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Same speech, different day



Published: Sat, October 13, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

COLUMBUS

Random thoughts following another week of presidential and presidential contender visits and general campaign mayhem in our swing state:

Same Speech, Different Day: Does coming to the state repeatedly and offering the same speech over and over again really have that much of an impact in swaying undecided voters?

I’ve covered President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on multiple occasions in recent months.

Each time, Romney outlines his five-point plan for prosperity. Obama smacks his GOP opponent for proposing tax cuts for bazillionaires.

Obama also repeatedly shouts, “I love you back” or “Vote, don’t boo” to people in the crowd, which may seem spontaneous to onlookers but ceases be so when it happens every single time.

They say the same lines they’ve said at other stops across the state. They don’t provide a whole lot of specifics. They’ll promise to be good to the Middle Class. Sometimes they tell the same jokes and punchlines from earlier stump speeches.

Does there come a point where everyone in the state has heard the rhetoric, and it ceases to have any impact?

Preaching to the Choir: Speaking of which, the crowds at these events are dominated by supporters.

Though you may get a few hecklers now and then, if you attend, you’ll hear mostly cheers when cheering is appropriate and jeers when jeering is appropriate.

These are the people who have already made up their minds, and many likely have already cast early ballots.

I suppose some of them will get so pumped up that they’ll run out and convince their neighbors to vote for their candidate of choice, and maybe that’s the point. If not, I don’t know what Obama and Romney are accomplishing by repeatedly preaching to their choirs.

Fun for Kids: Yes, it’s neat to see the most powerful man in the world or the potential most powerful man in the world.

These events do provide opportunities for youngsters to see the president. At their age, they generally don’t care as much about political affiliation and are happy to revel at seeing somebody famous in person.

Though I was confused by the under-agers who were wearing big “I registered to vote” stickers at the Obama event at Ohio State University last week.

Man or Woman Down: If you attend, be prepared: Somebody is going to pass out every time Obama or Romney comes to town.

Ticket-holders are required to arrive hours early and stand around without food or water, though the campaigns often distribute the latter.

Emergency responders are standing by to cart away the unconscious.

Capitalism at Work: There’s at least one group of people winning big with all of these campaign stops: T-shirt and button hawkers.

These guys must be making a small fortune selling Obama Teddy bears and Romney oven mitts and buttons and shirts with such clever slogans.

I don’t think they’re backing any particular candidate, either, because at least one other reporter has told me that he sometimes sees the same wandering salesmen at both Obama and Romney events.

Marc Kovac is The Vindicator’s Statehouse correspondent. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.


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