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.
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