Sexy back

I’ve always been fascinated by establishment media’s need to turn every prominent Republican into a hot, sexy hunk or hunkess. But this may take the cake:

He may not drink or cheat, and he lacks the fictional ad-maker’s charisma, but Democrats, despite the potential perils of such a strategy, remain determined to paint Romney as a throwback to the “Mad Men” era — a hopelessly retro figure who, on policy and in his personal life, is living in the past.

That’s right, instead of (Politico) comparing Mitt Romney to an archaic, sluggish, out-of-touch old man, they compare him to a young, handsome, sex symbol whose main traits are that he’s smooth and cool.

Update. Commenter Alexandra finds an even better one…the NYT on Andrew Breitbart. Brace yourself:

piercing blue eyes and ruddily handsome Celtic features






133 replies
  1. 1
    The Dangerman says:

    Remember, we’re eating breakfast here on the Lefty coast (I think the fit thread is Sunday night, but I’ve lost my appetite).

  2. 2
    ThresherK says:

    I guess the fictional torch has been passed to the next generation: None of the Republican chickenhawks are remade into John Wayne-style warriors any longer.

  3. 3
    gaz says:

    and he lacks the fictional ad-maker’s charisma

    Umm, isn’t romney a fictional ad maker?

  4. 4
    the fugitive uterus says:

    um, a man that smokes, drinks and cheats against what, to the best of our knowledge , is a devout, squeaky-clean Mormon? i’m not getting the comparison at all

    also, wrong era. Romney is the 50’s.

  5. 5
    redshirt says:

    Could land a 747 on those sexy shoulders.

  6. 6
    cathyx says:

    One word. Yuck.

    I find the republican mindset so unattractive, if George Clooney changed affiliation, I would even go so far as to say he’s now ugly to me. Thank god he hasn’t.

  7. 7
    xian says:

    I thought boehner was don draper because of smoking and drinking and shut up

  8. 8
    Lucidamente says:

    I thought that meme was forever retired after Chris Matthews swooned over Grandpa Thompson (“Can you smell the English leather on this guy, the Aqua Velva, the sort of mature man‘s shaving cream, or whatever, you know, after he shaved? Do you smell that sort of—a little bit of cigar smoke? You know, whatever.”)

  9. 9

    Meh. It’s always easier to squeeze the world into The Narrative than to change The Narrative to suit the world.

    Remember George W. Bush, Hunk?

    If they ever figure out how to actually change The Narrative, we’re boned.

    The fate of the Republic may rest on the tyrannical powers of path-dependence, legacy systems, and the installed base.

  10. 10
    daveNYC says:

    Other than the lack of charisma, how was the play Mrs Lincoln?

  11. 11
    suzanne says:

    @the fugitive uterus:

    is a devout, squeaky-clean Mormon?

    I grew up in Mesa, AZ, the second-largest LDS community in the world. And in high school, I never once had a crush on a Mormon dude (or girl). There’s something deeply off-putting to me about people so willfully unsexual. It reads as pretentiousness, even if they really were struggling to be well-behaved as they saw it. (Yes, I’m a horrible person for saying that. Thank you for asking.)

    Mitt Romney certainly reads as pretentious.

    Our current President, however…. Well, I wouldn’t kick him outta bed for eating crackers, that’s for DAMN sure.

  12. 12
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    We know he’s living in the past. We’re not the ones comparing him to any imaginary TV character, especially one that works for his pay.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    @the fugitive uterus:
    Well, there’s the bone-deep phoniness. They do have that on common — that, and the vapid good looks.

  14. 14
    PaulW says:

    Let’s see, other Don Draper traits:

    1) constantly lies;
    2) is a false persona;
    3) panders to whichever audience he’s pitching his latest idea to.

    Wow. Mitt Romney really IS JUST LIKE Dick Whitman!

  15. 15
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by establishment media’s need to turn every prominent Republican into a hot, sexy hunk or hunkess.

    It’s a byproduct of the almost total lack of new gladiator movies.

  16. 16
    boss bitch says:

    Yeah, nobody wants to boink Mitt Romney.

  17. 17
    Alexandra says:

    Don Draper isn’t a bad comparison at all: a man who lies about his past, with little moral centre, presenting himself as different things to different people and reinvents himself with the times. Only casual viewers of Mad Men would assume he’s an aspirational character on the externals alone.

  18. 18
    TG Chicago says:

    The TV character I always hear Romney compared to is Thurston Howell III.

