By Will Durst
There’s something about Mitt. And whatever it is, a few folks are definitely allergic. Maybe they sense he has the same connection to humanity that a drive shaft has to bouillabaisse. Could be he’s worth more than most small Balkan nations. Might be the Mormon thing, or perhaps he just smells odd.
It’s almost funny. After crushing Newt Gingrich in Florida, the nomination for the Republican primary race was written off as a done deal with Romney all but handed the crown and the beaucoup bouquets reserved for winners. And by his post-election strut, you could tell the candidate thought along similar lines. Not measuring the drapes or anything, but definitely photo shopping names for inclusion on the bottom line of a bumper sticker.
But the express train to the Tampa printers derailed on the winter plains of the Midwestern states of Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri with Rick Santorum somehow swooping down to sweep all three. Having had to slap up a different wannabee front-runner every week, Romney must feel like he’s playing Whack-a-Mole with a mallet made out of yogurt-soaked cat hair clippings.
Whatever that something about Mitt is, it causes conservatives to contract the dreaded “Itchy I-Don’t-Knows,” every time they get close to walking down the aisle with the former governor from Massachusetts. It’s a rash that erupts only when Willard’s name tops the national polls. A serious knee-buckling case of buyer’s remorse. Of course, the clueless plastic smile of an aged Ken doll hasn’t acted as a sufficient antidote either.
The tone-deaf man with the tin ear grinningly claimed he was not concerned about “the very poor.” As Randy Jackson might say, “A bit pitchy, dawg.” The problem is, most normal humans suspect Romney’s definition of “very poor” consists of anybody without a pastry chef permanently on call. The very next day, apparently concerned that his post-elitist message wasn’t being taken seriously, he hugged Donald Trump. Which would be terrific if he were running for Poster Child of the 1%.
Someone on his staff has to tell the guy he already resembles a police sketch artist rendering of a white-collar criminal. The MBA voted Most Likely to be Perp-Walked up a Courthouse Steps with a Trench Coat Draped over his Handcuffs. Looks more like Gordon Gekko than Michael Douglas does. Go on Mitt. Say it. “Greed is good.” Feel better now?
The only people who can relate to this guy are country club chaps with a penchant for calling their wives “Lovey.” He wasn’t groomed, he was assembled out of an Ikea box. “One White Male Politician; Standard.”
Romney won Florida by airing 12,000 ads compared to Gingrich’s 300, and doing the same to Rick Santorum should be easier than pudding on a stick, since the former Pennsylvania senator is financing his campaign mostly through bake sales and scrounging under couch cushions.
Santorum actually brags about running such a low-key campaign he flies middle seats on United. We’re supposed to entrust the presidency to a guy who can’t snag a decent travel agent?
Something else about Mitt is he’s an absolute blooming chameleon. And over the next couple of weeks, expect to be treated to the Borg Candidate assimilating Santorum’s passion for fighting the culture wars with the megaphone turned up to LOUD. Who knows, Mitt could well decide to go all-in. And start wearing sweater vests.
Every Tuesday. Elect to Laugh, with Will Durst. At the Marsh. 1062 Valencia. San Francisco. 94110. 415.826.5750. themarsh.org