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Advice For the Republican Front-Runner

Romney can help himself by 1) not ever using the phrase "I like to fire people" and 2) forgetting the comb on occasion.

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Advice For the Republican Front-Runner

AFP/Getty Images

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney addresses a primary night victory rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 10, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Emmanuel Dunand (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

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Mitt Romney is trying.

“Thanks you guys…. You’re the best!” is how he finished his victory address in New Hampshire Tuesday night.

You “guys” ?

The poor man looks so straight-laced with not a hair out of place and always perfectly pressed and tailored that he tries to relate to regular folk by using the vernacular of a 13-year-old girl.

He’s trying… but it doesn’t work.

Note to Mitt: For the next victory speech, lose the coat.

Let the hair blow in the wind some time.

One of the reasons why the corporate raider image is starting to take root is because you look the part.

You could stand to look a little more like, well, like Newt.

Newt Gingrich, the Grinch who is trying to steal the nominationm, is far from perfectly pressed.

He is very much the college professor. His clothes are kinda wrinkled, don’t fit as well and he’s overweight. What he needs is not so much a makeover as a different personality.

It may be hard to find a less likeable candidate than he…which in a strange way is part of his charm.

Newt is Newt and he’s not changing just to suit the news media. There is a lot to be said for authenticity (though it didn't translate into many votes in New Hampshire).

And then there is Jon Huntsman. Democrats fear him the most.

He also may be a bit charm-deficient, but his record in Utah and service in four previous administrations gives him experience far above what the current President had when he sought the job four years ago.

When covering a Huntsman event on Monday I asked my Bejing-born photographer Kristopher Li to ask him a question in Chinese mandarin thinking that could get a rise out of the former ambassador to China.

I was right.

Huntsman demonstrated his globalist flair and mastery of the language by immediately responding in the language he first learned as a Mormon missionary.

Unfortunately he thought the questioner was from China TV. “To all my friends in China” he responded (according to my photographer)… “I am busy running for President of the United States. I’m working very hard. Wish me luck”.

Huntsman would have said more… and in fact tried to… but I interrupted him with a question in English. Even as his security detail later moved him along he made a point of making sure he left with a goodbye specifically for his Chinese friend.

Not sure how that skill will help in South Carolina or Florida but it would be great if he could work some Manderin in the next debate somehow.

The sidebar story from Tuesday is that, while Romney won big, nobody dropped out.

This process is so messy it will either scuttle the party's chances against President Obama or it will steel them for the fall.

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