Human Events Blog

Attack of the invisible garbage man

President Obama’s trusty Big Labor allies at AFSCME decided to strike out at Mitt Romney with a full minute of his trash collector complaining that Romney doesn’t appreciate him:

This has got to be one of the weirdest, dumbest political ads ever.  It’s not nearly as entertaining as Herman Cain’s Smoking Man or the fabled Demon Sheep, though.  Mostly it’s just sad and pitiful.  I would wager the first thought striking most average Americans would be, “Say, I don’t really go outside and thank my garbage man for his efforts, either.”

It seems likely that the clods at AFSCME didn’t bother doing any homework before they stitched this ad together, or they would have known that Mitt Romney actually worked as a garbage collector at one point, during his gubernatorial campaign.  “During my campaign for governor, I decided to spend a day every few weeks doing the jobs of other people in Massachusetts,” he wrote in his book No Apology, as quoted by National Review.  “Among other jobs, I cooked sausages at Fenway Park, worked on asphalt paving crew, stacked bales of hay on a farm, volunteered in an emergency room, served food at a nursing home, and worked as a child-care assistant.  I’m often asked which was the hardest job – it’s child care, by a mile.”

But collecting trash was no picnic for Romney, either.  “One day I gathered trash as a garbage collector,” Romney relates.  “I stood on that little platform at the back of the truck, holding on as the driver navigated his way through the narrow streets of Boston.  As we pulled up to traffic lights, I noticed that the shoppers and businesspeople who were standing only a few feet from me didn’t even see me.  It was as if I was invisible.  Perhaps it was because a lot of us don’t think garbage men are worthy of notice; I disagree – anyone who works that hard deserves our respect.”  (Emphasis mine, in case the AFSCME crowd needs a little help realizing how badly they’ve screwed up.)

It’s a pity Romney wasn’t friends with Mike Rowe yet, because this sounds like it would have made a great episode of Dirty Jobs.  “I wasn’t a particularly good garbage collector,” Romney admits.  “At one point, after filling the trough at the back of the truck, I pulled the wrong hydraulic lever.  Instead of pushing the load into the truck, I dumped it onto the street.  Maybe the suits didn’t notice me, but the guys at the construction site sure did: ‘Nice job, Mitt,’ they called. ‘Why don’t you find an easier job?’ And then they good-naturedly came down and helped me pick up my mess.”

There’s even a picture of Romney working a garbage truck – which, incidentally, tend to have hydraulic appliances to make the business of lifting trash a bit easier:

Does anyone think Barack Obama and the rest of the royal family – wined, dined, and entertained at a cost of $1.4 billion to the U.S. taxpayer during four years of American economic stagnation – run out to hug their sanitation engineers?  And could AFSCME have insulted the serious concerns, and intelligence, of the American voter any more grievously, by trotting out this absurd sideshow when Barack Obama’s policies are pushing us over a cliff into outright recession?

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