Does Media Cynicism Matter? A Retort
April 16, 2012
Congratulations to Elspeth Reeve who, writing at Atlantic Online, became, as far as I can tell, the first person to lampoon my upset over the false outrage that blew up around Democratic talking head Hilary Rosen's comments about Ann Romney having never "worked a day in her life." Writing with a wizened cynicism impressive for her relative youth, Reeve argues that, contra my lament about days lost to inanity, the explosions of faux umbrage and Twitter-fed media hysteria around episodes like the daylong outbreak of the Mommy Wars come at little cost.
Will Mitt’s Budget Ax Have An Oedipus Complex?
April 16, 2012
It’s been hard to pin down how Mitt Romney proposes to balance the federal budget even as he slashes tax rates across the board, as he now proposes to do after coming under conservative fire early in primary season for tax-cutting timidity.
Defending (George) Romney And "Mad Men"
April 02, 2012
Devotee though I am of Mad Men, I haven't had a chance to catch up with the first two episodes of its new season, so I'm hearing second-hand that Henry Francis, the aide to New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller who earlier rescued Betty from her marriage to Don (and now kind of regrets it because Betty's such a head case) last night--which is to say, in 1966, when this new season is set--called Michigan Gov. George Romney "a clown." Francis is shown saying into a telephone, "Well, tell Jim his honor's not going to Michigan.
The Basis For Mad Men’s George Romney Tweak
April 02, 2012
As “Mad Men” advances through the 1960s, you knew it was coming: a shout-out to the moderate Republican whose profile grew during the decade to the point where he was, very early on, a leading contender for his party’s 1968 presidential nomination. Yes, George Romney had his moment last night. And his family’s not happy about it. No “Mad Men” aficionado myself, I’ll let someone else recap the moment: In the 1960s-era series, the character Henry Francis, who in previous seasons worked as a political aide for New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, calls Gov.
Michigan Now Officially Out Of Play
March 28, 2012
Well, just minutes after I put up a post which included as an aside the concession that Mitt Romney does have sort of a sense of humor comes evidence to the contrary. Check out the rip-roaring joke Romney just told to ingratiate himself with the voters of Wisconsin, which holds its primary next week. He was talking up his connections with cheese-heads and said this, via the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Craig Gilbert: “One of most humorous I think relates to my father.
The Counter-Intuition Of Mitt Romney
March 16, 2012
Since I know everyone is as fixated on trying to understand Mitt Romney as I am, I highly recommend Louis Menand’s piece in the latest New Yorker. It's ostensibly a review of The Real Romney, the new biography by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, but basically another entry in the burgeoning “Just who the heck is this guy” genre. Menand tries to answer a question that I took on in my own review of the biography a few weeks ago—why is Romney such a lousy and unnatural candidate on the campaign trail?
Mitt's Not The One Who Needs to 'Get Real'
March 07, 2012
There was a stretch, a few weeks back, where it was Mitt Romney's detractors in the lib'rul media, led by Frank Rich, who were working overtime to try to divine the "real Romney," the tormented soul hidden beneath the America the Beautiful exterior. Now it is apparently the turn of Romney's admirers to go plumbing for the true Mitt, in an attempt to coax a more genuine and likable candidate to emerge. Take today's column by Kathleen Parker, a loyal Mitt booster who has of late grown slightly despairing about his diminished standing in the public eye.
When Bill Clinton suggested last week that Mitt Romney’s position on the auto bailout must have caused his father, former Michigan Governor George Romney, to be “turning over in his grave,” he was being deliberately provocative. But he was also being too kind. After all, it’s not just Mitt’s stance on auto manufacturing that would have caused his father grief.
Romney’s Home Field Advantage—Is It Real?
February 15, 2012
Mitt Romney is on the air in Michigan, with an advertisement that plays up his ties to the state. “I grew up in Michigan,” Romney says. “I remember going to the Detroit auto show with my dad, that was a big deal.” Then, after cataloguing the state’s problems and the damage President Obama has supposedly done, Romney returns to the favorite son theme. “Michigan’s been my home. And this is personal.” The ad follows Tuesday’s op-ed in the Detroit News, which opened with the line “I am a son of Detroit.” It’s true: Romney grew up in Michigan.
What Would George Do?
February 15, 2012
There's a remarkable bit in the Real Romney, Michael Kranish and Scott Helman's new biography of Mitt Romney, where they describe George Romney starting his campaign for president in 1967, and making clear that he did not share his church's less than enlightened views on race: "Appearing in North Carolina, he took on segregationists who opposed civil rights measures on the grounds of states' rights, saying, 'As far as I'm concerned, states have no rights.