It is easy to make fun or Romney’s stiff, unnatural way with crowds and individuals. He talks funny (probably the first person to use the word “golly” unironically since The Beaver). He loves lawyers, rules, and notes.
But when you’re up close to him, watching him work a room, sometimes cracks appear. He strains so hard at sociability you find yourself kind of rooting for the guy… for me, it inspires the same sort of mix of dread and hope that you might feel when you watch a person who has just overcome a speech impediment deliver a presentation.
And mixed in with this determined affability is a genuine desire to want to make a connection… which makes it all the more weird to watch. At one house party in Iowa, he approached a buffet and rubbed his hands together, ready to dig in. “Now, what should I do here?” he asked no one in particular. There were cold cuts, sandwich buns, and — the Midwest’s gift to American cuisine — melted Velveeta-and-Rotel-tomato dip.
Romney picked up a sandwich bun. He reached over to the ladle wading in the Velveeta concoction. My heart started to sink. I wanted to yell, like you do at horror movie: “Don’t go in the attic! Don’t go in the attic!” but “Not the cheese, not the cheese!”
And then he drizzled melted cheese on the sandwich bun.
I had to turn away.
All that said, you can’t write a Romney piece without a software reference. Here’s the latest one.