Friday, January 19, 2018
Opinion

Romney: I'm a likable guy, really!

What Mitt Romney must be thinking about his "likability" numbers:

The latest polls, jeesh, nearly 20 percent more people would rather have Obama as a dinner guest than me? What's that about? I have good manners. I know where to put a napkin and what fork to use for escargot — learned that bit in France. Okay, so I won't have a beer or a cup of Joe but I can slay a dinner crowd by recounting my youthful high jinks, like when my Cranbrook friends and I held that weird kid down and cut his hair, or when I guided that nearly blind teacher who we called "the bat" (get it?) into a closed door. Who says I don't have a sense of humor? I'm hysterical.

But despite all my likable qualities, only 27 percent chose me while 61 percent chose Obama when asked which of us is the more friendly and likable person? That's just crazy. Didn't anyone hear those nice things said about me in Tampa? What about the times I aided my fellow Mormons? That showed I'm good people, right? Why can't voters see that I'm not the out-of-touch rich guy as the other side unfairly paints me? What about what Ann said, about our hard times and eating all that tuna fish? I'm not a big fan of tuna fish, you know.

At least that thing with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan went well. Who couldn't like me after seeing how natural I was? I remembered to swing my arms a little while walking and wave looking relaxed and smile with my full face and not just my lips. My smile coach says I'm almost to the point of smiling without looking pained. Which is great since he was barely talking to me after I smirked upon leaving the podium after my comments over the consulate attacks in Libya. I know it was wrong to offer those press vultures a self-satisfied grin to criticize, but I couldn't help it. It felt so good to add another entry to the "Obama apology tour" ledger.

Yeah, with Libya we could have waited until the facts emerged but then we wouldn't have been able to spin the story into our narrative of Obama as an apologist and maybe a Muslim. I'm smiling to myself now just thinking about it — don't tell my coach.

There's gotta be a likability bounce coming out of Live! with Kelly and Michael. I mean I was such a sport to play that game, rapid-fire something. Ha! I bet people didn't think I'd know who Snooki is. Though maybe I should have chosen Honey Boo Boo, since she's from Georgia. Oh, well, don't overthink it.

Glad Ann jumped in to help me out with the question about a pet peeve, reminding me that I don't like it when she squeezes the toothpaste from the middle of the tube. If that doesn't harken back to a simpler time when loving couples had little to worry about but cute, inoffensive habits, I don't know what does. And that subliminal suggestion of thrift in that we share the same tube of toothpaste. Wow. A bankable likability moment for sure.

The only curveball was Michael's question about what I wear to bed. Gosh, so much of the "boxers versus briefs" conundrum was going through my head in those split seconds before I answered "as little as possible." Which was a clever dodge, if I say so myself. Okay, there were some jokes about the visuals and TMI. But that's better than having to explain temple garments, which would have shot the whole "we're just like you" message.

Really, though, I'm just as likable as the president, more so in fact, and I'd be a great guest for dinner at fully 53 percent of Americans' kitchen tables — everyone but the moochers.

Comments
Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

Editorial: More talk, answers needed on future of USF St. Petersburg

The Florida Legislature’s abrupt move to strip the University of South Florida St. Petersburg of its hard-earned separate accreditation and transform it back into a satellite of the major research university lacks detail and an appreciation for histo...
Published: 01/18/18

Another voice: Self-dealing by nursing home owners threatens patient care

The outsourcing of logistical support services, which became commonplace in the U.S. military in the 1990s and later was adopted by state prison systems, has now come to dominate the nursing home industry. And while nursing homes, unlike the military...
Published: 01/17/18
Editorial: Making illegal sewage discharges legal is wrong answer

Editorial: Making illegal sewage discharges legal is wrong answer

Three years into a crisis with its sewer system, St. Petersburg has a dandy new idea for dealing with the environmental fallout of dumping dirty water into the aquifer. Instead of committing to banning the outlawed practice, a consultant suggested th...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

Editorial: Tighten substitute teacher rules in Hillsborough

A substitute teacher at a Plant City elementary school berated a class of fourth graders — and then the school principal. Another compared a student to a stripper. Others were caught napping, hitting children, making sexual remarks, giving students b...
Published: 01/16/18
Updated: 01/17/18
Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

Editorial: Balancing the playing field for workers’ compensation

For the longest time, injured workers in Florida were basically at the mercy of the whims of employers to treat them fairly. A 2003 law aimed at reducing the cost of workers’ compensation coverage for businesses had the desired impact, but it also di...
Published: 01/16/18

Another voice: Why just Florida?

Cynicism has always been a part of politics, but rarely are politicians so brazen and self-serving as President Donald Trump and his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, have been over the past week. First they announced a new offshore drilling plan that ...
Published: 01/16/18
Editorial: King’s legacy still relevant in digital age

Editorial: King’s legacy still relevant in digital age

Today’s holiday honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. couldn’t be more timely. At a moment when the nation’s civic dialogue is choking on personal and political division, it is hard to remember an earlier time when role models were role m...
Published: 01/15/18

Another voice: 38 minutes of fear in Hawaii

In 1938, Orson Welles panicked the nation with a false alarm about a Martian invasion in the radio broadcast The War of the Worlds. That was farfetched, of course. But what happened on Saturday, sadly, was not so hard to imagine — or believe.Authorit...
Published: 01/14/18
Updated: 01/16/18
Editorial: Florida’s chance to make it easier to restore civil rights

Editorial: Florida’s chance to make it easier to restore civil rights

As it has for decades, Florida stubbornly clings to an inhumane, inefficient and indefensible system of justice that permanently sentences more than 1.5 million residents to second-class citizenship. This state automatically revokes the right to vote...
Published: 01/13/18
Editorial: Speak out against Trump’s vulgar remarks

Editorial: Speak out against Trump’s vulgar remarks

President Donald Trump’s vulgar outbursts during a White House meeting on immigration are racist and indefensible no matter how he parses them. They are not presidential, they undermine U.S. foreign relations and they do not reflect America’s values....
Published: 01/12/18