Road Romney

Written by Nexcerpt on February 12th, 2012 in Life & Lessons.
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Given Mitt Romney’s history with day trips, the campaign’s current promotion seems bizarre. The 29 June 2007 Boston Globe summarized the tale of an unfortunate 1983 cartop ride of Romney’s Irish Setter, Seamus:

…hours into the ride, Seamus apparently suffered diarrhea, which ran down the back window of the car. Romney’s sons, all under 14, howled in disgust. Romney pulled off the road into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, and they drove on to Ontario.

That may not sound like the sort of road trip you would enjoy — but now you have a chance to find out!

On the Road With Mitt Romney

On the Road With Mitt Romney

Romney has offered varying accounts — the most recent and perhaps stable version to Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who pressed the candidate recently: “I have a yellow Lab named Winston. I would no sooner put him in a kennel on the roof of my car than I would one of my children. Question: What were you thinking?

One element is consistent: every telling of Seamus’ misery involves a day on the road with Mitt.

Fool me once, Seamus on you.

The tale has become widely known, and not to Romney’s benefit. In fact, Romney’s detractors on the web took a page from the Search Engine Guide to Political Assassination — as in the Rick Santorum smear — linking his name with something so strange that people can’t resist looking. As millions of people have observed, the top result when searching Google for the name “Santorum” is an intentionally contrived definition of Santorum.

Try a similar search for the name “Romney.” Yesterday, the result was in fourth place — now, just twenty-four hours later, it is the second Google result behind only the official Mitt Romney campaign site.

A Day On the Road With Mitt Romney

A Day On the Road With Mitt Romney

Fool me twice, Seamus on me.

Given the widely criticized treatment of Seamus, and the online effort to tie such effects to Romney permanently, the campaign’s current promotion seems astonishingly ill advised.

I became aware of the banners on 12 Feb 2012. I ignored the first few; looking back now, I can’t reproduce their appearance on news sites where I believe they first appeared. At this writing, the only place I observe them (in heavy rotation) is at My Yearbook, which is no hotbed of political debate.

The banners link to a Romney campaign site, but no matter how well the fundraising goes, or how happy the winner may be, it seems unlikely to redefine “Day Trip With Romney.”

My guess is that the staffer who dreamed up this competition will Romney before it’s over.

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