Now that we know the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is totally Mitt Romney, Camp Obama is all over it, coming up with snazzy new ways to spin public opinion against the former Massachusetts governor. One of the latest: The Obama campaign is said to be Don "Draper-izing" Mittens in an effort to communicate that his policies and personal beliefs are antiquated and not compatible with our modern day U.S.A.
Unfortunately, the media has taken some liberties here and misreported the exact narrative. Obama's chief campaign adviser, David Axelrod, who has been the most vocal with this comparison, never said that Mitt Romney is like Don Draper. He's only remarked that his policies and personal beliefs are of Draper's era. And that's not just a matter of semantics; it does make a difference.
Specifically, on CBS' Good Morning, Axelrod said that Romney "must watch Mad Men and think it's the evening news," being that his views on healthcare come from a time when "bosses could dictate on women's health."
Right on. This, to me, makes sense. On the other hand, though, Dems should know better than to portray Romney as Mad Men's leading man, because the guy is known for being smooth, suave, getting what he wants -- whenever he wants. If we have to liken Mitt to any character in pop culture, it's Wall Street's Gordon Gekko all the way, baby.
Anyhoo, direct Draper comparison or not, Romney's camp got their back up about this Mad Men fiasco right away. One of Mitt's aids fired to Axelrod on Twitter that the Mad Men world was a time "when unemployment was lower, and the economy was expanding." Axelrod's ingenious response?
No, when Russia was our greatest foe, bosses could dictate on women's health & Etch-a-Sketch was a toy, not a political strategy.
HA. Yes, let's talk about how Republicans see and seem to idealize the Mad Men era, because it is troubling. Ever since the dawn of the Tea Party, right-wingers have been making it as though we should aspire to turn our clocks back to the '50s and early '60s, as if that was the golden era in our nation's history. Perhaps, but that would only have been true for people like Mitt Romney.
As Bill Maher said, "It's kind of insulting to a lot of Americans to pine for this era, because it wasn't that good for a lot of people. It was good if you were a white man. It wasn't that good if you were Mexican or Black or Jewish or disabled or gay or a woman."
Unfortunately, Mitt's personal beliefs and politics would be better suited to that time. Even Congressman Paul Ryan, one of Romney's closest allies, has said Mitt is "a kind of throwback to the '50s." That concerning reality should not be construed as a compliment -- nor an attribute we want to see in a president we're electing in 2012.
Here's the clip of Axelrod talking about Mitt's Mad Men connection ...
Do you think Mitt and his policies are a throwback to the '50s? If so, do you appreciate that or are you frightened by it?
Image via BU Interactive News/Flickr