At a Romney campaign rally on Tuesday in Kettering, Ohio, hastily rebranded as a “storm relief” event, he asked attendees to bring food and goods to donate. “Long white tables to one side of the cavernous James S. Trent Arena were piled high with flashlights, batteries, diapers, toothbrushes, mini-deodorants, fleece blankets, cereal, toilet paper and canned goods,” our colleague
Felicia Sonmez reports.
The effort was complicated by the fact that security at such events is pretty tight, and attendees had to get all their bags containing donated goods checked out by the guys with the earpieces. It probably would have been far easier to just drop the stuff off at the nearest local food bank — or to text a donation to the Red Cross, as a sign at the event also suggested. (The Red Cross has said it prefers cash over cans.)
And in Virginia, the Romney campaign’s call for donations went out at an awkward time. Just as public safety officials, along with every weatherman in the country, were warning people to stay off the roads and hunker down in advance of the damaging storm, Team Romney was urging them to hit the roads and come by campaign offices. “Bring donations to VA Victory offices,”
, Romney’s Virginia communications director, tweeted Sunday.
Of course, Romney wants to avoid looking overtly political while much of the East Coast is assessing the ravages of Sandy (and while President Obama is trading his role as a candidate for that of commander in chief). Still, the campaign’s new can-do mode clearly isn’t a perfect fit.
2-4-6-8, what can we consolidate?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s spectacular “oops” moment in a debate during the Republican presidential primaries — when he couldn’t remember the third Cabinet agency he would abolish — doomed his chances.
But his loss doesn’t mean some agencies won’t be targeted for extinction or consolidation no matter who wins next week.
President Obama last week repeated a proposal he made earlier this year: to merge the Commerce Department, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corp., and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency — and create a “secretary of business.”
(Note to file: Consider a Loop contest to come up with a name less lame than that.)
The Wall Street Journal immediately blasted the notion, which has been kicking around for some time.
And Mitt Romney is expected to propose agency consolidation to streamline government — though he hasn’t outlined specifics. He has talked about eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development (in fact, he mentioned that during the same fundraiser at which he dismissed 47 percent of Americans as moochers).