An article by McKay Coppins at BuzzFeed gives a candid look at the recent “storm relief” rally held by the Romney campaign in Ohio.
It was supposed to be another campaign event, but was changed because of Hurricane Sandy into a “rally” in which attendees had to bring a canned good. To put it as a comment on Buzzfeed‘s site did, it was a rally which did a lot of good, but how it was done was “cringe-worthy.”
The adjective “cringe-worthy” is definitely something to remember when reading the article, particularly the part:
The plan was for supporters to bring hurricane relief supplies to the event, and then deliver the bags of canned goods, packages of diapers, and cases of water bottles to the candidate, who would be perched behind a table along with a slew of volunteers and his Ohio right-hand man, Senator Rob Portman. To complete the project and photo-op, Romney would lead his crew in carrying the goods out of the gymnasium and into the Penske rental truck parked outside.
But the last-minute nature of the call for donations left some in the campaign concerned that they would end up with an empty truck. So the night before the event, campaign aides went to a local Wal Mart and spent $5,000 on granola bars, canned food, and diapers to put on display while they waited for donations to come in, according to one staffer. (The campaign confirmed that it “did donate supplies to the relief effort,” but would not specify how much it spent.)
In the end, over 2,000 people attended and Romney was well-received when he gave a speech about clearing a football field, which was meant to signify how people can get a job done by pulling together. Except for a few minor glitches, one could say his campaign didn’t fall off the tight rope constructed by Hurricane Sandy, i.e. getting a “vote Romney” message out without showing a lack of sensitivity to those stricken by Mother Nature.