Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The weird, awkward normalcy of Romney's post-non-presidency

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Josh Marshall had an interesting post up yesterday on Mitt's weirdly normal post-election "afterlife." It's well worth a read if you missed it, as it examines "that steady drumbeat of oddly normal and yet somehow surreal pictures of post-defeat Mitt Romney that keep showing up everywhere." He's not a mainstream media presence anymore, and he's no longer newsworthy, "yet he's seemingly everywhere where ordinary people can get a snap of him with the smartphone" -- at a gas station, at Disneyland, at a pizza joint...

But here's what stood out to me:

Part of what gets my attention about these photos — and perhaps others are the same way — is that Romney seems a lot more normal in his political afterlife than he did before November 7th. 

And yet:

Romney's somehow like the anti-Zelig. He's seemingly everywhere. Popping up in the oddest places and yet not remotely ever fitting in or blending in. In every new setting he sticks out palpably as Mitt Romney. Not "Where’s Waldo" but "Here's Waldo!" Right there. You can't miss him.

It doesn't matter what he does, what role he's playing, whether he's sucking up for votes or not. He just doesn't seem to fit in anywhere but, one presumes, the Bain boardroom or some country-clubbish setting for those who mock the 99 percent.

It's sad, in a way, but more pathetic than sad, and certainly not sad enough to overcome the lingering schadenfreude.

He's been a huge winner in the world of vulture capitalism, and he did have that one term as governor back when he was supposedly some sort of moderate, but now he's just wallowing in loserdom. And it's all just so obvious.


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