Doc’s having some kind of catastrophic technology meltdown right now, so no post from him this week. Instead you get me. And I’m annoyed. For a change.
Eager for access to the famously reserved candidate, reporters have generally agreed to the campaign’s terms for these “OTRs,” which have long been common practice on presidential campaigns. But the resulting interactions — rare, unfettered conversations with an unusually candid Romney — have left many of the traveling campaign reporters frustrated that they’re unable capture a side of the candidate that he keeps hidden from public view.
“The OTRs are annoying,” said one reporter who covers Romney. “I mean, I’m glad we do them, but it’s like, we can’t show a side of him that exists.”
Right. If only, first of all, there was a way to write about what you were seeing. Yeah, you’d get kicked off the bus and probably not get on the next one, but if it really was worth it to you to convey an accurate sense of what was going on, you’d weigh your options and decide accordingly. This “we can’t” when what reporters and editors mean is “we have made a considered decision not to” drives me bonkers.
Second, this kind of story smacks of the end-of-days pre-post-mortems people did on McCain in 2008, wishing that Poor Noble John McCain had been able to run the kind of campaign he wanted to run, instead of being victimized by his advisors/Sarah Palin/the party/the Religious Right/imaginary pirates/the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Because somehow McCain was powerless, whilst flying around in a plane with his name on it in giant letters, to tell anybody what to do.
Fuck this shit. The campaign does what it does because that’s what the candidate wants it to do, full stop, and if the campaign is doing things that appear to serve the candidate badly, those things are being done because the candidate is either too cowardly to stop them, or too stupid.
Either way, I don’t want a guy who’s not in control of his own goddamn shop to be in charge of my country.