Why Is The Romney Campaign Behaving Like Drunk College Frat Boys?

Continuing a practice we first saw in Ohio two weeks ago, yesterday Mitt Romney’s campaign bus arrived outside Symphony Hall in Boston, where President Obama was scheduled to speak at a political rally:

BOSTON — For the second time in as many weeks, Mitt Romney’s campaign taunted President Barack Obama outside a speech.

Romney’s campaign bus circled Obama’s fundraiser at Boston Symphony Hall Monday night several times, according to Romney deputy press secretary Ryan Williams and verified by several onlookers who said it was honking its horn as it passed.

Williams told BuzzFeed that the bus made “a few” laps before local police closed the roads around the venue before Obama’s arrival. They plan on bringing the bus back after Obama leaves to attend another fundraiser.

Kevin Drum observes:

[T]he bus didn’t interrupt anyone trying to speak, it didn’t block any entrances, and it didn’t harrass anyone trying to get in. As near as I can tell, the only real purpose of this was to demonstrate to Romney’s base that he holds Obama in the same contempt they do, and he’s delighted to resort to sniggering junior high school displays to prove it.

As near as I can tell, there is no other purpose to moronic stunts like this.

Photo via Buzzfeed

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I think it’s juvenile, too, but I can see a rationale for it. The Obama campaign sent paid hecklers to several Romney events recently. Romney’s people said they’d retaliate, and this seems to be in the spirit of “get in their faces” as Obama said.

    I think they’ve made their point. I’ll even grant them one more, just to make certain the message gets through. But it’s pretty much run its course.

    In Alinsky terms, they’ve applied Rule 6 (“A good tactic is one that your people enjoy”) and are straying into breaking Rule 7 (“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”) Time to call an end to this one.

    But keep that bus handy for the occasional encores, if needed…

  2. Ben Wolf says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Claims made by anonymous individuals aren’t worth the paper they aren’t written on, which is exactly what your link is. Congratulations, you surpassed Florack as the most partisan commentor at OTB.

  3. Jonathan says:

    If they really did this then I say “ROOHA”!

    It’s about time this campaign took it to the Enemy-in-chiefs home front.
    This isn’t an election, it’s a political war for the future of America and if WE The People do not win it here then we will forever lose America.

    We can not afford 4 more years of Political Terrorism.

  4. Murray says:

    @Jonathan:
    FYI, “we the people” designates ALL American citizens. Not just those who agree with you.

  5. bluepen9uin says:

    @Jonathan: How do you define political terrorism? Would taking the country to the brink of default be terrorism? And Enemy-in-Chief? Really? Based on these comments alone I am guessing We The People means We the People of the United States of Jonathan.

  6. sam says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Congratulations, you surpassed Florack as the most partisan commentor at OTB.

    But his syntax is better.

  7. Alanmt says:

    Well, on the plus side, Romney and his campaign staff didn’t rush the speech, grab the President, hold him down, and cut his hair.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos links to an article that says the protesters may have been paid by a labor group…may have been…and yet Jenos claims that means “the Obama campaign sent paid hecklers” to Romney events.
    If you have to outright lie to make a point it just ain’t much of a point. Not to mention the fact that it makes you a liar.

  9. walt moffett says:

    Sounds like typical campaign behavior, stealing/defacing campaign signs/posters, graffiti, mike checks, air horns, whistles, heckling,whisper campaigns, anonymous mailers, etc this has gone since the Greeks came up with democracy and is not likely to stop. Cf Dick Tuck/Donald Segretti

  10. Dustin says:

    Time to start going to Obama rallies with “Honk if you love Obamacare!” signs.

  11. Barry says:

    Doug, the idea here is to publicly disrespect somebody, to undercut their moral/social standing in front of others.

  12. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Simple Answer: Because they are/were drunken college frat boys.

  13. Rob in CT says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I love that the Right, convinced that Alinsky is this big deal, has read up on him and apparently knows him by heart. Whereas the left, or at least all the liberal bloggers and commentors I read, have at best an awareness of the guy’s name (because Right wingers keep bringing him up).

    Jenos links to an article that says the protesters may have been paid by a labor group…may have been…and yet Jenos claims that means “the Obama campaign sent paid hecklers” to Romney events.

    I’m sure this sort of truthiness is Alinsky rule #9 or somesuch.

  14. Ian says:

    Drums point is solid. I’ve seen quotes from Republican supporters who are mad at Romney for saying of Obama, ” He’s a nice guy”. They’re genuinely mad at that. They don’t want him to say that. They want him to feel the same animalistic rage they feel towards Obama. This is his way of saying, “I get it, folks”.

    Oh, and as an aside, remember the constant Republican attacks during the Bush years on “angry liberals”? Good times. If these people were capable of introspection, maybe they would admit that hating the president from the other party isn’t a product of “rage” or “derangement”, but disagreements based on what they believe versus what the president believes. But its not likely. Instead, we’ll be told that our opposition to Bush, Palin, et al are the product of _____________ Derangement Syndrome by the same people who were upset at Obama’s choice of mustard.

  15. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Meh. It’s still campaign silly season. Zombieland won’t start paying attention until after the conventions. I suspect in large part this nonsense is designed to keep the liberal media wags annoyed and distracted, not so much a tossing of red meat to the erstwhile “base.”

    The other item, as alluded to above, is that GOP campaigns in point of fact tend to be managed and staffed by those who while in college were drunken frat boys.

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:
  17. george says:

    In Alinsky terms, they’ve applied Rule 6 (“A good tactic is one that your people enjoy”) and are straying into breaking Rule 7 (“A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”) Time to call an end to this one.

