A savory snack to cleanse the palate. I’ll cut him a break on this quote because, after all, he doesn’t interact much with alcohol:
Romney had a bunch of reporters up to his Wolfeboro lake house in 2010 for a barbecue. I will break the off-the-record agreement to confirm for everyone that he does, in fact, like hot dog best. He also offered me a "Samuel Adams Light" cc @KevinMaddenDC @PrestonCNN https://t.co/AfriwzEUqz
— Peter Hamby (@PeterHamby) May 4, 2018
But how can we forgive him this? You expect painfully stilted attempts to relate to the common man from Romney. You don’t expect them to be so stilted that you’re left wondering whether he was truly born on this planet.
“My favorite meat is hot dog, by the way. That is my favorite meat,” he told a gathering of supporters as they joined him recently for a casual dinner organized by his campaign. “My second favorite meat is hamburger. And, everyone says, oh, don’t you prefer steak? It’s like, I know steaks are great, but I like hot dog best, and I like hamburger next best.”
Middle-class meat good, upper-class meat bad. How can a man who won a gubernatorial race, a presidential nomination, and (soon) a Senate seat be this awkward in schmoozing voters? Which staffer briefed him that “hot dog” is a type of meat?
“Of course he was born on this planet, AP.” Was he?
My favorite Mitt Romney Is Relatable moment of all time is when I watched him struggle to identify a donut pic.twitter.com/wBF2JU9KXS
— 𝕕𝕠𝕣𝕤𝕖𝕪 (@dorseyshaw) May 4, 2018
Lefties are windmill-dunking on him and, frankly, he deserves it:
When I go to ballpark to view sport, what better refreshment than a fresh slab of hot dog https://t.co/oUozBfO3o7
— Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt) May 4, 2018
ROMNEY: Ahoy, Sir! I’ll take one heated dog sausage, that famous American meat tube, with your finest Heinz tomato chutney
BALLPARK VENDOR: What
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) May 4, 2018
Romney talking about fast food is like Trump talking about faith: They’re each so far out of their element that there can’t help but be “tells” in their rhetoric. If you want to talk hot dogs, you ask Trump, the real populist. By all accounts he eats nothing but garbage 24/7; he can probably riff impromptu on the comparative merits of every type of dog Nathan’s sells. Stay in your lane, Mitt.
I don’t know why Romney’s straining so hard to sound “relatable” anyway. No one craves relatability from him. In a way, people like him because he’s not all that relatable. He’s a consummate dad figure — smart, wholesome, dependable, hopelessly out of touch with the things we kids busy ourselves with. You want Romney to walk into a room, spot an Amazon Echo, and say, “What on earth is that?” Then, when it talks, he’s bowled over. And if he’s going to try to pander to you, you want it to be stilted and dorky. You want him asking you what your favorite Kanye song is and then reading off an index card some staffer just handed him, “My favorite is, let’s see here … ‘Gold Digger’?” On a relatability scale of one to 100, he only needs to reach a five or so. That’s how massive the curve is for him.
But “my favorite meat is hot dog”? Is he trying to lose this race?
I’ll leave you with this, another case in which the relatability bar was set at about ankle level and somehow Mitt still couldn’t quite clear it. Sigh.