Bad Staff Work

I hate post-campaign trash-talk.I hate it even more when it starts before the campaign is over:

The campaign had expected “a more standard endorsement,”theNew York Times reported, citing two anonymous aides. “Aides said Mr. Eastwood does not like teleprompters and was trusted to deliver an on-message endorsement,” the story continued. This was not the campaign’s fault, no sir.

I kept saying this in the van, but Romney had terrible logistics the entire convention. I do this in my day job and seeing other people fuck it up makes me cringe because it’s so preventable. Whoever designed those giant screens should be flogged for not testing to see how the speakers would look in TV closeups. Yeah, in wide shots and probably from the floor, those screens were impressive and cool. But I was watching on C-span and when they pulled in close to show you the speakers, the backgrounds were violent colors: green, red, puke-yellow, this weird rippling beige. It looked like their folks were speaking from inside nuclear reactors.

(And why thetits, having seen that themselves the first night, didn’t somebody make sure to change that? You could reprogram those things to show something on that one little screen that wouldn’t make viewers’ eyeballs bleed. Or MOVE THE GODDAMN PODIUM.)

Then the Eastwood thing. The more I read over and re-watch his speech, the more I realize how bad the Romney handlers were and how badly they served a guy who was doing them a favor. I get that when Dirty Harry calls you up and says he wants to talk to you, it’s intimidating. Shit, he’s 82 and I’d be scared he’d kick my ass. But you do your speakers no kindnesses when you don’t prep them. It is well worth having them pissed at you for a few minutes, so that they (and you) look good at showtime.

Instead, they let him stumble (in fact helped him stumble by not asking why he wanted a chair out there), and now they’re bashing him anonymously, as if they were powerless over this whole thing. As if they’re the victims instead of the perps.

This sort of shit drove me wild in 2008, when the post-campaign talk was all about how the stupid dumb bitch ruined everything for Noble John McCain, because McCain somehow was not in charge of his own campaign and could not have, for example, fired everyone involved before things got so bad. But no, it was Sarah Palin who somehow prevented John Fucking McCain, who no matter what you may think of his politics is an utter badass, from picking up a telephone and sorting this shit out.

This drove me even wilder in 2004. I know I’m stuck on John Kerry, okay, but that man ran for president against a political machine that had chewed up and spit out everyone in its path, and he took unbelievable amounts of crap on behalf of the country he served with honor and distinction, and yeah, he screwed some stuff up. But I’m about done with the way Democrats are the first to make their losing candidates into targets and jokes. These people do a job, for us, and we act like they lost on purpose just to ruin our lives. Michael Dukakis and George McGovern would have been extraordinary presidents. Jimmy Carter maybe, if the world had gotten off his jock for ten seconds, could have figured himself out. This stuff’s hard for a reason.

But all this after-the-fact carping about who’s to blame is just ass-covering, and it’s unworthy of a presidential campaign. I get that people are frustrated when they aren’t listened to, but being a grown-up means sucking it up and staying on the team, even if that team is arguing with an empty chair.


13 thoughts on “Bad Staff Work

  1. Kinda glad to see the Goopers doing the shit that Dems are notorious for. I feel bad for Clint: he’s an American icon whose politics suck.
    I think Walter Mondale is the guy who would have been a fine President. The record shows that he gave Carter good advice but the latter ignored it.

  2. “I feel bad for Clint: he’s an American icon whose politics suck.”
    Naaaaah, when this campaign is over, no matter who wins, he’ll still be CLINT FUCKING EASTWOOD.

  3. “And why the tits, having seen that themselves the first night, didn’t somebody make sure to change that?”
    Because someone would have had to say to Romney that everything HADN’T been perfect. And you don’t do that.

  4. Yeah you rite Virgo. He’s right up there with Ford, Wilder, Hitchcock and Scorsese as one of my favorite film directors so that’s why I cringed.

  5. My take on the whole thing is that if they can’t run a convention, fix a simple computer graphics problem on the fly, or prepare their speakers/surrogates, why the FUCK would we let them run the country?
    I had a weird thought as I was going to sleep on Thursday night – did Eastwood do that on purpose? Was he a plant? He didn’t follow the party script and vehemently slam Obama. He say “maybe” it’s time for a change not “we need to throw this fucker out.” I’m still having some cognitive dissonance about it. My hinky meter says it’s not what it seems.
    Or perhaps all that is wishful thinking and I just want to be able to watch Eastwood movies again without being pissed.

  6. I dunno about Republican competence. W. stage-managed everything, but four years ago they had the same giant screen with the same problem with close-ups. They wanted to put Walter Reed Medical Center and instead displayedWalter Reed Middle School. The green lawn in front of the school clashed very badly with McCain’s white-and-pink coloration. It just seems like the effort people put into a convention is an index of how they really feel about the whole enterprise. They know in their hearts there isn’t really much point.

  7. Hadn’t thought of Eastwood speech in those terms. But you’re right. From a small local meeting to getting on a larger scale meeting, if you want to present, you have to present an abstract a year in advance and then a text a few months in advance. Just want to get the best and keep things moving well without embarrasing surprises.
    As rm suggests, Today the repub and dem conventions really mean nothing. Ther are no surprises. They are very unlike a society meeting where the surprise is in the insight of the presentations.

  8. Perhaps the ill conceived ideas of Eastwood and the line of bumblers (Palin, etc.) Is what the people want?
    Had a facebook exchange yesterday on a friend’s page with another commenter. The friend posted a link to a youtube of Todd Akin actually addressing the issues of his statement. While the other person said Akin’s original statement ignorant, he eventually came down to saying that he was still voting for Akin as he(the writer) made ill-conceived statements so Akin was just like him.

  9. I’m with you on Dem candidates.
    I would truly have loved to see a Kerry Presidency.
    McGovern has for me slipped under time’s dark and silent gate; I can no longer even imagine a world unscarred by Nixon’s resurrection and subsequent immolation.

  10. I feel bad for Clint: he’s an American icon whose politics suck.
    Some of whose politics suck, I’d say. Personally, I agree with him on some stuff, disagree on other stuff. Pretty much like everyone else, I guess.

  11. “And why the tits…”
    I’m sorry, but I don’t get this word usage. Was there a focus on women’s breasts? Is this a typo? Is “tits” a term for a fool and someone incompetent?
    Am I too old to know this?

  12. And for the late update: I’m assuming you kids read or heard about Eastwood’s statement in an interview that he told them as he was going onstage that he had no idea what he was going to say and they allowed him to go out there and just wing it?
    The Republican convention was an insult to amateur hours. Hahahahahaha.
    Even better than #Eastwooding was what followed on its heels – #insertchair. Some very funny examples I collected from the Twitter:
    “First they ignore your chair, then they laugh at your chair, then they fight your chair and your chair wins. – Gandhi”
    “One chair to rule them all. One chair to find them. One chair to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”
    “Keep your chairs close and your enemies’ chairs closer.”
    “Chairs are people, my friend.”
    “An Inconvenient Chair.”
    “Senator, I knew a chair. A chair was a friend of mine. Sir, you are no chair.”
    “Don’t ask what your chair can do for you, ask what you can do for your chair.”
    “Walk softly and carry a big chair.”
    I was screaming laughing for several days with #insert chair.

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