Ed’s point this morning about President Obama’s surrogates is an interesting one, although not unique to his candidacy. The Sunday shows, which he cites as an example of “bad surrogating,” have become almost unwatchable. Most guests resemble the robot-human hybrid portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie, “Total Recall.” Arnold’s character, like most surrogate guests, was programmed to repeat the same talking points to get through security. When the agents became suspicious and try to knock him off point, Arnold stuck to his message, sounding more and more nonsensical, until, finally, his head exploded. The Sunday shows have become like that, without the entertainment of the exploding head.
Surrogates who say nothing are better, however, than surrogates who say unhelpful things. Obama has had his fair share of those (Cory Booker and Bill Clinton), but now it is Mitt Romney’s turn.
This morning, for example, Eric Fehrnstrom, a Romney spokesman, for gosh sakes, contradicted the Republican party’s entire line on the Affordable Care Act, saying that the mandate is not a tax but a penalty. (Precisely. Obama’s campaign couldn’t have said it better).
And Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) clearly didn’t get the talking points or refused to give them on the sensitive matter of Romney introducing a health-care mandate in Massachusetts, which was the centerpiece for Obama’s law.
The Senate minority leader simply said, "I think Gov. Romney will have to speak for himself on what was done in Massachusetts."
But isn’t that was surrogates do? Speak so that the principal doesn’t have to?