There are lots of reasons to feel sorry for September’s Mitt Romney, whose accusations that the president sympathizes with terrorists and will lie in debates that haven’t happened yet have splashed back all over him. May’s Mitt Romney could have told him it would work that way, too; back then, he explained on Candid Fundraiser Cam that it isn’t smart to
vilify Obama, because oh how indie voters hate that.
Yet even after the man who saved the Salt Lake Olympics pretended to be “kind of a Snooki fan” — God, please let that be untrue — he didn’t stop. By the time he confided to Kelly Ripa that he’d been coached to tell her he wears as little as possible to bed — and when Ann kicks you under the table, do you also squeal, “What was that for?” — I felt something very like pity coming on. Staved off only by repeating, “President Romney.” And by how sorry the candidate seems to feels for himself, kidding on the square about how much easier this run would be if only he were Latino.
He can’t be that guy is all I can figure — any more than the 47 percent of Americans he called moochers are anything like he made them out to be.
He cannot believe that we are the most exceptional country in history and also consider us a nation of no-accounts.
He cannot be a man whose forefathers fled religious persecution and believe in his heart that standing up for religious tolerance is weak, or even treasonous.
He can’t know that his father’s family took government aid when they needed it — and he does know, because he mentioned it in his Tampa acceptance speech — and also believe that such beneficiaries embrace victimhood.
He can’t have done the fine job he did as governor of Massachusetts and fail to realize that the safety net isn’t too well-padded to resist but so frayed we should be ashamed.
He can’t be this evangelist for capitalism and not know that many of those who give it all they have fail anyway.
And no matter how privileged his perch, he can’t have lived this long in the United States of America without noticing how hard the non-rich and non-Republicans, too, work for a living.
Occasionally, the Mitt Romney who does know that we shouldn’t allow insurance companies to cancel policies mid-chemo shows himself, then just as quickly slips away again, leaving aides to explain that he meant no such thing. But with just weeks until Election Day and Team Romney in such disarray you’d swear he really doesn’t enjoy firing people, I still dare to hope we get to meet that man, who even if he loses could then say he showed up for the race.
Melinda Henneberger is a Post political writer and anchors the paper’s ‘She the People’ blog. Follow her on Twitter at @MelindaDC.