Thursday, December 15, 2011

That Zany Mitt Romney

It’s best not to make too much of it, but still.

Yesterday, during an interview with the New York Times, Mitt Romney hurled his worst against Newt Gingrich. He charged the former speaker with being “zany.”

Considering all the money Romney is spending on his crack communications operation you would have thought he could come up with something that did not make him look like a fool.

Say what you will about Newt Gingrich, the last word you would ever think of is zany. Those who have banded together to stop Gingrich are not worried because they see him as a clown.

Zany means clownish. More specifically it pertains when someone who is not a clown tries to mimic the silliness of a real clown. A zany is a fake clown, a clown who is not funny. It refers to someone who is playing the buffoon, who is not seriously funny but is ludicrous.

To be fair, Gingrich has had an occasional zany idea. When you spend every working hour trying to find new ways to solve the nation’s problems, some of your ideas are going to seem zany.

Like… mining on the moon.

Sounds zany, don’t you think? Unless it happens, of course.

Gingrich has been criticized for suggesting that poor children be enlisted to do janitorial work in high schools. Some people agree; some disagree; some are horrified.

It is not a zany idea. It addresses the failure of high schools to instill a work ethic in children today. The picture of high school children sweeping floors and cleaning lavatories is not pretty,  but what are the current alternatives?

When Gingrich said that the Palestinians were an "invented people" he caused considerable anguish among the foreign policy elite. Still, it was not a zany idea.

Regardless, until yesterday no serious person was using the word “zany” in everyday conversation. So, you have to wonder where Romney found it.

Since everyone agrees that the term does not apply to Gingrich, the next logical conclusion is that it applies to Romney himself. It’s almost archaic, fitting perhaps for someone who seems to be more archaic than most. 

Today, no one is talking about Newt’s zaniness. Everyone is talking about Mitt Romney’s failure to be funny.

Have you ever thought that Mitt Romney had a sense of humor? Have you ever thought that he could be cool and cutting and funny at once? You might picture him enjoying a good chuckle while watching a zany vaudeville act, but still, when it comes to humor Mitt is out of his element. Perhaps that's one of the reasons that so few people like him.

Yesterday, trying to show off for the New York Times, Romney tried to be funny; he ended up being fake-funny. He ended up looking: zany.

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