Presidential campaign photo ops are often staged and inauthentic, but the Romney/Ryan campaign took this to a whole new level this past weekend when Paul Ryan went to a soup kitchen to show that he is so generous and concerned about the plight of the less fortunate that he was willing to roll up his sleeves and clean pots and pans that were already cleaned long before he got there.
First of all, he didn’t even have permission to be there. The charity goes out of its way to be non-partisan and did not approve the request, but they got a volunteer to open the doors. Brian Antal, president of the charity, said:
“The photo-op they did wasn’t even accurate. He did nothing. He just came in here to get his picture taken at the dining hall.”
Ryan had stopped by the soup kitchen for about 15 minutes on his way to the airport after his Saturday morning town hall in Youngstown. By the time he arrived, the food had already been served, the patrons had left, and the hall had been cleaned.
Upon entering the soup kitchen, Ryan, his wife and three young children greeted and thanked several volunteers, then donned white aprons and offered to clean some dishes. Photographers snapped photos and TV cameras shot footage of Ryan and his family washing pots and pans that did not appear to be dirty.
It was the least he could do to help. Literally, the least he could do.