Not Ready For Prime Time…an Update

Mistermix already today brought up Mitt Romney’s gift for odd, awkward delusional gaffes.  It’s a kind of community-access-cable talent for saying something that’s not merely weird or wrong, but that actually makes the listener wonder if the speaker isn’t really dropping in from Planet Ten, if  you know what I mean.*

Now we’ve got this, in which the ridiculously wealthy Romney attempts to persuade the common clay that he is just like the least among us:

“I should tell my story,” Romney told a group of unemployed people in Florida. “I’m also unemployed.” (via TPM)

 

This, from a guy who dropped in the neighborhood of $45 million of his own cash on his last campaign, which still left him with a fortune estimated at around $200 mill.

Best of all, as the TPM snark points out, Romney made this startling confession in the middle of a speech trying to persuade his unemployed audience that he gets their plight better than Obama, whose “bump in the road” malapropism Romney sought to exploit.

Ah, eloquence, thy name is Romney .  As is “sociopathic levels of self obsession,” though that’s a little harder to say when you want to get little Mittens back in the house for dinner.

Image:  Michaelangelo Caravaggio, Narcissus, 1594-1596.

[Update] *I tried to post the linked video here, but it broke the site.  So now you have to head off to Youtube for one of John Lithgow’s finer moments, if you dare.

 

74 replies
  1. 1
    benjoya says:

    wow, caravaggio is the shit.

    romney is just shit.

  2. 2
    The Dangerman says:

    This asshole has about as many mansions as McCain…

    …and he tries to relate to the unemployed with that tactic? Damn, that is some major league chutzpah.

    Fuck him (and the Yankees).

  3. 3
    negative 1 says:

    Please tell me that the crowd followed that up by throwing rocks at him until he ran off the stage. Never mind. I know the answer. Please don’t tell me and let me fantasize that this is what happened.
    As a nation we have become quite the docile bunch.

  4. 4
    Citizen Alan says:

    Astounding. If I had .5% of Romney’s net worth, I’d retire tomorrow and life comfortably off the interest for the rest of my life. Where are the fucking guillotines?!?

  5. 5
    Lolis says:

    I wish Romney could save his stupidity until after he wins the primary. At this rate, he is gonna crash and burn.

  6. 6
    jaywillie says:

    “Poor Mitt – he can’t help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth.” h/t Ann Richards

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    Did they laugh, raucously?

  8. 8
    Sad_Dem says:

    Mittens would be a disaster as president. It’s so sad that any voter would take him seriously. Seriously, why isn’t he booed offstage (Bain!) wherever he goes?

  9. 9
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    That would be cool though if the Republicans ran Lord Whorfan

  10. 10
    Malraux says:

    If I had .5% of Romney’s net worth, I’d retire tomorrow and life comfortably off the interest for the rest of my life.

    While $1Mill is a lot of money, it’s pretty hard to just live off of the passive income it generates. It’ll only generate about $20-30k a year. Certainly nothing to sneer at, but also not easy street. That said, it does give one the luxury of claiming to be unemployed while still getting a check every month, as Romney clearly does.

  11. 11
    bemused says:

    The guy is a walking, talking gaffe machine. Incredible.

    The group of unemployed laughed with him and one asked if he is on linkedIn so I don’t think they are anything like the unemployed people I know who certainly wouldn’t have laughed and might have even stood up and gotten in his face.

  12. 12
    slag says:

    So, Tom Levenson, help me out, please. I’m looking for engaging internet or radio shows that discuss art and history. Any ideas?

    Also, yeah, Romney’s not at all funny. Which is unfortunate because he is definitely a joke.

  13. 13
    Jules says:

    Jesus Mittens….
    He even has a new hashtag on Twitter:

    #UnemployedLikeMitt

  14. 14
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    This post needs more balance. Has Biden not made a gaffe in the last year?

  15. 15
    Dave says:

    With all this bullshit going on, I’m about ready to enter the Eighth Dimension…

  16. 16
    Tom Levenson says:

    If I had .5% of Romney’s net worth, I’d retire tomorrow and life comfortably off the interest for the rest of my life.

