The short answer, and the obvious one, is that people liked W. He was more likeable than his opponent. He was the guy you wanted to sit down with and have a beer. He had no credentials for the job he sought, leading the free world. But people ‘liked’ him, kind of like “liking” a friend’s post or picture on Facebook.
That’s how Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are going to get a bunch of votes. They’re handsome. They smile a lot. And, should they get elected, it will be due in no small part to people “liking” them.
Mitt made his choice for VP official this weekend, standing in front of the U.S. S. Wisconsin (BB-64) at its permanent berth in Norfolk. (Sidebar: I’ve been aboard the Wisconsin, and it’s an impressive ship, like all the WW2 battlewagons. The Wisconsin was being refurbished at the Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans when I lived in the big easy in 1986, and I managed to snag an “invite” to board and tour the ship through my part-time job at WWL-AM. The folks at Avondale couldn’t say no to a Wisconsin boy, I guess.)
Saturday afternoon, I was somewhat surprised by the Facebook posts concerning Paul Ryan. One in particular stood out. It was a post about how this woman, who lived for many years in Janesville, knew Paul Ryan, knew his family, and proclaimed that he always seemed like an honest and sincere person, and she had now decided that she’d vote for Romney/Ryan.
The irony is so abundant in her post I don’t know where to begin. Like many of my social media friends, this woman is a broadcaster. She lost her job at a Clear Channel station when the huge purges began in earnest in 2009. For those who don’t follow the game too closely, shortly after Bain Capital took the helm at Clear Channel, the world’s largest broadcast group began shedding personnel like crazy, to make the impossible cash flow requirements of their new loan package. She was one of the thousands of victims of the second round of Clear Channel personnel cuts.
This woman was fortunate to land another broadcasting job, but it’s part-time, and she augments her income by bartending. She has no benefits at either job, and is on Badger Care for her “health insurance”.
That this woman has now decided to vote for Romney/Ryan because Paul Ryan seems like such a nice guy perfectly illustrates the theme of this blog-post. Bain Capital put her out of work, and Ryan’s budget plan would make it even more difficult for her to get health care at an age when she’ll begin to need it the most.
She will be voting against her own personal best interests, and not even with the “higher motive” of philosophically agreeing with the Romney/Ryan platform - at least, that part of the platform which is self-evident at this point.