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Romney’s “Storm Relief” Event - a Hastily Organized Sham

Cynical
Politics • Views: 29,112

At Buzzfeed, McKay Coppins has the pathetic tale behind the Romney campaign’s frantic efforts to capitalize politically on Hurricane Sandy without looking like they were capitalizing politically: The Making of Romney’s Storm Relief Event.

After some deliberation, the campaign decided to use their existing venue in Ohio to stage a makeshift and nonpartisan humanitarian project. It would be a way for Romney to show leadership — and get on the local news — without looking craven or opportunistic.

The cryptic advisory went out to press several hours later, announcing the time and location of a “storm relief event” on Tuesday. As Sandy made landfall in New Jersey, Romney’s campaign jet carried the candidate, along with his staff and traveling press corps, back to Ohio after an afternoon rally in Davenport, Iowa.

Meanwhile, on the ground in Dayton, aides were working feverishly to depoliticize the planned event. Campaign signs were removed from the premises, long rows of folding tables were set up, and logistics were painstakingly arranged to accomodate physical donations. …

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.

Cynicism is Mitt Romney’s constant watchword in this election. Another vignette from this crass display:

As supporters lined up to greet the candidate, a young volunteer in a Romney/Ryan T-shirt stood near the tables, his hands cupped around his mouth, shouting, “You need a donation to get in line!”

Empty-handed supporters pled for entrance, with one woman asking, “What if we dropped off our donations up front?”

The volunteer gestured toward a pile of groceries conveniently stacked near the candidate. “Just grab something,” he said.

Two teenage boys retrieved a jar of peanut butter each, and got in line. When it was their turn, they handed their “donations” to Romney. He took them, smiled, and offered an earnest “Thank you.”

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64 comments

1 Alouenghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:34:25am

Expect more pearl clutching, #Occupy is already passing out creamed corn and other stuff.

2 erik_t  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:34:48am

The ineptitude is, as always, hilarious. Nobody will ever remember or mention the crew who wanders through Walmart the night before a presidential campaign event and curiously drops four figures on the same material that ends up at said campaign event the next day.

The profound inability of Romney's campaign to successfully execute even relatively simple tasks is still, to me, the most damning indictment of his presidential candidacy. Why would I think he could hire a competent administration if he can't hire a competent campaign staff?

3 909Ghazis  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:36:35am

Mitt Romney=Hollow Man.

4 Kragarghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:38:20am

SCUM!

5 makeitstopghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:38:59am

Potemkin Relief Rally.

6 HappyBenghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:40:24am

Gotta love them blaming an AV guy for the bio playing too. And there was dickhead McCain using this to attack Obama.

7 allegro  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:42:05am

Romney and his campaign are comically inept. If not for the critically important office he is seeking, the example wouldn't be worth more than a good mocking and laughter. On November 7, may this be the result of this ghastly election season.

8 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:43:57am

re: #3 nines09

Mitt Romney=Hollow Man.

Empty suit.

9 efuseakay  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:46:25am

re: #1 Sheila Broflovski

Expect more pearl clutching, #Occupy is already passing out creamed corn and other stuff.

[Embedded content]

Ebil Hippies!

10 Kragarghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:46:35am

The Red Cross specifically stated that canned goods and supplies really don't help and that cash would be the best assistance as they could use it to get needed supplies wherever they were needed most.

Asshole goes out and blows $5000 he could have just donated to buy the shit he was just told they didn't need.

WAY TO GO, SHITSTAIN! It's just like his plan for the defense budget!

11 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:47:04am

re: #1 Sheila Broflovski

Expect more pearl clutching, #Occupy is already passing out creamed corn and other stuff.

[Embedded content]

Would you care for some pepper spray with that creamed corn?

//

12 909Ghazis  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:47:08am

re: #8 Gus

Empty suit.

Empty Head. I astounded anyone would still vote for this piece of tripe.....Oh wait, I know why.

