The people who donated $2 billion to persuade me to vote for their presidential candidate in 2012 could save a lot of money based on my most memorable images. For the record, my images came primarily from morning TV programs on CNN, PBS and ABC and reviews of the prior day’s events in newspapers and the Internet.
Memorable media coverage came from several candidates’ faulty memories. I watched Governor Rick Perry fumbling to remember the name of the third Department he wanted to eliminate, energy. He got eliminated.
Herman Cain forgot his fidelity pledge during a 13-year extramarital affair. I saw him announce he was quitting the race because the revelation “continued hurt on me and my family.”
It’s revealing he mentioned the hurt on himself first.
The media was quick to report Biden said he was “absolutely comfortable” with same-sex marriage. Obama hadn’t announced a change in his position, but quickly did three days later, and not coincidently aligning himself with the nation’s new majority opinion. So much for Obama’s leadership on that issue.
Again, I didn’t watch anachronistic conventions, but my memorable image of the Republican convention is Clint Eastwood’s monologue to an empty chair. Media showed me full coverage of the 82-year-old’s stumbling, rambling conversation, but I don’t remember media images of Romney’s message.
My highlights of the Democratic convention are images of the media telling me how effective President Clinton was energizing Democratic faithful. I don’t remember media images of Obama’s message.
After the conventions Romney gave me memorable statements about “47 percent of the people” in a video recorded by a small camera or cell phone resting on a table at a private fundraiser. That several-hundred-dollar recording device damaged Romney’s image of empathy honed by $1 billion in campaign donations.
I didn’t watch the practiced rhetoric in the debates. Frankly, they’re historically memorialized by brief incidents I can watch on the Internet. Remember Reagan’s, “There you go again?” and Al Gore’s elitist “sighs?”
Before dawn I read Internet reports that Romney trounced Obama in the first debate, supporting judgments with images of Obama taking notes while Romney confidently criticized his ability to create jobs. Obama looked like he needed to take notes.
Conservative media championed Romney’s performance and liberal media bemoaned Obama’s. Romney surged in the polls.
Obama confirmed his performance was lousy, joking about “the nice, long nap I had in the first debate.”
The next memorable images about the debate were TV media showing Obama attacking Romney’s statement he’d cut PBS budgets.
“Thank goodness somebody is finally getting tough on Big Bird,” Obama said.
For several days CNN commented on Big Bird’s appearances on Facebook and Saturday Night Live.
That debate was followed by liberal media praising Biden’s smiling fact-laden dismissals of Ryan’s “malarkey” and conservative media’s approval of Ryan’s composed, respectful tolerance of a “smirking,” “cranky old man.” I got the essence in a few minutes.
My ballot arrived so I voted, dropped it in the mail immediately and shut out the campaign except for following Nate Silver’s blog fivethirtyeight, who predicts the likelihood of each candidate winning the majority of the 538 electoral college votes.
Then hurricane Sandy hit and both candidates dedicated themselves to helping people clobbered by the super-storm. Romney turned campaign events into fundraisers, but I was unaware of his response until writing this column.
Much more coverage reported New Jersey Governor Christie praising Obama’s support.
“The president has been all over this and he deserves credit,” he said.
Perhaps Christie and the media were surprised to see Obama doing his job instead of campaigning.
I offer this message to you donors of $2 billion, which includes my $118 in several small amounts to the Obama campaign so I could dine with him and deliver a stern lecture. I digress.
Donors, your campaign-financed images were overwhelmed by random events on a long campaign trail.
Save yourself some money: lobby to shorten the campaign and give me some relief.