Leave Ryan King Alone!

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 24 2011 4:23 PM

Leave Ryan King Alone!

Mitt Romney's campaign releases a video about economic struggles starring Ryan King, a college graduate who's struggling in a town (Midland, Mich.) that's struggling even more. But the Wall Street Journal scoops that King is not unemployed.

According to his Facebook and MySpace pages, he graduated just last month from Northwood University in Midland, where he studied accounting, was a residential adviser and mail clerk. On May 6, just as he was graduating, he announced that he "got the job, booya!!!" at Quality Marketing Enterprise, a Midland company.


I'm now seeing Democrats blast this and other articles out, and I chuckled at it initially. But King never says he's unemployed . He says "I have about $3 to my name before I catch my paycheck tomorrow." And in the clip from Barack Obama's 2008 speech shown at the beginning of the ad, Obama is talking about jobs that don't pay a good living wage.

King is not jobless. He's underemployed. A lot of people are underemployed , meaning that they have a job that they're overqualified for, and they're probably looking for a better one. In King's case, we have a college graduate who's only able to find a job at a direct marketing firm -- and go ahead, find me someone who goes to college for four years, studies economics, and is satisfied with a job like that. Sure, it seems like King got to star in this ad because of his work as a Republican volunteer. That's sort of odd. It's not that hard to find people in worse shape than him. But a young white guy who's just out of college and is struggling because he could only find a lousy job? Gee, do we think there are any voters this rings true to? Any parents?

Romney keeps his focus on jobs and the various kinds of hits people are taking in this economy. Democrats make fun of him. Great strategy!

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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