    But if Politico did a story like that, it wouldn’t be as hip and click-whoreish. So they just pretend that Democrats want to paint their opponent as a cool, popular character, even though that makes no sense.

    Who cares about logic and truth? There are clicks to get!

  19. 19
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @Alexandra:

    Don sticks up for women in the workplace, though.

  20. 20
    Magnet Man says:

    The similarities are there. A self-loathing, lying, cheating, egomaniacal, narcissistic, bullying, cruel, patriarchal, condescending, sexist, mysogynistic, phony, say-whatever-it-takes-to-get-what-he-wants jerk…sounds like the ideal comparison for Romney, yep.

  21. 21
    dp says:

    Not a Mad Men watcher, but isn’t Draper a bit of a sociopath? That would certainly fit.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m guessing this article was written by someone who saw the ads for the “Mad Men”-inspired line of clothing that Banana Republic wears but never actually saw the show since we know by the end of Season One that “Don Draper” is really Dick Whitman, who stole the real Don Draper’s identity.

    Either that, or the real Mitt Romney is laying in an unmarked grave in France after this guy replaced him. You have to admit, it would explain a lot about how George Romney’s son turned out to be such a douchebag.

  23. 23
    Nylund says:

    All this crap about “shoulders you could land a plane on” and Bush’s “package” while in the flight suit…plus, all the gossipy rumor-mill crap…it’s so sickening. The wrong cheese on a philly cheese steak! Windsurfing! Funny hats! Can’t bowl!

    Who’s the sexiest? Who’d you most like to have a beer with? Who dresses the best? Who most brings out your weird deep-seeded daddy issues?

    This isn’t Us Weekly, Tiger Beat, Cosmo, or the National Enquirer…it’s a presidential election!

  24. 24

    @Nylund:

    This isn’t Us Weekly, Tiger Beat, Cosmo, or the National Enquirer…it’s a presidential election!

    Distinction without a difference.

  25. 25
    Alexandra says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    Touché. :)

    As with Sully, I have this love-loathe relationship with Politico; it’s a horrid fascination that draws me back to peek against my best intentions. It’s going to be a long six months or so to the election. Sigh.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    @Alexandra:

    Don Draper isn’t a bad comparison at all: a man who lies about his past, with little moral centre, presenting himself as different things to different people and reinvents himself with the times. Only casual viewers of Mad Men would assume he’s an aspirational character on the externals alone.

    Exactly what I was thinking. Well said.

    Romney, like Draper, is empty at the core. But Romney is aggressively empty. And twice as fictional.

  27. 27
    bemused says:

    Does anyone else find it a little disturbing that males in the media seem to have a compulsion to be fanboys for the supposed handsomeness of men who are major political figures, most often Republican?

  28. 28
    kdaug says:

    I’m smooth and cool too.

  29. 29
    kth says:

    Mitt is more like a corporate drone of the era–think of IBM engineers and management, with their de rigueur sock garters–than like someone from the more free-wheeling ad agencies, which count Allen Ginsburg and Don DeLillo among their alumni.

  30. 30
    eemom says:

    Despair descended upon me yesterday with the realization that it will be almost impossible to escape the sight and sound of the Romtron all day every day for the next seven godforsaken months.

    He IS less visually disgusting than Santorscum though. I will give him that.

  31. 31
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Nylund:

    This isn’t Us Weekly, Tiger Beat, Cosmo, or the National Enquirer…it’s a presidential election!

    A President doesn’t require quite the same kind of sex appeal as (rolls eyes) The Situation, but it definitely helps a candidate to have sex appeal in a way befitting the office. Obama has it in abundance. Mitt looks the part until he opens his mouth, at which point he reveals himself as a transparent phony.

  32. 32
    waratah says:

    they compare him to a young, handsome, sex symbol whose main traits are that he’s smooth and cool.

    Until he opens his mouth to talk.

    Sorry Amir already posted.

  33. 33
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @daveNYC: You bastard. I so wanted to use the ” aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln…” thing.

  34. 34
    Mr Furious says:

    I don’t watch Mad Men, but from what I understand about the characters and the role/treatment of women on the show (and that era) I can’t see how this comparison helps Romney close the gap with women voters.

  35. 35
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @Alexandra:

    I’m the same way, more with Politico than with Sully. Though I’m more afraid of Sully: you never know when you’re going to click over and face some 1200 word meditation on asexuality.

  36. 36
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by establishment media’s need to turn every prominent Republican into a hot, sexy hunk or hunkess.

    Authoritarians find power and sexiness indistinguishable but sense that normal people don’t. That’s my guess for why they do that.

