Mitt Romney Is Running For America's Embarrassing Dad

In an attempt to add some more artfully wayward locks of hair to his polished pol image, former Massachusetts governor and current Iowa tourist Mitt Romney has taken making small talk with the locals he meets while on the campaign trail. Unfortunately, Romney must be used to having his undocumented lawn servants make small talk for him, as his best chatting efforts seem ripe for the Embarrassing Dad Hall of Fame.

The New York Times reports that Romney's favorite topics of conversation along the campaign trail include many of the same topics your dad loves to trot out when he's around your friends, including strangers' nationalities, people's ages, and odd local details. If Romney's conversation-kickstarting awkward guesses were characterized by accuracy, they may succeed in being only mildly uncomfortable for everyone involved. Romney, though, specializes in guessing personal details of strangers incorrectly, often with squirmworthy results.

He tries to guess the relationship between people who appear at campaign stops,— Daughter? Cousin? Neighbor? Sisters? Wife?— often incorrectly. He's fond of breaking the ice by guessing people's ages inaccurately. And he's extra prone to asking people if they're French-Canadian. He congratulates people for no discernible reason. He tries to quip about people's digital cameras. He stands there with his hands straight at his waist and has difficulty gesturing in a convincing, humanlike manner. When people ask him questions that he doesn't understand or doesn't care to answer, Mittbot 2012 ignores the query and carries on as though it never happened.

While tales of Romney's method acting audition for ABC Family's original movie "My Dad, The Cyborg" are amusing at first, as they pile up, I sort of start to feel sorry for him, as I would feel sorry for a self-actualized robot who just wants to learn how to love, or Ariel from Disney's The Little Mermaid as she tries to brush her hair with a fork at a fancy dinner party. The Times writes,

A close-up study of Mr. Romney's casual interactions with voters captures a candidate who can be efficient, funny and self-deprecating, yet often strains to connect in a personal way.

Someone hug this man, please.

As the campaign wears on, it's becoming more and more clear that Mitt Romney is the stiff, awkward, paternal white guy that cliched African American comedians are always making fun of for acting uncool. And if Mittens Romney is elected President, you can bet the farm that he'll constantly traipse back and forth through the living room singing radio hits from the mid-1970's when America has a boy over.

A New Romney, Seeking to Connect, Reveals Some Quirks [NYT]