If there’s one tactic I wish EVERY politician or wanna-be politician would drop, it’s the tiresome “man of the people” act. Because even if there’s a sliver of truth to it, it still comes across as narcissistic and self-serving rather than a genuine attempt at being relatable to average voters.
We’ve seen numerous cases in American political history of this campaign trick backfiring on candidates for public office, including failed North Carolina Democratic Senate nominee Cal Cunningham’s infamous “brioche buns” grillin’ out photo that was posted on Twitter roughly a week before his affair scandal broke. And just last month, we saw it again when New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul plastered her own awkward “BBQ” moment on Twitter for all the world to see.
While Ohio Democratic Senate nominee Tim Ryan has also been skewered in the past for his cringe “look at me, I’m grillin’ out!” staged photos, it is a couple of recent attacks he’s lobbed at Republican nominee J.D. Vance that are giving him the kind of attention most campaigns – especially those in close races – don’t want.
Take a look at the below video Ryan (or his handlers) posted Monday showing Vance getting out of what they described as a “$70,000 foreign car” in a clip clearly designed to make him look out of touch with average Ohioans:
There are multiple problems with this cheap shot, as evidenced first by the fact that this is not even Vance’s vehicle:
Another problem is, well, Tim Ryan has no room to talk.
“Same guy who in his video launching his campaign last year was driving a GMC Yukon SLT, which starts at about…$67,000. Clown,” Twitter user Brian Fike observed.
To understand the third problem with Ryan’s argument, let’s assume for purposes of discussion that the vehicle was Vance’s. Who cares? It’s like Ryan, who makes it a point to tout how America is the land of the free and the home of vast opportunities, thinks someone should be punished for being successful enough to own an expensive car. How stupid is that?
And lastly and perhaps most problematic with Ryan’s argument is that it’s a self-own. If Ryan truly thinks owning a $70,000 car makes one out of touch with middle-class America, then why is he a proponent of electric vehicles, which average around $65,000-$70,000 on the low end and which most middle-class Americans can’t even afford?
Between this attack and the one from this past Saturday where Vance was mocked by Ryan for not being at the Ohio State football game and holding a political rally instead when it turns out Ryan wasn’t there either, I’m not sure which one is more idiotic.
One thing I do know is that Tim Ryan’s man of the people act is just that – an act. And the person we can thank for inadvertently proving that to us is, well, Tim Ryan himself.