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Mitt Romney, The Emoter

e·mote1. to show or pretend emotion.

I have a name for men like Mitt Romney, men who’ve cultivated the precise facial expressions to go with each emotion and call upon them as needed; men who’ve never had an authentic feeling in their lives, but have trained themselves in the fine art of emoting.

I call these men “Mickeys”  after a man I worked with who was the personification of The Emoter. That the name is also the same as that for the date rape drug is a coincidence–and a kind of bonus, in that they share the characteristic of being manipulative. This Mickey person hung with other yuppies–remember them?–in the upper reaches of Manhattan Island, and many of them, men and women alike, seemed to have “ICK” names: Nicky, Ricky; even last names like Blickstein. I couldn’t help but lump them all into one group under the rubric “ICK.”

I ran into Mickey once when I was with a friend in the supermarket, and when I introduced them to each other, he turned up the voltage, pumping her hand vigorously, his face wreathed in smiles. When he walked away she turned to me, stunned, and asked, “Is that guy running for office?”

A few minutes into Mitt Romney’s speech at the RNC last night—almost an hour of my life I’ll never get back—I identified him as a Mickey. It

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes

was, above all, the look in those soulful puppy-dog eyes of his whenever he alluded to a tragic life circumstance that ultimately gave him away. As with most emoting, it was transparent. Yes, I know, these days that’s considered a positive adjective, but to me it retains its former, less positive meaning: easily seen through, recognized, or detected, as in transparent excuses.

There’s more–much more!–to be said about Romney’s performance at the convention, but hundreds of journalists much smarter than I am are at this very moment busily putting together their analyses and critiques, which I look forward to reading. But after years of paying attention to Mickey-like behavior, I’ve become an expert on this area of the psyche, so believe me when I tell you



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