Let’s hear it, southerners: Is Romney saying “bless his heart” about Obama a big deal?

posted at 9:21 pm on August 22, 2012 by Allahpundit

Via Ace and Twitchy, whose managing editors, Lori Ziganto and Jenn Taylor, are southern transplants and who seem palpably impressed that Mitt would “go there.” CBS reporter Jan Crawford calls this, half-jokingly I presume, “the ultimate dis.” Our own Mary Katharine Ham is a Durham, North Carolina native and would be able to settle this straightaway, but she’s unavailable right now; hopefully she’ll update my post or add one of her own to clarify.

Question for our southern readership, then, while we wait for the Hammer to chime in: How big an insult is this really? I’ve always understood it to be a gentle, almost pitying, but clearly condescending sort of jab, tantamount to “it’s precious how stupid you are.” But there must be more to it than that. Romney’s said flat out before that he doesn’t think Obama understands the economy, which is the gist of what he’s saying here too. The “bless his heart” thing obviously adds a bit more of a putdown oomph to it, enough so that southerners seem to think it’s an unusually potent shot, but I’m not getting it. What nuance am I missing? Should I be mentally substituting “President Doofus” for the BHH bit? Inquiring Yankee minds want to know. Frankly, Romney being Romney, he probably means “bless his heart” literally. Click the image to watch.

Update (MKH): Sorry to be chiming in late on this. My response is “meh.” “Bless his heart” is a catch-all phrase, used after a criticism, ostensibly to soften the blow rhetorically. It’s always slightly condescending, but can either denote real affection for the target (for an accident-prone child, for instance: “He’s always skinning his knees, bless his heart.) or derision, as it does in this case. This sounds like a continuation of Romney’s standard line about Obama not understanding the economy. If he’d lingered on “bless his heart” it would have come across more insulting. This just sounds like a surprisingly apt use of the phrase by a Northeasterner who’s comfortable with it. That being said, Touré will be calling it racist in 3, 2, 1.


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Here is the video of Pelosi saying “Bless his heart” and she’s done it more than once.

terryannonline on August 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM

whatcat on August 22, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Lófaszt, nehogy már!
Liam on August 22, 2012 at 10:47 PM

Whatever that is, I ain’t never heered anyone say it.

whatcat on August 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM

“Bless their hearts, it’s the philosophy Republicans in Congress have. And bless their hearts, they act upon their beliefs. It’s an ideology. We shouldn’t have a government role. So reduce the police, the firemen, the teachers, reduce their role and give tax cuts to the high end. That will stimulate the economy and everything will be good,” Pelosi said.

whatcat on August 22, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Far as I’m concerned, Pelosi is the singular reason to NEVER vote a woman into public office.

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM

Better yet, “bless his lil ol pea pickin heart”…. Momma always said Obama was eat up with stupid….bless his lil ol’ pea pickin heart!

tgdouglas on August 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Bless his/Her Heart is kinda like “For Git a Bout it.” Meaning depends upon the situation.

Roflmao

donabernathy on August 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM

single stack on August 22, 2012 at 10:31 PM

You wrote that wrong, it’s ‘American by birth, Southern by the grace of God’.

slickwillie2001 on August 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Pelosi says “Bless his Heart” all the time and she’s not a southerner.

terryannonline on August 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM

She’s never effectively wielded that phrase. Probably because she sounds like a bitchy fake no matter what she says.

Romney, on the other hand, was effective because it’s the last thing on earth I expected to come out of his mouth and it made me laugh out loud.

Wendya on August 22, 2012 at 10:58 PM

On second thought it could be RACIST! Whats that Cutter chic say or Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz?

ConcealedKerry on August 22, 2012 at 10:58 PM

By saying “well bless his heart” means that he is a simpleton, a dim wit, or dufus and Romney in correct!

Confederate on August 22, 2012 at 10:59 PM

You wrote that wrong, it’s ‘American by birth, Southern by the grace of God’.

slickwillie2001 on August 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM

But God loves Texans better.

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:00 PM

As a resident of NY, I actually never knew this… I could infer, I suppose that it means, “the poor fool” but I’d have figured only in an affectionate way. Sounds to me as if the NY translation is closer to “President Obama, the dipstick” replacing the “stick” portion of the latter word accordingly.

Gingotts on August 22, 2012 at 11:01 PM

gatorboy on August 22, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Who’s bothered? We’re having fun.

Cindy Munford on August 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

But God loves Texans better.

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Ssssshhhht…

We know that already and it just makes the rest of the world jealous.

cozmo on August 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Well, where I am from we reserve “Bless his Heart” for someone we know and like, usually a relative who is just dumber than a box of rocks and because of this makes poor choices.

Goes like this, “Cousin Johnny got his foot amputated today, poor thing was playing down at the train tracks and the train ran right over his foot.” Well, bless his heart! ;)

Momma on August 22, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Ssssshhhht…

We know that already and it just makes the rest of the world jealous.

cozmo on August 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

Makes me jealous, too. I’m stuck here in NY.

If the stuff hits the fan, I’m making my way to Texas to stand with Texans.

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM

Saying directly to someone, “Thank you for sharing that.” has the same meaning as an indirect “Bless his heart”. It means “Shut up and go away, you ignoramus.”

RobBert on August 22, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM

If it comes to that, you might want to learn the words to Texas, or Yellow rose of Texas if you want to make it across the Red with your hide intact.

cozmo on August 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM

He’s saying Obama is pathetic, it’s a diss without pity. And I’m from Alabama which I think qualifies me on this one.

brhoton on August 22, 2012 at 11:09 PM

She’s never effectively wielded that phrase. Probably because she sounds like a bitchy fake no matter what she says.

Romney, on the other hand, was effective because it’s the last thing on earth I expected to come out of his mouth and it made me laugh out loud.

Wendya on August 22, 2012 at 10:58 PM

True enough. She usually says when she’s about to rip on someone. And coming from it doesn’t mean much.

terryannonline on August 22, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Better yet, “bless his lil ol pea pickin heart”…. Momma always said Obama was eat up with stupid….bless his lil ol’ pea pickin heart!
tgdouglas on August 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM

If memory serves, that was a Tennessee Ernie Ford-ism.

whatcat on August 22, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Southerner here — it’s a gentler way of saying the person is an idiot.

Conservchik on August 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM

If it comes to that, you might want to learn the words to Texas, or Yellow rose of Texas if you want to make it across the Red with your hide intact.

cozmo on August 22, 2012 at 11:08 PM

Does the song “Texas Funerals” count?

I was raised on C&W. If I’m going to get killed, I rather it be by a Texan I’m trying to reach than a government I’m out to escape.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8CH_LFojvE

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM

This Texas native doesnt understand what the dis is here. Do you think it might have racial overtones about slave chains or something?

paulsur on August 22, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Just FYI, MKH is a native of Montgomery, Ala., but grew up in Durham, NC.

rivlax on August 22, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Obama has a heart?

darwin on August 22, 2012 at 9:25 PM

The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s hearts.

NeighborhoodCatLady on August 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM

This phrase is old school, polite Southern code for, if’n you can’t say somethin’ nice about somebody, don’t say nothin’ at all. Just bless their hearts.

Kissmygrits on August 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Does the song “Texas Funerals” count?

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:13 PM

As long as you can get the point across that you are one of the good yankees.

cozmo on August 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM

I usually reserve “bless hits heart” for someone I pity. It means, “I feel sorry for him because he’s so stupid that he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.”

Sine I don’t think Romney pities Obama,I think he used the phrase to diss him.

pullingmyhairout on August 22, 2012 at 11:21 PM

As long as you can get the point across that you are one of the good yankees.

cozmo on August 22, 2012 at 11:19 PM

If I make the hike to Texas to join Texans, then I’m either approved or shot.

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:22 PM

You forgot “left for bait”.

cozmo on August 22, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Texan here. It can mean multiple things, depending on the context, and how it’s said.

Cousin Sally’s been sick – “She’s been laid up with influenza for a week, Bless Her Heart” – sincere, said in a concerned voice.

