Talking about Romney’s anti-President-Obama assault ad, David S. Bernstein, at the Boston Phoenix, thinks normal political practitioners just aren’t as jaded and dishonest as “Mad Men” corporate advertising types like Willard Romney:
… People look at me funny when I say this, but people in and around politics are remarkably, and rather naively, honest. Yes, they spin and hyperbolize and stretch context and so on, but they really don’t very often just flat-out lie in obvious ways like in the Activia example. (I’m excluding sideshow entertainers like Ann Coulter and such.) Which is why so many political insiders and commenters have been so worked up about this Romney ad. It’s also, to a great extent, why all of Romney’s competitors in the 2008 GOP primary ended up hating him so much — because they really do believe that there is honor among political campaigns, and the Romney campaign kept doing things that are perfectly normal in cutthroat corporate competition, but really take people aback in the political world.
I’m quite sure that to Romney, all of this is A) baffling, and B) exploitable weakness. Just as, to Activia’s parent corporation, the unwillingness of Yoplait’s parent to lie about its bacteria-injected yogurt was a baffling, exploitable weakness…
We certainly feel like there’s something wrong here — that Romney shouldn’t just be able to manipulate America into making him President the way Activia manipulated them into buying their yogurt or Axe manipulates people into buying their cologne, or the millions of far less obvious manipulations that go on all the time in the corporate world all the time, without anybody in the press or elsewhere blinking an eye — indeed, it is exactly what Romney did for a living for 25 years or so. It’s an awful lot to think that I, or some New York Times reporter, or some talking head pundit, can effectively stand athwart of it now…
So I ask you: how could anybody have stood athwart of Staples’s successful, and completely bogus, rebranding of its image? Any ideas? And if so, can that be applied to Romney’s bogus attempts to brand Obama as an America apologist, for example? Or his bogus attempts to brand himself as having a smart foreign policy platform? And so on?