Thursday, 24 November 2011

Mitt & Al

Steve Benen (amongst others) pulls Mitt Romney up on the latest of lapses of truthfulness.

Benen notes that claiming that your middle name is actually your first name is hardly a big lie.  I'd go further, in fact, and say it's a total non-event, especially when, as in this video, it's at least arguable that Romney is making a joke.

Basically, there's no "there" there.  So why am I even mentioning it?  Because the incident brings to mind two thoughts.  Firstly, had Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. claimed that his first name was "Al", would it have been ignored, or would the press have sunk their teeth into it as another piece of evidence that the man was a congenital liar?  (Hint: it's that second one.)

Second, why is the "Mitt is a liar" narrative not caught on the same way it did with Gore in 2000.  It's certainly not been totally ignored (once George Will calls a Republican a liar, you know things have gotten bad), but it's not reached anything like the lunatic fever pitch that Gore went through.  Is it because Romney is merely the presumptive nominee right now, as oppose to the chosen candidate?

And if the latter is true, what happens when (and it surely is when) Romney gets the nod?  Will the storyline take hold, or will it actually be dropped entirely as "old news" (which, of course, means "a storyline we're bored of and OH LOOK YOU GUYS A SHINY PENNY!").

I'm guessing it will be, actually.  Someone needs to keep an eye on Bob Somerby; I'm not sure his heart can take what's coming.

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