Americans famously just want their presidents to be likable guys, people they'd want to have a beer with. It's a questionable standard that's led, arguably, to some pretty meaningful geopolitical problems. Of more immediate and pressing concern, it has also led to some rather painful attempts at jokes from candidates without a natural sense of humor or any talent for delivery.
Take, for instance, this uncomfortable moment in which Tim Pawlenty asks if someone calling him "vanilla" is "playing the race card."
Then there's Mitt Romney, who, in an attempt to shake the robot reputation that's long dogged him, has instead managed to establish himself as the early leader for presidential candidate worst with a joke. First, he thought pretending a waitress was grabbing his ass would get him some laughs. He followed that up with this perplexingly terrible shtick in a New Hampshire diner, where it landed with a thud:
“I saw the young man over there with eggs Benedict, with hollandaise sauce with the eggs there,” Romney said. “And I was going to suggest to you that you serve your eggs with hollandaise sauce in hubcaps. Because there’s no plates like chrome for the hollandaise.”
Today, from Romney, the most tone-deaf doozy to date:
Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop here on Thursday, listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own.
“I should tell my story,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m also unemployed.”
Get it? It's funny because he's actually loaded! His
circuits gut told him he couldn't miss with that one.