May 14, 2007

Of politicians and perfection

From last night's "60 Minutes" segment on Mitt Romney, as reported by Mike Wallace --

Wallace: "The rap on you, of course, is that you are too smooth, too handsome, too polished. Are you really known as 'Matinee Mitt' ...?"
Romney: "That's the rap on you, Mike ..."
Wallace: "No, no, no ..."
Romney: "... Too smooth, too polished ..."

Then, as to be expected, the rapid-fire edit away from the conversation before the inevitable smile from Romney to show he was having a little fun at Wallace's expense. When I first saw the exchange in the previews that open the show, I thought Romney was criticizing the media, as epitomized by Wallace. It wasn't until I watched the actual segment that I realized Romney was being irreverent, just as he'd done when Jay Leno posed a similar question on "The Tonight Show."

The "too smooth, too polished, too handsome" rap could also be leveled at another presidential contender from Massachusetts, albeit one from decades ago -- John F. Kennedy. Difference being, Kennedy was a Democrat, though I doubt he'd be one today.

Smooth, polished and handsome isn't acceptable in actual politicians running for president, only for a long-dead icon who provided the template.

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