In discussing politics, I try not to pay too much attention to trivialities such as how candidates look, speak, what they wear, whether they are the kind of people I would ‘enjoy having a beer with’, etc. These are the kind of things that can fill up space and airtime on a slow news day, not requiring any research or other kinds of journalistic effort, but which do not really add to our understanding of what people stand for. But there is something peculiar about the Romney/Ryan ticket that I must get off my chest at least once.
It has been pointed out that Mitt Romney has this weird robotic look and manner, especially the mirthless laugh. He actually says, “Ha! Ha!”, like in a comic strip. His attempts at bonding with regular people are famously cringe-inducing. A joke I read (I forget where) went something like this: Romney, trying to connect with voters, tells someone who lost his home in the foreclosure crisis, “I know what it’s like to lose your house. I myself can’t remember where my fourth one is.”
Romney seems so robotic that James Lipton, host of the program Inside the Actors Studio, gives him advice on how to act like a human.
In an interview on The Daily Show about her experience growing up as a Mormon, Joanna Brooks said that she knows exactly what the problem is, that she sees in Romney’s face the terror that many Mormons feel because of the fun that people make of their religion, so that they are constantly on their guard and on the defensive when around non-Mormons, which makes them look fake.
And I am not the first to notice Paul Ryan’s uncanny resemblance to Eddie Munster. Combined with his unusually light blue eyes, he too gives out this slightly non-human vibe.
The optics of the Romney/Ryan ticket seem a little off to me even though it should not matter in the least when it comes to voting. But in this age, optics seem to matter though I am not sure how important this particular one will be.