The “sharelines” at the Los Angeles Times website are a dubious idea: Here, this is what you are supposed to share! In a way, it’s kind of like Upworthy telling you how you are supposed to feel. To the other, it is not so different from lede points, or whatever the hell they want to call those bullet summaries of stories.
Maeve Reston covered the launch of the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases at a Boston hospital. The article opens with a line about Mitt Romney’s presidential potential, but that “shareline” feature makes it clear that even if one doesn’t give a damn about Ann Romney trying to get other people to fund a research center with her name on it there is still a political nugget for the non-story obsessing Beltway reporters: “‘Done. Completely,’ Ann Romney says in squashing speculation about a third White House bid by husband Mitt”.
We’ll have to see how this goes. After all, the Reporters to Draft Mitt movement seems to be arguing that they know the former Massachusetts governor will try a third time because, well, you just can’t believe a word coming out of his mouth.
This time it came from Ann Romney. One wonders if the journalists on the draft board will notice.
On another matter that has been the subject of much political babbling lately — a potential third run for president by her husband — Ann Romney was happy to wave off the possibility.
“Done,” she said. “Completely. Not only Mitt and I are done, but the kids are done,” she said, referring to her five sons. “Done. Done. Done.”
Asked whether there were any circumstances under which she would encourage the former Massachusetts governor to attempt another run — or if she would support him if he wanted to run — she said she hadn’t “been pushed to that point mentally,” but that they would make the decision together.
She reeled off a long list of what she called “really interesting” potential Republican contenders, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and her husband’s 2012 choice for vice president, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin.
The desperation really bleeds through. “Done.” Okay, but are there any circumstacnes under which you might decide that he shouldn’t be done?
Look, if we try hard enough, it should be possible to imagine circumstances by which Mr. Romney will run again. But consider what that would say about the state of the GOP. You know, like the clown car bursting into flames and burning down the big tent.
And then, of course, after watching the spectacle of one candidate after another flame out to a chorus of, “Unbelievable!” perhaps Mitt will enter the race because there is nobody left to run on the Republican ticket, at which point the journalists on the draft board would declare, “See? We knew it!”
The question for all of those journalists is what they think it will take. And they need to be graphic. You know, Rick Santorum getting caught making kitten santorum, or something like that? Newt Gingrich entering his fourth, fifth, and sixth marriages all at once? Jeb Bush getting caught robbing elderly women at a senior center during a photo op? Paul Ryan coming to Jeb’s rescue, explaining that the old woman is the real taker, and Jeb the real victim? Well, okay, that would probably win the Wisconsin Republican the nomination, so that’s not fair. Still, though, what disaster are they expecting the GOP to suffer? Or is this really that they simply don’t believe a word coming out of the Romneys mouths?
The word of the day is, “Done”.
Reston, Maeve. “Ann Romney launches new center to study neurological diseases”. Los Angeles Times. 13 October 2014.