can’t publish them.

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