That's My Mitt!

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Bruce Reed is actually a little wistful about the decline of Mitt Romney, and the possibility that we're seeing our final, remarkable, ridiculous Romney Family YouTubes.

For the past year, the Romney clan has welcomed us into their lives on an unprecedented scale. They had us over for Christmas to see Mitt got out his legal pad and ask his family whether to run. His refreshing wife Ann showed us how much she has to put up with. The Five Brothers took us around the country on a MasterCard tour of sporting events, sharing their dumb jokes and fraternal banter. Every step of the way, Tagg revealed family secrets and spoke great truths, rarely on purpose.

Mitt never does anything by accident, but even he has shown his own charm as the hopelessly square dad, a throwback to '60s sitcoms when every normal family was a pretend one. The Romneys was designed to be the most manipulative, invasive, manufactured reality show in political history. In spite of itself, it turned out to be revealing anyway. Like The Office, The Romneys has proved that fake reality TV is better because it has a script.

This presidential campaign season has given us two kinds of politicking, and I don't know which I like less. On the one hand you have the faux folksiness of the Romneys and the Clinton campaign. Long before she was blubbering in diners and marathoning town halls, Clinton steered a bullshit-heavy media campaign to make her look more approachable. She* and Bill parodied the Sopranos in a diner, Bill ran on a treadmill, etc. The goal was to make people who you can't even glance at without the Secret Service frisking you look like plain folks, like your friends.

The other kind of politicking has been the Kennedy kind, the stage-managed attempt to make candidates look not approachable, but aspirational. With a couple exceptions (like his extremely awkward dinner with fans) Barack Obama's campaign has sold him as a heroic guru. Same with Edwards, who's made a lot out of his wife's illness, but more in an effort to look heroic than to look relatable.

*Fixed.

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  1. “Her and Bill parodied…”

    She and Bill. She and Bill.

    God, you must hate us sometimes.

  2. “Her and Bill parodied the Sopranos in a diner, Bill ran on a treadmill, etc. ”

    “HER and Bill” ?? Even if the use of this common American vernacular is on purpose to be funny, it hurts my head.

    My wife loves Judge shows and every single participant (save the Judges, natch) speaks in this manner. It’s worse than fingernails on a chalkboard.

  3. Sorry, you were the Second Little Pig this time.

  4. Ozzy showed us that the private lives of rich and famous people can be entertaining. For about 5 minutes.

  5. You forgot the third approach to politicking..the lurching, awkward whining that only he can save the US from eminant destruction (played by Giuliani and McCain)

    Then you have the true folksy approach, emulating Carter…by Huckabee and the “let’s take a bottle of Nyquil?” approach perfected by the ever….zzzzzz….Fred Thomspon.

  6. damnit, imminent*

  7. OMG! Are you seriously admitting that “Her and Bill” was an unintentional mis-type and that you might indeed speak in such a manner regularly.

    I am not certain I can take you seriously anymore.

  8. I am not certain I can take you seriously anymore.

    wtf it was an accident get over yourself

  9. Then there’s the fourth approach to politicking, rambling on and on like a crazy old fool and taking every defeat as further evidence of a conspiracy against you.

    SEND MORE MONEY! We’ve got another big day planned for Gay Pedo…, I mean, Martin Luther King Day.

  10. wtf it was an accident get over yourself

    Mister Weigel seems, shall we say, to be predispositioned toward accidents….

  11. Ozzy showed us that the private lives of rich and famous people can be entertaining. For about 5 minutes.

    Agreed. The first candidate’s family to throw hams into Pat Boone’s yard will get my vote.

  12. If anyone ever mistakenly reads the The Top 100 Things I’d Do if I Ever Became a Libertarian President as policy for his or her administration, #91 is “Wear a webcam 24/7.” I wonder what would get the best ratings–the president’s official life or his personal one? I have a guess, though I suppose it depends on the president.

  13. out out damned spot.

    WEB CAM!!!!!

  14. Ah, Lady McMoose.

  15. *quickly changes into MacDuff onesie*

  16. (Off-topic?)

    Dave-

    Should we call it quits on Ron Paul then?

    I came across this this morning:

    NAACP President: Ron Paul Is Not A Racist

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, who has known Ron Paul for 20 years, unequivocally dismissed charges that the Congressman was a racist in light of recent smear attempts, and said the reason for him being attacked was that he was a threat to the establishment…

    “Knowing Ron Paul’s intent, I think he is trying to improve this country but I think also, when you talk about the Constitution and you constantly criticize the federal government versus state I think a lot of folks are going to misconstrue that….so I think it’s very easy for folks who want to to take his position out of context and that’s what I’m hearing,” said Linder.

    “Knowing Ron Paul and having talked to him, I think he’s a very fair guy I just think that a lot of folks do not understand the Libertarian platform,” he added.

    Asked directly if Ron Paul was a racist, Linder responded “No I don’t,” adding that he had heard Ron Paul speak out about police repression of black communities and mandatory minimum sentences on many occasions.

    Dr. Paul has also publicly praised Martin Luther King as his hero on many occasions spanning back 20 years.

    “I’ve read Ron Paul’s whole philosophy, I also understand what he’s saying from a political standpoint and why people are attacking him,” said Linder.

    “If you scare the folks that have the money, they’re going to attack you and they’re going to take it out of context,” he added.

    “What he’s saying is really really threatening the powers that be and that’s what they fear,” concluded the NAACP President.

    I do not know who that guy Paul Joseph Watson is, but I have also heard this at antiwar.com.

    http://dissentradio.com/radio/07_08_29_linder.mp3

  17. She* and Bill parodied
    .
    .
    .
    *Fixed.

    Too late! They’ve already had Chelsea.

  18. Nice piece David. I might have taken the opportunity to use ‘Willard’ though.

  19. Willard with the rats or Captain Willard?

  20. Any Democrats in Michigan? Please cross over and vote for Mitt in the Republican primary…lets keep this hilarious moron around for a while longer.

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