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Current Event -- Elections...

This is just my general analysis and compare/contrast of the articles which I read concerning Mitt Romney dropping out of the primaries. My examination of the articles within the framework of news reporting will be included in an additional entry.

Romney drops out of GOP presidential race - Kansas City Star

I thought it was particularly interesting that the picture featured in the beginning of this article is of a smiling and triumphant John McCain rather than a Mitt Romney. Considering that the article is titled Romney drops out of the GOP presidential race I would have expected a frowning Romney to be the first image that I would see. I just thought that was a very unconventional pictorial choice to make. The article actually begins with the words ‘Mitt Romney’ and does not even mention McCain until the ninth paragraph.

One of the first things that this article focuses on is the fact that this was a costly campaign for Romney that did not have favorable results. His attempts to woo over conservative voters failed miserably in the end. The article really tends to focus on the things that Romney did wrong through out the primaries.

“Mitt Romney spent millions of his fortune trying to convince Republican conservatives that he was one of them.”

The article then mentions the inconsistency in Romney’s stances on various political issues over the course of his campaign.

“Before and during his stint as governor, he didn’t register as a Republican for a time, sympathized with abortion and gay rights advocates and raised fees and increased tax burden on businesses in the state by hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Romney went on to claim that “he had to withdrawal so that Republicans could mount the most effective fall campaign.”

As the article continued the writer revealed the estimated amount of money that Romney spent on the campaign as being in the ball park of $17 million. In the final paragraph of the article the writer discusses Romney’s inconsistency once again by saying that “his strategy seemed to keep shifting with his immediate needs.” The article ends with an example of Romney claiming to be anti-gun in 1994 and just recently announcing that he had bought a lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association.

Overall this article picked apart Romney and barely mentioned McCain. The main focus was on the fact that Romney was inconsistent on many levels through out his campaign. I also felt that the author was trying to make the point that money can’t win you an election.

Romney drops out, $35M later - The Leaf-Chronicle

Several of the things mentioned in this article also appeared in the article entitled Romney drops out, $35M later, but are written differently or have minor discrepancies. This article is significantly shorter than the first one and is written in a much more reader friendly way. The coverage of Romney dropping out of the race in this article also starts out by mentioning the amount of money he spent on his campaign. Though when this article specified the amount of out of pocket spending that Romney made they listed it as being $35 million. This differed greatly from the other articles estimation of $17 million.

This article claims that part of the reason for Romney dropping out of the race was the fact that for some reason “he never caught on with people.”

Surprisingly this article touches on his Mormon faith as a reason for people not supporting Romney whereas the first article did not. Another reason that this article gives for his failure is his inconsistency which was mentioned in the first article. Basically they are saying that he changed his positions depending on where and for whom he was campaigning. This article didn’t include any quotes and was more of a synopsis.

Romney drops out - East Oregonian

Because this article was so much shorter than the other one that I analyzed I decided to examine a third article in order to draw more conclusions. The third article is entitled Romney drops out. This article was most similar to the first article which I read and was titled Romney drops out of the GOP presidential race. Very similarly to the first article this one also made an interesting pictorial choice by starting the article with the words John McCain and showing a picture of Mitt Romney looking defeated. I suppose the Romney picture is more appropriate because the article is about him, but I feel like it shouldn’t being with John McCain’s name leading us into it.

The first thing I noticed in this article was the inclusion of a quote from Mitt Romney that was featured in the first article. “I must now stand aside, for our party and our country.” This was the first quote in this article, but appeared much later in the other one and was also changed around. In the first article the quote read “I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.” There is only a minor changer, but it is a change in the quote none the less.

The quote “If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," is also featured the first, but has some inconsistencies.

In the first version of the quote the sentence “I would forestall the launch of a national campaign” reads as “I’d forestall the launch of a national campaign.” I also noticed in this article that the mention of McCain comes much closer to its beginning. After the second quoted paragraph suddenly the article takes a major turn and focuses on McCain. But this article manages to incorporate a mention of the other Republicans such as Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul by giving their current status in the race.

Another difference between this article and the other two articles was that only this one included quotes from McCain. One consistent piece of information from both the first article and this one is the inclusion of the fact that “Romney suspended his campaign, allowing him to hold onto his delegates.

The issue of campaign dollars pops up once again in this article with an even more astronomical estimate than the other three. This article claimed that Romney contributed “$40 million dollars of his own money in the race.” One thing in particular that I noticed in this article was a quote that expressed that the decision to drop out of the race was not easy.

"This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters ... many of you right here in this room ... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming president."

It is interesting that in the first article rather than use a quote to express this sentiment the author simply writes “The decision, he said, wasn’t easy. These are two very different way of giving the same kind of information. Another part of this article that is present in the first is the part about the crowd shouting no when he announced he was stepping down. This was written differently in each context.

There were shouts of astonishment, with some moans and others yelling, “No, No.”
Romney responded, “You guys are great.”

Activists shouted, “No,” and Romney smiled and gently told them: “You guys are great.”

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Comments (2)

Daniella Choynowski:

I had a similar situation with my first article. It was about how Mike Huckabee was pulling ahead of the race, yet it only mentioned in a small section that McCain was way far ahead of him in delegate numbers still. You could definately tell that the reporter was a Huckabbe hopeful, and I shouldn't be able to tell that (which means that the article was not good newswriting)

By mentioning all those "bad" things about Romney, the writer makes the reader feel glad that he dropped out of the race. Maybe the author was trying to associate him with another famous inconstistent politician (cough*John Kerry*cough). And why didn't any of your articlesmention Mike Huckabee? He still has a chance, yet the authors have assumed that McCain is going to now win the nomination?

ChrisU:

Wow. Great analysis, Leslie.

I like the fact that you pointed out the inconsistency between the photos and the leads of the news stories. It was an interesting creative choice by the editors to contrast the two.

I also like how you pointed out that the first article seemed to be trying to make a point about winning elections. It's a bit of a personal opinion, yet the reporter let it shine through by organizing certain facts in a particular way--an ethical issue journalists face everyday.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 9, 2008 5:58 PM.

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