Roemer’s Message Seductive, But He Can’t Close The Deal

Actor, director and producer Danny DeVito is currently best known for playing the role of Frank Reynolds on the hit FX sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.   But he’s also a very active celebrity on social networking site Twitter, with more than 1.5 million followers who read his daily musings, jokes and sometimes his political opinions.

Last Monday, DeVito took notice of Republican presidential hopeful Buddy Roemer’s statements in support of the Occupy Wall Street protests.   The star began a series of tweets that eventually engaged Roemer directly in a short discussion about abortion.

“Keep your eye on Buddy Roemer,” DeVito tweeted on October 10.

The following day, he added a pair of messages in support of Roemer’s campaign.

First up from DeVito on October 11:  @buddyroemer You sound like you have a head on your shoulders. What to do…what to do…”

Followed by: – Let Buddy Roemer participate in the Republican presidential debates

Roemer then replied to DeVito:  @DannyDeVito – Your support means a lot, Danny. So does that mean I can count on your $100 donation to keep my campaign going? #youdaman

The lovefest came to a halt the next day when DeVito asked Roemer if he was pro-choice, and Roemer replied:  @DannyDeVito I’ll be honest, I’m a pro-life guy, but only when it honors life of the mother. I vetoed two anti-abortion bills that didn’t.”

That was not enough for DeVito, who explained to Roemer that it had to be the woman’s choice.  It seems that communication between the Hollywood heavyweight and the Louisiana long-shot broke down after that as no further messages were tweeted.

Frankly, I’m not sure what’s weirder about this whole thing, the fact that Danny DeVito and Buddy Roemer were publicly passing little notes back and forth or that DeVito has over 1.5 million followers on Twitter, while Roemer remains just short of 5,000 fans.

The pattern of their interaction, however, is a familiar one for Roemer’s campaign.

He goes out and appears on shows like Comedy Central’s Colbert Report or The Daily Show and he will seemingly win over a whole bunch of new fans based on his criticisms of the establishment and big money’s corrupting role in politics.  The viewers love the 3 minutes of talk they hear coming out of his mouth, and they want to love him.  But as they visit his Facebook page, they’re faced with photo galleries of Roemer speaking at Tea Party events and immediately rebel with postings that range from a simple “you just lost my vote” to those of the more obscene variety.

It’s a theme.  People love Roemer the first time they hear him talk, but as soon as they dig a little deeper, most quickly find a reason not to support his campaign.

Democrats love him until they find out he’s a pro-life, pro-gun, Tea Partier.

Republicans like what he’s saying until they find out that he’s actually a former Democratic governor and is visiting the protest site on Wall Street with messages of support.

Running in a party’s primary is probably not Roemer’s best path to accomplishing his goal of bringing attention to the negative influence of big corporate money in politics.  In reality, he might be better suited to John Anderson-style Independent bid.


  1. I found your interesting comment because I have a Google Alert for “Buddy Roemer” (I’m a huge fan). Just thought I’d respond to the criteria used in examples you give to completely turn off two kinds of voters: those for whom women’s choice on abortion is paramount, and those who couldn’t handle that Roemer is running as a Republican. This despite their curiosity and approval of what they’d heard him say and that he is truly a UNIQUE candidate and exactly the RIGHT man for this election cycle.

    I’d just like to make the case (and perhaps you can forward my comment to Mr. DeVito) that these reactions really under-use the political clout you have as a voter or well-known celebrity.

    I’m this aged political junkie (91), been doing the issue of what I consider our suicidal trade agreements ever since 1991 when I first met Ross Perot. What I’ve learned is that you almost never get the clear choices you want in a two-party system because even though those two parties are enemies, the bigger enemy for them is giving voters another choice.

    I refuse to let them have that kind of control over my puny one vote! Primaries are the place to do that–changing your registration as necessary to make BEST USE of your vote in a particular state and in a particular election. This year with no primary for Democratic president–millions of votes out there could be used to support and/or do selective damage in the Republican Party primaries.

    And so, in this election in which the economy and jobs are the PRIMARY issue, and Buddy Roemer IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE RUNNING ON THE REASON FOR OUR JOBLESS ECONOMY–how logical is it to insist on purity on the abortion issue? Roemer’s stance is basically the law of the land–the Supreme Court Roe vs Wade decision that estalished abortions as legal, within certain guidelines. That Roemer vetoed bills twice in Louisiana put forth by his own party to put more limits on abortion tell me this is an honorable and courageous man.

    As for his running on the Republican ticket in this primary, dead set against both so-called “free” trade agreements, and the buying of Congress by Wall Street that led to 2008 debacle, and also a BANKER, has extra clout. He’s UNIQUE.

    I’ve been registered in the Reform Party here in Florida where we have ballot access. Discovering Roemer, I’ve changed my registration to Republican just so I can vote for him. He is the PERFECT candidate for our times. That’s how come they’re NOT letting him in the debates, I’m convinced. Chances are he’s not going to win the primary. BUT for the people you describe NOT to give him extra voice and clout by voting for him in the Republican primary on the two great issues of our time, is just wasting their votes.

    Is what I do illegal? No, nor is it unethical AS LONG AS THE 2-PARTY OLIGARCHY refuses to allow a fair way for 3d parties to get ballot access.

  2. Should have added, he’s not a Tea Partier! If he were would he go to the Occupy Wall Street Park? He’s been speaking at Tea Party Events because THAT’S whose sponsoring them for the Republican Party this year. Simple as that.


  3. maggy,

    I work with the Reform Party also , I’m hoping to convince some of the leadership that we should recruit Buddy once he inevitably flames out in the Republican primary.

    Addressing the author’s point; the people who would never vote for a candidate if they had the wrong party label by their name, or took the wrong stance on abortion, are not what Roemer should worry about ; although hopefully, he has a chance to get some of them to change their opinion also. Roemer has the chance to go after the same vote that Ross Perot, people who don’t care much about that stuff.

  4. NobodyAskedMe...But says:

    Roemer’s only significant issue is campaign finance reform. He has nothing else that is any different from the other candidates. He did give one speech about fair trade, but he just read it and has never talked about it again in any depth, so he just got that from someone else and was simply trying it out.

    While there is nothing the matter with campaign finance reform, that is not enough to make a good president.

    He spent several months in New Hampshire talking to people one-on-one and face to face. He did not campaign in other states in order to make a big impact in New Hampshire. It turned out that he did not even receive one-half of one percent. He simply cannot win. It would not do the Reform Party any good to have him as its candidate. He is a good talker, but has nothing to offer as President. He should be a political pundit on the radio. You do not have to know much for that. You just have to be angry.

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