Cousin Bubba buys a “rare” stuffed armadillo for $79 from a stranger – “He’s never been the sharpest knife in the drawer, Bless His Heart” – He’s an Akin-level dumbass, said with a little glee in the voice.

The Obama quote was obviously the latter – nothing racist, just a generalized jab. Someone in the lib media will gin it up into racism, of course – we’ve come to expect it.

Bouncing Beatnik on August 22, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Far as I’m concerned, Pelosi is the singular reason to NEVER vote a woman into public office.

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM

We suffer through men like Todd Akin and Joe Biden to get leaders like Reagan and Churchill. I see women like Nanzi Peloser as the price paid for women like Margaret Thatcher, Golda Mier and Sarah Palin.

Alberta_Patriot on August 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM

You forgot “left for bait”.

cozmo on August 22, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Or, other, to fend for myself which I have been doing a long time.

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:30 PM

The “bless his heart” thing obviously adds a bit more of a putdown oomph to it, enough so that southerners seem to think it’s an unusually potent shot, but I’m not getting it. What nuance am I missing? Should I be mentally substituting “President Doofus” for the BHH bit? Inquiring Yankee minds want to know. Frankly, Romney being Romney, he probably means “bless his heart” literally.

heh. Probably.
:)
Such wit AP. Nick pick up.

athenadelphi on August 22, 2012 at 11:31 PM

“It is free men and women that drive our economy. Freedom is what makes America work. And President Obama, bless his heart, has tried to substitute government for free people–and it has not worked, and it will never work,” Mitt Romney said at LeClaire Manufacturing in Bettendorf, Iowa today.

This message was approved by granny.

mike_NC9 on August 22, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Bless his heart = dumber than a bag of hammers

franklinstein on August 22, 2012 at 11:35 PM

We suffer through men like Todd Akin and Joe Biden to get leaders like Reagan and Churchill. I see women like Nanzi Peloser as the price paid for women like Margaret Thatcher, Golda Mier and Sarah Palin.

Alberta_Patriot on August 22, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Pelosi set back the value of women by 50 years. If you look at Pelosi and the other Democrat females, they have no respect of the great women you mentioned. Pelosi and NOW never speak of them, those great leaders are cast into the dustbin of liberalism. None of them will be mentioned in school textbooks, but you can be sure Michelle Obama will.

And why?

Liberal feminists are the precise reason why most people, even women, won’t want another woman in charge of anything for quite a long time to come.

Liam on August 22, 2012 at 11:35 PM

I agree with Confederate’s definition.

“Bless your heart” is similar to what y’all say up North: “with all due respect”. It can be a mild insult, or (if said with a slight smile) a real insult, i.e dumb-ass instead of simpleton.

LouisianaLightning on August 22, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Four things: one, yes, “bless his heart” is an insult in the South. It means that someone is pathetically, abjectly stupid or otherwise addled; two, it’s usually something you say to and about someone else, and it can indeed have a pitying sense to it. But pitying someone in the South can also be an insult. Southerners are proud people and don’t take to being pitied; three, Romney is not a southerner and wouldn’t know any of this; four, Romney wasn’t in the South or speaking of or to a southerner when he said this.

The key here is if the speaker is a southerner or if the audience is southern and the nonsoutherner knows what he’s saying (we’d know this because there’s a specific set of inflections one can choose from when saying “bless his heart” that conveys the precise meaning, be it pitying, insulting, an observation, a damnation, or any of about ten other things it can mean depending on how it’s said). In other words, it’s a huge stretch to imagine this one as an insult to Obama.

My verdict: not guilty of an insult, intentional or otherwise.

Fuzzy on August 22, 2012 at 11:44 PM

Memo to the uninitiated.

For those who have had “Bless his (or Her) heart!” leveled upon them by a cultured Southern Belle.

It’s about as close as one can come to saying “Eat S*it and Die!” politely. Especially when delivered with a beguiling smile.

Jack Deth on August 22, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Pretty much equivalent to “poor thing.”

Or, “You know, he tries, but he just doesn’t get it.”

Same ballpark.

