The Romney campaign sure does have a hard time with photo ops. Two weeks ago, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and friends “ramrodded” their way into a soup kitchen and faced backlash for their insincerity.
This week, Mitt Romney, Champion of Personal Responsibility, bought $5,000 worth of canned goods so that his supporters wouldn’t look selfish and uncaring when they showed up at his hurricane-supplies drive empty-handed.
The Romney campaign had scheduled what they were calling a “victory rally” in Ohio on Monday morning. As Hurricane Sandy raged on the East Coast, affecting millions, his campaign made the decision to turn the rally into an apolitical storm-relief event, removing all campaign signage. I must say, I applaud their restraint in not politicizing another American tragedy, despite that it has worked so well for them with Libya.
In order to get into the rally, supporters were required to donate at least one item. Romney would then load the items onto a truck as the cameras were rolling. Buzzfeed reports the campaign became nervous that supporters would not bring donations (they are not fond of hand-outs, after all), so members of the staff went to a local Walmart and spent about $5,000 on food and diapers to pile beside the rally entry point. When their supporters showed up empty-handed, a campaign volunteer instructed them to take an item from the pile, and hand it to Romney, who then thanked them for their personal contribution.
Apparently there’s nothing wrong with spreading the wealth, as long as it makes for a good photo op.