July, 17th 2007

Mitt and his makeup? He's all made-up

– Liz Mair

I've been waiting for a story like this for a long time now. Turns out that not only does Romney have the most ridiculously perfected hair on the face of the planet (if you like hair gel, anyway), but he's been forking over John Edwards-esque amounts on beautifying himself. How touching.

Yeah, yeah, I know that anyone who goes on TV has to wear makeup. But there's a difference between putting some powder on before you head on, and paying $150 per makeup session to make sure you're just beautiful and perfect on a Paris Hilton-type, plastic and unreal, scale. The former is, incidentally, what I, and pretty much everyone else I know, do before we go on camera. The latter is what Mitt does, apparently. And frankly, it strikes me as self-important, prissy, and, well, exemplifying of the extent to which Romney wants everything engineered so that it's just perfect-- even at the risk of everything being artificial, contrived and (no pun intended, honestly) entirely made-up.

Of course, that's one of the criticisms I have of Romney and his entire campaign anyway. It's all about figuring out what makes you look ideal to the largest number of diligent voters and then saying it, no matter how asinine, meaningless, or factually incorrect it is. The image, and getting votes, is literally 100% of what matters. At this stage in the game, nothing else seems to count at all. Real commitment to concrete, discernible principles or ideas certainly takes a back step to what's popular with "The Base" (hence how Romney can one day brand himself the uber-moderate, then switch to conservative, then claim he's a libertarian with his supposed "free-market" health care plan, then go back to being government-favorable with his support for No Child Left Behind, and so on and so forth)-- contrary to Romney's assertions in one of his older, now discarded ads, where he lauds the importance of conservative principles (however he is defining them at that given point, of course).

Yesterday, we had the news come out about his new campaign ad, where he basically beats up on TV programmers, citing Peggy Noonan's comment about Columbine and the dirty media surroundings of our children-- fun, entertaining, something that riles up the government-friendly family values crowd, to be sure, but is completely and utterly stupid and frankly offensive to anyone who a) knows how to use a remote control b) thinks they're capable of deciding what they and their children watch because, hell, they know how to use a remote control, and, no, they're not so lazy or luddite-like as to require government to decide whether or not they should watch Grey's Anatomy.

The ad is blatant pandering to the crop of social conservatives who actually do want government consciously involved in their-- no, our-- private lives, so that it can push a moral footprint on each of us-- essentially, the Rick Santorum crowd, who were very happy not just with his plans for amending the Constitution this way and that, but also with his support for federal funding of marriage counseling "to support marriage" and similar big-government, morally-driven measures (which obviously have no appeal to me whatsoever, and, apart from their socially conservative end, strike me as exactly the kind of thing that Hillary Clinton would merrily pursue were she given the opportunity).

Romney's obviously identified that with Brownback and Huckabee going pretty much nowhere in the polls, by running ads railing against porn, sex on TV, or [insert other evil portrayed on electronic device to which children have access to, and which adults know how to switch off], he can potentially get some more votes. Bully for him. I maintain that when push comes to shove, the majority of the party is not going to be satisfied with nominating a guy that even John Kerry can easily identify as a flip-flopper, who keeps veering towards the big government, socially conservative, populist right wing of the party, apparently all the while shelling out cash on Beverly Hills image consultants like some sort of wealthy heiress swilling about, looking for her next media gig.

I certainly hope we're not dumb enough to nominate the guy who's now so known for flip-flopping that his ad has already been re-produced, like this:

In line with the big stuffed animal that followed him around CPAC this year, seen here: