The warm and cuddly Mitt Romney 2.0 introduced at the artfully staged if monumentally icky lovefest masquerading as the Republican National Convention sure didn’t last very long. Within 24 hours after the convention was gaveled to a close, the same old stiff and remote Mitt Romney 1.0 was back on the campaign trail.
Romney brought his quest for the White House as the now-official nominee of the Republican Party to Hurricane Isaac-battered Louisiana on Friday. He drove through Jean Lafitte, a town that was flooded by the coastal surge in part because it's still outside the vast flooding protection system built with federal funds after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.
Romney met with first responders and local officials outside the town's post office. It was there he spoke with a local resident, Jodie Chiarello, who told Romney she'd lost everything when her home was swept away by 12-foot flood waters. The acute mind and deeply-felt compassion of Mitt “Cuddles” Romney the GOP desperately wanted America to know and love were conspicuously absent in his response to Ms. Chiarello’s plight.
"He just told me to, um, there's assistance out there," Chiarello said. "He said, ‘Go home and call 211.’" Romney was referring, of course, to the telephone number those in need of emergency aid can call to be referred, and sometimes connected, to relief agencies and appropriate community organizations.
But it begs the question: where does a homeless person go when you tell her to go home?
Maybe Mitt still had confetti in his ears from the night before and didn’t hear Ms. Chiarello clearly. Maybe he just assumed that if she’d lost one home she must still have four others to choose from. Maybe he just didn’t – and doesn’t - give a damn.
Now that would be the Mitt Romney we’ve known all along.