The impact and intent can change depending upon the amount of sarcasm with which it’s said. Yet, no matter how much or how little sarcasm is included, it is never, repeat never, literal and sincere.

After all, if it’s literal and sincere, what’s the point?

IndieDogg on August 22, 2012 at 11:51 PM

I’ve heard this expression my entire life and about 75% of that time it’s been used as an honest expression of pity for someone who is experiencing a bad time. The other 25% of the time it’s been used in a “good Lord he sure is dumb, but bless his heart” kind of fashion.

Essentially in this sense, it’s like saying “good on him for trying but he’s just not up to it.”

JoeinTX on August 22, 2012 at 11:55 PM

See: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

Christien on August 22, 2012 at 11:58 PM

This phrase is old school, polite Southern code for, if’n you can’t say somethin’ nice about somebody, don’t say nothin’ at all. Just bless their hearts.

Kissmygrits on August 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Didn’t see your comment before posting. Bless my heart.

Christien on August 23, 2012 at 12:01 AM

See: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

Christien on August 22, 2012 at 11:58 PM

When it comes to liberals, destroy them with all you have. They’ll show you and me no mercy, so why should we play possum?

Liam on August 23, 2012 at 12:02 AM

See: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

Christien on August 22, 2012 at 11:58 PM

I thought it was, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then sit by me!”

topdog on August 23, 2012 at 12:12 AM

Romney using this generally thought of Southern coquilism means nothing. Two reasons. Obvious ones Allah. Think about it.

Bmore on August 23, 2012 at 12:12 AM

It’s a legitimate blessing.

exhelodrvr on August 23, 2012 at 12:14 AM

ahahahahaha romney saying “bless his heart” just sounds funny and a bit strange. (but i like it…?)

and yes, as Ace mentioned, sarah said it in her interview with greta. lol. she was referring to akin. and she’s used it other times too, and it sounds fine when she says it. XD you don’t really have to be a “southerner” to sound natural while saying it but… not romney!

Our own Mary Katharine Ham is a Durham, North Carolina native

wow really?!! 8D me tooooo ^______^ i lived in durham from age 1 to age 13 (i’m 21 now)

Sachiko on August 23, 2012 at 12:16 AM

This post is way too overwrought. I’ve lived in Georgia all my life, and it’s a more of a phrase than a saying. And for the most part, it is said with good intentions, not condescension, and it is used both as a pitying phrase and a complimentary phrase. It can be used sarcastically, and with derision, but Romney didn’t seem to use it that way. I’m not even sure Romney was playing to the crowd. Isn’t he in Iowa in that clip? I just think it was an innocent phrase that came to his mind. Now please, let the conversation turn to something substantive again.

kclibby on August 23, 2012 at 12:19 AM

Bouncing Beatnik on August 22, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Born and raised in Mississippi, living in Alabama now, and you’ve got it right. It depends on the speaker’s intentions. I’ve heard it used with the best of intentions, said to a group to speak of a person’s troubles and a hope they have courage to perservere.

But I’ve heard it used as a faux concern, with a lilt in the voice that means “you’re on your own Charlie”.

itsspideyman on August 23, 2012 at 12:32 AM

BFD. Obama is a dolt.

pat on August 23, 2012 at 12:43 AM

How about, “bless his heart, but Barak thinks we give a damn about what he thinks or does”.

Romney needs to use this line in all of his speeches.

Tater Salad on August 23, 2012 at 12:45 AM

Bless his heart would typically be used as a form of pity for some person that is at some crisis that is beyond their control.

It is not necessarily an insult but it can be used as such as an irony.

Similar terms:
Oh, look at that poor S.O.B.

Aw well you know he just can’t hep {sic} it.

I’d hate to be the poor bastard.

esnap on August 23, 2012 at 1:08 AM

For this Texan, it’s gone like this…
2009: Bless his heart.
2010: Really?
2011: Dude! No way!
2012: WTF! Enough already!

Empiricist on August 23, 2012 at 1:28 AM

I’m sure that MSNBC will be able to explain how it’s code for “the n-word” or something. And probably has something to do with decriminalizing rape too.

