PUTTING UP A NEW TIRE SWING AND TAKING IT FOR A TEST RIDE
Ashley Parker at the Caucus blog of The New York Times makes a tentative stab at turning Mitt Romney into 2000-vintage John McCain (or George W. Bush):
NEWPORT, N.H. -- ... on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Romney offered up his own moniker for the press bus: "This is the John Kerry bus," Mr. Romney quipped, when a group of finicky reporters didn't immediately jump for the submarine sandwiches he tried to pass out for lunch.
"Turkey, turkey, I've got a whole flock," Mr. Romney said good-naturedly, as he climbed onto the press bus after a drop-in at a pizza joint here. "Roast beef going once? Ham? Ham? What are you guys eating back here? What do you guys want?"
Turning to a group of reporters who had passed up several different types of sandwiches, he joked: "Filet mignon with some brie, is that it back here? Some Arugula? This is the John Kerry bus back there."
Mr. Romney has been making himself more available to the news media, sitting down for print and television interviews, and making an effort to joke around with the press corps who travels with him....
Yup, and apparently it's working if you're posting treacle like this, Ashley.
He just has to give this glad-handing stuff a reasonable effort and sooner or later the press is going to cover it as if he's a Kennedyesque wit. The press wants a new hero/pal and a new narrative -- how hard could it be for the scribes to fit Romney into that mold? Don't believe me? Here, let me try, just off the top of my head:
"After a decade of turbulence -- terrorism, war, financial calamity -- perhaps America is hungry for a little boring. Mitt Romney isn't the most exciting guy, but dull could be just what America craves now. Is it possible that Romney's style -- predictable, cautious, buttoned down -- is precisely what the nation is looking for after ten roller-coaster years? ..."
See? That was easy. A thousand dispatches and "think" pieces like that over the next year and Romney will be picking Cabinet members.
UPDATE: The same story, with added details, is at ABC, under the headline "Romney Orders Hawaiian Pizza, Feeds Reporters." This is what the campaign wants out there, and our press corps is only too happy to comply.