  37. 37
    Rhoda says:

    The MSM is going to go for 7 months trying to get this close; see w/out polls them declaring Hillary Rosen’s comments flipped the script and gave Republicans a second chance with women. It’s going to get stupid for the next seven months. Well, stupid-er.

  38. 38
    Valdivia says:

    Love the title so witty and on point.
    I saw this yesterday and almost threw my phone out of the window. Glad to see you front paging it.

  39. 39
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @Valdivia:

    Love that one of your photos is titled “Captain Of Her Heart”. That piano part has been a lifelong (reasonably pleasant) ear worm.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    ok, this is just funny

  41. 41
    eemom says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    you never know when you’re going to click over and face some 1200 word meditation on asexuality.

    I think that’s the first time a Sully reference ever made me laugh.

  42. 42
    Alexandra says:

    Along the same lines, from no less than the New York Times about Andrew Breitbart:

    piercing blue eyes and ruddily handsome Celtic features

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04.....tbart.html

  43. 43
    tjmn says:

    Arsehole beautification. That’s all they got.

  44. 44
    DougJ, Head of Infidelity says:

    @Alexandra:

    Ha ha ha ha.

  45. 45
    nickgb says:

    @tjmn: @tjmn: I know a spa downtown that’ll do that for less than you probably expect! Stings a bit, though.

  46. 46
    tjmn says:

    @nickgb:

    So give Mittens directions. He needs all the help he can get.

  47. 47
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Alexandra:

    piercing blue eyes and ruddily handsome Celtic features the look of someone in the depths of an ether binge

    fixed

  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Alexandra:
    It was my impression that the “Celtic” ruddiness of Andrew Breitbart’s complexion was from drink. And that quite aside from his looks, which are a question of taste, his personality — quarrelsome, verbally abusive, prone to slander — was the opposite of handsome.

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @eemom:

    Despair descended upon me yesterday with the realization that it will be almost impossible to escape the sight and sound of the Romtron all day every day for the next seven godforsaken months.

    If that isn’t enough to swing the election to Obama, I don’t know what will be.

  50. 50
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: Not to mention Breitbart is not a Celtic surname, so the comparison misses by that much. And no you can’t pay me enough to read it.

  51. 51
    gaz says:

    I guess out-of-work jizzmoppers now have an opportunity for employment at politico.

    That is, the ones that weren’t already lucky enough to land a gig cleaning up the set of Hardball (heh – Hardball)

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    John Kerry looks French!

  53. 53
    nellcote says:

    Rmoney’s more like Roger Sterling without the alcohol.

    Where’s Brietbart’s autopsy report?

  54. 54
    fuzed says:

    I think the closer comparison would be Vogons. Just let Vogons be Vogons.

  55. 55
    Alex S. says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:

    Hah, very clever.

  56. 56
    El Cid says:

    Also, Don Draper would hate Mitt Romney.

  57. 57
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    DougJ @ Top:

    That’s right, instead of (Politico) comparing Mitt Romney to an archaic, sluggish, out-of-touch old man, they compare him to a young, handsome, sex symbol whose main traits are that he’s smooth and cool.

    Seriously. Romney is 65 years old. If elected, he’d be the fourth oldest U.S. president, ever.

    That’s right — Mitt would be older on taking office than Daddy Bush, Dwight Eisenhower and Zachary Taylor, though slightly younger than: Ronald Reagan, the oldest president ever; William Henry Harrison, who died of a cold on the 32nd day of his presidency; and James Buchanan, perennially considered one of the nation’s worst presidents, and the first president to preside over a state’s secession.

    Instead of comparing Romney to Don Draper, they should be comparing him to Roman Grant from Big Love.

    .

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Yutsano:
    Per the NYT story, he was adopted by a Jewish family and raised in that faith (the name is actually German, of course, and means “broad beard”). It’s still possible that he was of Irish ancestry.

  59. 59
    catclub says:

    @Alexandra: “ruddily handsome”

    Long term alcohol abuse busts the tiny veins in the nose and cheeks.

  60. 60
    R Johnston says:

    @Alexandra: Wow.

    Just wow.

    The fact that Breitbart’s eyes always made you think he was about to get all stabby with a dagger doesn’t mean they were piercing. As for handsomeness, he looked like an alcoholic Jonah Goldberg, slovenly in appearance and unenamored of personal grooming.

  61. 61
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore: “If that isn’t enough to swing the election to Obama, I don’t know what will.”