Jingo95 on August 23, 2012 at 1:43 AM

So Obama has a heart? He must be the Tin Man then.

Decoski on August 23, 2012 at 1:46 AM

or the Scarecrow?

Decoski on August 23, 2012 at 1:47 AM

My Momma was a hillbilly girl from Wheeling,WV and trust me Bless His Heart is not a complement at all

JKotthoff on August 23, 2012 at 2:41 AM

She may not be speakin at that thar convention thingy… But it sounds like Mitt’s been listen to the Cuda’… Bless his lil heart…
-

RalphyBoy on August 23, 2012 at 2:48 AM

This Texas native doesnt understand what the dis is here. Do you think it might have racial overtones about slave chains or something?

paulsur on August 22, 2012 at 11:14 PM

*SNORT* Good thing I wasn’t drinking yet!

“Bless his heart” is about as exquisitely southern a way to put someone down as there ever was. I didn’t hear it used as much growing up in Columbia SC, as I did later living in a couple of smaller rural towns.

The phrase was only used by women (at least as far as I ever heard it,) and it was a stone-cold putdown reserved for only the most pathetic examples of human stupidity, but with just enough honey spread on top to rub it in. Sweet southern style, baby.

Harbingeing on August 23, 2012 at 3:53 AM

It works much better, if’n y’all say “bless his little heart” then them folks that read things literally can receive the correct communication.

Don L on August 23, 2012 at 5:14 AM

Then there’s the Ron Reagan version: “Now there you go agin Jimmy”

Don L on August 23, 2012 at 5:17 AM

I am in the Middle East and my time zones are way off ya’lls, but I’m from the South and Bless His/Her Heart is reserved for dolts and dullards.

BTW did you ever hear the expression “I could just pinch his head off?” It means I’d like to kill the bas…..! (Not the President of course. Love southern colloquialisms.

hip shot on August 23, 2012 at 5:22 AM

Should I be mentally substituting “President Doofus” for the BHH bit?

Yes.

tru2tx on August 23, 2012 at 6:50 AM

While I’d like to think that Romney would be using the southern meaning here, it did not register with me like that when I watched the video. He said it in Iowa rather than in the south, and when we say it in the south, we usually put a pause in there to separate it from the rest of the sentence so everyone in the know understands what you’re trying to say.

Odysseus on August 23, 2012 at 6:58 AM

Yankee by birth – Southern by choice (or as they say down here ‘by the Grace of God’). Bless his/her/your heart is a universal dismissive Southern niceism that can mean any number of things – so, of course the libs will find a racist message that doesn’t exist. The intensity of the phrase depends on how many words you add to it and whether it is preceded by the word well, how many L’s you add to it and if you throw in a lil’ ol’

So – ‘Wellllll – bless your lil’ ol’ heart’ means shut up and get out of my face. I think the way Romney used it here it means – he just doesn’t get it – something Obama says all the time. Now when Obama says ‘They, they they just don’t get it’ he knows its not true because he always repeats a pronoun before he lies.

NeoDawg on August 23, 2012 at 7:06 AM

NC here…it’s a put down, Southerners use that as a total put down, depending on the tone. It’s a nuance kind of thing.

Mitt didn’t have it, it was sincere saying that Obama’s effort was sincere but fell well short.

In other contexts it means, “up yours, you stupid …”

Like:

I hear you daughter is pregnant…response “Well bless your heart for taking the time out of the day to express your thoughtfulness”.

Meaning: Up yours b*tch, mind your own business…

right2bright on August 23, 2012 at 7:08 AM

Alabama here. There are three common uses of the phrase.

1) He just doesn’t get it (is naive). “His wife told him she was taking an art class 3 nights a week. He believed her….bless his heart.”

2) He/she is dumb as a rock. “She was looking for grits on the canned good aisle….bless her heart”.

3) Here it’s used to deliver a biting insult, without making yourself sound b-i-itchy. “She thinks those jeans make her look skinny….bless her heart.” (Of course, b-i-itchy is exactly what the speaker intended.)

