Of course, I’ve never actually jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, or any other kind of airplane. I’ve never had any reason to. I’ve put my toes on the edge of an open helicopter at hundreds of feet up a few times to get choice footage. I’ve seen skydivers. I was once in a plane that I thought might crash. Other than that, I’m a lifelong skydiver every bit as much as Mitt Romney is a lifelong hunter.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was wrong to suggest he was a lifelong hunter even though he never took out a license, campaign rival Mike Huckabee said Sunday on Face The Nation.
“I think it was a major mistake,” said Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor. “It would be like me saying I’ve been a lifelong golfer because I played putt-putt when I was 9 years old and I rode in a golf cart a couple of times.”
“I think American people are looking for authenticity,” Huckabee added. “Match their record with their rhetoric.”
If you want to see the video of Huckabee slamming Romney, it’s at the link.
Behind the goofiness of Romney declaring himself a lifelong hunter on the basis of two hunting trips spread out over several decades, and of a third or fourth tier candidate making hay of it to get some press, is a real idea: Don’t be a Hillary.
Hillary Clinton, like Al Gore, has a habit of making grandiose claims that don’t survive contact with reality. She claimed to have been named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Everest, when he hadn’t yet climbed Everest when she was born (she was born in 1947; Sir Hillary climbed Everest in 1953). I still don’t buy her tale about almost joining the Marines. She had already been siding with the Black Panthers by the time she says she thought about becoming one of the few and the proud. Gore claimed to have been the inspiration for Love Story, claimed to have been the spearpoint on Love Canal, etc. John “Magic Hat” Kerry and his tale of spending Christmas in Cambodia on the orders of Richard Nixon, who wasn’t even president yet when Kerry claims without evidence to have been in Cambodia, also comes to mind. These people are serial Walter Mittys, and are not people that a serious Republican should find himself compared to for any reason. But with his hunting silliness, Romney has invited the unflattering comparison.
Romney shouldn’t be like them and, truth be told, he doesn’t even need to be like them. His record in business, with the Olympics, and as governor of Massachusetts is impressive enough to run on without embellishment. So he should run on that. He should keep coming home to the party on the social and national security issues, and shouldn’t claim to be something that he isn’t. When you’re caught out, you just look phony, and that’s going to lose you some traction down the road.
Well, if you’re a Republican it’ll cost you. Democrats seem to have more of an arms-length relationship with truth-telling and have a much higher tolerance for politicians with delusions of grandeur.