    Yes, the feature that the more people see him, the less they like him. He and Newt have that trait. Newt could have won if he had stayed in the Greek Isles. That was brilliant.

  62. 62
    Glix says:

    So “manly” is slightly effeminate, humorless, elitest and lacking in charisma. Wonder how many “we the people” are learning to ride dressage to beef up their machismo.

  63. 63
    Nora says:

    The Breitbart thing amuses me. Yeah, Celtic features — like your Irish uncle who couldn’t stay away from the bottle and turned every family gathering into a brawl. That kind of Irish.

  64. 64
    Brachiator says:

    @Mr Furious:

    I don’t watch Mad Men, but from what I understand about the characters and the role/treatment of women on the show (and that era) I can’t see how this comparison helps Romney close the gap with women voters.

    Actually, this seems more an appeal to men. “You want to be smooth, sexy, rich, in control, and attractive to women. Vote for the $200 million man. Vote Romney.”

    There may also be an appeal to women, but I think it is actually kinda minor. The GOP right now appears to be trying to rebrand Romney, making him less an aloof aristocrat and more a smooth, man’s man.

  65. 65
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @boss bitch:

    Yeah, nobody wants to boink Mitt Romney.

    Eye-boink, maybe.

  66. 66
    the fugitive uterus says:

    @suzanne:

    Our current President, however…. Well, I wouldn’t kick him outta bed for eating crackers, that’s for DAMN sure.

    don’t forget, no magic underwear either. tee hee. cute little boxers maybe?

  67. 67
    R Johnston says:

    @Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism: Well, Romney definitely is a stooge.

  68. 68
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: So the NYT is making shit up again. Beautiful.

    @Brachiator: I realize it’s still pretty early in the silly season, but if the best comparison you can make for your candidate is a fictional character whose life is itself a fiction, you got bigger problems than likeability. You might as well say Willard’s got nothin’ and call it a millenium.

  69. 69
    mb says:

    Everytime I see “Draperizing of Mitt Romney,” I read it as “Diapering of Mitt…” and think “Vitter for VP?”

  70. 70
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    at least we know how tall the trees are in the romneyverse.

  71. 71
    Amir Khalid says:

    Off topic: Some very sad news from the world of football. 25-year-old Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini had a heart attack on the pitch today during a Serie B match at Pescara. He was taken to hospital but could not be revived.

  72. 72
    gaz says:

    @tjmn: “Arsehole beautification”

    is that like vaginoplasty?

    – shudder –

  73. 73
    amk says:

    tweety calls the Colombian president as ‘the hombre in the middle’. Typical, uncouth ‘murkan for a journo. What a pathetic pos.

  74. 74
    gaz says:

    Willard Mitt Romney looks like a lego man.

    Edit: Apparently Colbert agrees

  75. 75
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    piercing blue eyes and ruddily handsome Celtic features

    Andrew Breitbart?

    Gaaaaaaaaaaaawd… I think I just threw up in my mouth a little…

    Make that a lot…

    Gonna need a new keyboard…

  76. 76
    the fugitive uterus says:

    Mitt is a very handsome man who looks fab for his age (so does Ann), and yet this is the first time I have ever read anything about his looks. Could it be perhaps that there is so little going on beneath the surface that the physical attractiveness is lost on most people, except for the Breitbarts of the world.

  77. 77
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __
    Nylund:

    The wrong cheese on a philly cheese steak!

    __
    And on top of it, the press gets the cheese fucking wrong! Sorry, but this is one of my pet peeves: Everyone in eastern PA, from Philly to Scranton, knows the proper cheese for a cheesesteak is Provolone — though if you prefer Swiss, Cheddar, Bleu, or even American, that’s okay too.

    Cheez-Whiz, on the other hand, is not okay. It’s fucking gross. Cheez-Whiz is for fat mid-western tourists.

    .

  78. 78
    Joel says:

    He may not drink or cheat, and he lacks the fictional ad-maker’s charisma

    So in other words, Romney is just like Don Draper minus everything that makes him compelling.

  79. 79
    Svensker says:

    @Yutsano:

    Not to mention Breitbart is not a Celtic surname, so the comparison misses by that much. And no you can’t pay me enough to read it.

    He was adopted by a Jewish family.

  80. 80
    muddy says:

    I remember in the debate season in 2000, they were promoting Dick Cheney as sexy, and tried to get the phrase “Silver Fox” associated with him.

    wtf

  81. 81
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    piercing blue eyes and ruddily handsome Celtic features

    More like Arthur Mitchell (aka The Trinity Killer from Dexter).