    While $1Mill is a lot of money, it’s pretty hard to just live off of the passive income it generates.

    OK. Can I haz 2.5% of his money then? ;) Or 10% of the Benjamins he dropped on the last campaign?

    Edit: arrgh. Formatting nonsense. The second graf is supposed to be block quoted as well.

  17. 17
    Eric S. says:

    #10 Malraux

    It depends on what you want lifestyle you want to live and how long you expect to live. Just doing a rough calculation assuming a 2.5% annual return and extracting $5000 / month for expenses, you could make a Mil last about 20 years.

  18. 18
    PurpleGirl says:

    No sir, you are not unemployed. You sold a company and took the profits so that you could get involved with politics. You are still able to afford 6 houses and pay the bills. Please just STFU; go away, dig a hole, lie down in it and pull the hole in after you.

    Maybe we should means test him for Social Security… he’s 64 and has one year to go before starting to collect. (And I’m sure he will, after he’s been paying in for all these years.)

  19. 19
    Jewish Steel says:

    Hmm. I can’t reply to anyone on this thread. Weird.

    @slag: Melvin Bragg’s In Our Time podcast has an enormous archive of exactly what you’re looking for.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/in-our-time/

  20. 20
    Stooleo says:

    Ah, Mitt. Truly the windsock of today’s politicians. I’m sure deep in his heart he feel that he deserves the nomination simply because it is his turn.

  21. 21

    Gosh and the way he encouraged his boys to serve the country! They drove around in a van to campaign for daddy. Country first! Oh, just think of all those miles on the lonely highways and byways of America when they could have been on easy street collecting trust fund checks. The sacrifice! Any fool can enlist, but it takes a real man to campaign for your millionaire daddy. (Sorry I have to stop here–I’m getting all verklempt and shit.)

  22. 22
    Chris says:

    “I should tell my story,” Romney told a group of unemployed people in Florida. “I’m also unemployed.” (via TPM)

    Pathetic… but really no different from the McCain campaign putting Joe the Plumber on a pedestal and then trying to tell us that $250,000 a year is a working man’s salary.

  23. 23
    Valdivia says:

    @slag

    BBC In Our Time. Years and years of awesome art and history shows on podcast very very worth it.

    Jewish Steele beat me to it! grrrr. :)

  24. 24
    Brachiator says:

    Ah, eloquence, thy name is Romney . As is “sociopathic levels of self obsession,” though that’s a little harder to say when you want to get little Mittens back in the house for dinner.

    Romney the Inevitable, from a long line of inevitables (e.g. Rudy911, Hillary Clinton and President Maverick John McCain). I have a feeling that he will end up being the Lebron James of the GOP presidential race. Looks good, starts fast, can’t finish.

  25. 25
    Valdivia says:

    on topic–I hope they have tape of him doing this. would make a really really good ad. what a moron.

  26. 26
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Valdivia: Thinking Allowed is pretty rad too, if you’re not already familiar with it.

  27. 27
    Valdivia says:

    @Jewish Steele–yep know it too. I love listening to these, plus RadioLab and TAL.

  28. 28
    Professor says:

    Have a laugh! According to Crooks and Liars, Rush Limbaugh is now selling (hogging) tea on his radio prog. The poor dorks who listen to him will fork out serious money to make him even ‘more rich’. Go check the video clip and laugh!

  29. 29
    bkny says:

    i’m looking forward to gail collins’ take on this.

  30. 30
    slag says:

    Thanks so much, JS and Valdivia! Checking it out now. Of course, we gotta depend on the Brits for this stuff. Bollocks!

  31. 31
    PurpleGirl says:

    I just sent Mitt the following message:

    Sir, you are NOT unemployed. You sold a company and took the profit so that you could involve yourself with politics. I understand that you and your family own some 6 houses. I assume that with the assets you still manage you are able to afford those houses and pay all your other bills. On the other hand, I’ve been unemployed for 2+ years. I’m facing eviction. I’ve used up my savings and my 403(B) funds. I feel as if your comment was a slap across my face.

