LEAVE IT TO BULLY
Is Romney less Father Knows Best and more Eddie Haskell with a mean streak?
Mitt Romney has always struck me as the Ward Cleaver type. With his “Gee, whiz” vocabulary and stuffed shirt style, watching this 1950s-esque candidate on the 2012 campaign trail feels like watching Back to the Future, Part Whatever: Red, White and Whiter. The lead is played by Max Headroom’s even less cool and more stilted cousin, and the movie is a mostly dull but occasionally funny account of his quest for the White (of course) House.
Incidents like Romney crating the family dog then strapping it to the roof of the car for a cross-country road trip have only served to confirm my impression. In Romney’s world, he isn’t often called on to handle every day chores like feeding or walking a dog, much less tackling more unusual challenges like how to humanely transport a pet on a long road trip when the car is already bursting at the seams with children.
And in Romney’s everyday life, he doesn’t often encounter people from different socio-economic backgrounds. So, when the campaign trail takes him to visit places where most Americans actually live, it’s a little like watching a variation of Borat — but instead of it being a Kazakhstani man who is out of step with life in America, it features a time-encapsulated rich white guy. In one uncomfortable but hilarious scene a clearly under-exposed Romney can’t even get through a quick photo op with a few of-color potential supporters without lapsing into the chorus of Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out.” Ouch. Ouch-ouch-ouch!