  82. 82
    Mickey says:

    “Piercing blue eyes” turned into big white chalk line and a suspiciously absent toxicology report.

  83. 83
    PIGL says:

    They want big handsome republican daddy to give them a good spanking, and then maybe they get to lick his special secret lollipop. Simple as that. Your Republic is run by people with really twisted sexual obsessions.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, Rmoney is an asshole, like Don Draper, so there’s that.

  85. 85
    lamh35 says:

    This is how smooth Obama is. Essentially calling tweeting out for trying to “stir things up” but doing so so smoothly that the audience and even Tweety is with him.

    Can anyone imagine Romney doing that? Nope, he just does safe interviews anyway. Check in at about the 35sec mark

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

    “This is what you get when one of our US political reporter to moderate a panel…they try to stir up things that may NOT always be there…”

  86. 86
    Mickey says:

    @Lucidamente: Matthews can get kind of creepy when he start going off on his latest man crush.

    I just can’t stand watching the guy anymore.

  87. 87
    lamh35 says:

    I’ve seen a number of interviews from POTUS current foreign policy trip to Colombia and I just gotta say, I know I’m speaking to the choir, but I just cannot imagine R-Money being anything less than pretensious when asked a tough question from a foreign reporter he would deem beneath him. R-Money positively bristles when US reporters ask him uncomfortable question.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v....._embedded#!

  88. 88
    Mickey says:

    @suzanne: Hello! They are not unsexual. Just sexually repressed. Utah is the largest consumer of porn per capita!

  89. 89
    Keith says:

    piercing blue eyes and ruddily handsome Celtic features

    In other words, he was a raging, drunk Irishman.

  90. 90
    Mary says:

    Wouldn’t Roger Sterling be the more obvious comparison? Born rich, coasts by on his father’s accomplishments, deals with the cultural changes happening all around him and his ever increasing irrelevance by throwing money at every obstacle that stands in the way?

  91. 91
    Bago says:

    @gaz: There are bleaching procedures, predominantly available in the north Hollywood area.

  92. 92
    xyzxyzxyz says:

    …and Dan Quayle was tapped for the VP spot because he (supposedly) looked like Robert Redford and would therefore attract the votes of women (or so the stupid logic went…the villagers have been silly for a while now). See the attached LA Times article to take a trip back through that dim past.

    http://articles.latimes.com/19.....rt-redford

  93. 93
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @lamh35: Also, too, the Romneybot is not programmed for foreign policy; he can’t go beyond “this president has failed to show leadership”.

    @Mickey: He was flapping away to John Kasich’s regular guyitude the other day.

  94. 94
    Donut says:

    All I want to say is thanks to DougJ for not linking to the actual Politico article.

  95. 95
    Mickey says:

    @xyzxyzxyz: Which is why I find these whispers in the beltway about Christie perplexing.

    Exactly what sort of appeal would a disgusting fat fuck with a habit of getting into low brow street corner type shouting matches with reporters have in a general election?

    Republicans already have the sorts of people that appeals to locked up anyways.

  96. 96
    Brachiator says:

    @Yutsano:

    I realize it’s still pretty early in the silly season, but if the best comparison you can make for your candidate is a fictional character whose life is itself a fiction, you got bigger problems than likeability. You might as well say Willard’s got nothin’ and call it a millenium.

    The GOP know where they are going. Previously, they tried to portray Obama as an aloof aristocrat. Now they have in Romney a candidate who is … an aloof aristocrat, they have to rebrand him.

    They can’t make him a man of the people, but they can try to show him as a smooth, 60s white man. I have, sadly, heard a number of people on talk radio programs say how they voted for Obama because they were excited about the idea of being able to vote for a black president, but that they intend to vote for Romney this time around.

    They could not point to anything about Romney that they prefer over Obama, leading me to conclude that they are just more comfortable with having a white male president. Romney looks like the regulation country club white guy that fits their image of a Real American White Guy President(tm).

    It doesn’t matter that he is an empty suit. It doesn’t even matter what he stands for. It only matters that he looks the part of a white male president, is not as crazy as Newt or Santorum, and is not Obama.

    The Dan Draper avatar is ironically very apt. Draper is an enigma, as is Romney. People desperate to vote for him over Obama can fill in whatever rationalizing characteristic that most satisfies them.

  97. 97
    eemom says:

    @Bago:

    There are bleaching procedures, predominantly available in the north Hollywood area.