I haven’t heard the video, but from the text I would say Romney was using a combo of 1 and 3.

jeanneb on August 23, 2012 at 7:08 AM

I grew up in the same part of Michigan where Romney did (although much later and that was a “Pure Michigan” “Bless His Heart”. It’s said quickly like that, and it means “He’s trying really hard but he’s so stupid that he’ll never succeed”.

“Look at that dog trying to carry the 4′ stick through the 3′ doorway – he keeps running it into the doorjamb. Bless his heart, he hasn’t figure out how to turn his head.” (Why did umbrellas come to mind?)

It can also be used to describe someone who is struggling against huge odds, like the family with an enormous string of recent bad luck.

Daisy_WI on August 23, 2012 at 7:11 AM

right2bright:

How could I have left out the “up yours” angle?!!! I should be ashamed to call myself a Southerner!

jeanneb on August 23, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Upstate NY here.
Have some good friends from the South. He, LA. She, Tenn.
From them I’ve learned that a Southener could curse a blue streak at you and you’d be OK. But when they drop a “Bless your heart” on you, you’d be wise to reconsider what you just said/did. Especially, if coming from a lady.

Jabberwock on August 23, 2012 at 7:19 AM

They have a version of bless his heart in Indonesia, I’m told…shut up and eat your dog.

jan3 on August 23, 2012 at 7:24 AM

So you “he’s just copying Palin people … Since when was Palin a southerner? I think Alaska is waaaaaaaay north of the mason-Dixon line.

Arssanguinus on August 23, 2012 at 7:25 AM

This was not a southern style “bless his heart”. That would require pauses before and after the phrase. This Yankee version isn’t quite as insulting as I would have preferred, but “Mitt”, ..pause…pause…”bless his heart”….pause…pause…”tried his best!”

essequam on August 23, 2012 at 7:26 AM

This was not a southern style “bless his heart”. That would require pauses before and after the phrase. This Yankee version isn’t quite as insulting as I would have preferred, but “Mitt”, ..pause…pause…”bless his heart”….pause…pause…”tried his best!”

essequam on August 23, 2012 at 7:26 AM

Yeah, exactly…I don’t know how many NC I insulted when I moved out here not understanding the nuance of this simple phrase…but it is a loaded one for sure.

The pauses, the inflection, it all comes together when you hear it flow off the lips of a southern belle…it is nasty, coated in honey.

right2bright on August 23, 2012 at 7:32 AM

Without even thinking about it, I just used the phrase. FOX was reporting that the hurricane means the 9/11 trial at Gitmo will be delayed…and the families who travelled there for justice will have to leave and come back…again.

“Bless their hearts“. (Note, in this usage, there is strong emphasis on the last word.)

jeanneb on August 23, 2012 at 7:35 AM

Someone said Pelosi is not a Southerner. Sort of: her family’s from Baltimore, a city which has both Southern and Northern antecedents – it didn’t seceded during THE war, but there were riots against Union troops coming through on the way to DC in 1861. For that reason, it’s entirely possible that’s an expression she heard fairly commonly growing up.

CatoRenasci on August 23, 2012 at 7:44 AM

This is a strongly nuanced phrase.

It can mean pity for someone you like but don’t know well: “he had a heart attack? Bless his heart.”

It can be used to excuse ignorance: “He said what? Oh, bless his heart.”

Or, I think in this case, it can be used as a response to someone who is wrongheaded and spiteful without getting in the muck yourself: “Oh, he really said that? Bless his heart. No let me explain my position.”

sgmstv on August 23, 2012 at 7:45 AM

It’s kinda on the same par as “You don’t sweat much for a fat girl”

flytier on August 23, 2012 at 7:47 AM

Saying directly to someone, “Thank you for sharing that.” has the same meaning as an indirect “Bless his heart”. It means “Shut up and go away, you ignoramus.”

RobBert on August 22, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Similar to “and how’s that working out for you?”, meant not in a good way.

Paul-Cincy on August 23, 2012 at 7:47 AM

There is also a (perhaps archaic) Southern use of the phrase as “bless your heart” — as a totally not sarcastic or put down thank you for a small kindness. My very Southern (born during Reconstruction and very Unreconstructed) grandmother used “Bless your heart, honey” quite frequently when someone brought her something or did her a favor.

