Mitt Romney went to the NAACP’s National Convention planning to get booed. It was no mistake. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told Bloomberg TV she believes “it was a calculated move on his part to get booed at the NAACP convention.” When Romney called the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare,” he purposely used a term that would not work with the audience in the room. When he said, “If you want a President who’ll make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him. Take a look!” he was virtually taunting them the way a pro wrestler who’s playing a villain eggs on the crowd saying things he knows will elicit boos.
Why would he bother going to the NAACP convention to get booed? Because the real audience wasn’t in the room. He wanted to be booed by that black audience so that white conservatives — who still don’t see him as one of them — and white undecideds would see that he’s unafraid to talk down to black people, to offend them, to be their villain, to make them boo. The result is that he comes off looking tough or gains sympathy. Either way, he gets a soundbite that will bounce through the cable news echo chamber and elicit an emotional reaction from white voters. Romney’s performance wasn’t intended to win more black votes, it was intended to help win more white votes.
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