Huffpost Politics

Election 2012: Mitt Romney Falling Further Behind In Human Relations

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Zeke Miller writes a fun, smart piece over at BuzzFeed, and says that President Barack Obama got "Biden'd" when he was picked up by a pizza shop owner in Florida on Sunday.

Miller argues that "the YouTube era of 2008 -- in which any small slip would explode into a centralized public conversation -- has been replaced by a goofier new atmosphere, in which moments of surprise and emotional connection can resonate through the culture at astounding speed, leaving aides and critics alike flabbergasted."

This is the glass-half-full way of looking at the always faster, always more breathless news cycle in the age of Twitter. And while it is overly simplistic to say that the Obama campaign has embraced this optimistic view, especially since its attempts to control information and reporters sometimes reach a point of sociopathy, they are clearly betting that by putting their man out there among the people, they will have more better moments than bad. Politico's Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman wrote about Obama's many trips to local watering holes Tuesday.

And Obama's strategy is helped by the fact that his opponent, Mitt Romney, appears to be dominated by the glass-half-empty view of the modern media environment. His advisers have complained for months about the negative affects of Twitter, which, of course, do exist in abundance. And the candidate himself has a long history of awkward social encounters.

But if Miller's thesis is correct, that the increased velocity of the news cycle offers a sort of counterintuitive incentive for politicians to get out there and connect -- and to happen upon the kind of instant classic photo of Scott Van Duzer bear-hugging the president of the United States and lifting him off the floor -- then Romney is missing out.

There is risk for Obama. The photo of Vice President Joe Biden with a female biker essentially sitting in his lap while he whispers in her ear, as two male bikers sit on both sides trying to keep their jaws from dropping, may be borderline for the sometimes comedic Biden. But Obama could never pull that off. And to imagine Romney in that situation is laughable.

But all Obama has to do is not royally screw up. And that is not all that hard to do if you're used to having normal conversations with people. Obama is. Romney, from all available evidence, really isn't. That doesn't make Romney a bad person. But it does make it easy for the Obama campaign to make him look bad.

So in a sense, it is Romney who is being Biden'd.

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