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.