For the new year, I resolved that in 2012 I wouldn’t wait until the last minute to write these columns. Here it is a few hours before my deadline and all I have so far is a title. My resolution for next year is no more resolutions.
I had planned on commenting on the New Hampshire Republican primary but it was a blowout. Willard Romney (Mitt is his middle name) received almost 40 percent of the vote while Ron Paul came in second with 23 percent and Jon Huntsman third with 17 percent. (Although some are probably saying, “Jon, who?”)
Considerably well known, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum tied for fourth, but both did nine times better than Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who got a whopping 1 percent. After Iowa, Perry said he was going to “reassess” his campaign. I can only imagine what he’s going to say now.
Following Iowa, New Hampshire makes it two wins out of two for Willard (whose name always makes me think of the 2003 movie about a rat, whereas Mitt always makes me think of my little league baseball glove).
If he gets the GOP nomination, at a net worth of $250,000,000, Romney will be the richest presidential nominee in history. (He’s not in the 1 percent, he’s in the .001 percent.) Meanwhile, if Gingrich were to get the nomination he’d be the only major party candidate in history to have been married three times. (Apparently, Mickey Rooney never ran for president.)
Since he’s written so many books, Newt could write one entitled, “I Wed Three Wives.” (A takeoff of the 1950’s TV show, “I Led Three Lives,” the true story of Herb Philbrick, an ad executive who infiltrated the Communist Party for the FBI. Clearly, it’s never a good sign when one has to explain one’s jokes.)
Next on the primary trail is South Carolina on Jan. 21. In preparation, this coming week Gingrich plans on releasing a 27-minute attack video on Romney, “When Mitt Comes to Town.” Having previously called Romney “a liar,” when those two kiss and make up, as always happens, that’s going to be some charade.
The film depicts Romney, the CEO of Bain Capital, as a greedy, job-killing corporate raider “more ruthless than Wall Street.” As Dick Cheney once said, “So?”
The truth is, in all of these GOP debates I haven’t heard anything about helping the poor, or the homeless, or vets or homeless vets, or the insanity of the Iraq War and the lessons learned. The only “compassion” I’ve heard for the unemployed or working poor is essentially, “See ya, I wouldn’t wanna be ya.”
Admittedly (no pun intended) I haven’t been paying close attention to the debates (what with bass fishing on ESPN2). But most of what I’ve heard is about the sins of gay marriage and abortion. Rick Perry even put out a blatantly anti-gay TV ad without realizing that he was wearing the same type of jacket featured in “Brokeback Mountain.” (Poor Rick, what a boob.)
Perry believes that even if a woman gets pregnant from rape or incest, the government should force her to have the baby. (So much for keeping government out of our lives.) Of course after the child is born, everybody’s on their own.
One thing I can’t deny is Romney looks terrific, as does his family. In his book, “No Apology,” Willard preaches unabashed patriotism, and was an outspoken advocate for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But when it was his time to serve, during Vietnam, wouldn’t you know he got a deferment. And none of his five adult boys ever served in the military. Isn’t that always the way?
Another shamelessly inauthentic Willard moment occurred a few months back on the campaign trail. He jokingly told a group of unemployed Floridians, “You know, I’m unemployed, too.” He’s the 3000th richest man in the country and he’s talking like he just got laid off from an assembly line job. Give me a break.
And after the New Hampshire debate, Romney had the gall to say, “I know what it’s like to worry about whether you’re going to get fired.” (Willard, really?) “There were a couple of times I wondered if I was going to get a pink slip.” My guess is he wasn’t worried about getting a pink slip but rather having enough to hand out.
Romney is clearly confusing being unemployed to being down to your last $10 million. Frankly, I find him to be annoyingly phony and an empty suit, albeit a very expensive one. To get elected he’ll say anything to anybody, ergo his myriad flip flops. (On the positive side, he has great hair.)
This coming week might be very interesting when Newt’s anti-Romney video hits the airwaves. I just hope I can pry myself away from watching bass fishing.
Jack can be reached at Jnsmdp@aol.com