Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Unspoken Word

Former Governor Mitt Romney has a brand new TV ad where he claims he's "done the toughest things" as governor of "the most liberal state." One word does not appear at all in the ad. That word is 'Massachusetts'. Sure, Romney flashes pictures of John Kerry and Mike Dukakis as a newspaper headline blasts Ted Kennedy's name in the background. Still, one would think that he'd deign to mention the name of the "tough state" he governed.

Last week the New York Times noticed that Mitt avoids saying 'Massachusetts' in an article detailing the the subjects that the 2008 candidates prefer to avoid. Here's how that article describes the phenomenon:

In campaign ads running in early primary states, Mr. Romney boasts that he was "the Republican governor who turned around a Democratic state" and "vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations." But you would never know where.
"Romney is trying to say that he foiled a robbery in a brothel, the brothel being Massachusetts," said Ralph Whitehead, a political analyst at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. "But the question people will ask is, what was he doing in the brothel in the first place?"
To counter this, Romney's opponents, I've noticed, are constantly mentioning Massachusetts. Check out the statements from John McCain's spokesman in the Chicago Tribune profile on Romney from yesterday:
"The question for voters is: Does a one-term governor from Massachusetts have the foreign policy experience necessary to deal with the challenges of today's world?" said Brian Jones, McCain's spokesman.
"Mitt Romney has been consistent in one regard: that nearly every position he holds now is opposite of what it was when he was governor of Massachusetts," Jones said.
Romney Ad via the Herald's Daily Briefing. See also Universal Hub, Mass. Liberal and Blue Mass. Group.