    I’ll let you all know if I get a response from his campaign.

    ETA: This statement from him really has me frosted. He insults all the people whose jobs he killed when Bain Capital sold companies or closed divisions. He insults all of us who have been struggling for a few years now. He’s a Ferengi. (Use Susie Plakson’s voice.)

  32. 32
    bryanD says:

    “I’m looking for engaging internet or radio shows that discuss art and history. Any ideas?”—-Slag

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBNrgCaoyW8

    (Hockney’s “Secret Knowledge” documentary. 8 parts)

    There is also an accompanying book which is the best art text written in many decades. While camera lucida is not so hidden as claimed, public acknowledgement of its widespread use by the Masters is still more than a little taboo.

  33. 33
    scav says:

    My god, a complete pod of BBC4ists and I’m late to the party. BBC4extra isn’t bad either on the drama and howling giggles front. But then, I like Paul Merton so what can be done.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    He’s a Ferengi. (Use Susie Plakson’s voice.)

    Yes. Dripping with disdain and contempt.

    Perfect.

  35. 35
    dave says:

    Art, whatever, who cares.

  36. 36
    Tom Levenson says:

    Slag — you don’t need me when you have the Balloon Juice commentariat.

    Also too, what’s with the bollixed up reply function? I am clueless.* Anyone?

    *But we knew that.

  37. 37
    slag says:

    Thanks to you too, bryanD! I should have known that your video recommendation would come with its own debunking video recommendations. Still could be interesting.

  38. 38
    retr2327 says:

    Aside from the sheer tone-deafness of Romney’s remark, the underlying reaction by Romney should not go unremarked. His comment can fairly be translated as follows: “but enough about you. Let’s talk about me, and what I want . . .”

  39. 39
    Origuy says:

    Some of the history podcasts I like, on iTunes:
    BBC History Magazine
    The History of the World in 100 Objects (also relevant to art)
    Stuff You Missed in History Class from How Stuff Works
    Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
    Naked Archaeology

  40. 40
    AAA Bonds says:

    Hey, as nervous quips go to deflect rage against the wealthy, that wasn’t a bad one.

    Everyone who goes up in front of these groups claiming to represent them is usually a millionaire completely dependent on financial support from the wealthy, and is part of those arrayed against the unemployed.

    That goes for Republicans and Democrats alike.

    So they all have to come up with humorous, untrue anecdotes about how they’re people like us, with concerns the same as ours, and they identify with what we want from life.

    These jokes are harmless as long as we remember, at some level and on the same level, they are ALL our foes and enemies, and we treat them as such.

    I worry that we’ve lost that – because as another poster noted, the sane response to this would have been a hail of thrown objects from an outraged audience.

  41. 41
    slag says:

    Slag—you don’t need me when you have the Balloon Juice commentariat.

    Yeah. But I’m looking for a NDGT of the Arts. So, you’re the first person I thought of. And if you happen to know of one, don’t hold it in. I know that MIT has a lot of their lecture series online, but I don’t know of any particularly special ones in this area.

    NDGT = Neil DeGrasse Tyson

    ETA Since I brought it up, here’s NDGT’s Star Talk radiocast, which is absolutely adorable: http://www.startalkradio.net/! Good interviews with Jon Stewart and Colbert in there too.

  42. 42

    I remember Ann Romney carefully and beautifully arrayed on the sofa on the front of the Boston Globe Living section, quoted about the hardship she and Mitt endured when he was getting his MBA. Can you imagine! They had to cash in some of the stock their parents had given them.

    So of course they’re totally “down with” the concerns of those who live in only a single house (and love the colourful lingo of the common folk), even those who suffer with a mortgage and only have a small trust fund to sustain them.

  43. 43
    MikeJ says:

    @scav #33:

    My god, a complete pod of BBC4ists and I’m late to the party. BBC4extra isn’t bad either on the drama and howling giggles front.

