Dine with the Donald — Trump-Romney dinner most awkward meal of all time?


Remember how fun this was the first time? (Gerald Herbert/AP)

A dinner with Mitt Romney is bad enough.

But there are a good number of people out there — Mitt Romney used to be one of them — who would give you $3 if you said that you would ensure that never, at any point in their lives, would they be forced to eat dinner with Donald Trump.

I am not one of those people. Today I inadvertently ate lunch with the next president of the United States, a gentleman who approached me on the street as I sat ravenously consuming a box of macaroni and cheese and informed me that he was leading in the polls with 1/3 of the American vote. All he had to do to win was live until September, he said, and the secret police would take things from there. I am not making this up.

My point is, I will eat dinner with anyone, as long as it’s dinner.

It’s not the idea of dinners with celebrities that is so novel. President Obama, in his fundraising, has gone so far as to invite you to spend the evening with him and Bill Clinton. Maybe they can do as Romney suggested and have a beef with each other.*

But the appeal of the Romney-Trump dinner is more than that. It is not just that you get to fly somewhere and enjoy a nice meal.

It sounds like a nice package. The website informs you that:

“Donate today and you are eligible for a chance to win:

• Airport transportation in the Trump vehicle.

• Stay at the Trump International Hotel & Tower New York.

• Tour The Celebrity Apprentice Boardroom.

• Dine with Donald Trump and Mitt Romney.”

It’s that you will be there to “Dine with the Donald — &Mitt.”

Mitt, even in the graphic, is tacked on there as an afterthought.

Just picture this dinner. As awkward meals go, it’s right up there with the one where a giant ghostly hand started writing creepy letters on the wall midway through the dessert course. Individually, dining with Donald Trump or Mitt Romney might not be so bad. It is the combination that makes this offer so priceless. No one who really, earnestly wants to have dinner with Mitt Romney is excited by the thought of having dinner with Donald Trump. And vice versa. Their demographics are wildly different. The Venn Diagram of people who want to eat with Donald Trump and People who want to eat with Mitt Romney is two non-overlapping circles fleeing from each other as quickly as possible. No doubt the dessert will be sardine-flavored ice cream, and the table will be decked in red and orange, and the musical guests will be Skrillex and Susan Boyle. And they will still be more savory combinations.

What do they have in common, besides the fact that, er, they were both onstage when Donald Trump endorsed Mitt Romney, and neither of them seemed particularly elated to be there? Both of them have distinctive hair, I suppose. Both of them are businessmen who know the right way to pronounce “dressage.” All right, they might have things in common to discuss, but those have been taken off the table by Mitt’s advisors. Besides, you can only nod politely so many times as people talk about real estate priced eight hundred times higher than your house until you begin to gesture angrily with your tiny fork.

This whole dinner is the response to one of those essay questions demanding: “With which three people, living or dead, would you like to eat dinner?”

“Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump’s Hair.”

It should be quite a meal.

*I’m sorry, I’m still recovering from the pun-off.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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