So "Romniacs" do exist

In this prolonged presidential primary of ours, Mitt Romney has been more of a frontwalker than a frontrunner. Slowly but surely, he’s won over party elders, Tea Party darlings and pluralities of Republican voters in important primary states. As a result, he’s amassed a pretty formidable lead in the delegate count and has grown his national support from his feared ceiling of 25 percent, proving it a floor.

All along, he’s brought out passion in those who oppose him, but rarely brought out passion in those who support him. Truly, I thought Ann Coulter was alone in her fervent defense of him. I was wrong. Meet the Romniacs:

“I’m just so fired up, I can’t even sleep at night,” said Joe McCutchen, 72, a former carpet mill owner who writes a conservative newsletter in Ellijay, Ga. …

To show his devotion, McCutchen submitted to mockery from Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” which came to film him at his house. But he’s always afraid somebody else is doing more, so when he meets other die-hard supporters, he subjects them to a little Romney-off.

“Do you wear stickers? ‘No.’ Do you answer the phone ‘Romney for president’? ‘No,’ ” McCutchen said. He does both, wearing a sticker on his lapel every day. So he always wins. “I’ve been told I’m his number-one supporter in the country.”

But even McCutchen has never named a child after Romney.

That happened in Orem, Utah, in 2008, while Romney was a contender in the previous GOP primary race. Jennifer Nielsen and her husband had joked that if their child arrived on Presidents’ Day they would name him after the candidate, whom they admired for his business experience.

He did. So they did.

“Little Mitt” is now 4, learning the ups and downs of his name: It’s cool that there’s a famous man on TV called “Mitt.” It’s bad that people often think his name is “Mitch.” Even in Utah, “they don’t think anybody would name their kid Mitt,” his mother said.

Two examples among … actually, not so many. But there are others. A 61-year-old woman in Arizona who writes poetry about Mitt. A 68-year-old man who has driven his truck, festooned with Romney stickers, to all but three of the early primary states. A 46-year-old business executive who volunteers as a DJ for Romney Radio, the brainchild of another Romniac.

It’s possible, then. Maybe, if Mitt Romney does in fact become the nominee, we’ll all wake up with Mitt mania. It’d be nice to be able to be this excited about any candidate.

Then again, if writing about politics has taught me anything, it’s to never put your faith in fallible men and women. Save your faith and all-consuming passion for something more transcendent!

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David Strom 6:01 AM on June 06, 2023