    If you’re geeky enough to get it set up and figure out the web interface, get_iplayer will let you grab anything that’s aired in the past week on BBC. Which is nice because 7 reruns the dramas and comedies on a different schedule from 4. Also too, you can get shows like Introducing in X which is new bands from various parts of the country.

    Podcasts are certainly easier to use, but you have a lot more options with get_iplayer.

  44. 44
    slag says:

    Some of the history podcasts I like, on iTunes:
    BBC History Magazine
    The History of the World in 100 Objects (also relevant to art)
    Stuff You Missed in History Class from How Stuff Works
    Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
    Naked Archaeology

    So much awesomeness. Thanks, Origuy! Excellent playlist developing here.

  45. 45
    slag says:

    Damn. Moderated. Too many links. Will I ever learn?

    In short: Thank you, Origuy! I appreciate it quite a bit.

  46. 46
    Elliecat says:

    I have to confess, 90% of my knowledge of British politics and current events comes from listening to the News Quiz and the Now Show.

  47. 47
    scav says:

    @MikeJ #43:

    Must somehow have managed that without knowing I was being geeky, as I just get the popup iplayer and haven’t been doing the podcasts for a while. Info provided as encouragement to the non-geeky to check out beeb radio.

  48. 48
    R-Jud says:

    @Elliecat:

    I have to confess, 90% of my knowledge of British politics and current events comes from listening to the News Quiz and the Now Show.

    Add “Have I Got News For You” and Private Eye, and you’ve just described the news diet of 90% of the Brits I know.

    The awesome ones, anyway. I am sad to say I know a few regular Daily Heil and Sun readers.

  49. 49
    MikeJ says:

    Elliecat, you know more about it than 99% of Americans.

    Did *anybody* in the US hear about Ken Clarke and how some rapes aren’t as bad as others? If you listened to the News Quiz you did. Does anybody in the US even know what the Big Society is?

  50. 50
    R-Jud says:

    Does anybody in the US even know what the Big Society is?

    Does anybody in the Conservative Party know? I’ve yet to see any evidence of that.

  51. 51
    MikeJ says:

    Scav @ 47, I was referring to get_player which is a pvr app that will record stuff off iplayer. iplayer is fine but didn’t let you save shows to your ipod last I checked, which is why the geeky solution is needed if you want to take the beeb with you in the car or hiking.

  52. 52
    MikeJ says:

    R-Jud @50, they know it’s a marketing slogan for screwing everyone but the rich.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    whew, I was worried there for a sec I was getting undeserved geek credentials.

  54. 54
    Elliecat says:

    Did anybody in the US hear about Ken Clarke and how some rapes aren’t as bad as others? If you listened to the News Quiz you did.

    I LOVED the panelist talking about wishing she were a waitress at the restaurant where he went for dinner, shoving the food down his throat, then saying, “But you looked like you wanted it!”

    Are there any comedians in the US as political (and funny) as Jeremy Hardy and Mark Steel?

  55. 55
    Violet says:

    @Tom Levenson @ 36:

    Also too, what’s with the bollixed up reply function? I am clueless.* Anyone?

    I thought it was just me since my computer decided it needed to update a bunch of stuff. Reply is gone for everyone?

  56. 56
    PurpleGirl says:

    Violet: I don’t remember at what time I noticed that “Reply” wasn’t there. But it was sometime this morning.

  57. 57
    sistermoon says:

    Wow. Welcome to another episode of “Great Moments in Tone Deaf Insensitivity”.

    Where are his handlers? Off in a corner, pointing and laughing?

  58. 58
    Ghanima Atreides says:

    Why does ANYONE pay attention to Romney?
    He is a MORMON.
    America will elect a scientologist before electing a MORMON.

  59. 59
    Delia says:

    F. Scott was right about the very rich not being the same as you and me. Still, I can’t imagine FDR pulling a blooper like this.

  60. 60
    pk says:

    I wonder why no body brings up the fact that Romney has done nothing except spent the last 4 yrs running for president? Has he done a day of useful work in these yrs. At least McCain and Obama were senators and Palin was a governor.

