Hey, Mitt Romney: Where’s Obama’s Garbage Man?


Sure, running an ad from Mitt Romney’s garbage man complaining because Mitt Romney didn’t walk out and hug him while he was hauling away his empty pizza boxes is a low blow, but the Democrats are going there.

A new anti-Mitt Romney ad from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees features Richard Hayes, the garbageman who deals with the Romneys’ trash at their oceanfront mansion in La Jolla, California.

Dubbed by AFSCME as one of the “people who make America happen,” Hayes talks about his laborious job, and criticizes the GOP nominee for not caring about the government-dependent “47 percent” of voters who the candidate believes won’t vote for him anyway:

“My name is Richard Hayes, and I pick up Mitt Romney’s trash. We’re kind of like the invisible people. He doesn’t realize that the service we provide – if it wasn’t for us, it would be a big health issue, us not picking up trash.

“Residents do come out and shake our hands. Sometimes they give us hugs and thank us for the job we’re doing, hand us water and Gatorades. Tell us we’re doing a good job and keep up the good work. Picking up 15, 16 tons by hand, that takes a toll on your body. When I’m 55, 60 years old, I know my body’s gonna be break down [sic]. Mitt Romney doesn’t care about that.”

This video is reportedly the first in a series of interviews with real workers, meant to be “part campaign attack, part online testimonial, part survey tool and part recruiting tool.”

So… seriously? This is how you’re going to “attack” Romney now?

Behold: a new era of politics. One where we can get any random person with a remote connection to a candidate to say negative things that conform to the latest narrative about that particular candidate. Think of it as the Joe the Plumber meme gone wild?

Is this stupid? Sure. Is it likely to be effective? I’m dubious. But, there are two things that stick out to me.

#1) The Democrats have zero qualms about taking a cheap shot at Romney.
#2) It’s part of a series of ads. Part of a narrative.

What is Mitt Romney’s narrative about Barack Obama? Obama is a toweringly arrogant, habitually dishonest, hyper-partisan racist who’s completely incompetent and the Romney line is, “Well, he’s a nice guy who’s trying his best, but we can do better!” The Democrats are trying to rip Mitt Romney’s skull in half so they can dance around in the soft goo inside and Mitt’s playing pattycake with Obama.

Do you want to know how you can really tell that Mitt isn’t hitting Obama very hard? Because you don’t hear legions of Democrats screaming at the top of their lungs about how unfair, dishonest, and racist Mitt’s ads are. You hit Obama with an ad that does damage and Democrats will cry like a four year old who just watched Big Bird get shot in the face with a cannon. Mitt Romney’s campaign and the Super PACS helping him had zero qualms with trying to eviscerate Newt Gingrich; so how about showing a little of that same passion against Obama?

PS: If Mitt is trying to take the high road and wait for the American people to see how sleazy and vicious the people attacking him are and reward him for being such a good guy, I’d just note that was the same strategy Bush used in his second term and the one McCain pursued as well. How did that turn out for them?

PS #2: I’m not beating up on Romney just to be beating up Romney. Both Gallup and Rasmussen, the two A-list pollsters that ARE NOT oversampling Democrats, are now showing Obama pulling ahead of Romney and getting very close to the sort of numbers he needs to win. Since that’s the case, I think we have to assume that Romney is behind and not on track to win unless something changes. The debates will be an opportunity for Mitt, but he really needs to step up his campaign over the final month, too.

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