Romney’s personality problem

Much has been written about Mitt Romney being booed by the audience when he spoke to them at their annual convention about repealing ‘Obamacare’. It was immediately obvious to me from his use of this label instead of the correct Affordable Care Act that he was deliberately provoking them to get this reaction. He has likely written off the black vote and now uses them as a prop to court white voters who see the black community as representing those who favor more government involvement in society.

Matt Taibbi writes about something that I too have noted, that there is something slightly off about Romney as a person. He reminds me of Dick Cheney is sharing a not-quite-human quality.

Romney really showed us something in his luridly self-congratulating N.A.A.C.P. gambit, followed by the awesomely disgusting “free stuff” post-mortem speech he delivered the next night in front of friendlier audiences. The twin appearances revealed the candidate to be not merely unlikable, and not merely a fatuous, unoriginal hack of a politician, but also a genuinely repugnant human being, a grasping corporate hypocrite with so little feel for how to get along with people that he has to dream up elaborate schemes just to try to pander to the mob.

Most presidents have something under the hood – wit, warmth, approachability, something. Even the most liberal football fan could enjoy watching an NFL game with George Bush. And even a Klansman probably would have found some of LBJ’s jokes funny. The biggest office in the world requires someone who buzzes with enough personality to fill the job, and most of them have it.

But Romney doesn’t buzz with anything. His vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations. He’s like a teenager who stays up all night thinking of a way to impress the prom queen, and what he comes up with is kicking a kid in a wheelchair. Instincts like those are probably what made him a great leveraged buyout specialist, but in a public figure? Man, is he a disaster. It’s really incredible theater, watching the Republicans talk themselves into this guy.

Even speaker John Boehner seems to recognize that Romney has no charm whatsoever, saying that “The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I’ll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama.”

Now there’s something to inspire voters. Romney can overcome this problem but he’ll have to work really hard at it.


  1. StevoR says

    Three words! Just three. And I have to blinking well misspell one of them! Sigh.

    Romney has personality?!?

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    StevoR – I count 4 words, 2 (sort of) spelled right.

    John Boehner – I, & most of the people I know, will turn out in November to vote against Romney, not for the other sumbitch.

    But Taibbi has a point: at last, George Dubious Bush does seem like a regular fella you’d tolerate having a beer with.

  3. Shawn Smith says

    George Dubious Bush does seem like a regular fella you’d tolerate having a beer with.

    Or maybe some “special” brownies.

  4. StevoR says

    @3. Pierce R. Butler :

    StevoR – I count 4 words, 2 (sort of) spelled right.

    (Looks again.) Aaaaarrrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!! Ka-boom. (head explodes.)

    Durnnit. You’re quite right. How did I type Mitt and miss it?

    Too tired & drunk now evidently. As per usual.

  5. StevoR says

    The ‘rMoney’ was deliberate. Apt anagram / “sabotage” of his name.

    Plus I left out the “Bishop” part which apparently he was / is or so Igatehrfrom one 4 Corners (Aussie TV documetary /news program) episode on him.

  6. 'Tis Himself says

    Romney is not a likeable person. He’s very stiff, talks down to people, and has a general air of superiority. If someone asked if he’d like a beer, I suspect he’d explain in some detail how and why consumption of alcoholic beverages is forbidden by the Latter Day Saint Church.

  7. says

    I suspect he’d explain in some detail how and why consumption of alcoholic beverages is forbidden by the Latter Day Saint Church.

    Only if someone was watching.

  8. 'Tis Himself says

    Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast has some thoughts about Romney and Obama.

    Mitt Romney’s present travails must surely seem shocking and offensive to Republicans, both panjandrums and rank and file alike: “His is a great American success story. How can this be bad? The controversy must be all the fault of that evil liberal media and the Democrat Party!” Well, folks, sorry, but it’s not. If you’re willing to spend two minutes scouring the landscape for explanations rather than enemies, it might strike you that outsourcing is a real issue in American life—millions of citizens have been affected by it, and by definition, none of them for the better. That the ongoing Bain saga is such a shock and outrage to conservatives shows me only that conservatives are profoundly out of touch with the moderate center of the country: It helps explain why you selected this man as your nominee, and it further helps explain why he’s losing to an incumbent who, given the current economic conditions, ought to be pretty easy to take out.

  9. Francisco Bacopa says

    Reminds me of this old joke from Utah:

    Why do you have to invite at least two Mormons on your fishing trip?

    Cause if you invite just one he’ll drink all your beer.

  10. says

    “His is a great American success story. How can this be bad?

    Being born with a platinum spoon in your mouth is “success” for a plutocrat, yes.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    Nah, the special brownies are only for people I like – not even the Mittbot could shove Shrub into that category.

    Though I shudder to think what the Repukes will nominate next time.

  12. Henry Gale says

    I think Mr. Romney has lead a pretty privileged and sheltered life. He’s been successful and perhaps has never worried about where the next meal was coming from or whether the bills can be paid at the end of the month.

    As a result, I think he has issues relating to those outside of his circle. I have no doubt that he is goofy (like his boys like to talk about) and that he is pleasant and cordial when in his group. However, outside that group he gets stiff and out of touch.

    I offer up the debate performance where he offered to wager Mr. Perry $10,000. To Mitt, it was like a $5 wager between a couple of guys at the water cooler.

    It’s not that he doesn’t have a personality. Its that he can’t relate to anyone with a net worth less than 1 million.

  13. left0ver1under says

    I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to spend time around someone who killed animals for fun as a child. It certainly explained his glee at signing 147 death warrants in Texas.

    And his propensity for underhanded tactics is well known.

    I wouldn’t spend any time around him except to make a citizen’s arrest of a war criminal.

  14. Aliasalpha says

    So all the other republican candidates had so little going for them that their primary pitch was that they weren’t romney and now they have romney his primary pitch is that he’s not obama… They really don’t want to win do they?

  15. ttch says

    Richard Nixon also suffered from an inability to project any sort of real personality in public.

    He won two Presidential elections.

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