    [debating whether to request elaboration]

  98. 98
    Boudica says:

    I’m at work so I didn’t have time to read all the comments here to see if someone already mentioned this, but I thought the article cited actually talks more about Ann Romney and the whole Hilary Rosen flap than it does about Mitt and Don Draper.

  99. 99
    tjmn says:

    @gaz:

    It’s worse. Much work to do.

  100. 100
    tjmn says:

    @gaz:

    Maybe the correct term is arsehole beatification.

  101. 101
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Oh Lord. I was curious so I went to Politico, for maybe the fifth or sixth time ever, to look at the original article (TLDR) and saw this headline:

    The Arena
    ‘The shrinking Obama vision’?
    Ex-Rep. Artur Davis: “There is a particular kind of cynicism in the Buffett Rule” pushed by POTUS.

    Artur Davis, the Joe Lieberman of Alabama, that’s who you want for an objective view of the Obama presidency.

  102. 102
    efgoldman says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    I’ve always been fascinated by establishment media’s need to turn every prominent Republican into a hot, sexy hunk or hunkess.

    Well, the Doughy Pantload Good Ole Boy(tm) isn’t exactly extinct. First, there’s McConnell the Tortoise; also Shelby from Alabama; Lindsay Graham; and the doughiest pantload of all, Newt.

  103. 103
    Bort says:

    Mittens, the man you would want to have a diet orange soda with. And maybe a side of rye crisps with cottage cheese.

  104. 104
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    Draper is an enigma, as is Romney. People desperate to vote for him over Obama can fill in whatever rationalizing characteristic that most satisfies them.

    Sure, but the set of people desperate to vote against Obama isn’t enough to win the election. To get enough votes to win the general, Romney has to provide a positive reason for undecided voters to pick him over Obama. If he tries to leave a blank space where his personality is supposed to be, Obama will be more than happy to fill it in with all the negatives he can find. Just as importantly, Obama has plenty of resources to do it.

    Very importantly, the reverse won’t work as well. Obama doesn’t have to spend a lot of effort defining himself to the public because his image is already well established. Changing that kind of established image is hard, so the fight is mostly going to be on Romney’s turf.

  105. 105
    Joseph Nobles says:

    If Mitt Romney is anyone in Mad Men, he is Pete Campbell wearing a Don Draper suit. Not one of Don Draper’s suits, mind you, but a suit he made out of Don Draper’s skin.

  106. 106
    R Johnston says:

    @Joseph Nobles: You win the internet.

  107. 107
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:
    RE: Draper is an enigma, as is Romney. People desperate to vote for him over Obama can fill in whatever rationalizing characteristic that most satisfies them.

    Sure, but the set of people desperate to vote against Obama isn’t enough to win the election. To get enough votes to win the general, Romney has to provide a positive reason for undecided voters to pick him over Obama.

    I’m am not predicting the election results, but I am surprised at the number of people who presume that Romney is a superior pro business moderate simply because they want to believe it, not based on anything that Romney has actually achieved.

    Also, here and this may be important. I am not talking about the pundit category of “undecided” voters. I am talking about people who are declaring that they are going to vote for Romney simply because, as far as I can determine from their hazy rationales, they believe that the president of the United States should be a white man, unless the prior black president was able to walk on water, end hunger and poverty, and bring full employment to the habitable universe.

    We are talking about here not the hard core haters of the 27 percent, but those people who are just uncomfortable with too much change.

    And these are people who say that they voted for Obama in 2008.

    I think this is a small group, and they may come to seriously dislike Romney. But that they would prefer Romney at all, despite any rationally stated reason for their preference, is somewhat sad.

    A recent news column sums up another aspect of this problem:

    Though new polls show President Barack Obama now leading among several voting blocks, including women, Latinos, and swing state independents, he is still trailing Republican Mitt Romney among a key demographic: middle-class and working-class white guys. (What I call the MCWG vote.)
    __
    This paradox of disconnected voter perceptions is both confusing and troubling for Democrats.
    __
    It’s confusing because President Obama’s policies and achievements have been just as good for white middle and working-class males as they have for other voting blocks.
    __
    Obama has delivered on all of these. But his record of achievement is seemingly invisible to 6 out of 10 middle-class white males.
    __
    Instead, these voters buy into the Republican counter-reality that Obama is anti-capitalism, a feckless commander-in-chief, a reckless big government spender, and a snob for wanting more Americans to go to college.
    __
    And now, a stay-at-home-mom hater as well.
    __
    Democrats have trouble disabusing voters of these beliefs because they are so patently and factually absurd. Yet middle-class and working class white males seem to be particularly vulnerable to this mindset and stubbornly resistant to arguments to the contrary (i.e., facts).

