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Please begin with an informative title:

Last night, Jon Stewart delivered a body blow to Mitt Romney, highlighting a litany of video clips where Mitt Romney dances around a question and refuses to provide any semblance of a real answer.

Mitt Romney, a famously detail-oriented CEO, has, more than any challenger for the Presidency in recent memory, been very spare with the details of his agenda.  We know more about Barack Obama's secret agenda, and I think I know why.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN (7/25/2012): The President's leading, and continues to lead, this has held pretty steady, 47% for the President, and Mitt Romney at 43%.

JACK CAFFERTY (7/26/2012): One recent poll showed that any generic Republican candidate would beat President Obama by eight points.

Do you see what he's doing?  Mitt Romney loses to Barack Obama.  But "generic Republican" crushes Barack Obama.  Clearly, Mitt Romney's best option is to run as "generic Republican".  The store brand presidential candidate.  And avoid particulars.  And it's not easy to do.  It's a skill.
6/7/2011:

PIERS MORGAN: Do you personally think that homosexuality is a sin?

MITT ROMNEY: Nice try, but I'm not going to get into....

PIERS MORGAN: It's a valid question, isn't it?

MITT ROMNEY: It's a valid question, and my answer is, nice try.

"Haha!  Nice try, asshole!  You thought I'd fall for the old 'answer questions on an interview show' grift."

How fully does Romney commit to this strategy?  Not only does he dodge hot-button issues, he dodges no-button issues.

11/29/2011:

BRET BAIER: What was the last book you read or are reading?

MITT ROMNEY: Ah, I'm reading sort of a fun one right now, so I'll skip that.

"Yeah-hah!  'Cause you're not getting me on what fun book I'm reading.  Almost said 50 Shades of Grey!  Note to self, scrub Kindle!"

Of course, to run as a generic Republican doesn't mean you cannot express preference for things.

MITT ROMNEY (1/30/2012): I love the Declaration of Independence.

MITT ROMNEY (1/4/2012): I love our Constitution.

MITT ROMNEY (7/10/2012): I like all the Amendments.

"Now, I know a lot of you out there... a lot of you out there will be like, 'Really?  Even the 11th?'  You bet!  I love Prohibition, I love the repeal of Prohibition!"
MITT ROMNEY (12/28/2011): I love, of course, "The Star-Spangled Banner".

MITT ROMNEY (2/16/2012): I love cars, I love American cars.

MITT ROMNEY (12/28/2011): I love humor.

MITT ROMNEY (1/4/2012): I love our people.

MITT ROMNEY (6/14/2012): I love jobs.

MITT ROMNEY (1/4/2012): I love our land.

MITT ROMNEY (2/16/2012): I love the lakes.

MITT ROMNEY (5/21/2011): I don't like vampires.

(audience laughter and applause)

"Really, really thought long and hard about that last one.  Um, just didn't want to give people the impression I was in some way favoring humans over the undead.  The undead are people too, my friends.  Or, you know, were."

Anyway.  Taking a fully functional three-dimensional human being and reworking him into a two-dimensional pablum factory takes effort.  Any thought or opinion such as:

MITT ROMNEY (8/4/2004): I believe the people should have the right to bear arms, but I don't believe that we ought to have assault weapons as part of our personal arsenal.
You gotta take that and sand it and condense it.
MITT ROMNEY (7/11/2012): I believe that people should have the right to bear arms, for whatever legal purpose they have in mind.  Simple answer.  (right-wing audience applause)
Done, and done.  "I will come out today and say to the American people, I don't think people should do illegal things with weapons."  Nailed it!

Look, the guy was pretty robotic and kind of non-human to begin with.  It's like taking a Ken doll and turning him into... Flat Romney!

Video and full transcript below the fold.
Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

But you know what?  Raising money is actually the least of Obama's problems.  'Cause he's up against an opponent who doesn't just have the financial resources, but a compelling plan.
MITT ROMNEY (7/24/2012): It's very simple.  If you don't want America to be the strongest nation on Earth, I'm not your President.
What!  Wha!  So, so... wait, if I do want America to be the strongest country on Earth, then you....  Ohhhhh.

It's very simple, actually.  Here's how the Governor will make us the strongest.  Here's how he'll address immigration reform.

MITT ROMNEY (6/17/2012): ... by virtue of putting in place a long-term solution with legislation which creates law that relates to these individuals ...
(confused look from Jon)

OK, that's not so much an immigration reform plan as much as how the Starman would describe the legislative process here on Earth.

Uh, what would be the specifics of your immigration policy?

MITT ROMNEY (11/22/2011): I'm not going to start drawing lines here about who gets to stay and who gets to go.
Oh, OK.  Oh, sure.  You don't want to get bogged down, you know, in naming names.  Um, how about taxes?
MITT ROMNEY (6/17/2012): We can have lower rates as I proposed that creates more growth, and we can limit deductions and exemptions.
OK, well now we're getting somewhere specific.  OK, which deductions?
6/17/2012:

BOB SCHIEFFER: Which of the deductions are you going to be willing to eliminate?  Which of the tax credits are you going to... when are you going to be able to tell us that?

MITT ROMNEY: Well, we'll go through that process with Congress.

