The Payoff

I don’t know exactly who it was–perhaps someone in the comment threads–but the best line I heard yesterday is that the real payoff from Mitt Romney’s appearance at the NAACP convention yesterday would occur when Rush Limbaugh talked about it.

Well, if that was the idea, it worked:

This group wants to hear about tax increases and bigger government to take care of people. They don’t want to hear about self-reliance; they don’t want to hear about free enterprise. Free enterprise means you’ve gotta do it yourself. Free enterprise means it’s up to you. Free enterprise means you’re on your own. This group doesn’t want to hear that. I don’t think Romney got a single vote in here today….

[Obama was] confident they’ll boo Romney, simply ’cause Romney’s white.

There’s a lot more, about the crowd ignorantly thinking ObamaCare was “free health care,” and about Eric Holder probably showing up with a New Black Panther Party escort to check media IDs, and about Romney being booed because he didn’t put on a phony black accent and instead sounded like “Snow White with testicles” (Rush was so pleased with himself for that phrase that he said it several times). The general message was that ol’ Mitt was brave enough to go tell the unpleasant facts of life to those people, and emerged unscathed and head high. He might be a little wooden, but he’s not afraid of being himself with those people.

So Mitt Romney’s appearance at the NAACP worked out just fine. Maybe some swing voters saw him show up at the event and thought, “he’s not a bigot like some of his supporters.” Rush’s listeners got to hear that he survived the most hellish audience imaginable and stood up for their values. The actual members of the NAACP didn’t seem to much enjoy his speech, but then they were just props.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.