I saw this video and read that Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, was caught on camera today helping in soup kitchen in Ohio. Nothing wrong with that, you say, and you’re right, HOWEVER, it would appear that there is more to this than meets the eye. Over at the Telegraph, Katinka Dufour (great name!) noted that the president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, Brian J. Antal, was not too pleased with the unexpected arrival of Mr. Ryan and his entourage as he was not forewarned of their desire to come to their facility.
While this may be somewhat annoying, and I would imagine that during a presidential election, especially one as hotly contended as this one where scores of photo-ops take place every day non-stop, this may also be something resembling the norm especially if someone in your campaign believes they can get a small advantage of their competitor in anyway they can. The press will not normally stick around to question a proprietor for too long afterwards.
Unfortunately for Mr. Ryan, the impromptu photo-op has had something of backlash. The Telegraph noted:
‘When Mr Ryan arrived to the dining hall the food had already been served, the patrons had left and everything had already been cleaned. Mr Ryan and his family put on aprons and washed dishes that seemed to be already cleaned.‘
In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s Ryan making sure some pots are clean and helping out after everything has been taken care of.
The last word I’ll leave to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on the matter, which I think sums this matter up quite neatly:
‘Like most Romney/Ryan attempts to appear compassionate towards the less fortunate — folks Mitt Romney himself condemned in his infamous “47 percent” video — the photo-op was just for show.‘