13 Sophist is the VillageGreen Preservation Society  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:48:04am

You know, he could have had a blood drive or something. Had a bunch of Red Cross blood crews show up at his rally and encourage everyone there to give a pint. That's something they actually need and want right now.

14 909Ghazis  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:48:27am

re: #12 nines09

Here's your ' and m.....I can type.

15 Kragarghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:50:01am

re: #13 Sophist, Gingham Style

You know, he could have had a blood drive or something. Had a bunch of Red Cross blood crews show up at his rally and encourage everyone there to give a pint. That's something they actually need and want right now.

He would have had to watch his son to make sure he wasn't sneaking a sip here and there.

Image: menacing-josh-romney-soon.jpg

16 Killgore Trout  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:50:13am

Romney donates to American Red Cross

In a statement, the American Red Cross thanked Romney for his support and praised both campaigns for urging people to donate: "The American Red Cross appreciates the support from the Romney campaign and is working with the campaign to process this donation of supplies. We are grateful that both the Obama and Romney campaigns have also encouraged the public to send financial donations to the Red Cross. We encourage individuals who want to help to consider making a financial donation or making an appointment to give blood."

17 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:52:17am

This whole competition that the Romney campaign has created to somehow show off his concern in a rather strange battle against the president is rather pathetic. Never seen such a thing in my entire life.

18 Kragarghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:52:25am

re: #16 Killgore Trout

Romney donates to American Red Cross

And that negates him blowing $5 grand acting like a scumball on a staged photo op how?

19 Sophist is the VillageGreen Preservation Society  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:52:27am

re: #16 Killgore Trout

We encourage individuals who want to help to consider making a financial donation or making an appointment to give blood.

20 efuseakay  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:53:02am

re: #13 Sophist, Gingham Style

You know, he could have had a blood drive or something. Had a bunch of Red Cross blood crews show up at his rally and encourage everyone there to give a pint. That's something they actually need and want right now.

But you can't fake that.

21 OhNoBenghazi!  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:53:19am

re: #15 Kragar

He would have had to watch his son to make sure he wasn't sneaking a sip here and there.

Image: menacing-josh-romney-soon.jpg

Cock-punch.

22 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:53:52am

The president meets with FEMA and does what presidents do after a natural disaster... Romney responds with "oh yeah look at me!" Why doesn't he just start wearing a uniform and prance about on a horse.

23 erik_t  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:53:59am

re: #16 Killgore Trout

Romney donates to American Red Cross

Given that so many previous organizations who have been less than friendly to the campaign have gotten frothing vitriol from mouth-breathers, this hollow thanks endorsing a completely different course of action somehow rings slightly hollow.

But never you mind that, you've got a narrative to push.

24 efuseakay  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:54:12am

re: #16 Killgore Trout

Romney donates to American Red Cross

Exactly... Romney's empty faux donations are tying up Red Cross resources.

25 calochortus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:54:49am

Freepers are currently dumping on the Red Cross as an evil organization, and don't seem to understand the difference between sorting and distributing a bunch of individual donations of goods and buying stuff by the case and distributing it. They have also decided Romney isn't giving stuff to the RC.

Alternate Reality.

26 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:55:07am

re: #15 Kragar

He would have had to watch his son to make sure he wasn't sneaking a sip here and there.

Image: menacing-josh-romney-soon.jpg

Image: Tagg-Obama-Stare-Down.gif

27 ShaunP  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:55:41am

re: #10 Kragar

The Red Cross specifically stated that canned goods and supplies really don't help and that cash would be the best assistance as they could use it to get needed supplies wherever they were needed most.

Asshole goes out and blows $5000 he could have just donated to buy the shit he was just told they didn't need.

WAY TO GO, SHITSTAIN! It's just like his plan for the defense budget!

This goes in pretty much every emergency. Donated goods are just another thing to manage when resources are already strained:

Donated Goods and Volunteers

Cash donations rather than unsolicited donated goods avoid the complicated, costly and time-consuming process of collecting, sorting, packing, transporting, unloading, resorting, storing, repackaging, and distributing the goods.

28 Lidanghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:58:47am

re: #16 Killgore Trout

Romney donates to American Red Cross

Maybe he should have stuck with that instead of a bullshit photo op, then?

29 allegro  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:59:08am

Romney and Ryan giving blood would have been a positive photo-op... but then they would have wanted to have autographed their bags of blood to auction off to the highest bidder.

Nevvvveeerrrrr mind.

30 909Ghazis  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:59:23am

Just a word before I go. Three, actually. Fuck Mitt Romney.

31 Kragarghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 10:59:24am

Romney Camp: Pay No Attention To The Auto Companies Calling Us Liars

Two auto companies made a surprise foray into the presidential campaign on Tuesday, bluntly calling out Mitt Romney for his deceptive Ohio ads that suggest they plan to ship local jobs to China. But according to the Romney campaign, there’s nothing to see here.

“Their comments don’t refute anything in our ad,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul told the Detroit News on Wednesday.

That’s true only in the narrowest, most carefully lawyered sense. After Romney outright misstated last week that Jeep was considering shipping Ohio jobs to China, a claim the company immediately denied (they’re actually adding jobs at their Ohio plant), their ads were more careful to say only that Jeep was looking at expanding in China. This is accurate, but the company says it’s completely unrelated to their domestic workforce and only part of operations catering to the Asian market. And the innuendo behind their TV ads and especially their radio ads is as unmistakably clear as it is misleading: the auto bailout didn’t really save Ohio jobs, it’s sending them to China.

32 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:00:02am

re: #25 calochortus

Freepers are currently dumping on the Red Cross as an evil organization, and don't seem to understand the difference between sorting and distributing a bunch of individual donations of goods and buying stuff by the case and distributing it. They have also decided Romney isn't giving stuff to the RC.

Alternate Reality.

Ha! Weirdos. Yeah, Red Cross's first president was Clara Barton... a Universalist! Apparently that's code for the anti-Christ. They hate everybody.

33 ShaunP  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:00:03am

re: #25 calochortus

Freepers are currently dumping on the Red Cross as an evil organization, and don't seem to understand the difference between sorting and distributing a bunch of individual donations of goods and buying stuff by the case and distributing it. They have also decided Romney isn't giving stuff to the RC.

Alternate Reality.

100 individuals spend $xx buying 100 cans of corn individually

100 individuals donate that same $xx to an organization and they can buy more food in bulk.

I'm sure the free markety folks over there can appreciate the benefit of buying wholesale and in bulk...

34 HappyBenghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:00:13am

re: #31 Kragar

Romney Camp: Pay No Attention To The Auto Companies Calling Us Liars

Why does the Romney campaign hate business!

35 Bulworth  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:02:11am

I feel dirty just having read this

36 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:02:24am
37 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:03:18am
38 calochortus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:03:19am

re: #16 Killgore Trout

Making a donation: Appropriate.
Encouraging supporters to make a donation: Appropriate.
Staged photo-op of unneeded supplies: Inappropriate.

Apparently Ryan slowed down the shipping of more relief supplies by being late for a photo op.

39 OhNoBenghazi!  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:03:52am

If I were Romney, since it's the last few days until the election, I would have my donors send a fat check to the relief effort. Then do an ad saying now is the time for the country to come together, etc., and basically follow Christy's lead.
It would certainly look better than what he's doing now.

40 allegro  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:06:26am

re: #33 ShaunP

100 individuals spend $xx buying 100 cans of corn individually

100 individuals donate that same $xx to an organization and they can buy more food in bulk.

I'm sure the free markety folks over there can appreciate the benefit of buying wholesale and in bulk...

That's why I send a check every month to the Houston Food Bank rather than participate in feel-good but ineffective food drives. They can feed a person for an entire day with a single dollar donation.

41 Lidanghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:06:46am

re: #31 Kragar

Romney Camp: Pay No Attention To The Auto Companies Calling Us Liars

Shorter Romney HQ: "We know more about the auto companies than they do!"

