I carry no water for Mitt Romney. I didn’t vote for him and think he’s yesterday’s news. In a recent post James Joyner dings Romney for saying something on the campaign trail that was “technically true just intentionally misleading” and was named “Lie of the Year” by PolitiFact. I don’t know about y’all but around here a candidate can’t introduce him- or herself to prospective voters without being intentionally misleading. It’s a venial sin at worst.
In token of this I’d like to submit a snippet of a sample stump speech, including annotations to indicate the actual meaning.
Good evening, people of East Sasquatch1. My name is Joe Doakes2 and I’m running to be the next mayor3 of our fair city4. I’ve been involved with this town all my life5. My views on the issues that concern us6 are well known7 and I’ve been strong and consistent8 in them.
1You’re all a bunch of losers.
2My father/mother/father-in-law/aunt was the last mayor.
3I couldn’t care less about this office. It’s just a stepping stone and I really want to be president.
4Not good but fair.
5I haven’t even visited here for Thanksgiving since I went away to college. I have shaken some hands at a few bus stops, though.
6See above. I couldn’t care less.
7Nobody has the vaguest idea what they are.
8I’ve been all over the map—my views depend on the audience I’m addressing.
I could go on but you get the idea. I’ve heard that speech at least a dozen times in my life, including by several present state and local incumbents. If politicians were prohibited from being intentionally misleading, they’d have practically nothing at all to say.