THE STUMP JANUARY 6, 2012
From NPR's report today on Mitt Romney's visit to South Carolina (h/t Nathan Pippenger):
ARI SHAPIRO: One way Romney hopes to jump some of these hurdles is by appealing to South Carolina's deep military ties. When a military transport plane flew overhead interrupting his speech, Romney said...
(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)
MITT ROMNEY: And by the way, that's - oh, isn't that? That's the sound of freedom right there. All right.
Is it the sound of freedom, or maybe just the rustling of a million amber waves of grain?
Speaking of which, I'm glad to see that others are finally catching on to the fact that Romney is not the boring, unflappable straight arrow of established caricature -- that he is, rather, a man of quite unusual temperament who has been arrested for refusing to obey a park ranger's orders; got in a physical altercation with a hip-hop star in an airplane; and thinks it's funny to pretend to have his butt pinched by waitresses. Here's Andrew Sullivan on the "ineffable strangeness of Mitt Romney":
We've been so used to the weirdness of the island of misfit toys that is the GOP primary season that we may have missed the real story: the weirdest man in the whole race might actually be ... the one not supposed to be weird...This is a very weak candidate. Some believe that he has had trouble getting past 25 percent outside New Hampshire because of his flip-floppery or moderation. I suspect many Republican voters just realize he is their John Kerry. Because he is. Without the ideological consistency.
I heard other anti-Romney Republicans in Iowa comparing him to Al Gore. This could emerge as one of the more entertaining questions to be answered over the next year -- is Romney the Republicans' Gore or Kerry?