  61. 61
    Calouste says:

    Maybe Paris Hilton is willing to do a short video, just like she did during the 2008 campaign, stating that she too is “unemployed”?

    Maybe someone can talk Hugh Laurie into doing a short Bertie Wooster recap?

  62. 62
    AAA Bonds says:

    @slag:

    Whoa, I just saw Tyson for the first time on a Netflix’d NOVA, in a pastiche Star Trek outfit, in front of a fake “future” background, hosting a show with the theme “what’s the next big thing?”

    The first thing I thought was “this sweet guy’s the director of Hayden I keep hearing about? ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.” He seems so boundlessly enthusiastic about what he does.

  63. 63
    Brachiator says:

    Did anybody in the US hear about Ken Clarke and how some rapes aren’t as bad as others? If you listened to the News Quiz you did.

    News Quiz and The Now Show for the win. Part of the BBC Friday Night Comedy podcast, available for download on iTunes and elsewhere.

    I LOVED the panelist talking about wishing she were a waitress at the restaurant where he went for dinner, shoving the food down his throat, then saying, “But you looked like you wanted it!”

    Funniest bit I had heard in a long time. And dead on.

  64. 64
    Nutella says:

    AAA Bonds @40

    Everyone who goes up in front of these groups claiming to represent them is usually a millionaire completely dependent on financial support from the wealthy

    Usually they are also heavily subsidized by us non-wealthy people, too. People at his level often pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than mid-level people, as Warren Buffet has said when comparing his own tax rate to his secretary’s.

    ETA fixed wording

  65. 65
    slag says:

    @

    The first thing I thought was “this sweet guy’s the director of Hayden I keep hearing about? ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE.” He seems so boundlessly enthusiastic about what he does.

    I think my ear infection has debilitated my snark detector. So, I’m assuming you’re being serious and not mocking my choice of words. In that case, you should hear NDGT discuss his philosophy on ties and vests. It’s highly illuminating. As is listening to him geek out over Macs with John Hodgman. (He is now MikeJ’s enemy.) Absolutely adorable.

  66. 66

    @AAA Bonds – All of the Netflix’d NOVAcasts with NDGT are recommended – especially the one about Pluto and the trip to Mars.

  67. 67
    Tom Levenson says:

    @arguingwithsignposts @AAA Bonds – All of the Netflix’d NOVAcasts with NDGT are recommended – especially the one about Pluto and the trip to Mars.

    You can see much of Neil’s work on NOVA streaming online at the NOVA site — where you will also find, with some digging, my film from the NOVA miniseries Origins — which was where Neil made his NOVA/PBS hosting debut.

  68. 68
    HyperIon says:

    Yeah, he made a very stupid remark.

    But I find his recent stunt of being surrounded by a bunch of women and then pretending that one of them goosed him or grabbed his ass even more sophomoric. The guy has a strange sense of humor. Almost GWB-like in its privileged cluelessness.

  69. 69
    dollared says:

    Caravaggio and Red Lectroids. Tom, I tip my hat – Buckaroo Banzai is the only other man with such diverse talents.

  70. 70

    […] bags will forever inflict themselves upon us. Mitt (Don’t Call Me Willard) Romney is just as unemployed as the poor schmuck on the street. Share […]

  71. 71
    Brachiator says:

    “I’m looking for engaging internet or radio shows that discuss art and history. Any ideas?”——Slag

    Also try the Bowery Boys History of New York City podcasts. The Tate Museum podcasts may still be available. Also, the Bowery Boys website may also still be accessible.

  72. 72
    AAA Bonds says:

    @slag

    No, I was serious. Thanks to everyone for the recommendations too

  73. 73
    grumpy realist says:

    For art and history, go read Gombrich on the Renaissance. Two volumes. A classic.

  74. 74

    […] Week compiles the reactions. Takeaway: Mitt’s not ready for primetime, and he just can’t find a way to not be awkward when dealing with the little […]

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