“An empty suit, talking to empty seats”

That’s Joe Gandelman on Mitt Romney’s stadium disaster.

That’s Joe Gandelman on the Mitt Romney stadium fiasco.

Wish I’d said that; bet Mitt’s folks wish they hadn’t done it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

4 thoughts on ““An empty suit, talking to empty seats””

  1. “An empty suit, talking to empty seats”

    Also, to empty suits.

    To me, more shocking than the absurd mismatch between crowd size and venue size is the makeup of the crowd: it’s like no political rally I’ve ever seen. At least if you judge by the picture posted at Charlie Pierce’s blog, the crowd seems to be north of 80% male, likely over 90%, and almost every damn one of them is wearing a dark suit. No kids, no gauche retirees. What sort of a viable political candidate has such a crowd at their rallies? I’ve been to (small-dollar) fundraisers with considerably more variety of attendee and attire. Pretty much everyone in attendance is a Suit – and pretty much everyone in attendance was likely paid by their employer for their time while there.

  2. The stadium story captures much of what vexes me about political coverage and commentary. What actually took place here, according to the New York Times, is that Romney’s people were surprised by larger-than-expected interest in the speech, and moved to a venue that could comfortably accommodate the crowd. Here’s what the Times finally got around to saying in the ninth paragraph:

    It is true that Mr. Romney’s campaign did not treat this speech as a rally, making no attempt to fill the stadium. This was an economic speech that was moved to Ford Field after the number of people who wanted to attend grew larger than the earlier location could allow.

    Sure, if you want to indulge in a little liberal shadenfreude because Romney looked silly, that’s fine with me, but treating this as though it’s a substantive commentary on something is absurd. The Times and others are saying here that the reality of the situation is not their main concern – it’s the appearance that matters.

  3. politicalfootball says:

    “The stadium story captures much of what vexes me about political coverage and commentary. What actually took place here, according to the New York Times, is that Romney’s people were surprised by larger-than-expected interest in the speech, and moved to a venue that could comfortably accommodate the crowd. Here’s what the Times finally got around to saying in the ninth paragraph:”

    Please look at the picture in the linked article; the venue could have accommodated a hundred times the crowd.

    The Fischer or Fox Theaters in Detroit would have been much better, and that’s *before* taking into account that this is February.

    1. There are 61 words in the portion of the comment that you quoted. By my count, there are 20 words explicitly saying that the speech was moved from an earlier venue (which could not accommodate the crowd) to the Ford Field (pictured in the link). So your response managed to ignore almost a third of the quote you were supposed to respond to. I can’t think of a better demonstration of politicalfootball’s point.

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