Don’t ever say Paul Ryan doesn’t want to appear to care about the less fortunate. Just don’t ask him to deal with the rabble directly. From the Washington Post:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — 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. [...] 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.
[...] A few minutes into the dishwashing, reporters were escorted out of the building and onto a press bus. 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.
Just so we’re clear: For our national media, faking it is as good as doing it. Arriving at an empty soup kitchen, rewashing already washed pots and pans, and speaking with “homeless looking” people without allowing the press to listen in. Good enough! And here is the photographic result, sent around the world and described by the AP as “Helping hand: Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his wife Janna wash pots at St. Vincent DePaul dinning hall in Youngstown, Ohio.”
(Photo: Daily Mail)
The press may as well have covered Paul Ryan and family performing Macbeth in a park and called it as real as the soup-kitchen-pot-washing PR opportunity.