Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Romniad

The candidate is out of the gate, but no one’s cheering.  He takes his first step and stumbles.  He’s certainly not a crowd pleaser; politics is a spectator sport, and even his fans are cringing.  But he maintains a patrician smile, and not a hair on his head moves.  He knows: it’s a long race—he’s been running for six years—and reminds himself he’s being tested, on earth as in heaven.  His is the loneliness of the too-distant long-distance runner.  Unbowed and undaunted, he sees glory.  What was the lesson spun from his primer?  As he construes it: to the spoiled belongs the victory.

Welcome to The Romniad, the fun and games of the privileged.

The candidate has been in training for the ultimate contest—“My Conservatism’s Bigger Than Yours”—for at least four years, conservatively speaking.  His first qualifying round, waged on friendly foreign soil, can’t be chalked up as a false start and restarted because one over-eager contestant put his foot in his mouth.  Always seeing the bright side, he capitalizes on his eligibility for the “Exchanging the Foot in Your Mouth” competition, putting tactless ridicule of his host and host country behind him, and plunges right in to the fun and games with a record-setting breach of protocol. 

Losing points and placing low, he springs into the “Backtracking” competition, mincing words and feigning humility.  Other than a major gaff or two, nothing happened, right?  Next event? 

It’s shaping up to be the sporting event of the campaign year or two or six.  There isn’t a luxury box to be had even for love of money.

Because the candidate plays his cards so close to his chest, it’s hard to know which events he intends to participate in, but he doesn’t seem to know either.  Rumor has it he’s outsourcing the relay race because he can’t get into step with his teammates.  Others contend he keeps lapping himself.  Still others, that he can’t stay in one lane.

An exhaustive assessment of his competitive assets offers little hope for the gold.  Cherry-picking through the itemized regulatory report: “He cycles in circles.”  “He’s too even for the uneven bars and too uneven for the parallels.”  “He’s about as coordinated as Gerald Ford.”   Lastly, “He’s unwilling to take a platform dive—until the last week in August.”

Beaming and waving, the candidate-contestant shows up for the marathon, a race he’s been running on practice tracks for an undisclosed number of years.  He claims he can do it better, faster, and yes, cheaper, than any man.  (He can deny having said it later.)  “Or woman!” he adds.  Secretly, he’s counting on a strong tailwind to carry him triumphantly across the finish line.  The crowd reacts to his bravado and not only applauds him at the starting line and again at the race’s midway point, but, during the last leg of the race, also seems to be cheering for him.  It’s clear he won’t “medal,” but their indecipherable chants serve to propel him down the stretch and toward the finish.  As the long-distance runner seeking to be the long-distance closer enters the stadium for his last lap, huffing and puffing and practically all in, the call of the excited spectators grows louder, their words clearer.  The energized throng is chanting, “Chrysler, Chrysler!” And waving banners that read, “General Motors.”  Blissfully unaware, he gazes up toward the VIP section, beams broadly and waves.


  1. "To the spoiled belongs the victory" sums up the entire Romney campaign strategy.

  2. "I'm less concerned with what Mitt Romney does with HIS money than I am with what Obama has done with mine" is what the real campaign will be." Jesus was the way, the truth, the light. Obama, as Black Jesus, can't find the way, has no idea what the truth is, and basks only in the light of his own ego. Ah, but isn't that the limousine liberal way.

    Judge Dreadlox

  3. Very clever, Ray! Clearly Romney is not the most comfortable candidate we've seen - he does seem somehow sculpted... But outside of political posturing, not sure why his money is relevant, or makes him any more privileged or spoiled than FDR's, or JFK's, or John Kerry's, or the Bushes' for that matter. How is Romney's different, except for the fact maybe that he actually earned most of it? Family compounds, sailboats... not to mention a lifetime supply of Heinz ketchup... seem pretty privileged to me. But we've always had rich Presidents and candidates. So what?

  4. Re: Dick Atkins - "But we've always had rich Presidents and candidates."

    You are aware that Barack Obama was raised by a single mother who had to rely on food stamps, right?

    Or that Bill Clinton grew up never knowing his father and was temporarily left in the care of his grandparents?

    Or that Jimmy Carter is the only president in US history to have lived in public housing?

    Or that Nixon had to turn down a tuition grant at Harvard to help his modest family business through illness?

    Or that Lyndon Johnson was the son of a struggling speculator who was elected to the Texas legislature "several thousand dollars in debt"?

    Or that Eisenhower and his six siblings grew up in poverty?

    Or that Harry S. Truman lived in "hobo camps" straight out of high school and never earned a college degree?

    Also, these are just recent examples. We haven't even touched upon the very, very, very modest upbringings of Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, or Andrew Jackson.

    In sum, yes, quite a few recent presidents entered the White House wealthy and even more people sought the presidency with plenty of money behind them. However, the US presidency has a long and rich history far more interesting than the story of how men like Mitt Romney became wealthy. Plenty of self-made men became president of this nation, and many of them came from economic conditions that I think most people would consider unimaginable.

    It would be unfair to hold such stories against men like President Obama, who only became wealthy after publishing his life's story. Such stories are what America is all about--or, at the very least, should be.

  5. Very clever color commentary, Ray. I can tell you've been listening closely for diplomatic tips from the governor.

    Eric Comstock

  6. Other than a major gaff or two, nothing happened, right? Next event?

    All events to be measured on the Barack-O-Meter. This clever gadget measures not the responsibility of the ever campaigning denizen of the White House but his endless blaming of everyone but himself. As the needle falls off the meter the judges declare "it's still Bushes fault" while the former throng dwindles to just a few, walking away with that puzzled post race "How'd he win this thing?" look on their faces.

    Clever? Hardly? Mean spirited? Indeed. As liberally usual.

    Judge not, lest ye be judged.

    The Judge

  7. Duing his visit to the UK Romney questioned whether we were ready for the Olympics. Only we who pay for it are allowed to do that (and not any more, since they have proved so successful). The tabloids - who would normally support him politically - dubbed him 'Mitt the Twit.'

  8. The Tabloids, always such a fair source of news. Can't wait to see the headlines on November 7th: Masterful Mitt Obliterates Opponent Obama or Socialite Mitt Bests Socialist Barry, or GOP IRE beats Dem Liar, or...I could go on all day. :)