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.”
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: