Matthias is a graduate student at the Goldman School of Public Policy.
On Monday, Mother Jones released a video that secretly recorded Mitt Romney candidly speaking about the election and his strategy. A lot of people are genuinely upset about it and I can understand why, at least partly. Romney and the Republicans are offering up a very different vision for America than President Obama and it can be hard to reconcile those differences. But as far as his “candid” message, I couldn’t help but think nothing he said was new. There wasn’t anything he said that isn’t already out there being discussed regularly in the public sphere.
So I guess I’m wondering, why are people so upset and will it really have any repercussions? That is, will it have any wider impact on the perception of Mitt Romney? Or does it only rile up the liberal base?
But perhaps the more interesting question is, what exactly did Mitt Romney say that was actually wrong? It’s undoubtedly true that a large portion of voters wouldn’t even consider voting for Romney or Obama for that matter. But maybe it wasn’t even what he said. Perhaps instead it was just wrong to talk so bluntly about politics. Stripping down politics has a certain Machiavellian feel about it. Perhaps what Romney did wrong was violate the golden rule. That is, as Gore Vidal put it, “The politician must never give the game away.”