Mitt Romney campaigns with country music singer Randy Owen in Birmingham, Alabama on Friday (REUTERS/Marvin Gentry_

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — a child of privilege raised in the shielded confines of wealth far from the poverty and working class lifestyles of many Southerners — now feels that saying y’all” and chowing down on grits will somehow make him palatable south of the Mason-Dixon line.

There’s an old Southern saying: “That dog won’t hunt” and all Romney is doing with his pathetic attempts at a Southern drawl is proving that his nose for politics is as bad as the nose of a hound that can’t hunt.

Reuters reports:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is laying it on as thick as a syrupy Southern drawl as he tries to court the South, a region that has been unkind to him in the past and may soon turn its back on him again.

“Morning, y’all,” Romney told a campaign rally on Friday in Jackson, Mississippi. “I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits,” he joked.

Former Florida Republican Congressman and current talk show host Joe Scarborough said this week that is only a matter of time before a tone-deaf Romney tries to sing “Sweet Home Alabama.”  He’s already tried to talk-sing “The Ballad of Davey Crockett” and that bit fell as flat as a spoiled mess of greens.

Romney knows his chances of winning next week’s primaries in Mississippi and Alabama are ‘nil.  He lost South Carolina and Georgia to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Tennessee to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.  He won Virginia but that was because the only other choice on the ballot there was Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the perennial Presidential candidate who remains the only Republican left on the ballot who can’t win a primary.  He won Florida but most Southerners will tell you that the Sunshine State is Southern only by geography.

“When Romney tries to be something he’s not he fails,” GOP strategist Arnold Block tells Capitol Hill Blue. “He’s a rich kid trying to connect with ordinary people.  It’s something he’s never been able to do.”

Romney admits his Southern strategy is “a bit of an away game.”  That is classic political understatement.  In the South, he’s bringing a knife to a gunfight.

It will take more than claiming to like grits to win the hearts and souls of Southerners.  Unemployment is high in the south. The middle class is all but gone. Southerners have a tradition of distrusting the rich, the powerful and those who control their jobs and their futures.  Romney comes from that background.  He represents those who owned the factories that exploited workers and the banks that took away the family farms.

Romney represents many things that Southerners love to hate. To make matters worse, he’s a Mormon in a region where a mixed marriage is a Baptist marrying an Episcopalian.

His Southern act turns him into a political buffoon, a pathetic stereotype who comes across as an elitist mocking a proud people who cherish local roots

Romney’s dog not only doesn’t hunt.  It laid down and died.

(c) Copyright 2012 Capitol Hill Blue

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Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.


  1. In reading this: “His Southern act turns him into a political buffoon, a pathetic stereotype who comes across as an elitist mocking a proud people who cherish local roots”…..I can see how insulting his “faux-Southern manner” can appear.

  2. “I got started this morning right with a biscuit and some cheesy grits,” he joked.

    So where are the calls of racist/elitist stereotypes?

  3. It’s hard to knock him for trying. George W. Bush was educated at an elite boarding school on the East Coast, yet managed to rebrand himself as a Texan.

    That the people bought it says either something about the people or something about Texans, I’m not quite sure which.


  4. Is that the same dog, Seamus the Irish Setter, that Mitt Romney traveled 12 hours to Canada with him strapped to the top of his car?

    This week’s New Yorker cover reminds us of this showing Romney driving his car with Santorum inside a doghouse strapped to the roof.

  5. The primaries are no longer based on locating the best man for the White House. It is now trying to cast the part that will convince the American people that we are in good hands.

    Just say “no.”

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