Imagine Mitt Romney sitting with a bunch of reporters. He says, “You know, I have always been for civil rights, even back in the 60’s. I saw my father march with Martin Luther King, Jr.”
What would happen? Do you think the old media would trumpet this across the front pages?
Of course not. If the old media ran with that story, not only would it help Mitt, but it would help the Republican Party by demonstrating that in the 60’s, only the republicans were united behind the civil rights movement. The democrats were split. So since it would help republicans, the story was tanked, if it was ever started.
So what does Mitt do? He gives a speech on national TV, a speech that was supposed to be about his religion. (Note how every time Mitt came out and said it wasn’t about his religion that the media drummed it up even more.) In the speech he declares that he saw his father march with Dr. King. It was a minor statement, but an important one. It was a statement that everyone heard. But otherwise, it was a forgettable statement.
But it gets better. See, someone in the media uncovers that maybe this isn’t true. After all, the historical records don’t show that Dr. King ever marched in that area. When confronted, Mitt shows weakness, and starts to backpedal. “Aha!” the old media thinks. “We got him cornered–let’s go in for the kill.” The old media runs with the story, blaring it across the headlines: “Mitt is a liar. He didn’t see dad march with King.”
And then it gets better. See, Mitt did see his dad march with Dr. King. So did a whole lot of other people, people who marched as well. One by one, the real story comes out, piece by piece the lead story in the old media is thoroughly trashed.
Most importantly, the big issue that was supposed to take Mitt down–gets the message he wanted out in the first place. Now, when people think Mitt, they will think: “Wasn’t he the guy that claimed to see his dad march with Dr. King?” and then, “Oh yeah, and they thought he didn’t but he really did!”
Folks, Mitt is slick, and he is slicker than der Schlickmeister himself. He just used the old media to trumpet something he wanted to get out and publish far and wide. He just changed the discussion from “Didn’t mormons prohibit the blacks from getting the priesthood?” to “Didn’t Mitt march with Dr. King?”
This reminds me of how both Reagan and Bush would regularly make fools out of the media. It is so subtle you can easily miss it, but it is obviously there. It reminds me of Governor Romney telling a reporter, “No, I represent the people; you represent your newspaper.” He is that kind of guy, witty, smart, and brilliant.
This is why I support Mitt over Thompson. I have yet to see Thompson do anything like this. This is what you need beyond the issues and the principles: you need someone that can deliver.