This ought to be symbolic of something, but, gee, of what?
Paul Ryan visited a soup kitchen here Saturday on his way to the airport, but by the time the GOP vice presidential nominee and his family had arrived shortly before noon, the grits, sausage and doughnuts had been served, the hall was empty of patrons and the volunteers appeared to have already cleaned up.
OK, so the zombie-eyed granny-starver arrived a little late, it happens. So what did he do to recover from the (accurate) impression that he does not care about the 47% and wants to slash the social safety net for the good of the people?
After greeting and thanking a handful of volunteers from St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Canfield, Ohio — who said they typically visit the St. Vincent DePaul Society every Saturday and serve food from 10 to 11:30 a.m. — Ryan, his wife and their young children headed to the kitchen, donned white aprons and offered to clean up some dishes.
Ryan stood at the sink and took some large metal pans that did not appear to be dirty, soaped them up and rinsed them, remarking as the cameras clicked and the TV cameras rolled that he had spent a summer washing dishes when he was younger.
Oh, my. What happened next?
As Ryan exited the building some minutes later, a small group of people, some of whom appeared to be homeless, seemed to engage Ryan, and the candidate stopped for several moments and spoke with them.
The campaign escorted photographers from the bus for Ryan’s exchange, but reporters were not allowed to do so. Ryan’s motorcade took off for the airport a few moments later.
Aside from “appearing to be homeless” (and what exactly does that mean?), the press was not allowed to listen in or report on the exchange. Ryan, who has a notorious glass jaw usually shuts down when people question him in non-scripted public venues was smart enough at least to let the encounter be photographed.
A campaign aide said that the exchange was not open to press because it was an impromptu conversation.
Yeah, because, you know, that might be news. And now the spin:
Spokesman Michael Steel said that the visit by the Ryans to the soup kitchen “emphasized the importance of charities and volunteerism to civil society.”
Or more accurately, the visit by the Ryans to an empty soup kitchen to not feed the hungry and to wash clean pots and pans was capped off by not addressing the homeless.