Scott Prouty was on The Ed Show tonight. He’s the guy who shot the embarrassing Romney 47% video. Based on the interview, I think there are a whole lot of lesson from the video:
1. Schmooze with the help!
Prouty tells the story of working an event where Bill Clinton was speaking. After the event, Clinton glad handed with the staff. That’s so Clinton! It reminds me of the line in Primary Colors, “This son of a bitch actually likes these people!” But here’s the thing: that is why Prouty brought his camera to the event; he thought Romney might stay for pictures with the staff. The lucky fool!
I was in grad school during Bill Clinton. I knew Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was not exactly a friend of mine. Governor, you’re no Bill Clinton.
Romney reminds me of the main character in Local Hero who is proud of being able to to close deals without human contact. “I’m more of a telex man.” He isn’t the kind of guy who meets with the help. That was very clear during the campaign: Romney is a wholesale politician, not a retail one.
One thing that Romney said about all those “takers” in the nation: he was right. In general, the poor will not vote for the Republican candidate. It isn’t for the reasons that Romney and Ryan think, of course. It is because the average Walmart employee who needs to depend upon food stamps and medicaid for his children knows that the Republican Party is not only not working for him, it is actively working against him; it hates him; it wants to destroy him. So Mitt Romney was right when he said it wasn’t his job to get their votes. He was right that they weren’t going to vote for him. But he is completely wrong to assume it was because he wasn’t going to give them free stuff. (Although: what free stuff did Romney have to give after all of the gifts he was offering to the rich?)
All of this just highlights what I’ve long said: the 47% video didn’t affect the presidential election much at all. The reason it went viral was that it showed what people already knew about Mitt Romney. Regardless of the pretty words, Romney was a plutocrat. You could just hear it when he sang “America the Beautiful”: