THE STUMP DECEMBER 21, 2011
What does one do as a nationally syndicated columnist if one has dedicated oneself to defending a certain presidential candidate but do not want to become too repetitive about it? Well, one could do as Kathleen Parker, and mix things up by going after the wife of your favorite's chief rival.
In today's Washington Post, and countless other papers around the country, Parker spent an entire column taking Callista Gingrich to task for...a re-tweet. Actually, two re-tweets. Yes, Callista Gingrich dared to pass along to her Twitter followers two tweets tweaking Mitt Romney. I'll let Parker explain why this is worthy of rebuke:
The tweets in question were actually retweets of someone else’s comments. But travelers in the Twitterverse understand that a retweet is, if not a ringing endorsement of the contents, at least a signal to one’s followers: “Hey, check this out!”
What Callista Gingrich thought worthy of sharing were two comments about Romney’s style and appearance — two risky arenas, needless to say. One concerned a photo of a younger Romney and pals with money spilling out of their pockets. Romney predicted that this photo, clearly taken in fun, would become popular with his political opponents. Doubtless, he was imagining Democratic foes rather than an opponent’s wife, whose own fondness for luxury tests irony’s patience.
The other tweet concerned a recent Romney television interview: “Poor Romney. He just is a sound bite candidate. Chris Wallace pulled the string from his back, and he spewed consultant apprvd policy.”
Spewed? This is not generally a word with which an aspiring first lady would wish to associate. The string-pulling image is also a risky invitation, given Gingrich’s own style, which can best be described as mannequin-esque. See what I mean? I’m not sayin’, I’m just retweeting.
So, got that, candidates' spouses? Once upon a time, you only had to worry about being "associated" with the wrong sorts of people. Now, apparently, you need to worry about being "associated" with the wrong words. Dark and dangerous words like "spewing." Not that the ever-gracious Ann Romney, for one, would ever say such a thing -- and not that this particular columnist would ever call her on it if she did.