May 8, 2012 |
Through most of the primary season, Ron Paul was overlooked, underestimated and laughed off. There was no scenario by which this ideological renegade could become the nominee of the ideologically dogmatic Republican Party. Yet as the last candidate standing in the way of Mitt Romney's smooth slide to the nomination, he is proving himself capable of ingenious mischief. Over the weekend, Paul supporters in Maine and Nevada used the Byzantine rules that govern the nominating process to pirate delegates from the inevitable nominee.
May 10, 2012 |
Sure, you may know which man -- Mitt Romney or Barack Obama -- you want to see running the country, but which one would you have wanted to know in high school? We learned four years ago that young Barack was a laid-back, not overly studious kid who loved basketball and occasionally smoked a little weed. The kids at Punahou, the prestigious Honolulu prep school Obama attended, never expected their amiable but seemingly unmotivated classmate to one day become the most powerful man on the planet.
February 3, 2012 |
Donald Trump has endorsed Mitt Romney, which proves that two rich guys can spend months insulting each other and still come around to the realization that they share one deep and overriding interest: money. Sharing a stage with Trump on Thursday in Las Vegas, Romney acted like a kid on a visit to Disneyland. “Being in Donald Trump's magnificent hotel and having his endorsement is a delight,” he gushed. Romney's real pleasure may have been having the news of the day not be centered around one of his frequent tone-deaf turns of phrase.
October 3, 2012 |
In recent weeks, David Letterman has grown increasingly vocal about his desire to have Mitt Romney on his show before election day. Last month the host took to the airwaves to insist that he does not hate the Republican nominee , and that in fact he'd welcome Romney and his wife, Ann, on “The Late Show” anytime they'd like. Letterman has continued to ratchet up the pressure: Last week he half-jokingly told viewers not to vote for Romney until he visited the show, and on Tuesday night, the host even conducted a mock interview with “Mitt Romney” -- otherwise known as Jack Black - to prove just how pleasant a “Late Show” appearance would be. Black took to the stage dressed in a pair of high-waisted dad jeans and a pastel button-down - the unofficial presidential candidate version of leisure wear.
July 5, 2012 |
Mitt Romney has a great deal of empathy for people like himself -- rich guys -- and he would serve them well as president. Of course, the wealthy have seldom not been served well by our commander-in-chief. Father and son Bush came from among the affluent, too, while Bill Clinton aspired to join their ranks and has defended Romney-style venture capitalism. Even Barack Obama bailed out Wall Street in 2009. Yet, of late, rich folks have been getting picked on by protesters and threatened with higher taxes by Democrats.
October 4, 2012 |
I watched the Wednesday night's presidential debate with a group of wine-sipping West Coast Obama fans who were stunned by the way Mitt Romney dominated the stage. Over the 90 minutes of the debate, Romney submerged the right-wing image he had adopted in the Republican primary race and came off as a reasonable, moderate technocrat who differs with President Obama only about the means to get to the ends they both seek. For his part, Obama was pleasant and professorial, as if he were merely engaged in a ponderous academic discussion, rather than a political grudge match with enormous consequences.
January 9, 2012 |
If Mitt Romney wins New Hampshire and rolls to victory against a divided opposition in South Carolina, it is hard to imagine anything -- short of catching him fondling a hedge fund manager in the back seat of a Town Car - that could keep him from winning the Republican nomination. However, it's easy to envision him crippled in the general election by the pinstriped-job-killer image being created for him by Romney's Republican opponents. If they keep it up, voters will equate Romney's role at Bain Capital with George Clooney's character in the movie “Up in the Air” - the polite but cold-blooded guy in the suit who flies in to fire workers and ruin their lives.
October 10, 2012 |
Perhaps only a man of elastic convictions like Mitt Romney can successfully navigate the polarized and paranoid battlefield of contemporary American politics. It is no longer merely a contest of Republicans versus Democrats or red states versus blue states, it is now a confrontation between two versions of reality. Romney's latest incarnation as a relative moderate is reminiscent of the other Mormon candidate in the Republican primaries, Jon Huntsman. But the reason Romney is the nominee and Huntsman is just an occasional third-tier guest on political chat shows is that Romney was willing to bend his beliefs toward the paranoid, conspiracy-mongering right wing of his party and pretend to be one of them.
March 29, 2012 |
Mitt Romney's appearance on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" on Tuesday night was unremarkable but revealing. Since that late night in 1992 when Bill Clinton played saxophone on Arsenio Hall's program, it has become the norm for presidential candidates and even presidents to show up on these TV shows as if they are desperate actors plugging a bad movie. We have come a long way from the era when the president of the United States was held in awe, when he seemed to exist at a level that was beyond the reach of average Americans.
September 19, 2012 |
In the imaginary universe of Mitt Romney, the 47% of Americans who pay no income tax are loafers, shiftless bums and welfare queens who will all vote for President Obama in November. In the real world, that 47% includes the working poor, the newly unemployed, handicapped people, the elderly, veterans, 4,000 millionaires and the nation's greatest icon, the American cowboy. A few years ago, I helped move a herd of cattle with some honest-to-God cowboys on a big ranch near White Sulphur Springs, Mont.