By Michael Collins
There’s something fundamentally off with Mitt Romney. That’s apparent when you watch him for a while. He’s perfectly dressed (in a corporate sort of way), erect, and seems very fit. His speech and tone are technically right on target (with occasional lapses). But there seems to be something missing, something withheld. What could it be?
The X factor is simply this. The guy comes across as really strange when you hear some of his personal stories. Read this article about him strapping his Irish setter to the roof of the family vehicle for a twelve hour highway trip from Boston to Ontario, Canada. Yes, he thought was the right thing to do with his six kids in the car. (Image)
Q: Did you know Mitt Romney put his big dog in a crate and strapped the crate to the top of his SUV for a six hour trip?
A: Stop it! No way!
Q: Seriously, he did it. His son recounted he story to the Boston Globe as a positive portrayal of Romney’s human side.
Ninety nine out of one hundred true dog lovers would agree that Mitt is really weird in a cruel sort of way. The dog story draws an instant and strong negative response from those who hear it — disbelief then revulsion on some level.
The other X factor is the overlooked story of Romney bullying a gay student at his high school as reported in the Washington Post on May 10, 2012.
A new student at Michigan’s Cranbrook School was “walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.” The Post then describes events witnessed by five other students:
“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.
“A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. Washington Post, May 10, 2012
Oops, we’re now moving up from dogs to humans. This is really sick stuff. The guy is not only weird, he’s sadistic.
At this point in our history, we need a full airing of issues, threats, and trends conducted in a way that will allow citizens to choose what they believe would be most effective. Instead we have more war, no real action on the economy, and the prejudice spouted as policy choices by Republican presidential primary candidates.
Issues never made it to the starting gate. They not likely to show up any time soon. It’s all about perceptions based on vignettes and personality. Obama’s weaknesses and oddities have been discounted due to relentless smears over four years. But Romney is raw meat.
Once either of both of these personal vignettes surfaces in a big way, the massive voter disenfranchisement of the poor, the young, and people of color may be trumped by a massive bipartisan coalition of gay males, victims of bullying, and dog lovers; all to the benefit of the president.
Romney is doomed. Unfortunately, so are we in terms of real leadership, no matter who wins this election.
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