The 47 percent of Mitt Romney’s remarks. Who are they? Veterans, social security and Medicare recipients, first time homeowners,scholarship winners, workmen’s compensation applicants, mortgage holders, small business loan applicants, the 435 Members of the House and 100 Senators. Also included in the 47 percent reliant on government money are the political parties whose conventions are subsidized. And then there are people who work in government-funded libraries, head start programs, and too-numerous-to-mention government aid grants, known affectionately as pork, pet projects of many of our legislators. Many of the 47 percent are in the education business, especially well-endowed colleges who still get federal grants. They work in the health care industries. And of course, a good portion of the 47 percent are welfare recipients. There is nothing like public assistance to rile up the “have’s” against the “have-not’s.” Works every time. It’s almost as bad as the Occupy folks who seemed to be angry that some people have been successful.
Romney may actually make good use of this blunder by trying to mobilize the right wing of his party, many who may have an US vs THEM mentality. The problem with this issue is that millions of Romney’s own supporters are part of the 47 percent. Some of them may be counting on the government to give them a hand as they get through hard times. So it could be less than US vs THEM and more like, “Is he talking about us?
In the years I’ve covered news, I’ve found heroes and scoundrels in both parties. But I’ve also learned that trying to stereotype a large group of people is both dangerous and divisive. Obviously, Governor Romney didn’t intend for this to be an issue. But it’s out there, and he’s trying to make the best of it.
The “best of it” would be to take his lumps and move on.
It’s been a rough week for the Governor. Is his campaign over, as many of the pundit class is suggesting? Far from it. Six weeks and five days is a long time. But he has to get a grasp of the country he wants to run.