The Mitt Moonwalk

Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann Romney

Ann Romney says her husband “is funny, he is engaging, he is witty.” My husband kept telling me that Mitt Romney can do the moonwalk. He brought this up after Newt’s moon colony talk. I found out he is right — “Mitt Romney can do the Moonwalk,” according to Philip Barlow, who relates the incident:

“I learned that, one Saturday morning, 25 years ago in Romney’s pleasant Belmont, Massachusetts home. For several years in the early ’80s, Mitt and I and one or two others met there each week to do church and charitable work. Romney was the bishop (part-time pastor) of our Mormon ward (congregation). I was one of his two “counselors.” Together we formed the local “bishopric,” which coordinates and presides over the community welfare and voluntary service that makes Mormonism run.

In a lighter moment on this particular morning, Mitt alluded admiringly to Michael Jackson. Beset by graduate-school presumption, I showed surprise at the pop culture awareness of the elegant management consultant and all-round wunderkind. “Oh, yeah!” he said. He then rose theatrically and oozed a rendition of “Billie Jean” while gliding, with apparent ease, backwards—a creditable Moonwalk.” (ref)

The media complains about Romney being phony, having no core, being too stiff.  In 2008, they didn’t like his too charming, too cheerful too polished persona. They didn’t like his “athletic build, ramrod posture, Reaganesque hair, a charismatic speaking style and a crisp dark suit,” attended by “a beautiful wife.”  Robert Redford said he was “plastic” because he was Mormon. That was in 2008. 
But Philip Barlow, goes on –

“For the record, let me say that the Romney’s neighbors and associates know they are neither phony nor scary. Ann Romney is not dismissible or false because she is lovely. The Romneys’ children, when I encountered them, were thoughtful, courteous, and promising. Should the nation elect to discard this family politically, it would be unfortunate, because they behaved themselves and looked too good.”(ref)

Maybe some people who don’t understand Romney, don’t understand Mormons. They don’t understand the roles of a bishop and stake president, or even what a “calling” is all about.  How could they? They don’t understand we dress for church — men wear suits, white shirts and ties. It’s normal for us. Our meetings can seem “stiff” to other church goers. They don’t understand “agency” and that our leaders don’t force us to do anything.

“Maybe Mitt would connect more deeply with the American public if, like his father, he let his boots get a little more muddy. But that might be asking him not to be more authentic, but to pretend to be more authentic. Like it or not, Romney is naturally smooth, as much in private as in public.

Romney has always smiled faintly when listening and talking, even about serious or controversial matters. He smiled in conducting religious services or planning meetings. He smiled while hosting friends at his Cape Cod vacation home. He smiled when comforting a wounded congregant. I interpreted this not as a false persona, but as a mixture of good will, confidence, optimism, enjoyment of intellectual challenge, and idiosyncrasy.”(ref)

Watch Conan ask the Romney sons if they have seen their dad, Mitt moonwalk. 

Mitt Romney and his smile
Mitt Romney Family
Mitt Romney and his five sons

Mitt Romney Family of Five Sons

  • dgenetaylor

    You must be a fan.
    I still want to see the Moonwalk; maybe when he wins in November