Right.  OK, well that... wait, but that... that's not 'til after you'd be elected.  You... you have a time frame for your economic solutions to take effect?
MITT ROMNEY (8/11/2011): I'm not going to give you an exact time frame.
OK.  Um, how about a range?  Do I have time to run to the bathroom, or will animals that are fish now, have legs then?

'Cause your platform seems to be: "Listen, I've got a plan, and I can fix this thing.  Don't worry your pretty little heads about it."

Mitt Romney, a famously detail-oriented CEO, has, more than any challenger for the Presidency in recent memory, been very spare with the details of his agenda.  We know more about Barack Obama's secret agenda, and I think I know why.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN (7/25/2012): The President's leading, and continues to lead, this has held pretty steady, 47% for the President, and Mitt Romney at 43%.

JACK CAFFERTY (7/26/2012): One recent poll showed that any generic Republican candidate would beat President Obama by eight points.

Do you see what he's doing?  Mitt Romney loses to Barack Obama.  But "generic Republican" crushes Barack Obama.  Clearly, Mitt Romney's best option is to run as "generic Republican".  The store brand presidential candidate.  And avoid particulars.  And it's not easy to do.  It's a skill.
6/7/2011:

PIERS MORGAN: Do you personally think that homosexuality is a sin?

MITT ROMNEY: Nice try, but I'm not going to get into....

PIERS MORGAN: It's a valid question, isn't it?

MITT ROMNEY: It's a valid question, and my answer is, nice try.

"Haha!  Nice try, asshole!  You thought I'd fall for the old 'answer questions on an interview show' grift."

How fully does Romney commit to this strategy?  Not only does he dodge hot-button issues, he dodges no-button issues.

11/29/2011:

BRET BAIER: What was the last book you read or are reading?

MITT ROMNEY: Ah, I'm reading sort of a fun one right now, so I'll skip that.

"Yeah-hah!  'Cause you're not getting me on what fun book I'm reading.  Almost said 50 Shades of Grey!  Note to self, scrub Kindle!"

Of course, to run as a generic Republican doesn't mean you cannot express preference for things.

MITT ROMNEY (1/30/2012): I love the Declaration of Independence.

MITT ROMNEY (1/4/2012): I love our Constitution.

MITT ROMNEY (7/10/2012): I like all the Amendments.

"Now, I know a lot of you out there... a lot of you out there will be like, 'Really?  Even the 11th?'  You bet!  I love Prohibition, I love the repeal of Prohibition!"
MITT ROMNEY (12/28/2011): I love, of course, "The Star-Spangled Banner".

MITT ROMNEY (2/16/2012): I love cars, I love American cars.

MITT ROMNEY (12/28/2011): I love humor.

MITT ROMNEY (1/4/2012): I love our people.

MITT ROMNEY (6/14/2012): I love jobs.

MITT ROMNEY (1/4/2012): I love our land.

MITT ROMNEY (2/16/2012): I love the lakes.

MITT ROMNEY (5/21/2011): I don't like vampires.

(audience laughter and applause)

"Really, really thought long and hard about that last one.  Um, just didn't want to give people the impression I was in some way favoring humans over the undead.  The undead are people too, my friends.  Or, you know, were."

Anyway.  Taking a fully functional three-dimensional human being and reworking him into a two-dimensional pablum factory takes effort.  Any thought or opinion such as:

MITT ROMNEY (8/4/2004): I believe the people should have the right to bear arms, but I don't believe that we ought to have assault weapons as part of our personal arsenal.
You gotta take that and sand it and condense it.
MITT ROMNEY (7/11/2012): I believe that people should have the right to bear arms, for whatever legal purpose they have in mind.  Simple answer.  (right-wing audience applause)
Done, and done.  "I will come out today and say to the American people, I don't think people should do illegal things with weapons."  Nailed it!

Look, the guy was pretty robotic and kind of non-human to begin with.  It's like taking a Ken doll and turning him into... Flat Romney!

Which I guess has its advantages, I guess.  If you want to send a message to Iran...

Just get yourself a....  (in Romney squeal as he's folded up and put into envelope) "Ah!  No!  Ah!  Help me!  Help me!"

Slip ol' President Romney into an envelope, pretty soon Ahmadinejad's all, "Oh look, a letter for me!"

He opens it up, and boom!

Problem solved!

(audience laughter)

The problem, of course, for a generic Republican is what kind of Vice President do you get to round out the ticket?

MITT ROMNEY (12/21/2011): I'm not going to characterize anybody's qualifications for Vice President.
Of course you won't.  Although I think we can rule out one ticket.

He doesn't like vampires.  We'll be right back.

Jon also looked at how Obama actually had to donate to himself just recently.
He then had a segment you won't like where he attacks Harry Reid for making the unproven claim that Romney may not have paid any taxes for 10 years.  Though it ended with a nice Fox & Friends slam.
Meanwhile, Stephen was upset about the birth control provision of Obamacare taking effect on August 1st.
He then looked at Grover Norquist's tax pledge, and if there's any way Democrats can get around it.
He also had a news update from the Olympics.
Stephen talked with NASA physicist John Grunsfeld about the Mars rover, which is scheduled to land on Mars next Monday, and Jon talked with Scientific American editor Fred Guterl, which went long.  Here's the unedited interview in two parts.
Part 1
Part 2
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to BruinKid on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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