Independent’s Eye by Joe Gandelman
Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney is lagging way behind President Barack Obama on “likeability” in several polls. Analysts say it’s not easy to bring those numbers up. So here’s a suggestion: Romney should use more humor. He should use self-depreciating humor and reworded “switched” classic jokes. Romney should do something like this:
“Hi, folks. I’m Mitt Romney and I’m running for President against Barack Obama. Obama wants four more years. My teeth are brighter than his handling of the economy. Sorry I’m late but I was delayed due to a session with my architect. We’re designing the car elevator for my La Jolla home. It supports half the weight of the elevator custom built to carry Rush Limbaugh. Now we need an Election Day elevator to move Barack Obama.
“I visited Obama at the White House for lunch today and his chef gave me a hot dog, using a childhood recipe of Obama’s. It was OK, but it was hard to get it in my mouth with the dachshund’s legs wiggling out of the bun.
“I got a million of them. Not jokes. Just dollars — and changed political positions.
“Hey, my advisors told me to use humor, so sit back and enjoy it. ‘Sit back and enjoy it’ — that’s the new slogan of the Secret Service. What’s the big deal about this Secret Service scandal, anyway? The accused agents were only doing to hookers what Washington does to voters.
“Last night I invited Newt Gingrich over for dinner. I took one look at Newt and said, ‘Newt, are you wearing a girdle?’ He said yes. I said, ‘How long have you been wearing a girdle?’ He said, ‘Ever since Callista found it in the glove compartment of my car.’
“People ask me about my speeches and my need for zingers. I had a great zinger about Obama using Teleprompters, but didn’t deliver it yesterday because my staff forgot to put it on my Teleprompter. People say I don’t like common people. I do — if they’re properly cooked.
“Well, THAT joke tanked. That’s the last time I’ll buy switched jokes from Grover Norquist.
“All the talking heads and other Republicans including Jeb Bush say I have to do better with Hispanic voters. Oh, really? Hispanic voters love me. I was in California the other day and after I spoke to a Latino audience they gave me a nickname: El Gran Estupido. They told me it’s a name many Latinos already call me. I also visited Chinatown. They gave me a name in Chinese: Yu So Dum.
“These are the jokes, folks. Well, actually the real jokes are at the Democratic National Committee. My advisors told me a candidate who’s too stiff is as out of place as Ted Nugent at a meditation class. My advisors say I have to be more loveable. You know the saying “All the world loves a lover.” Except in the Secret Service. Gotta run. I have to pick a Vice President. I was thinking of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, but he’d cause too much damage when I tie him to the roof of my car.”
If Romney did jokes his poll numbers would immediately rise. You can imagine the reaction of cable talk show hosts:
Sean Hannity: “Romney has always been a scream and a wit but the liberal media is biased and censored it. George Zimmerman’s brother will be on in a moment to discuss this media bias.”
Rachael Maddow: “Today we saw the emergence of a new Mitt Romney who tells jokes. Mitt Romney was telling jokes which was the emergence of a new Romney. Jokes were told by Mitt Romney which is new. The emergence today of Mitt Romney telling jokes was new. What was new today was Mitt Romney telling jokes — jokes, sentences or paragraphs that contain set ups and punch lines. Mitt Romney told them today. It emerged. ”
Keith Olbermann: “For his rotten jokes Mitt Romney is today’s worst person in the world. No, wait. The worst person in the world is the limo guy who drove me to the studio. He smelled and talked to me.”
Copyright 2012 Joe Gandelman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote for newspapers overseas and in the United States. He has appeared on cable news show political panels and is Editor-in-Chief of The Moderate Voice, an Internet hub for independents, centrists and moderates. CNN’s John Avlon named him as one of the top 25 Centrists Columnists and Commentators. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can be booked to speak at your event at www.mavenproductions.com.