Stop Telling Mitt to Put Up His Mitts
The latest adviser to sit down at the “tell-Romney-how-to-campaign round table” is Newt Gingrich, who has urged Mitt to get tough. This theme echoes every few days as party stalwarts tell Willard “Mitt” Romney to start acting like a man not a mouse.
At this critical juncture, I must step in and beg Newt and all conservative strategists: Please back off and let Mitt be Mitt! He’s been running for President forever (or maybe it only seems that way). He must have a plan. Let’s all have a little faith.
What if the Romney campaign’s internal polls have shown that no one wants to see a nice Mormon guy get down and dirty? No matter that the whole country is at stake and four more years of misery loom should Obama be reelected. There is some stuff you just don’t want to see or hear about such as your parents getting it on or what Mitt Romney wears to bed—oops, he just revealed that on a talk show. He claims that he’s heard “as little as possible” is the way to go which doesn’t really answer the question but leaves us uncomfortable with the visual.
Before we urge Mitt to step into the ring, go bare knuckles, swing for the fences, or mix any further sports clichés, let’s take a deep breath and recite: “Don’t alienate the base.” Then it’s time to let out our collective breath and consider that switching personas in the middle of a campaign could be a bit risky for Mitt. A new toughness and resolve may not go over with those who have already decided to take one for the team and vote for Romney despite desperately longing to give their vote to Santorum, Cain, Rubio or just about anyone else. If Mitt pulls a Clark Kent, couldn’t that just rub salt in the gaping wound of anyone who’s already bought meek Willard? Now you want them to do a three-sixty and embrace some hollering, tobacco-chewing stranger? I don’t think so.
In a similar vein, it would be wrong at this late date for Ann Romney to come on too strong. For example, she must not speak up about the skimpy school lunches that are being protested by students who don’t like Michelle Obama’s plan for what goes in their tummy. Ann might be tempted to say something shrill like, “Give those kids flatbread pepperoni pizza and a Caesar salad!” which is what they serve for lunch at the Obama daughters’ place of education in DC, according to the Sidwell Friends School menu.
Besides, any school lunch criticism will rile teachers, who like their students to be lean and hungry and thinking about dinner. It’s well known that ravenous kids are not sexting their classmates and are more likely to be yelping the nearest Five Guys which at least teaches them reading and geography. Don’t risk it, Annie. Stay classy and above the fray and keep those lips zipped. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about the goodness of meat loaf sandwiches and home-baked cookies, just don’t suggest they have a place in our government run schools. Next you’ll have moms packing brown bag lunches which will have to be TSA-screened and that could take all morning.
The debates loom, of course, and we may yet see Mitt put up those mitts. How will we know he’s not coming across as a tough guy but merely as a pathetic Stallone wannabe? Don’t worry. Before the last network commentator has informed us that Romney tonight was a disaster and should just chuck it now, Politico will tweet “It’s O-vah!”and HuffPo will crow “Lights out for Mitt, he’s not a hit!”