stuck in the mittle

John Boehner Cannot Make People Love Mitt Romney

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney participates during the Wolfeboro Independence Day parade on July 4, 2012 in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The Romney's took a break from their vacation to march in the parade.
Unloved. Photo: Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

According to a report by Roll Call, John Boehner recently offered up a “surprisingly frank assessment” of the Republican nominee’s nonexistent cult of personality. During a question-and-answer session following a fund-raiser in Wheeling, West Virginia, last week, an unidentified woman made this heartbreaking plea to the Speaker of the House: “Can you make me love Mitt Romney?” The answer was no. Apparently, no mere mortal has that kind of power. 

No,” Boehner said. “Listen, we’re just politicians. I wasn’t elected to play God. The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I’ll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama.

“Mitt Romney has some friends, relatives and fellow Mormons … some people that are going to vote for him. But that’s not what this election is about. This election is going to be a referendum on the president’s failed economic policies.

“Mitt Romney believes, just like we do, that if we’re going to get the economy back, if we’re going to put the American people back to work, we need to fix the tax code, we need to stop the regulatory juggernaut that’s going on in Washington and we need to fix our economy. Solid guy, he’s going to do a great job, even if you don’t fall in love with him.”

Reached for comment, the Romney campaign did its best to not act hurt. Adviser Kevin Madden tried to focus on the nice(ish) parts of the remarks, saying, “John [Boehner]’s right in that speeches and lofty rhetoric haven’t gotten the job done for the American people in the Obama era, and that Governor Romney’s dedicated focus on the economy can and will put the country back on track.” He added that the 2012 election was about “fixing the American economy,” “putting Americans back to work,” “putting the country back on track towards a brighter future,” and — here is the most inspiring part — “competence.” 

Sorry, Republican lady — and Republicans in general — but if a weepy romantic like Boehner isn’t even going to bother trying to convince you that Mitt might just be the man of your dreams, then it’s obviously time to admit that you settled and get on with it. Sure, you can make like Rupert Murdoch and get all publicly pouty, but what’s the point? Your fate is sealed, forever intertwined with that of a humor-challenged robot whose religion probably weirds you out. On the plus side, he is very rich, and he’s got a great head of hair. 

Also, over the next few days, he’ll be hanging out in the Hamptons! This sweltering weekend marks a big fund-raising effort for Romney, who is expected to bring in $3 million from a get-together at the home of billionaire financier Ron Perelman. Why not join him? 

Tickets range from $5,000 for lunch to $25,000 for a V.I.P. photo reception. Another will be held at the home of Clifford M. Sobel, an ambassador to Brazil under President George W. Bush, and a final dinner will take place at the Southampton estate of the billionaire industrialist David H. Koch, where the going rate for entry is $75,000 a couple and $50,000 a person.

A campaign source who spoke to the New York Times about the events echoed Boehner’s room-temperature statements, saying, “There’s enough interest in stopping Obama that you don’t need to hire entertainment and celebrity chefs” sometimes associated with Obama fund-raisers. Besides, as the paper noted, “the real estate should be entertainment enough.” (Koch’s home is valued at over $18 million, and Perelman’s spread is reportedly worth $25 million, with grounds that have been called “the eighth wonder of the horticultural world” by at least one person.)

And if that’s not enough excitement for donors: A large group representing Occupy Wall Street, Move On, Greenpeace, and the Long Island Progressive Coalition is planning to stage a protest at Koch’s house on Sunday. “We want everyone who’s not arriving by helicopter to have to pass us by and be shamed by us,” said one organizer. “We’re really hoping to be at the base of his driveway on the road there.”