Romney’s Not Cool And That’s OK

Photograph by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images

Romney's "mom jeans." Not cool but, evidently, ok.

Mitt Romney wears “mom jeans.”

He listens to music that running mate Paul Ryan says he’s heard in hotel elevators.

And he thought the Twilight series was “fun.”

Who’s conjuring this dweeby image of the Republican candidate for president? Fellow Republicans working to elect him.

Crossroads Generation, a super-political action committee targeting young voters, embraces Romney’s alleged lack of style in a 30-second spot, and argues that “being president isn’t about being cool. It’s about solving problems.”

The ad contrasts Romney’s image to President Barack Obama’s.

There’s a picture of Romney wearing a white button-up shirt tucked into high-waisted blue jeans. A clip of Fox anchor Shepard Smith looking incredulous plays: “Do you think he’s aware he’s wearing ‘mom jeans?’”

Next, there’s a picture of  Obama in sunglasses and dark clothes. ”Barack Obama’s got the look,” a female  narrator says. Cut to a clip of Obama sitting on a couch at “The View” saying, “I’m just supposed to be eye candy here for you guys.”

The ad spins through other “cool” factors, including Ryan pointing out in a speech that he has heard some of Romney’s preferred tunes “on many hotel elevators.”

But here’s the real message in the ad: Romney created jobs, as governor of Massachusetts and by helping “start successful companies.” Bain Capital LLC, the private-equity firm Romney ran, isn’t mentioned by name.

“In Obama’s economy, young people can’t find jobs. And we’re moving in with our parents,” the narrator says. “Now that’s awkward.”

“So Mitt Romney may not be cool,” the ad concludes, “but he’ll fix Obama’s weak economy.”

The ad made its debut last week on Hulu. It hit YouTube yesterday, where it has been viewed more than 3,600 times. This morning, Crossroads Generation promoted the video on its Twitter feed, which has 12,330 followers.

Derek Flowers, a spokesman for the group, said in an e-mail that the ad is expected to attract more than 800,000 views by 18- to 29-year-old voters in states where polls are showing the race is up for grabs.

No need to spend the big bucks to put it on TV, since that’s not where the Internet generation goes to consume and share information.

Crossroads Generation is a part of the Crossroads empire guided by Karl Rove, who was President George W. Bush’s political adviser. Better known are American Crossroads, another super-PAC, and Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies, a nonprofit.

Crossroads Generation’s quarterly filing with the Federal Election Commission in July showed it collected $750,000 from three donors, American Crossroads, the College Republican National Committee and the Republican State Leadership Committee.

More recent independent expenditure filings show the group has spent about $180,000 so far to back Romney.

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