Another analysis of the Presumed Republican Nominee, from Paul Constant at The Stranger:
As for Mitt Romney? For some reason, the guy has always reminded me of Tom Cruise, and I never could figure out exactly why that was. It’s not that both men have made People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People list, even though they have; or that both men belong to religions that creep everyone else out, even though they do; or that both men are ridiculously wealthy and unnaturally moisturized, even though they are. It wasn’t until watching Romney’s South Carolina concession speech that I finally realized what it was about him that made me think of Cruise.
In all his movies and, more importantly for our purposes, in all his talk show appearances, Cruise only comes in one flavor—INTENSE. Even when he’s not gibbering up and down on an overstuffed settee, he’s staring directly at the person he’s talking to, his jaw clenched, his eyes smoky and penetrative. He can’t make jokes, because jokes are born of nuance and self-understanding, and Tom Cruise doesn’t have time for any of that shit. He’s busy being Tom Cruise all the goddamned time, and the only thing harder than being Tom Cruise all the time is being Tom Cruise when he’s pretending to interact with other human beings.
For the last six years, Romney has set his formidable brain to one task: become the perfect Republican presidential candidate. He’s surrounded himself with the best political team money can buy. He’s financed extensive surveys of early primary states, he’s paid experts ridiculous sums of money to run scenarios for every single eventuality that could occur in the 2012 campaign, and he’s in all likelihood dropped exorbitant sums of money in the laps of branding experts to tell him at what angle he should hold the microphone away from his body to look most presidential.
But like Tom Cruise, Mitt Romney gets lost in the Uncanny Valley because his outsize ambition blinds him. He’s spending all of his time thinking about what a perfect presidential candidate should say and look like and do rather than being a presidential candidate…
But then, some people say Romney’s actually been planning on being president since approximately 1970:
… Upon completion of his foreign mission, he immersed himself in the 1970 senatorial campaign of his mother, Lenore Romney, who was running against Phillip Hart in the Michigan general election. That same year, the Cougar Club — the all male, all white social club at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City (blacks were excluded from full membership in the Mormon church until 1978) — was humming with talk that its president, Mitt Romney, would become the first Mormon president of the United States. “If not Mitt, then who?” was the ubiquitous slogan within the elite organization. The pious world of BYU was expected to spawn the man who would lead the Mormons into the White House and fulfill the prophecies of the church’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr., which Romney has avidly sought to realize…
As the master of modern political journalism wrote: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. And if you think this presidential campaign has been pretty weird so far…