Reaction To Romney's 'I'm Unemployed', Obama's 'Bumps' Sign Of Silly Season

Mitt Romney takes news media questions from the media after touring the small business in Smyrna, Ga., Thursday, June 16, 2011. i i

Mitt Romney takes news media questions from the media after touring the small business in Smyrna, Ga., Thursday, June 16, 2011. John Amis/AP hide caption

itoggle caption John Amis/AP
Mitt Romney takes news media questions from the media after touring the small business in Smyrna, Ga., Thursday, June 16, 2011.

Mitt Romney takes news media questions from the media after touring the small business in Smyrna, Ga., Thursday, June 16, 2011.

John Amis/AP

Ezra Klein, a liberal blogger at the Washington Post suggests that Democrats not pounce on Mitt Romney for the joke he made Thursday at a Florida campaign event featuring unemployed workers.

"I'm also unemployed," Romney joked, after which Democrats accused him of insensitivity, among other things.

I wish we could all agree to stop jumping on things like Mitt Romney saying "I'm also unemployed." It's pretty clear from the context that he was making a joke. Jokes sometimes misfire, or read strangely when pulled out of context and printed in the paper. In the interest of having our candidates speak like something other than robots, we should cut them some slack.

Klein makes a reasonable point. Something similar crossed my mind the other day when I saw Romney's web video attacking President Obama for using the phrase "bumps in the road" to describe the unevenness of the economic recovery. Romney's video shows people lying on a road, then getting up and saying "I'm an American, not a bump on the road."

Unfortunately for Klein, he isn't likely to get his wish. Both Republicans and Democrats will likely try to exploit anything they can to portray the other side as insensitive to the economic anxieties many voters are experiencing. We've got 17 more months of such "gotcha" moments. This isn't called the silly season for nothing.

Fortunately, many voters are smart enough to see such efforts as feeble attempts to score points for what they are.

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