CatoRenasci on August 23, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Yes, it is a big deal. It’s how Southern women tell off someone without getting dirty.

doublezero12 on August 23, 2012 at 7:56 AM

Excellent speech by Mitt. You can tell the man is fired up and wants to win this.

We’re in for an ugly next couple of months with disgusting attacks from Obama’s minions, but we’ll pull this off. :-) I have faith in the voters not to be fooled by the divisive, incompetent, race-card playing, class warefare-loving Barack Obama.

ROMNEY/RYAN FOR THE WIN!

bluegill on August 23, 2012 at 8:00 AM

As a southerner – born and bred – I have used the expression “bless your heart” all my life. It can be a putdown – but, in my experience, it is more often used to express sympathy. If you’re talking to someone who is going through a difficult time, you’d say “bless your heart” to express sympathy.

themediansib on August 23, 2012 at 8:01 AM

yes, it’s the southern way of saying he’s kinda stupid, ridicule and laughing at him at it’s best.

tm11999 on August 23, 2012 at 8:06 AM

but I’m not getting it.

Awww bless your heart, Allah.

Badger40 on August 23, 2012 at 8:07 AM

President Øbama, bless his heart…

Bwaaahahahahaaa! I grew up in Virginia and yes, it cracks me up.
If anyone has begged for such condescension, it is the arrogant, condescending, incompetent Dear Leader. Let him have a dose of his own crap.

Lefties’ noses are bent out of shape? Good.

Romney +1
Øbama 0

petefrt on August 23, 2012 at 8:07 AM

That said, when I was young, my very small-town Southern grandma used (and still uses) “bless his heart” as sincerely as humanly possible about people she loved. Sadly, she’s about the only one left who does.

DavidW on August 22, 2012 at 9:33 PM

My grandma in southern IN just north of Louisville (Loo-vul)
says it a lot.
I know a woman my age from NC now living here in ND & she says it a lot.
Don’t worry. It’s still being used.

Badger40 on August 23, 2012 at 8:13 AM

Distract, divert. Distract, divert.

Dante on August 23, 2012 at 8:19 AM

It could be used about Prince Harry, too. He went to Vegas and now nude pictures of him are all over the internet, bless his heart.

scalleywag on August 23, 2012 at 8:22 AM

All of this is getting ridiculous… Everything is code for racism. I am waiting for a news outlet to say that Mitt Romney simply running for president is code for racism because he wouldn’t be running for president if he was not racist.

publius75 on August 23, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Mitt is moving toward being more populist in the tone of his speeches. He realizes that he cannot win this thing without Regan Conservatives in the Heartland, especially Dixie.

And, yes, AP, it was a total putdown, in this case.

…..From DeSoto County, Mississippi…bless your heart! :)

kingsjester on August 23, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Distract, divert. Distract, divert.

Dante on August 23, 2012 at 8:19 AM

I thought that was your job.

kingsjester on August 23, 2012 at 8:28 AM

This constant nitpicking of words is boarding on paranoia. Surly there are other, truly important issues that we should be discussing.

rplat on August 23, 2012 at 8:29 AM

Nope, you shouldn’t. Some of us yanks married southern girls and picked up a few things. Although since we’re pretty sharp up here, the occasion to use such a remark rarely comes up.

Well… Maybe but I was taking another ‘dog whistle’ jab with that comment. lol

MechanicalBill on August 23, 2012 at 8:31 AM

I am amused at those that think that this quote is merely a southern thing. It isn’t. Old line southwesterners use it quite often also. Although, to be fair, much of the southwest was settled by displaced southerners after the ‘late great unpleasantness’.

I’ve also noticed it to be a not uncommon expression in other, mainly rural, places outside of the south. It is used in Utah also, but not being a native of that state, and having visited it all of maybe 2 months in my lifetime, I can’t say for certain whether or not it is a gentle gibe, or if the words are meant at face value.

Natrium on August 23, 2012 at 8:32 AM

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