42 calochortus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:07:33am

re: #32 Gus

Ha! Weirdos. Yeah, Red Cross's first president was Clara Barton... a Universalist! Apparently that's code for the anti-Christ. They hate everybody.

Yeah. There are individuals claiming their families have hated the RC since WWII because their family members in the armed services were charged for aspirin, and various other things by the RC. Now as it happens both my parents did social work for the RC during WWII and I don't think I ever heard about charging for their services...

43 Kragarghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:08:33am

re: #41 Lidane

Shorter Romney HQ: "We know more about the auto companies than they do!"

So its the same thing as they said about the Pentagon then.

44 alpuz  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:09:17am

re: #23 erik_t

That first story pisses me off on so many levels. Death threats? Ugh.

45 makeitstopghazi  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:09:31am

re: #21 Reverend Mother Ramallo

Cock-punch.

Violence!

(faints)

(Had to steal it, Gus. Sry.)

46 calochortus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:12:04am

re: #33 ShaunP

100 individuals spend $xx buying 100 cans of corn individually

100 individuals donate that same $xx to an organization and they can buy more food in bulk.

I'm sure the free markety folks over there can appreciate the benefit of buying wholesale and in bulk...

You'd think they would...

There's a fine line between true charity (which absolutely can include individuals giving physical items rather than money) and "feel good" charity which is more centered on how it makes me feel rather than the needs of the recipients. People have a deep need for a human connection, and the urge to wrap someone who is hurting in a blanket is probably universal. Unfortunately it is not the best way to deal with something on this scale and we have to try to try to use reason over emotion.

47 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:12:17am

re: #45 makeitstop

Violence!

(faints)

(Had to steal it, Gus. Sry.)

No problema.

48 OhNoBenghazi!  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:12:35am

These freaks are annoying me so much today.
I may change my nic to C-Punch.

49 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:13:02am
50 Decatur Deb  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:15:55am

re: #27 ShaunP

This goes in pretty much every emergency. Donated goods are just another thing to manage when resources are already strained:

Donated Goods and Volunteers

It's more complicated than that, so I'll take a step towards the Romney effort. For a REALLY big disaster like Katrina and this one the Red Cross doesn't 'own' the response. I took two teams of kids from wife's Catholic parish to St. Margaret's in Bayou le Batre. (Ain't retirement freetime great?)
We rotated through several tasks throughout the weeks, but our main effort was musclepower for a FEMA-sponsored warehouse near our hooch in Mobile. The warehouse was set up by Seventh Day Adventists in an abandoned Sam's store. That's what those people do for their regular disaster-relief ministry, and they are expert at it.

Our work there was to take semi-trailers full of donated goods of all kinds, some of them carefully bagged, and break them back down into a couple hundred categories of goods that would be available in a retail food and sundries store. (An amazing amount was pet supplies, which had their own sku-codes.) As we kept the bins full, all kinds of relief agencies would draw us down. That included religious, government, and fraternal organizations.

The materials were definitely needed at the waterline. There were no functioning stores in the county. The trick was to withdraw at the right time so that normal retail establishments could function as a market.

So, Romney's cans could be of value in a few weeks, if they're really there and a structure can be built to distribute them. He's still a prime bullshitter.

51 Sionainn  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:16:05am

re: #22 Gus

The president meets with FEMA and does what presidents do after a natural disaster... Romney responds with "oh yeah look at me!" Why doesn't he just start wearing a uniform and prance about on a horse.

That's quite the visual, Gus!

52 JamesWI  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:16:05am

CNN couldn't be more transparent with their bullshit. This is currently on their front page: Don't let superstorm sway your vote

Long story short, it basically reads "Please don't be influenced by Obama showing his leadership in this crisis, you're going to regret it later!!!"

53 darthstar  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:17:24am

The thing about Romney's campaign stunt is, it totally looked like the sham it was. He would have served himself far better by just taking two days off from the campaign. Now he looks about as effective as a school-girl holding a lemonade sale for disaster relief.

