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June 3, 2011

Romney Kick Off: Really, Half-a-Suit?

Romney candidacy

Romney in a vegetable garden? Romney’s new uniform a half-a-suit?

It’s no surprise this photo exposes a row of port-a-potties beyond the hay wagon. It’s because, as much as the campaign is bursting with cash, and the advance people are in place, it doesn’t line up. Romney is a stiff and short-tempered corporate guy who has to strain to be personable. Play him as a non-nonsense managerial type who is plenty competent, thank you very much, without having to have a beer with John Q. Public and he’s got a chance. Try for folksy or “everyday” and you can forget it.

(photo: Darren McCollester/Getty Images caption: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (2nd L), with wife Ann (L), prepares to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination June 2, 2011 at Bittersweet Farm in Stratham, New Hampshire. This is Romney’s second run for president following his bid in 2008 when he lost out to U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ).)

  • Molly Whipple Douthett

    I was listening to The Diane Rehm show a bit ago, and a reporter made the remark that Romney’s hair springs back into place in a breeze and even walking around a farm, his loafers remain unscuffed.  I know how to keep my own hair in place but am intrigued about how he kept his shoes so clean.

    As to the photo, it looks like a movie shoot; cameras, props, action. Kinda.

  • marcsobel

    great shot and commentary.  I love the Half a Suit.   I assume you meant it as a portmanteau of “Suit” as in nameless corporate asshole and “half” as in not really e.g. half a man, half assed etc. 

    The scary thing is that Mittens is the closest thing to rational in the field (I would characterize Tpaw (We’ll repair that bridge when we come to it”) as more like a souless automaton who can’t pass the Turing Test)

    • Michael Shaw

      Yes and yes.

    • Michael Shaw

      Yes and yes.

  • glen

    My eye went right to the portapotties, too. They must have been expecting a large crowd. How’d they draw for actuals?

    “Bittersweet Farm” – quite a prophetic name.

  • Flyingshark

    Adding to the others, and Michael.  When did the norm for attire for announcing for the presidency become so un-presidential.  Palin’s on a motorcycle tour.  Romney’s, literally and figuratively, either “back down on the farm”, where he’s never really been, or stepping in sh*t, animal and otherwise.

    The guy pointing is also great.  Babe Ruth incarnate, pointing on Mitt’s behalf to the direction the ball/campaign will go… the heavens?

    • Michael Shaw

      Or, pointing to the restrooms indoors?

  • tinwoman

    Once again, a poltician exploiting the family farm image, while enacting policies that have destroyed millions of family farms and replaced them with corporate food factories.

    I’m so sick of it.  It’s like watching someone who hates children kissing babies to get votes, misleading and unnecessary.

    • Michael Shaw

      Actually, if you go back to the Obama video accepting the nomination, there are lots of scenes of family farms and farm field flyovers. I see almost the same scenes in other kickoff videos, including Pawlenty’s and Newt’s. It’s just iconic Americana.  Get ready for tons of it for months, by the way, as the Iowa show ramps up.  Like this photo, I actually think it will post an interesting test in terms of who can work the optics, and the iconic imagery, but do it in a more genuine way.

  • Anonymous

    Romney has the blandly reassuring qualities I look for in a dentist.  He’s competent and self-possessed, and he doesn’t have any quirks except a lot of gee-whiz Americanism.  That’s perfectly fine in a dentist, but since he’s running for president there’s going to be an enthusiasm gap between him and whoever he’s running against. 

    I’m not sure I’d want Sarah Palin working on my teeth, but Romney inspires trust.  He’d say, “This is going to hurt just a little,” and I’d know it wouldn’t hurt a lot.  But I don’t know anybody who thinks we’re electing a National Dentist.  Yes, he’d give great televised speeches from the Oval Office, all about the importance of flossing to remove bacteria-causing debris between your teeth.  But Mitt as national leader?  I don’t see it.

  • Flyingshark

    Classic.  ;-)

    Or tickets to X-Men First Class?  Lot’s of puns in that one.

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