Spoke McKay Coppins, Buzzfeed, re Mitt Romney’s adamant caution, reluctance, hesitation, often slow-motion reserve when is before the cameras as a presidential candidate. I have been told elsewhere that Romney’s success at Bain was characterized by his extremely disciplined caution with decision-making. This reserve seems appropriate for capitalism and its game-playing of zero sum games. But for politics in the 21st Century, Mitt Romney’s style is self-destructive. Romney is a closed window. Why? McKay Coppins presents the fact that George W. Romney, 1907-1995, was a larger than life heroic figure who engaged and embraced and celebrated his success. When a biographer journalist, T. George Harris (now 88 years old), asked George Romney for one year of his taxes, the governor responded by giving over 12 years of his taxes, including the dramatic increase to millionaire status after the American Motors success. George Romney was a man who enjoyed iconoclasm and candor. Mitt Romney the son is a man who enjoys conventionalism and guardedness. McKay Coppins points to the now famous episode when George Romney, returning from a quick tour of Vietnam to burnish his foreign policy credentials for the 1968 presidential campaign, used the word “brainwashing” about how he had experienced the Johnson administration’s presentation of the war. This single remark is presented as the reason George Romney lost out in the primaries to Richard Nixon. McKay Coppins asserts that it is often said on the campaign trail that Mitt Romney will not make a mistake in kind by saying something he cannot take back. The result is a candidate today who is said to be warm and winning in person, and yet who stiffens when in public speaking as if he has seen a ghost of campaign's past. Strange days. The Mitt Romney performance of the “Obamaloney” one-liner is a good example of how, even when the candidate is prepared with a comment, he cannot speak convincingly. It is as if he is slowly reading a cue card, a half-second off, self-censored, self-brainwashed -- stage-frightened and yet insisting on the national stage. The Oedipal syndrome with a twist (Oedipus Romney is the pun). I also asked McKay to investigate the mother, Lenore. There is more to this mystery than one parent.
George Romney with his wife Lenore, and a 14-year-old Mitt.