54 Gus  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:18:56am

Reagan Helps Red Cross

Freeper outrage!

55 Sionainn  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:19:23am

re: #28 Lidane

Maybe he should have stuck with that instead of a bullshit photo op, then?

Hell, he could've gotten one of those big ass checks* and had a photo op handing it to the Red Cross. That would've been better than what he actually did with the food and diapers.

*Speaking of those big ass checks, does anyone know where to get one made up? My husband has always wanted one and I'd like to surprise him some day.

56 Euesperides invidius  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:23:54am

re: #53 darthstar

But maybe some people are falling for it?

57 Daniel Ballard  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:28:30am

re: #55 Sionainn

*Speaking of those big ass checks, does anyone know where to get one made up? My husband has always wanted one and I'd like to surprise him some day.

Aha. Done that.
Go to a poster printer, likely a local shop with the really wide inkjet printer. You just make up the check in Photoshop and size the document to the size of the "poster" you want. Then mount printed poster to foam poster board.

58 darthstar  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:31:49am

re: #56 philosophus invidius

But maybe some people are falling for it?

They're the same people who wear those god-awful teabags and purple band-aids and complain about the government taking over their medicare.

59 Joanne  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:31:52am

re: #55 Sionainn

I am sure FedEx Office or Kwik-Kopy can create one for you.

60 Decatur Deb  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:33:22am

re: #56 philosophus invidius

But maybe some people are falling for it?

I sleep better thinking that the people who fall for it are the same minority that falls for all the Freeper bullshit. The TPGOP has converted the choir a hundred times over.

61 efuseakay  Wed, Oct 31, 2012 11:45:29am

re: #25 calochortus

Freepers are currently dumping on the Red Cross as an evil organization, and don't seem to understand the difference between sorting and distributing a bunch of individual donations of goods and buying stuff by the case and distributing it. They have also decided Romney isn't giving stuff to the RC.

Alternate Reality.

That must make Reagan a kommie RINO!

62 DelusionDeluge  Thu, Nov 1, 2012 7:56:32am

I see hope for our nation in Chris Christie, of all people. I disagree with him on much - I think he'd last five minutes as a teacher and on minute six he'd be tripling their salaries - but a centrist Democrat like our president clearly cannot break the fever of the hard right GOP. Perhaps Christie can. This is crucial to the survival of our country, and I'm not even kidding. The vitriol, the noxious and pointless fury and hatred, don't kid yourselves: it was birthed in the Clinton era on radio and has spread from there like a plague to television and the internet and of course the political arena, creating Fox News and thus Iraq and thus a second term for George W. Bush and thus Barack Obama himself, culminating in the vomit-inducing cynicism of the current Romney/Rove "campaign". The humanity of Christie is a breath of fresh air to say the least. Thank you, Governor Christie.

63 Decatur Deb  Thu, Nov 1, 2012 7:59:44am

re: #62 DelusionDeluge

I see hope for our nation in Chris Christie, of all people. I disagree with him on much - I think he'd last five minutes as a teacher and on minute six he'd be tripling their salaries - but a centrist Democrat like our president clearly cannot break the fever of the hard right GOP. Perhaps Christie can. This is crucial to the survival of our country, and I'm not even kidding. The vitriol, the noxious and pointless fury and hatred, don't kid yourselves: it was birthed in the Clinton era on radio and has spread from there like a plague to television and the internet and of course the political arena, creating Fox News and thus Iraq and thus a second term for George W. Bush and thus Barack Obama himself, culminating in the vomit-inducing cynicism of the current Romney/Rove "campaign". The humanity of Christie is a breath of fresh air to say the least. Thank you, Governor Christie.

Hey newbie--

That's a very good comment, and deserves to be seen. It's on a very stale thread, so you should quote it up to the current front thread. It starts "FBI Saysa AZ..."

64 DelusionDeluge  Thu, Nov 1, 2012 8:07:40am

re: #63 Decatur Deb

Thank you, Deb... I will do so... was trying to keep it topical in a similar post.


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