    I keep seeing conservatives quoting Alinksy – is he one of their strategists?

    Or is this more like the Ferengi rules of acquisition (ie some nerdy TV show that conservatives watch)?

  18. CB says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Congratulations, you surpassed Florack as the most partisan commentor at OTB.

    dude, thats low.

  19. @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I think it’s juvenile, too, but I can see a rationale for it.

    Of course you see a rationale for it. You’re the target demographic for this sort of juvenile behavior.

  20. Ian says:

    Jenos,

    Invading a country under false pretenses, killing over 100,000 civilians, torturing people, suspending habeas, creating a netwrok of “off the grid” prisons, wiretapping Americans without a warrant, trying to fix elections, all the while questioning the patriotism of those who oppose those things will stir up strong emotions. Liberals had very, very good reasons to be very, very angry with Bush/Cheney.

    But thanks for proving my point. Although I disagree with the rationale, I understand completely that the right feels very strongly about Obama. Of course, if you and your fellow travellers had stood up a bit more over things like growth of government, spending, and the TSA fondling our wives and daughters during the Bush years…..I must have missed all those Powerline, Hot Air, Malkin and Instapundit posts telling Bush to back off.

    Anyhow, to dismiss it as “derangement syndrome” cheapens the debate and only further angers the side on the receiving end of the slur. But that’s the point, isn’t it?

  21. al-Ameda says:

    [T]he bus didn’t interrupt anyone trying to speak, it didn’t block any entrances, and it didn’t harrass anyone trying to get in. As near as I can tell, the only real purpose of this was to demonstrate to Romney’s base that he holds Obama in the same contempt they do, and he’s delighted to resort to sniggering junior high school displays to prove it.

    They’re behaving like drunk college frat boys because, when they were in college, they were drunk college frat guys.

  22. al-Ameda says:

    @Jonathan:

    If they really did this then I say “ROOHA”!
    It’s about time this campaign took it to the Enemy-in-chiefs home front.
    This isn’t an election, it’s a political war for the future of America and if WE The People do not win it here then we will forever lose America.
    We can not afford 4 more years of Political Terrorism.

    Let me guess, your bunker has low-bandwidth internet access, and a 9 month supply of Spam, Cheeze Whiz and Mountain Dew?

  23. Rick Almeida says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The alleged fantasy of a dead octogenarian is the source of the “angry left” meme? I’m glad to see there’s less to it than I thought.

  24. mantis says:

    In Alinsky terms, they’ve applied Rule 6…

    Drink!

  25. fsm_47 says:

    The inability of the libs to foresee future consequences caused by the short-sighted feel good now is amazing. Suck it up as your kids live the life of Greece.

  26. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Ian: Invading a country under false pretenses, killing over 100,000 civilians, torturing people, suspending habeas, creating a netwrok of “off the grid” prisons, wiretapping Americans without a warrant, trying to fix elections, all the while questioning the patriotism of those who oppose those things will stir up strong emotions. Liberals had very, very good reasons to be very, very angry with Bush/Cheney.

    Tell me, do you have a macro to post all that at once, or do you have a source where you just cut and paste the same old discredited talking points over and over again?

  27. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    discredited

    Um, you keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

  28. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Tell me, do you have a macro to post all that at once, or do you have a source where you just cut and paste the same old discredited talking points over and over again?

    Unfortunately, most liberals have not availed themselves of that particular conservative media technique.

  29. Davebo says:

    Tell me, do you have a macro to post all that at once

    Macros? We don’t need no stinkin Macros!

    And there’s something classic about Jenos deriding cutting and pasting the same old talking points.

    It will undoubtedly become one of those internet traditions.

  30. mantis says:

    @Davebo:

    Jenos is aware of all internet traditions.

  31. Moosebreath says:

    “Why Is The Romney Campaign Behaving Like Drunk College Frat Boys?”

    Because it thinks that it will help him get more votes. The man has no prinicples at all.

    Moreover, if it doesn;t work, he can just use the etch-a-sketch on it, knowing people like Doug will never call him on it.

  32. mantis says:

    Why Is The Romney Campaign Behaving Like Drunk College Frat Boys?

    They think it’s a win, that’s why, and Republicans by definition have the maturity of drunk frat boys. If nobody complains, then it is just meat for the base of Obama-haters who think it’s hilarious. If the Obama campaign does complain, then they are being whiny little losers who scream and cry anytime a bus drives by. They know it’s too early for normal people to pay much attention to anything like this, so this is all directed at us politically-minded freaks.

    I’m pretty sure the ideal outcome for the Romney camp is for an Obama surrogate to go on TV and complain about this, and then the WH press corps will spend a couple of days talking about how Obama is weak.

    If the Obama camp is smart, they will ignore it while encouraging supporters to do stuff like @Dustin suggests. That may frustrate the Romney crew into escalating their operation. Maybe they’ll start chasing around people they think are gay with scissors.

  33. KariQ says:

    Remember, as we keep hearing from his surrogates, Mitt’s a “prankster” who likes to engage in harmless fun. Like cutting someone’s hair against their will. Or painting letters on the bottoms of a friends shoe for his wedding that spell “help.” Or smashing his kids’ faces into tubs of butter.

    Really, a grown man is doing this stuff?

  34. legion says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Gromitt said it first, but it deserves to be underscored: The entire Republican campaign machine really is just a bunch of overgrown frat boys. Why? Because they’ve never had to be anything else. And they honestly do not care about anyone who isn’t exactly like them.

  35. Dazedandconfused says:

    The impish behavior makes him appear almost like “one of us”.

  36. matt says:

    @Rob in CT: I had no idea who Alinksy was till the posters here started quoting the dude..

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