The Profound Strangeness of Mitt Romney
I read (about) his new biography, so you don’t have to.
We’ve always known Willard Mitt Romney was weird, but until now we never understood just how profoundly strange he really is.
Here is just one quote from the new hagiography, er biography about Pierre Delecto’s alter ego:
“I was accused of being inauthentic. But in reality that’s just who I am… I’m the authentic person who seems inauthentic.”
You see what I mean about weird?
The new book is entitled “Romney: A Reckoning.” It’s by McKay Coppins, like Mitt a Mormon who strangely works for one of state-run media’s furthest-left purveyors of fake news, The Atlantic.
Like you, I haven’t read the book, have no intention of doing so. But I did check the index, to see if I made the cut. As expected, I didn’t, because Mitt’s gone national, and we’re all local yokels. I did, however, read the excerpts and the reviews, so you don’t have to.
One lesson from the book that is clear, even if unmentioned: Romney’s rather sad political career proves again that the governorship of Massachusetts never turns out to be what they all think it will be.
The Corner Office is not a path to glory, it’s a treadmill to oblivion.
Nothing much good ever happens to ex-governors. The race card stops working, the ambassadorship doesn’t open the big-money doors, the million-dollar campaign account runs dry, the booze catches up with you…
You can argue that Charlie Baker is now making over $3 million a year, but how long before that grift too goes down in flames?
All Charlie ultimately is is a flak catcher, and his only schtick is shrugging off whatever this week’s NCAA catastrophe is — men in the women’s locker rooms, Dr. Larry Nassar, the Michigan cheating scandal…
How many times can Baker say, as he in effect told a Senate committee last month: “Hey, I wasn’t there when that happened. I was presiding over my own catastrophe — totally bungling the COVID panic in Massachusetts.”
Mitt, though, is different from all his fellow gubernatorial bust-outs. Because he had higher ambitions. He dreamed of becoming president.
When he was governor, occasionally I used to invite him on my radio show. I think the only thing Mitt really liked about visiting my studio in Brighton was that there was a McDonald’s down the street. I always made sure he had a Big Mac and plenty of fries in front of him. I have a feeling Ann didn’t let him eat much… junk food.
One time, though, I tried to give him a Coke. He recoiled as if I were handing him a cup of hemlock. Was it the sugar, or the caffeine? Probably the latter.
You know how last summer, he said his favorite meat was “hot dog.” Yeah, that figures, I thought.
Now, Coppins reports, he would meet Mitt at his townhouse on Capitol Hill at night, where the senator would be, as Mark Hemingway noted in The Federalist, “eating salmon sandwiches slathered in ketchup because he doesn’t like salmon.”
Ketchup on salmon? Yikes.
I’ve always wondered how someone could be so successful in business, yet so utterly clueless in practical politics. Mitt had a strange way of judging other politicians, and the book just confirms it.
The Romney rule boils down to this: Democrat good, Republican bad.
He hates Trump, as everyone knows. But did you know he likewise despises Gov. Ron DeSantis? Why? Because DeSantis shares the same “odious qualities” as Trump.
In other words, if someone punches DeSantis in the mouth, he fights back. Unlike Mitt, whose usual m.o. when attacked is to fall to the floor, go into the fetal position and start whimpering, “Mommy! No mas! No mas!”
Romney dismisses all his 2012 GOP presidential rivals as “singularly unimpressive,” as if he’s a Hall of Famer. This is his description of former Sen. Rick Santorum:
“Driven by ego, not principle… sanctimonious, severe and strange… apparently bottomless self-interest.”
Pot, meet kettle.
For Pete’s sake, as Mitt likes to say, he has the spine of a jellyfish. Here is Coppins explaining how, as a Mormon, Romney arrived at his pro-abortion stance when he was running here in Massachusetts:
“He wondered if there was any wiggle room in the church’s teaching…. He found quotes from church leaders who said abortion was ‘like unto murder’ — but they didn’t say it was murder…
“He also seized on the Church’s twelfth Article of Faith, which declares a belief in ‘obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.’… Abortion, he reasoned, had been legalized through Roe v. Wade — perhaps he had a similar responsibility to honor that?”
And then of course when he ran for president he flip-flopped again. Mitt was pro-life before he was pro-abortion before he was pro-life.
Think of the horrible lies the Democrats made up about him — bullying gays, abusing his Irish setter, giving a woman cancer, etc. etc.
And yet he believes all the BS the same comrades peddled about Donald Trump. On national TV, Mitt revealed he’d never even heard of Burisma. Joe Biden said Romney wanted to put blacks “back in chains,” but then Biden called him one Sunday morning out of the blue and told him, “I think highly of you as a person.”
Mitt swooned and gurgled: “I feel the same way.”
That alone should have been enough to have ended Mitten’s reelection campaign in Utah. But his goose was already cooked — it says something about Mitt’s enduring popularity that he was never once reelected to any office.
When Mitt was running against Obama in 2012, some people thought he was going to win. I was not among them. I was asked if I wanted to broadcast live that night from the “victory party” at the BCEC.
Nah, I thought. As the old saying goes, if they didn’t get an invite to the wedding, why would I go to their funeral?
So now it’s over. And I’ll leave the takeaway to Mark Hemingway of The Federalist, who it turns out is a distant relative of Pierre Delecto.
“The most obvious reason Romney’s political career petered out in a hail of grievances is that he’s turned into — and it pains me to say this about an otherwise exemplary man — kind of a (bodily orifice).”
Only Hemingway didn’t say bodily orifice. My only quibble with the judgment is that, when you consider his entire pathetic political career, Mitt hasn’t turned into a bodily orifice.
He’s always been one.