Liberals are trying to pound home the idea that Mitt Romney is out of touch with regular Americans. At least he's not trying to take away their wedding presents.
This week MSNBC played a selectively edited videotape of Mr. Romney seemingly showing his fascination with the process of ordering food at a Wawa restaurant in Pennsylvania. Reporter Andrea Mitchell compared the visit to George H. W. Bush's alleged amazement with a grocery store scanner in 1992. MSNBC was called on the doctored tape, but the news organization failed to apologize. This follows closely after three journalists were fired from an NBC affiliate in Miami for editing the audio tape of George Zimmerman's 911 call the night he shot Trayvon Martin to make it more inflammatory.
Other media outlets are behaving more responsibly. Late Thursday, Politico suspended White House correspondent Joseph Williams for saying that Mr. Romney is only relaxed among white people. Appearing on MSNBC, Mr. Williams had said that Mr. Romney is "stiff and awkward in town hall settings" because he "can't relate to people" who aren't like him, but he can relax on "Fox and Friends" because "they're white folks who are very much relaxed in their own company." Politico said these comments "fell short of our standards for fairness and judgment in an especially unfortunate way."
The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press released a survey last week finding most respondents believed Mr. Obama "connects well with ordinary Americans" much more so than Mr. Romney. Even so, Mr. Obama is hardly a man of the people. Never known for his warmth and affability, Mr. Obama was often compared during the 2008 campaign to the unemotional Mr. Spock from Star Trek.
This contrasts with his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, who was much more skilled as a politician. Mr. Clinton felt our pain; Mr. Obama thinks record unemployment rates are a sign the private sector is doing "just fine." Mr. Clinton smiled with his eyes; Mr. Obama does so with a hint of a sneer. Mr. Clinton was a classic populist politician; Mr. Obama comes across more as a marketing concept. His record numbers of golf outings and fundraisers with Hollywood celebrities will not enhance his image as someone who fundamentally connects with America.
The latest Obama campaign fundraising vehicle will not help, either. The "Obama Event Registry" asks people planning weddings to have guests send a donation to the campaign in place of a gift to the newlyweds. "Let your friends know how important this election is to you," the site exhorts. "It's a great way to support the president on your big day" and "goes a lot further than a gravy bowl."
This may very well go down as the tackiest political appeal in history, at least until the campaign suggests that people organizing funerals have donations sent to Mr. Obama in lieu of flowers.
Obama might do well to request flowers sent to the funeral of the US economy, although it has yet to be taken off life support. His fiscal policies have done as much damage as his predecessors.