I am genuinely beginning to wonder if Mitt Romney hasn't already decided he's not going to win. It's dangerous to be cocky or complacent about the upcoming election, but the whole Republican convention had me flummoxed on so many levels. In all the years I've watched conventions, I've never seen less focus on a candidate and more aspirational speeches for consideration for the next election from the proxies.
And as Rachel points out, Mitt's choices after the convention was to really ride the mehmentum by not scheduling any events over the Labor Day weekend. After telling his press pool to stand down, he called them back up again to give them the photo op of watching him pilot his boat in a New Hampshire lake as Ann and other family raced around on jet-skis. The reason? Mitt needed to prepare for his October debate. On a boat. With jet-skis racing around him. Here's a tip for the Mittster: the press isn't going to give you positive coverage when you treat them like that.
But then again, there's a good chance that the press will be pissy anyway and just find things to complain about, like they're not having any fun:
Yet another high-profile veteran campaign correspondent had his Howard Beale moment this week — mad as hell (or rather, sad as hell) and not willing to take it anymore — when Mark Leibovich lamented the devastating “joylessness” of the 2012 grind and wondered what the hell he was doing with his life.
“How am I ever going to get through it?” the chief national correspondent of The New York Times Magazine asked.[..]
If there is one narrative to anchor what often feels like a plotless 2012 campaign, it is media disillusionment. Reporters feel like both campaigns have decided to run out the clock with limited press avails, distractions, and negative attacks, rather than run confident campaigns with bold policy platforms or lofty notions of hope and change — leaving the media with little to do but grind along covering the latest shallow, sensational item of the day.
“Until the candidates restore joy, it’s impossible for us to be joyful,” NBC News senior White House correspondent Chuck Todd told POLITICO. “The campaigns are trying so hard to manipulate us, to work the refs, to withhold access. If these candidates were comfortable, the campaign might be joyful to cover.”
As one media savvy pundit put it, boo-freakin'-hoo. Americans are suffering, the country is at a dire crossroads in no small part because the media is afraid to hold politicians accountable for their lives and I'm supposed to care that they aren't having fun?
Although, it's still not as WATB as John Fund hating on his hotel accommodations (note to Fund: that's a Charlotte issue, not a DNC one) or the Washington Examiner revealing that reporters took umbrage at being asked to recycle. Recycling! Quelle horreur!
I tell you, it's hard out there for a journalist.