‘He’s never been in it for you’

Daniel Kitts notes an interesting detail of the Obama campaign’s general election plan.

But the Obama indictment of Romney in the economic sphere will extend beyond Bain and the Bay State: It will go to character. It will drive home the idea that Romney is a skillful but self-serving plutocrat whose résumé is replete with self-enrichment but who has never cared an iota about bettering the lives of ordinary people. One tagline that the campaign is considering using—“He’s never been in it for you”—encompasses Bain, Massachusetts, and every Gordon Gekko–meets–Thurston Howell III gaffe he made during the primary season in one crisp linguistic swoop.

That, Kitts suggests, sounds an awful lot like something the Conservatives liked to say about Michael Ignatieff. There is probably an interesting comparison to be made between the two politicians and not only because they sort of looked like each other in their younger years. Both are privileged sons of accomplished fathers. Both have pasts that complicate their presents (Mr. Ignatieff as a free-speaking academic, Mr. Romney as an elected centrist). Both struggle with the “retail” aspects of modern politics.  And now both will be depicted by their opponents as aloof, arrogant strivers who aren’t in touch with the realities of the common man.

Mr. Ignatieff should probably be dispatched to the States post haste to follow the Romney campaign for a couple weeks and write about what he sees.




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‘He’s never been in it for you’

  1. Gawd….5 more months of the ‘stupid season’ in American politics. Nothing gets done and the claims, accusations and counter-claims get wilder by the minute.

    Now if only we could keep the nonsense south of the border.

  2. Mr. Ignatieff should probably be dispatched to the States post haste to
    follow the Romney campaign for a couple weeks and write about what he
    sees.

    Interesting idea. I’m sure Ignatieff will be following very closely.

    Aaron, such a field trip would also be interesting for you and your colleagues here who covered the last campaign and wept for the lack of civility and decorum in the “he didn’t come back for you” attacks against Ignatieff.

    If Obama decides to proceed with such a campaign, I’d be curious to see someone follow the news coverage of it, and compare it to the coverage of the Conservatives’ use of essentially the same campaign last year and the lead up to it.

    Will the American media condemn Obama’s use of a negative, personal-attack filled campaign, as was done repeatedly to the Conservatives anti-Ignatieff campaign here (with you as one of the leading standard-bearers of that criticism)?

    Or will they do what they did in 2008…and be willing enablers of and participants in that campaign?

    I’m pretty sure I already know the answer. I’m pretty sure you do too.

    • To the degree the Obama campaign follows the CPC gutter tactics it should be condemned. He didn’t come back for you, isn’t in it for you are equally moronic. Anyone who enters politics at the top end has to be in it for themselves to some degree or other – including Obama and Harper; it is the attempt to quantify someone’s motives in a sound bite that is offensive.That and the fact the principles- Harper/ Obama don’t dare say it to their opponents face, certainly Harper didn’t.
      That said there are differences between the two cases. Romney just about writes his own gaffes, almost no need to embellish them. MI had an image problem but almost nothing he did justified the torrent of falsehoods, mischaracterizations, distortions and outright lies he had to endure. Sure he wasn’t a good politician, but Harper could have beaten him without resorting to all the disgraceful crap they stooped to. If you’re proud of that you have a problem too.

      • It’s pretty easy to say that Romney writes his own gaffes but MI didn’t.

        Romney has had a few brutal gaffes, no argument there. But MI had plenty of gaffes. He even got called out by his own party for it.

        And imagine how many more gaffes Ignatieff could have gotten credit for if he didn’t have his friends in the media to help cover them up for him.

        • The point is there’s just about no need to embellish or make stuff about Romney. There are a couple of similar gaffes by MI. Still didn’t stop the Tories from making crap up.Did it? Need examples? It was disgraceful , although Ignatieff should have fought back more, whined less IMO.
          Are seriously holding that out as an example of liberal media bias? That’s laughable. Probably any decent editor wouldn’t think twice about correcting a verbal slip of such unimportance. Although I wouldn’t have bothered…it’s that minor; I’m sure Harper has received as much or more. We’re you outraged by any chance when the same guy aired Dion’s “hearing” problem?
          Give it up JG. You’ll find yourself believing Jews brought the twin towers down if you’re not careful.

          • If you think the substantive issue is more important than the misnaming, you pretty much have to cut it out, or it overwhelms the piece.

            I would hate to see the media if it had to conform to some extremist’s perception of what consists of “balanced reporting”. OMG THIS TERRIBLE THING BY A RIGHT WINGER IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS THIS KINDA BAD THING BY A LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS MEDIA BIAS

  3. One man was championing policy that was good for Canadians, the other leading a party that is generally bad for Americans. One would think that might make a difference.

    The CPC’s campaign was “he’s been out of the country for a long and don’t you dare ever question us on why that’s an issue or what it might actually mean, just keep repeating it for us thank you”

    Obama will be able to say “he’s an out of touch plutocrat who turned his back on possibly the single thing Americans need most, a decent health care plan, and let me tell you a little more..”

    • Come to think of it, the fact he stood up for health care in his own state might mean that “He’s not in it for you ANY MORE” might be more true – and add to the idea that the democratic characterization is unfair. Hoisted by my own petard, as it were.

      I wonder if that might not be even more effective – look how much like a democrat he once was, republicans, look how much he changed when it was convenient, democrats.

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