1. Charity president unhappy about Paul Ryan soup kitchen ‘photo op’
The Romney campaign stopped in for a photo op with Paul Ryan and his family at a soup kitchen in Youngstown, Ohio, this Saturday following a town hall meeting at Youngstown State University.
One of the volunteers was contacted some hours before the drop-in, though Brian J. Antal, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society which runs the kitchen, said he was not contacted, nor would he have granted the campaign permission to stop by, citing the organization’s desire to remain apolitical.
But the best part is what Ryan’s man-of-the-people photo op actually caught him doing.
“The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate,” said Antal. “He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”
The people Ryan wanted to be seen serving were gone, the food he wanted to be seen ladling out was put away, and the dishes he wanted to be seen washing were already washed. Not a family to be deterred by redundancy, the Ryans rolled up the sleeves, tied on some aprons, and got to work cleaning those clean dishes.
While there, they also shook hands and thanked the kitchen volunteers still on site, though many had already left, as their shift had ended before the Ryans even got there.
The purpose of the visit was to showcase the efforts of volunteers, but however noble the Romney campaign’s intention, Antal said the whole ordeal may have an overall negative effect. The organization’s bylaws specifically prevent it from favoring any one party, and most of its funding comes from private donations.
“I can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals. If this was the Democrats, I’d have the same exact problem.”
A photo op taking precedence over the lasting effect it has on its setting is certainly no surprise, on either side of the aisle and in any election year. Still, I would have loved to see Biden’s reaction to Ryan’s volunteer efforts.
“Hold on there, sport, you missed a bit of malarky. Right there along the rim.”