A History of Mitt Romney and Diapers

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An artist's rendition of Romney changing a diaper. Photo: Photos: Alex Wong/Getty Images, iStockphoto

Most people do not look forward to changing their baby's diapers. Not everyone. But most people. Which is understandable — it's not a pleasant experience. You never know what kind of noxious, exotic things you're going to find in there.

But Mitt Romney, in particular, really despises diapers. 

We were reminded of this yesterday when Romney, at a town hall in Ohio, went off on a tangent about his family:

“Grandkids are fabulous!” he said. “You don’t have to change their diapers and, and they love you."

This is telling. When describing the benefits of grandchildren, Romney places the absence of diaper-changing responsibilities — a seemingly minor factor — on par with unconditional love. It's like saying, "Being president is incredible: There's a bowling alley right in your basement, and also, you get to shape the future of the world." It's also unclear whether Romney would still find grandkids fabulous if they offered him love and required diaper-changing. Grandkids, under that scenario, might be "just okay."

The funny thing is, Ann Romney has praised her husband for teaching her how to change diapers when they first had a baby. According to a December 2007 AP report:

Ann Romney traveled with her husband Saturday, testifying to the little-known qualities she believes make him the preferred Republican presidential contender.

She said ... that her husband taught her how to both change a diaper and feed a baby, experience she lacked when she had the first of their five boys.

It turns out that before he had children of his own, Romney was wiping and powdering on a regular basis, as Ann testified:

"I did not grow up in these big Mormon families and all these kids and everything; I really grew up in the country in Michigan, and I never held a baby until I had my own."

Romney had experience in holding, feeding and cleaning babies from taking care of his nieces and nephews.

"So, he comes in handy," his wife said.   

Well, not that handy, actually. After teaching his wife how to change a diaper, Romney — apparently scarred by years of changing diapers for his entire extended Mormon family — stopped doing it himself, save for the most tolerable cases:

I was willing to change the urine-soaked diapers, but the messier types gave me dry heaves," he told GQ magazine in 2007. "So my wife allowed me to escape that."

Dry heaves? A bit dramatic, no? The man who promises to get tough on China and do whatever it takes to stop Iran from going nuclear also cowers in the face of baby poo?