Gov. Romney's "Ike" Complex

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Gov. Romney's "Ike" Complex

Gov. Mitt Romney, pictured
here during the years of his
illustrious military service.

In the current issue of The Atlantic Monthly, writer Sridhar Pappu contends that Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) may be the man Republicans turn to in '08 when they nominate their next presidential candidate. Pappu writes:

One thing Romney has going for him right now, of course, is his relative novelty. On the national scene people haven't yet had a chance to grow tired of him, or to examine the warts and the skeletons ...

There are too many things in his favor ... As a Republican in a Democratic state, he can plausibly claim to be a moderate when it suits him ... He has an impressive business background (which is attractive to both Main Street and Wall Street Republicans). His stands against stem-cell research and gay marriage, as well as abortion, make him appealing to social conservatives.
Am I the only one who is slightly creeped out by the following revelation?

... when [Romney] took me on a tour of his office in the Massachusetts statehouse, he was like a kid showing off a new poster of Ken Griffey Jr. or Tom Brady .... And there was the Bible on which his father had sworn his oath of office each of the three times he was inaugurated as governor of Michigan.

"And then there's a story behind this," Romney said, pulling out a plate with a picture of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower painted on it. "Not only was Eisenhower one of my favorite presidents; when we became grandparents, you get to choose what the kids will call you. Some call you Papa. I chose Ike. I'm Ike, and (his wife) Ann is Mamie."
Uh, Governor, your name is Mitt. That's Mitt, not "Ike." Now I realize that with a name like Mitt, you might hope your grandkids would call you anything else -- maybe Ike, Joe-Bob or even Buster. But if you want your grandchildren to call you something other than Mitt, it should be grandpa, grandad or some permutation of these. That's how it works.

But, Governor, we're willing to meet you halfway. We'll start calling you Ike when we hear you issue the same stern warning that Eisenhower did about the military-industrial complex. We'll start calling you Ike when you stop bitching about "activist judges" and follow Eisenhower's lead in enforcing a ruling (in Ike's case, the Brown decision) even though you personally disagree with it.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a huge fan of Eisenhower. But, with each passing month, today's Republicans (DeLay, Dubya, Frist, Romney, Santorum et al) are making Ike look better and better.

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