Sometimes, despite the cacophony of horse-race punditry, a debate offers a fleeting glimpse into who a candidate really is in real life. Last night provided such a glimpse with what we shall term the "Big Bird Moment."
The revelation of the Big Bird Moment is downright scary and is likely fresh salt in the wounds for victims of Bain's vulture capitalism. You see, Mitt loves Big Bird; he just wants to eliminate the company that employs him. It's business, not personal. Don't you get it? Mitt cares for all Americans, he just wants to eliminate the programs that help them.... Mitt cares about seniors; he just wants to change Medicare and Social Security (don't think that isn't coming to Sesame Street).
But the insight from the Big Bird moment is even more frightening. Because Mitt demonstrated that he understood that firing Big Bird also meant firing Jim Lehrer. All of PBS. You see, Mitt loves PBS; he just wants to take away the funding that makes it possible. Mitt loves the PUBLIC Broadcast System; he just wants to PRIVATIZE it. Kind of like Social Security and Medicare....
And what about the style of the Big Bird moment? Smile and tell Big Bird how much you love him, while you tell him that you are shutting down the jobs on Sesame Street? WTH, Mitt? Who does that?
Big Bird. Loveable, wouldn't hurt a soul, great with your kids, trust him with your life kind of bird. Too bad he apparently doesn't have Sheldon Anderson on speed dial.
My sister would call this a teachable moment. I can hear my young nephews asking the following question: "Why does Mitt Romney want to fire Big Bird?" I would posit that how one answers that question speaks volumes.
My own guess is that after a career built on spreadsheets and "harvesting" companies, you begin to lose touch with the human consequences of your "business decisions." Remember, it's business, not personal.... That only works if you are the business. If you are actually the persons, well, then it IS personal.
So to Mitt, it is business; but for Big Bird, Big Bird's family, and Big Bird's neighbors on Sesame Street, it is personal.
So, Mitt, why DO you want to fire Big Bird? The children want to know.
P.S. I guess eliminating Sesame Street makes sense if you are on the run from Count Von Count.