Romney 2012, vs. Obama 2008

It’s not really a fair comparison, is it?  In 2008, Sen. Barack Obama was in a hotly contested race for the Democratic nomination to be president.  His team worked to get the crowds out, at a rally before Super Tuesday.

In 2012, it’s former Gov. Mitt Romney who is in a hotly-contested race for the nomination — but of the GOP, not the Democrats.  So it’s not really a fair comparison, Democrats against Republicans, just before Super Tuesday, is it?

Still, we see these two photos making the rounds.  These two photos were taken four years and 20 days apart:

Romney vs. Obama, gate in Detroit (from

Political rallies for presidential candidates, in Detroit, Michigan, 2012, and Hartford, Connecticut, 2008

Oh, that’s not straight up, is it. One was in Detroit, the other in Hartford.  Okay, let’s compare Detroit rallies.  Here’s Mitt Romney in Detroit:

And here is Obama in Detroit in 2008, in Joe Louis Arena:

If you’re a red-blooded American, you’ll find Obama’s speech in Detroit frustrating, in retrospect.  Where Obama said America can’t wait to solve problems, Republicans since then have said “Yes, We Can Wait,” and they’ve frustrated action to fix so many problems.   We’ve lost so much time.


4 Responses to Romney 2012, vs. Obama 2008

  1. What is mind boggling also is how gleefully the GOP is following the patterns of their Whig ancestors.

    Right off the cliff into oblivion. Like evil little lemmings.


  2. James Hanley says:

    It’s just mind-boggling, isn’t it?


  3. Ed Darrell says:

    There is that grand story about Dick Tuck, a die-hard Democrat, asked by his poli sci professor (USC? I forget) to advance an appearance by Dick Nixon in Nixon’s first campaign. Tuck agreed, put out a few flyers on campus, called all the media and did no other advertising. He booked a hall that would hold a couple thousand, and drew a dozen reporters and about six students.

    Then, insult to injury, Tuck spent about 30 minutes introducing Nixon, and ended by saying, “And now, Mr. Nixon will tell us his views on the International Monetary Fund.” Tuck said that after the short, fumbling speech, with cameras taking full advantage of photos of the empty hall, Nixon shook Tuck’s hand and said, “What is your name again, young man?” “Dick Tuck, sir!”

    Nixon said, “Tuck, you’ll never work in my campaign again. You’re finished.”

    And that spurred Tuck on to a spectacular career pranking Dick Nixon.

    Rep. Gunn McKay’s campaign people gave me that whole history before letting me loose to advance for McKay. I worried about one stop in American Fork, Utah, in a morning when I couldn’t get anyone to donate a venue. We had the rally in the city park, at the World War II monument. At the appointed hour, we had ten people — then the American Legion guys showed up from breakfast just as the local newspaper photographer got there and got a shot of McKay surrounded by veterans at the WWII memorial, shaking hands and having a good time. Total crowd? Maybe 30. It ran in the newspaper for two weeks. always showing McKay with a bunch of veterans.

    I never booked a park again, after having escaped that one.

    Several years later I had a hotel manager beg me to take the hotel’s auditorium for a press conference — he even volunteered to give it to me free, to show it off, instead of the broom closet we’d booked. But when the TV news rolled, my candidate had a dozen microphones in his face, reporters crowded all around him, and looked like big stuff.

    Looked like.

    That’s why the images above are going viral.


  4. It’s beyond astounding that Romney would have an event at Ford Field. There’s a well-understand dynamic in political campaigning; it’s better to have 1,000 people packing a hall meant to hold 500 than to have 10,000 people in a stadium meant to hold 20,000. The absolute numbers matter less than the sense of excitement that’s created by having people packed into a place and spilling out into the street.*

    So…Ford Field? Obviously nobody thought Romney was going to pull in a crowd of 70,000, so WTF? Somebody in that campaign needs to be terminated from his/her position with just barely less than extreme prejudice.

    * During the England-Ireland game in the ’90 World Cup, my wife and I were packed tight in an Irish bar in San Francisco, with people literally standing on the sidewalk outside the door and the side window who couldn’t see the game, but were listening to the play-by-play. Total crowd? Probably less than 100. Sense of excitement? One of the top 5 events I’ve ever been to.


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