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August 06, 2010

Mitt Romney Driving Beat-Up Red Pickup Truck To Campaign Events or Somethin'

I feel bad for Mitt Romney. As I always say, he's handsome but without any actual charisma. He has so little charisma he comes off dumb, even though he is, by testimony of disinterested third parties, among the smartest men they've ever met.

So he's got the Curse of Being Bad On TV -- he's qualified for the presidency, but he has a hell of a time projecting that. Meanwhile, Good On TV empty suits/coke snorters like Barack Obama know how to squint and set their jaws and project confidence and authority.

Plus, he's rich, thanks in no small part to his own talents and his own hard work, but for some reason that counts against him, even in the Republican Party, which is supposed to be all meritocratic and against class warfare but there sure does seem to be a big craving for blue-collar authenticity anyway.

Plus -- sure, his policies. And that inconvenient religion.

But he seems trapped. The more he tries to convince us he's authentic the more desperately inauthentic he seems.

So now a red pickup truck, like the man he supported, Senator Scott Brown.

The 2008 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor drove a beat-up pickup to a New Hampshire fundraiser last night. He's also driven it to other political events as he weighs another run in 2012.

But if he runs, a spokeman said, his preferred ride will be the "Mitt Mobile," an RV he used last time around.

I think Romney has to do better at revealing who he is -- even if he thinks people will be turned off by who he is. If he's a brilliant guy who got mega-rich, he should kind of own that, shouldn't he? If he's a social moderate, he should own that (somewhat).

He can't just keep casting about for an identity.

Sometimes the truth is worth a shot (after you've tried everything else, of course).

What do you think, Bruce Campbell?

BTW: The truck's real, as in "owned for a while."

Spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom says Romney has owned the Chevy since 2002 and uses it for errands around his New Hampshire lakeside vacation home.

So it's a genuine thing. His choice to drive it to campaign events is still sorta contrived though.

This identity politics thing is a tricky business. On one hand I know I shouldn't have something against Mitt Romney just because he was born into wealth... but I sorta do. And I shouldn't have something for Sarah Palin or Tim Pawlenty, just because they were blue-collar kids like me. But I do.

I guess a little of that is okay, as long as one recognizes one is giving into an irrational urge and so discounts it down to almost nothing.

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posted by Ace at 02:58 PM

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