    These are not undecided voters. This is not even particularly conservative voters. This is the odd subset of voters rigidly determined to vote against their own interests, and are perhaps swayed by GOP appeals to fear and soft bigotry.

    It’s hard to predict how much this will impact the election.

  108. 108
    El Cid says:

    A saddened Republican colleague here in God’s country itself, Georgia, said he wasn’t even following the election because it wasn’t going to be close.

    He can’t stand Obama, but thinks he’ll win by 15 points, because ‘the Republicans don’t know what the hell they’re doing,’ and Romney is a weird, cold-acting odd guy.

  109. 109
    MikeJ says:

    @Brachiator: It would be nice if we could convince the internet tough guy demo that stupid doesn’t equal strong, but I’m not counting on it.

    There are enough sane middle class white guys that big majorities with ever other demo can carry the day.

  110. 110
    boss bitch says:

    @Brachiator:

    They existed in the last election and Obama won that one. And it must be made clear that McCain was more likeable than Romney.

  111. 111
    Brachiator says:

    @boss bitch:

    They existed in the last election and Obama won that one. And it must be made clear that McCain was more likeable than Romney.

    Yep. But added to this are the (hopefully) small number of these people who voted for Obama in 2008 who are giving in to their worst instincts and perhaps stupid white guy peer pressure and, for now, declaring for Romney.

  112. 112
    OzoneR says:

    @boss bitch:

    They existed in the last election and Obama won that one.

    and the election after that that the Dems lost.

  113. 113
    OzoneR says:

    @MikeJ:

    It would be nice if we could convince the internet tough guy demo that stupid doesn’t equal strong, but I’m not counting on it.

    White men haven’t voted Democratic since LBJ, anyone want to guess what happened during LBJ’s term to push them away?

  114. 114
    OzoneR says:

    The author of this article should no longer further than the only comment posted after it

    It might help if he added a category for ‘whites’ on his campaign website. He is currently excluding all pale skin voters and segregating the rest of Americans by race/skin color.

    White people don’t vote Democratic cause most of them they’re racist, either openly or hidden in some subtle away, they’re racist and I say this a white man.

    Democrats will not win white men as long as blacks are allowed to ride anywhere they want on a bus and Latinos are allowed to live in the country. Ever. QED. Deal.

  115. 115
    rikyrah says:

    POLITICO is desperate. just like Willard’s campaign

  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    @OzoneR:

    No Democrat has ‘ won’ the White vote, since, well, forever.

  117. 117
    OzoneR says:

    @rikyrah:

    No Democrat has ’ won’ the White vote, since, well, forever.

    Pretty sure FDR, Truman and JFK did.

  118. 118
    Valdivia says:

    @DougJ, Head of Infidelity:

    Doug! So flattered you checked out my mobile photo addiction production. And yes that song is a total earworm and an old time favorite.

    Thanks. :)

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @rikyrah:

    No Democrat has ’ won’ the White vote, since, well, forever.

    No, it’s more since 1966. Some good background here:

    But Democratic leaders, and much of the “professional left,” ignored history. In fact, they ignored the present. I wrote an essay at the close of 2008 illustrating why Democrats’ historic problems with whites endured, why Obama’s election was more chance than change, warning that the past has a way of catching up with progressives.
    __
    The past has caught up. Democrats chose legislation on healthcare and climate change over major jobs initiatives. They chose LBJ over FDR. By the time Democrats tried to move to jobs, whites had already moved on. Yesterday, Democrats lax focus on jobs created many new Republican jobs (in politics).
    __
    Lyndon Johnson’s domestic programs lost whites support in polls by 1966, and with them the majority. Obama has proceeded like Johnson and received a like rebuke. Only about a third of white men and white women approved of Obama’s signature domestic legislation, healthcare, at the time of its passage. Whites similarly opposed the stimulus. It’s no accident that over the summer of 2009, when healthcare dominated the debate, Obama first lost the majority of whites and independents.
    __
    The keyword is “lost.” Voters equally disapprove of both parties. Democrats lost whites. Republicans did not win them. This election was not a vote for Republicans anymore than 2006 was a vote for Democrats. We just witnessed an historic no confidence vote.

    This is by means the most definitive view of this issue, and there are other factors at work as well, for example, the way that the GOP is alienating women and Latinos.

  120. 120
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator: The first Obama initiative, the stimulus, was the biggest “major jobs initiative” in history. If white people are going to be all butthurt about it because of liberty, wolverines, and Negroes, fuck them for another 40 years, and I say that as a white person of 40 years standing.

