Empty Stadium Overshadows Romney Coverage

Maybe cavernous Ford Field wasn't the best choice
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2012 6:05 AM CST
Empty Stadium Overshadows Romney Coverage
Mitt Romney speaks to members of the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field on Friday.   (Getty Images)

Team Romney must want a do-over. Coverage of a much-hyped economic speech at Detroit's Ford Field yesterday is getting attention mainly for two things: His poorly received ad lib about owning a few Cadillacs and, more prominently, all those empty seats. A few examples:

  • Washington Post: "Empty seats steal thunder," reads the headline. "At a moment when Romney wanted to project bigness and command, the optics of Ford Field did not help," notes the story. (It adds that he offered nothing much new in speech, because most of the details had been leaked days in advance.)
  • New York Times: "Message lost in the empty seats," says its headline. Romney got "an unintended lesson about how poor visuals and errant words can derail a candidate’s message in this modern political news culture."
  • Guardian: "Speech falls flat at near-empty stadium," reads the headline. And from the text: "The small crowd underlined again his inability to draw large numbers of supporters and to excite the conservative base."
  • The irony: The Detroit Economic Club, not the Romney campaign, chose the venue, and only because the original location was too small to hold the 1,200 people who bought tickets.
(More Mitt Romney 2012 stories.)

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