Ah, yes. It’s election time once again. You can tell by some of the stories making the news. If it’s not Obama sampling an exotic dog-based cuisine as a child, it’s this bulls***:

Mitt Romney, even at 65, is known for his handsome face and slim waistline — qualities he likely has not maintained by gobbling desserts. But his refusal to eat cookies made by a beloved Pittsburgh bakery is drawing not admiration but ire from locals and Democrats.

At a campaign event on Tuesday, Romney joked with a woman about a plate of cookies on the table where they were sitting.

“I’m not sure about these cookies,” Romney said to the woman. “Did you make those cookies? You didn’t, did you? No. No. They came from the local 7-Eleven bakery or wherever.”

In fact, the cookies came from Bethel Bakery, a popular Pittsburgh pastry shop.

“We wanted him to be welcomed with the best in the ’burgh, and he had no idea,” the bakery’s owner, John Walsh, said on local television. “This guy has no idea how beloved this institution is that provided these cookies.”

Walsh later told The Wall Street Journal that he believed Romney was only kidding, and a 7-Eleven spokeswoman said the company was not offended by the likely Republican nominee’s remark.

The incident has actually helped business, Bethel Bakery reported.

But the Democratic National Committee jumped on Romney’s comment, tweeting “Mitt Romney disses a beloved local bakery in Pittsburgh — and 7-Eleven.”

Others also have taken to Twitter, teasing Romney with the hashtag #cookiegate.

Source

Though opponents have worked assiduously to make this a reflection of Mitt’s out-of-touchness (and the case against Mitt might be strong enough), c’mon people. This is a non-story. Much like discussions about Romney’s wealth, Obama’s religion, or hundreds of other pointless things, we are concocting controversies out of the most insignificant storylines; all serving to distract us from where our attention should truly lie – on issues. Policy, more than all this other nonsense, is what matters.

Still…

…this is yet another example of why a good political strategist is needed when a person is running for an office with as much profile as the Presidency. A good strategist would’ve told Romney (not assuming they did and he just ignored them) to eat the damn cookie, smile, and give a thumbs up. Even if the cookie tasted like complete crap, the key to being a politician is to have an ability to connect with people. In the political climate, you connect by making people feel appreciated. It was for this very reason that I used to tell my ex that I liked her cooking or acted like I wasn’t offended by her unkept house. It’s the same reason why I pretend to care about what my boss and his friends did last weekend. You carry on the appearance of being interested to avoid hurting the feelings of people who may matter. In doing so, you protect your own interests. That’s the game, Mitt. You need to learn how to play it if you seriously want to win this thing.

Besides all that, what harm would it do to your campaign if you just nibbled on a damn cookie for all of three seconds? Could Obama really say “My opponent eats butter cookies. He hates America.” I guess he could, if he didn’t care about being publicly ridiculed by everybody with at least half a brain. But with this snub, Democrats have yet another opening to attack. “Mitt Romney is out of touch with small businesses, even those considered iconic in their communities.” See, Mitt? That’s how quickly it can start. And all I have is a measly blog. Give me a talk radio show or a half hour slot during primetime, and I could go to work and do some real damage.

Make no mistake: this election won’t be won or lost due to #CookieGate. Obama faced infinitely more challenging obstacles in 2008 and managed to win it all. But, come on candidates. Play your cards right, like a good politician should, and make this race about things that matter most.

– ACL