Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crying over Wawa

Last week the Romney campaign was planning a stop at a Wawa location. (Note, the chain is spelled "Wawa" as in Wawa, Pennsylvania which it was named for.) The Obama campaign was set to launch a protest but Romney's people got advance notice of it. The Romney campaign bus detoured to a different location and the event was a success. Later Romney contrasted the experience at Wawa with an optometrist trying to file a change of address notice to the government. The optometrist had to fill in a 32 page form. In contrast, a customer at Wawa can use a touchpad to order a custom sandwich.

This was too much for MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell. She showed an edited clip of Romney's speech that only showed the part where he talked about the Wawa and suggested that this was his supermarket scanner incident (in which George H. W. Bush was described as being amazed in 1992 by technology that had existed since 1980). She also suggested that Romney hasn't been inside many Wawas.

She may be right about that but not because Romney is isolated from everyday life. She may not realize it but Wawa is very much a regional chain. It has a lot of locations in the DC area but it is only in four states (with a planned expansion into Florida). Maybe Andrea doesn't get out of DC very often to see where people buy their gas.

Romney had a right to be impressed by the touchscreen. Wawa is a leader in implementing this. If you don't have a Wawa near you then chances are pretty good that you have never seen a touchscreen in a convenience store. Only 1% of convenience stores have them. More likely you found a pile of pre-made sandwiches of dubious origin.

So, rather than show Romney's cluelessness, Andrea exposed her own as well as her bias against Romney.

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