|Romney bus circles Exeter, NH hall where VP Biden made a campaign speech (photo: Joe McElveen)|
Byron York reports that the Romney campaign tactic of "bracketing" or "sending staff, staging events, and making news at the campaign appearances of rival candidates" is alive and well.
"Biden traveled to Exeter, New Hampshire for a speech at the Town Hall denouncing Romney's economic plan and promoting the Buffett Rule. And what did Biden find outside Town Hall? The Romney campaign bus. 'The bus is doing some laps around the venue,' said Romney spokesman Ryan Williams in a call from Exeter. 'We're going to run an aggressive campaign that will highlight the failures of this administration in every city and state that we possibly can.'"The photo itself, not to mention Romney spokesman Ryan Williams' phrasing "[t]he bus is doing some laps around the venue", makes the Romney campaign look silly. A lone Romney campaign bus circles his opponent's speaking venue Jericho-like. Only the walls didn't fall down.
York thinks the stunt succeeded because its purpose is to "attract press coverage and make sure that accounts that would ordinarily be solely about Biden's event also feature comment from the Romney campaign." And CNN's account of the Biden speech did include comments by Romney backer John Sununu and spokesman Ryan Williams who were present at Biden's speech. However, the quoted comments came from a conference call made before the speech not from comments made while they were present at the speech (or from the campaign bus).
Campaign buses and operatives going to opponents' speeches "'to speak with voters and members of the media.'" What could possibly go wrong with adopting that tactic? Imagine SEIU and Occupy "spokesmen" showing up at Romney events to "speak with voters and members of the media." That will work out well.
Who will overshadow who when it's not just a nearly empty campaign bus doing silly circles when Romney speaks? And what will be the grounds for complaining if occupy tactics are now used against Romney events? Romney started it.
There was hope that the Romney Florida "occupy" or "bracketing" strategy was a one-off. But, apparently this is what passes for smart political strategy nowadays.
Now that the Democrats know this Romney campaign trick, how long will it be before there is media coverage of security people or even police leading high Romney campaign staffers out of events by the ear? Even worse: "scuffles" between Obama supporters and Romney spokesmen?
Bracketing was not a fiasco in Florida only because the Gingrich campaign was run by gentlemen who only pushed back by one on one questioning. Wait until the pushing back is big time.