The men and women of the Mitt Romney campaign are geniuses when it comes to political strategy. So says the host and commentators of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” (video below). They are as brilliant as they are conniving. To think, I was one of the foolhardy that actually believed the presumptive Republican Nominee, Mitt Romney, went to the NAACP convention to actually speak to black voters. Thanks to host Lawrence O’Donnell, and his crack team of political analysts, the truth was uncovered. Mitt Romney only went to that convention to be booed by black people in order to bolster his white-racist base.
During Mitt Romney’s speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the assumed Republican nominee told the crowd that if he were to be elected he would repeal Obamacare. This talking point was met with 15 seconds of booing from the crowd. I thought it was because the crowd did not agree with Romney on this point and voiced their disapproval. When questioned about the booing, Romney said, “I don’t give different speeches to different audiences, alright. I gave them the same speech. When I mentioned I am going to get rid of Obamacare they weren’t happy, I didn’t get the same response. That’s OK, I want people to know what I stand for and if I don’t stand for what they want, go vote for someone else, that’s just fine.”
I took him at his word and went on about my day. That is, until my eyes were finally open to the truth by MSNBC’s “The Last Word.” They got to the bottom of what Nancy Pelosi called, “a calculated move.”
How could I be so blind? It’s so apparent to anyone not bamboozled by FOX News that the Republican Party can only get elected if they mobilize the racist white South. I must have completely forgotten my American presidential election history. Thankfully O’Donnell gave a brief history lesson to remind me, saying: “…the Southern strategy that Republicans have used since [President Richard] Nixon and started a little bit before that, where there`s actually an almost overt sometimes appeal to racial and racist voting.”
Of course! Richard Nixon won the presidency in 1968 with his campaign slogan, “Vote for Me if You Hate Blacks Too!” It was a strong departure from his losing 1960’s slogan of, “For the Future.” A brilliant campaign tactic back then and a shrewd move by the Romney Camp today.
It seems silly now that I naively believed that Romney was simply trying to win over a demographic of voters that overwhelmingly supported President Obama in 2008 and recently polled at 92 percent likely to vote for him again. Of course he was only setting himself up to be booed in order to mobilize the Republican’s secret weapon, the Southern racist.
O’Donnell summed up his hypothesis while speaking to Goldie Taylor, a liberal columnist for NBC owned “The Grio.” He said, “And tell me, Goldie, if I’m being too cynical, to think that the Romney campaign actually went in that room today with the hope of getting booed, at least three times, because they want the video of their candidate being booed by the NAACP to play in certain racist precincts where that will actually help them?” Taylor responded, “I don’t think you’re being too cynical at all.”
I am rarely stunned to speechlessness at my lack of understanding of how political campaigns are won and lost, but today, I was. All this time I was under the assumption that Republicans tried to garner as many votes from as many communities as possible, just like Democrats, when in actuality it is just the racist ones they’re after.
The lesson I have learned from all of this is that I need to stop and look a little deeper before I just assume I know the motives of candidates. For example, when I naively assumed David Axelrod, Obama’s chief strategist, said he liked the term “Obamacare” in an email to Democratic supporters. I assumed he meant that he actually liked the term because he wrote, “Because [Obamacare] works. So if you’re with me, say it: ‘I like Obamacare.’” Now I know he was only setting a trap, whereby Republicans would openly use the term and Democratic pundits could later call them insensitive for using a derogatory term at the 2012 NAACP convention where Republicans were only speaking because they wanted to be intentionally booed to shore up their racist base.
Video of MSNBC’s “The Last Word”
- Lawrence O’Donnell: Did Romney Campaign Want To Get Booed At NAACP To Appeal To Racist Voters?(mediaite.com)
- MSNBC: Romney baited NAACP into booing speech to court racist voters(twitchy.com)
- Good Grief! MSNBC Analysts Say Mitt Romney Deliberately Got Booed at NAACP (Video)(thegatewaypundit.com)