Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yes, Virginia, Mitt Romney Does Have a Sense of Humor

Dear Gentle Readers,

Madame L thought you might be interested in this article from The Atlantic praising Mitt Romney's sense of humor. 

Like Madame L, you've surely seen a lot of TV "news" commentators talking about Romney's lame jokes, so maybe, like Madame L, you'll welcome this appreciation of his humor. Here's just a small bit of the article:

"For all the hype about his woodenness, Romney, I submit, actually has the most sophisticated -- and underappreciated -- sense of humor of any presidential candidate. It is dry, self-deprecating and a bit dark, a far cry from the safely hokey laugh lines of most politicians on the stump. And it bespeaks a confidence and flair not often attributed to the much-maligned candidate. 

"This is the man who famously went to Michigan, the state he grew up in and then left for good, and praised it thus: 'The trees are the right height.' You pretty much can't get a better absurdist parody of politicians' vapid sure-is-nice-to-be-here patter than that. 

"Romney's Southern quip was similar -- a knowing play on how glaringly out-of-place he seemed. This is a man, after all, who is viewed by dyed-in-the-wool Southerners as not just a Yankee, but a Yankee who belongs to a cult. "Stranger in a strange land" doesn't begin to cover it. And so he jests that he's becoming acquainted with the region's exotic folkways: 'I'm learning to say 'y'all'! I like grits! Things -- strange things -- are happening to me!'" 

The author of the article, Molly Boll, references this video of Romney poking wry fun at himself:

She adds:

"Then there's this passage from Sridhar Pappu's Romney profile in this magazine in 2005, when Romney was a Massachusetts governor with poorly hidden presidential ambitions. At a South Boston Saint Patrick's Day breakfast, "the best one-liners at Romney's expense came from Romney," Pappu reported.
Standing at the podium to begin his remarks, he said, "Well, it's great to be here in Iowa this morning -- whoops, wrong speech." He threw down a piece of paper and then continued. "Seriously, it's good to be here in Massachusetts. I'm visiting for a few days." Everybody cracked up, and from that moment the room was his. He kept up a genuinely funny line of patter -- much of it self-deprecating and based on his presumptive aspirations to higher office -- for eight minutes; in comedy terms he killed. (Sample joke: As a Mormon, he said, "I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman and a woman and a woman.")
If you follow the link to the mostly favorable 2005 profile of "The Holy Cow! Candidate," you'll find some more interesting facts about Romney. 

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