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The first Obama initiative, the stimulus, was the biggest “major jobs initiative” in history. If white people are going to be all butthurt about it because of liberty, wolverines, and Negroes, fuck them for another 40 years, and I say that as a white person of 40 years standing.

    Obama and the Democrats tried to save everybody’s asses. Newt and the GOP try hard to sell the reverse-Kanye that Obama only cares about Muslims and nonwhites.

    Here’s some fun. Even some progressives like to whine that Obama only cares about bankers. But the Mortgage Relief Act has saved hundreds of thousands of taxpayers from being drowned in cancellation of debt income.

    We still have a mortgage crisis. The Mortgage Relief Act is set to expire at the end of this year. Only Democrats have talked about extending it. The Republicans are doing all but screaming in public that they intend to screw the middle class hard if they get elected. And a significant segment of voters seem equally insistent on shouting, “I’m voting for the GOP. Do me first!”

    It’s the damndest thing I’ve ever seen.

  122. 122
    OzoneR says:

    @Brachiator: The problem wit this is he says this;

    They chose LBJ over FDR. By the time Democrats tried to move to jobs, whites had already moved on. Yesterday, Democrats lax focus on jobs created many new Republican jobs (in politics).

    Then he says this

    Whites similarly opposed the stimulus.

    The stimulus was centered on job creation, that’s why the administration said, rather erroneously, that it would keep unemployment under 8 percent. And the tea party was created out of anger over the “cramdown” proposal to fix the mortgage crisis.

    White people don’t want FDR or LBJ. They certainly did before the 1960s.

  123. 123
    Brachiator says:

    @OzoneR:

    The problem with this is he says this

    Point noted. While the decline in the numbers of whites voting for Democrats has been clearly noted, there is no agreement on the reasons why. Note also that the number of people registered as Republicans has also been declining, an interesting side issue.

    The stimulus was centered on job creation, that’s why the administration said, rather erroneously, that it would keep unemployment under 8 percent. And the tea party was created out of anger over the “cramdown” proposal to fix the mortgage crisis.

    The Obama administration’s statements that unemployment would be kept under 8 percent was a hopeful goal, not a guaranteed target. I don’t think that the Tea Party had, or has, any coherent reason for their anger. They were mad at the bankers and mortgage lenders, but then strongly suppoort the GOP, who care only about the bankers and mortgage lenders.

  124. 124
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator: They’re mad about their stuff going to lazy darkies.* Hence they’re mad about helping people fix their underwater mortgages (Community Reinvestment Act and all that), mad about expanding preventive health care (tax money going to welfare babies), mad about public employees (tax money going to rude people behind the counter at the DMV), etc. And they want to vote for Republicans because Republicans say they’ll cut off the freeloaders from their dependency, but Democrats just want to keep them feeding at the trough. That’s all it is.

    [*] And, to a lesser degree, sex-crazed sluts.

  125. 125
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Brachiator: IOW, they weren’t so much mad at the banks as mad at the government for helping the banks. They’re a pack of paranoid, resentful dicks. Unfortunately, they’re at least a third of the country.

  126. 126
    David Koch says:

    Mad Men did an episode 2 weeks ago where they called Romney a “clown”

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

  127. 127
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @muddy:

    I remember in the debate season in 2000, they were promoting Dick Cheney as sexy, and tried to get the phrase “Silver Fox” associated with him.

    That made me laugh throw up in my mouth.

  128. 128
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @muddy: Remember the magazine cover with the Cheney crotch shot? When was that?

  129. 129
    Cacti says:

    @Brachiator:

    making him less an aloof aristocrat and more a smooth, man’s man

    I can’t really think of any “manly” pursuits that one can immediately identify with Willard.

    Dubya owned a baseball team. Poppy was a fighter pilot. Mitt…yeah, I got nothing.

  130. 130
    kledd says:

    @TG Chicago: If I had to compare Romney to a tv character, it would probably be Milburn Drysdale. Romney’s biggest problem in the primaries was an inability to relate to hillbillies.

  131. 131
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Cacti: Crushing small companies a la Gordon Gekko.

  132. 132
    Applejinx says:

    Is it me or does anybody else get angry with some of this talk?

    I’m like, fuck you, I’m a ‘white man’ and I’ll crawl over broken glass to vote for Obama again, you take that back…

  133. 133
    tones says:

    Mr Drysdale For The Win.

    That was epic, everyone in my office is looking at me now.

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