Amateur Hour: Stupid versus smart image politics, and is it really that hard to find dirty dishes to wash?

OOoooo yes it’s a new liberal media attack on poor dear TEA party hero Paul Ryan: this story in the WashPo notes that he put his family through a fake photo op at a soup kitchen for reasons that really make little sense to anybody. I see one of his kids writing a Bristol Palin type memoir soonish.

Image politics bites back: who would have thought that, apparently, pictures of you washing clean pans can make you look like a fool when people actually report on what you did. You mean pictures aren’t enough? I guess not.

The comments on the story are, as always, dumb: Ooooo doncha ya know, that Ohbummer does the same thing with hugging pizza guys.

Um, no, Obama does not do the same thing. His people are really competent at controlling images. That’s the difference. He doesn’t have to photoshop the hug. Or hire an actor to play a pizza guy to hug or a janitor to fist bump. If something cute or human or inspiring is staged, as they undoubtedly are, they take a picture and circulate it widely. It’s called image politics, and it’s as old as politicians kissing babies.

But they don’t kiss dolls and then try to tell people that it was a real baby with typhus and aren’t they brave for kissing it? Gah! HOW DO YOU MESS UP A PHOTO OP AT A SOUP KITCHEN? Amateur hour.

The millions and scads that Romney has in money should be getting him better staffer than this. Everybody who is a pro in politics knows you don’t ask a volunteer if a candidate can come in. You do actually ask somebody on payroll with a title that has “director” in it, for precisely the reasons outlined here in the WashPo follow up with the charity’s president: many public charities steer clear of endorsing candidates because they know they will lose donations if they appear to be throwing in behind a particular candidate.

We all know this. How can Ryan’s people not know this? How in God’s name could anybody have thought that nobody would talk about a candidate playing with clean dishes for the cameras?

They would have been FINE just talking with volunteers and getting their pictures taken shaking hands and thanking real volunteers. FINE. But no.