Oh, that crazy compassionate conservatism strikes again! And once again, it's all style and no substance.
Paul Ryan visited a soup kitchen here Saturday on his way to the airport, but by the time the GOP vice presidential nominee and his family had arrived shortly before noon, the grits, sausage and doughnuts had already been served, the hall was empty of patrons, and the volunteers appeared to have already cleaned up.
When Ryan did talk to some men who appeared to be homeless,- as he did when he left the venue, reporters were not allowed to listen in on the exchange.
Let me get this straight: Ryan wants a photo op to help catapult over the conventional wisdom that he and his running mate do note care about 47 percent of the Americans, so he goes to a soup kitchen, but only after all those pesky poor people are no longer there? Nice. And then he deigns to speak to the few "homeless-appearing" (whatever that means) individuals still in the facility, but he doesn't want the press to hear what they're talking about. Maybe he's afraid they'll bring up his proposed cuts to Medicaid. Or cuts to funding to keep homeless vets off the street. Or any of the social safety net programs for the needy, lest he creates a "culture of dependency", 'cause boy, that would be awkward. Still, you can't let a good photo op go to waste, can you?
A campaign aide said that the exchange was not open to press because it was an impromptu conversation. [..]
Spokesman Michael Steel said that the visit by the Ryans to the soup kitchen “emphasized the importance of charities and volunteerism to civil society.”
So in the interest of charity:
Ryan, his wife and their young children headed to the kitchen, donned white aprons and offered to clean up some dishes.
Ryan stood at the sink and took some large metal pans that did not appear to be dirty, soaped them up and rinsed them, remarking as the cameras clicked and the TV cameras rolled that he had spent a summer washing dishes when he was younger.
Ah...washing the already-clean pans for the cameras. Yup, I certainly got the taste of the importance of charity and volunteerism from this, didn't you?
As Laffy at Political Carnival put it:
So he fake-helped the homeless, fake-engaged them, and then fake-helped them clean up.