Thursday, July 12, 2012

Did Mitt Romney Want to Get Booed by the NAACP in Order to Shore Up His Right-wing Bonafides?

Even before Mitt Romney delivered his speech before the NAACP National Convention on Wednesday, it seemed unlikely that his primary motive was to convince large numbers of black voters to turn against President Obama. After the speech, many pundits concluded that Romney actually wanted to get booed, and he even admitted in an interview that he "expected" to get a negative response. By the end of the day, things took a nastier turn when Romney told supporters that if those in the NAACP audience like "free stuff," they should vote for Obama, prompting some to accuse him of race baiting.
As my grandmother would say, Mr. Charlie sure can be smart and tricky.

We speculated about Mitt Romney's reasons for speaking before the NAACP given the pitiful support he enjoys among black voters. Was it a symbolic gesture? Was Romney sincere in his effort to court the black vote? Could it be that the NAACP was not the real intended audience for Romney's speech?

Mitt Romney is turning iron into gold here. Disdain and hostility for black people (and other people of color) is the glue that holds together contemporary conservatism in America. The boos of the NAACP in response to Mitt Romney's stated promise to work against the policy priorities of that organization are points scored in the eyes of the white Right.

Rush Limbaugh "white-wing" conservative bloviator would seem to echo this possibility:
Rush Limbaugh said Mitt Romney’s speech Wednesday to the NAACP fell flat because it was “over these people’s heads” and that the group booed the Republican candidate, who “sounded like Snow White with testicles,” simply because he’s white.
Limbaugh, who regularly refers to the NAACP as the “NAALCP” — the extra L is for “liberal” — claimed that President Barack Obama insulted the group by sending Vice President Joe Biden instead. 
“He’s confident they’ll boo Romney, simply because Romney’s white,” Limbaugh said. “He’s confident of that. But he knows that he’s gonna have hell to pay in private meetings with these people. He’s not gonna get anywhere near it. So what an insult. Here’s Obama sending Biden, not going himself.” 
Limbaugh portrayed the crowd at the NAACP’s annual convention in Houston as ignorant of what was good for them and susceptible to pandering from Obama and other Democratic politicians. 
“This group wants to hear about tax increases and bigger government to take care of people,” he said, according to a transcript. “They don’t want to hear about self-reliance, they don’t want to hear about free enterprise. Free enterprise means you’ve gotta do it yourself. Free enterprise means it’s up to you. Free enterprise means you’re on your own. This group doesn’t want to hear that. I don’t think Romney got a single vote in here today.”
As I observed regarding his genius campaign slogan which argues that Barack Obama is a lazy black man, Romney is a devious foe. Deadly in fact. Romney's speech before the NAACP was a classic misdirection and feint. Just like in chess, or on the battlefield, be very mindful of what the enemy is giving you--the real attack is usually coming from where you least expect it.


Unknown said...

Love this, but grammar Nazi must point out, it's "shore up" not "sure up".

Your driver said...

Of course he was there to score points with racists. That was my first thought.

chaunceydevega said...

@Amy. As a poor black child I went to under-resourced public schools. I need all the grammar help I can get ;)

just kidding. thanks for the catch.

Anonymous said...

I think he did it for political reasons....the same reason why the President WON'T go; they are both appeasing white people.

Anonymous said...

Romeny went there and bought his posse with him for a political stunt. He had no intention of addressing anything of concern to black people.

But, it is not really surprising. His tactics has been all along to divert attention away from him and onto Barack,why wouldn't this be as much as a diversion. The man does not want his constituency to know him, who he is, what he really believes and he can't really point to any of his acheivements as necessarily Pro-American. What's less American than race-baiting?

Did he really say that he was going to make those negroes he bought with him a part of his 'kitchen' cabinet?

OTB said...


from Wikipedia:

The Kitchen Cabinet was a term used by political opponents of President of the United States Andrew Jackson to describe the collection of unofficial advisers he consulted in parallel to the United States Cabinet (the "parlor cabinet") following his purge of the cabinet at the end of the Eaton affair and his break with Vice President John C. Calhoun in 1831.

In colloquial use, "kitchen cabinet" refers to any group of trusted friends and associates, particularly in reference to a President's or presidential candidate's closest unofficial advisers. Clark Clifford was considered a member of the kitchen cabinet for John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson before he was appointed Secretary of Defense. Robert Kennedy was uniquely considered to be a kitchen cabinet member as well as a Cabinet member while he was his brother's Attorney General.

Ronald Reagan had a kitchen cabinet of allies and friends from California who advised him during his terms. This group of ten to twelve rich businessmen were all strong proponents of the free enterprise system.

The term was introduced to British policies to describe British Prime Minister Harold Wilson's inner circle during his terms of office (1964-1970 and 1974-1976)

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's reliance on a Kitchen Cabinet (Treasurer Wayne Swan, Rudd's successor Julia Gillard and Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner) was a factor in his removal as PM.

makheru bradley said...

I think he projected this appearance as his Sister Soldier moment.

A lot of money is riding on Romney choosing Dr. Rice for his VP.

chaunceydevega said...

@Sabrina. I would suggest there is nothing more American than race baiting given our country's history. Just something to think about.

@OTB. Good points. I actually think he was signalling to FDR's informal group of black advisers known as the "black cabinet." I don't know if he misspoke or his speech writers didn't want to be so blatant for fear or a backlash from his white base.

@Makheru. I don't see it. How would that play out. I wouldn't be surprised though given how smart Romney is at this point in the game. Dude is deadly as I said above.

@Mb. Both are running both to and away from race for their own political reasons. Poetic, no?

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the clarification. So most likely part of the stunt.

Anonymous said...

But what did the NAACP cheer during Romney's speech? They cheered when he endorced traditional marriage between a man and a woman. That's what this group did, and I think it needs to be pointed out as much as what the crowd booed.

chaunceydevega said...

@Anon. Do you mean the rented black conservative bootblack cheerleaders he brought in cheered?

Cavoyo said...

"You know, before Marx there was no such thing as class-driven economics. If that guy had been aborted, we'd have a whole different world today."

LOL looks like someone's never read Adam Smith.