The Paul Ryan “dishes” debacle at a soup kitchen this weekend in Youngstown, Ohio continues to backfire on the VP hopeful as the veep half of the Romney ticket tries to combat an already entrenched public image suggesting the campaign is out of touch with struggling Americans.
Paul Ryan’s dishes photo-op, as we reported yesterday, backfired miserably when a host of compelling factoids about the campaign stop came to light even before the images of the GOP contender for vice-president really hit the mainstream media.
While Paul Ryan’s dishes photo-op was roundly panned by many blogs as a shallow election playpiece garnered to elicit kudos for charity while not actually doing any good (the soup kitchen was not serving and closed to the public, and the dishes Ryan was “washing” in the pics had already been cleaned), we quoted the liberal blog Daily Kos as uncharacteristically sticking up for the potential veep in saying:
“He’s running for office for Pete’s sake. And nothing will stop him from trying to convince voters that Mitt Romney and he have the empathy Americans expect in a president and vice president—even if that means wasting everybody’s time by washing dishes that don’t need to be washed.”
And indeed, shaking hands and kissing babies far predates Paul Ryan’s dishes misstep and is certainly a predictable part of campaigning — and the Ryan camp is in the final, feverish days of their bid for the Vice-Presidency, making attention to detail a bit more difficult.
But another bit of criticism to Paul Ryan’s dishes has come from the director of the charity that operates the soup kitchen itself, Brian J. Antal, who is president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society. The Washington Post reports that Antal commented:
“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations … It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there, and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”
Do you think Paul Ryan’s dishes photo-op did more harm than good?