Mitt’s Great Sense of Humor


Jane Mayer, a writer at The New Yorker, joins a host of other writers and commentators in proposing that Mitt is severely challenged with respect to his sense of humor. Addressing the laughter and good humor on display at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, she obviously doubted Mitt’s ability to pull something like that off and even found an unnamed “Republican operative who is a veteran of Presidential campaigns”  who said “Romney could never do a night like this.”

"Hey let's put on a show!" partner, Dane McBride with Mitt (on the right) perform for other missionaries in France in 1968.

Mayer then continued:

Even with the best jokes scrolling down on the best teleprompters money can buy, there’s a certain social agility that some have, and others can’t fake. Reagan was a spectacularly good joke-teller. His timing, tilt of head, timbre of voice, and self-deprecation made for a completely professional presentation. This may be unsurprising, since he had been a professional actor, but it takes something more, and he had it. Obama does too.

I wrote previously how Mitt’s sense of humor was certainly misread in the recent “Cookiegate” episode wherein Mitt supposedly insulted cookies from a bakery in Pittsburgh. I explained at least in part what happened by saying that this would not be the first time that his sense of humor has been misunderstood. Molly Ball of the National Journal underscores that point by writing an entire article on the subject, from which I excerpted the following:

For all the hype about his woodenness, Romney, I submit, actually has the most sophisticated — and underappreciated — sense of humor of any presidential candidate. It is dry, self-deprecating and a bit dark, a far cry from the safely hokey laugh lines of most politicians on the stump. And it bespeaks a confidence and flair not often attributed to the much-maligned candidate.

Mitt’s long-time adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, points out what anyone who knows Mitt personally will say, that Mitt has a terrific sense of humor. Fehrnstrom recently told the Washington Post of practical jokes from past years. In one of those a state trooper had short-sheeted Mitt’s bed, so Mitt retaliated by creating a bogus letter addressed to the governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from the hotel management. The letter apologized “for the bad housekeeping and the short sheeting of his bed.” and informed the governor that management “had taken action to fire the chambermaid.” Fehrnstrom recounted that when Mitt showed the letter to the trooper the man’s “face went white.”

Unfortunately, using Google to try to find examples of Mitt being funny approaches the essence of futile activity. It seems the Web is filled with mocking and derision of Mitt’s lack of sense of humor or one that is totally out of whack. The links of that sort that are returned are numerous, and Google almost seems to serve up the negativity with what I almost thought was some measure of human-like satisfaction that my search was pointless. This led me to conclude that we are now faced with one more meme being foisted upon the voters by Mitt’s opponent and his friends in the media.

Luckily, Andrew Kaczynski at BuzzFeed also read the Molly Ball piece cited earlier and actually seems to agree that Mitt is “actually a pretty funny guy.” Kaczynski even documented his findings with video clips going all the way back to 2005, while my searches on Google YouTube failed to come up with any of those. Fortunately, I finally remembered that Charles Mitchell at Evangelicals for Mitt had linked to the BuzzFeed piece in his post entitled, “The M-I-Double Tizzle.”

Go to the BuzzFeed piece to watch all the clips, but here is a pretty funny one:

This entry was posted in Election 2012, Mitt, the Person by Mike. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mike

Michael Bush first met Mitt in 1966 when they reported for a one-week training session in Salt Lake City before heading to France on the 4th of July to serve as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 2 1/2 years. They also served at the same time in Bordeaux for several months in 1968, where they worked together quite often. Mike is on the faculty of Brigham Young University and grew up in Alabama. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Political Science. He also has an MBA from the University of Missouri and a PhD from The Ohio State University in Foreign Language Education with an emphasis in Computer Science. He is a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who spent most of his career at the US Air Force Academy teaching French and doing research in the area of computer-assisted language learning. He and his wife Annie have four children and 18 grandchildren. It goes without saying that the things written on this site reflect his views and opinions and are in no way intended to reflect those of Brigham Young University or its sponsor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2 thoughts on “Mitt’s Great Sense of Humor

  1. Michael, I admire your loyalty … I’ve retweeted and e-mailed your counterpoints.

    From my Twitter timeline @dandergreen, both frustration and fun reflected here.

    “I’ve believed in Mitt; wanted to see him through the eyes of his friends not media myopia … started here! If naysayers would only embrace these articles and testimonies without ridicule!”

    From a crusty 82nd Airborne Vet:
    “So did Romney do something wrong today like sneeze … Burp …?”

    I replied later: “Mitt responded to French reporter! A grey poupon piffle hour for Morning Joe mentalities … pardon me, but of course!”

    I’ve even snitched a line from Florence Jean Castleberry … “Morning Joe folks know Mitt was poking fun at himself, not the local color. Y’all can’t break our connection with Mitt, but y’all can kiss our grits!”

    Once after many times sniping Mitt, Scarborough claimed to speak for all the folks at home … I posted: “I am not everybody, but I am somebody at home and trust me, Joe Scarborough really does not speak for me!”

    From another vet, an average joe: “Man, I hate Libs who won’t listen to reason/fact but just continue to spew … ”

    I replied: “Same here, …! But I must admit feeling the same about hannities et al harping and puling and insisting that theirs is the only right!”

    My post after a fun round of Cavuto: “Mitt and Imus: one kinda crockett corny, one kinda crass; wouldn’t change a hair on either one of their heads … love ’em both!”

  2. Pingback: Mitt and Ann on CBS This Morning | Mitt: The Man

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *