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Mormon prophecy, much?

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Since there’s no video of the interview, we have no choice but to take Politico’s lead:

Mitt Romney conceded President Barack Obama has succeeded in making him a less likable person, but he offered a defiant retort to those hoping he will open up this week: “I am who I am.”

Romney quoted that Popeye line three times in a 30-minute interview with POLITICO about his leadership style and philosophy, swatting away advice from Republicans to focus on connecting with voters in a more emotional, human way at this convention. Instead, he vowed to keep his emphasis — in the campaign and any administration to follow — on a relentlessly goal-driven, business-minded approach that has shaped his life so far.

“I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they’re something they’re not,” Romney said. “You get what you see. I am who I am.”

I don’t want to extend Romney the benefit of any doubt, but it’s possible that he’s not quoting Popeye there. It’s possible that he’s quoting Exodus 3:14 — in which God tells Moses that his name is Ehyeh asher ehyehwhich means that Romney’s merely asserting that his Presidency will fulfill the White Horse Prophecy. Or something. I’d just rather believe a presidential candidate is invoking double-secret messianic nonsense than quoting a cartoon character whose popularity peaked in 1955. Unless this is his idea of courting the youth vote. In which case, given what I know student knowledge about culture prior to 2004, I strongly encourage him to continue this line of incredibly relevant and moving references that the young voters of today implicitly understand.

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  • rea

    Romney’s quoting Popeye–it was Popeye who was quoting the Bible.

    • SEK

      Yes, but you can choose your source: are you citing Popeye citing Exodus, or are you citing Exodus as interpreted through Mormon prophecy. One of them’s slightly more reputable than the other, though I’m not entirely sure which.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        C’mon, Charlie Kaufman. Some of us have work in the morning!

        • No matter which one he’s quoting, he got it wrong. The Hebrew is a strange, defective version of the future tense, so that a closer English rendering is “I will be that which will be”.

          And the correct Popeye quote is, of course, “I yam what I yam.”

          • Incontinentia Buttocks

            How does it sound in the Reformed Egyptian?

      • Anonymous

        It’s possible that he’s quoting Exodus 3:14

        It’s just possible that this comes from the mouth of an idiot.

  • Malaclypse

    “I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they’re something they’re not,” Romney said. “You get what you see. And I mean you get what you see now, as my statements of fifteen minutes ago are off-limits.”

    • Sullivan Hyde

      “You get what you see” (i.e. white).

      • Racism Detector

        Calling it wout wherever it exists

    • JohnR

      Yeah, I loved that, too:

      “You get what you see. I am who I am.”

      Who says old Mitt has no sense of humor? Well, everybody, and they’re right, but this was one of the funniest things he’s ever said. “I am what I am, and what I am is the bastard offspring of a chameleon and a weathervane.”

  • Mudge

    My memory is that Popeye said, “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam”

    Maybe the sentiment is the same, but of course Popeye had superior character, was a self-made man, smote bullies, associated with goons and adopted a waif.

    And I don’t see Mitt lending ne’er do well Wimpy a quarter for a hamburger to be paid back Tuesday. Very Un-Bainlike.

    • MAJeff

      Are we sure it’s from Popeye? It could be from La Cage Aux Folles.

  • Quicksand

    Hm, tough call. Did Romney finish his speech by squeezing open a can of spinach and laughing, “Aaahh-guh-guh-guh-guh-guh-guh!”

    (That laugh is difficult to transcribe.)

    • Sherm

      I think that’s the laugh of Mr. Krabs from Spongebob.

      • rea

        If you watch Mr. Krabs closely, you’ll see he is Popeye (Note–he’s a retired sailor).

        Romney, on the other hand, is clearly Plankton,only Ann isn’t nearly as smart as Karen.

  • Mudge is correct on all points.

  • null

    I suppose what he is saying is that his personal style is enduring, it is only the fibers of his being that act as a windsock. I’ve been waiting all season to say this: Every political personage appears twice, the second time as Mitt Romney.

    • SEK

      Every political personage appears twice, the second time as Mitt Romney.

      I’m not sure why you waited, that’s excellent.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        +1

  • Manju

    Mormon prophecy? This isn’t going to work. If teabaggers and other savages couldn’t stop a Mormon in the R primary, I don’t see swing voters doing it in the general.

    Convince seniors that R’s are so financially irresponsible that, even if they don’t intend to, their policies will rob retirees of their social security benefits. Then convince them that they intend to.

    That’s where the votes are.

    Other than that, Obama killed Osama bin laden and personally gouged out his eyes. Republicans prance atop aircraft carriers with their package sticking out.

    Also, encourage Michelle Bachman, associate her with Romney, force him to renounce her, then divide and conquer.

    That’s the path to victory.

  • mingo

    I like to think of it as the “White Horse’s Ass Prophecy”, myself.

  • mark f

    This is what people who like Mitt Romney say about him:

    Even for those who worked with him, Romney had an inscrutable quality: They never cursed around him and didn’t drink, and they understood that his social life would be his family life. “I always felt that Mitt viewed himself as one of the chosen few,” one of Romney’s colleagues at Bain Capital told me. “I don’t think it ever affected his ­decision-making, but there was that overhang.” Romney was, in the late seventies and early eighties, heavily involved in Bain’s recruiting, and this is how many of his cohort still view him, as a handsome guy with a great handshake. Bill Bain, the consultancy’s titular founder, once told the New York Times that Romney seemed a decade older than he actually was.

    Other Republicans hate him:

    It all goes back to the 2008 election, where liberals like Rudy Giuliani, moderates like John McCain, and conservatives like Mike Huckabee and Fred Dalton Thompson were united by one factor: an intense dislike of Mitt Romney. [. . .] It was “a suspicion of what they see is his hypocrisy and essential phoniness – what one former staffer for Fred Thompson called Romney’s ‘wholesale reinvention,” [. . .] [In the 2012 primaries] Perry refused to say whether he “liked” Romney.

    OOOOOOOBBBBBBAAAAAAAMMMMMMAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Liberals like Giuliani and moderates like McCain?!?

      • mark f

        On the spectrum of 2008 Republican candidates it’s sort of defensible.

      • Cody

        Yes, I noticed that too. Obviously, this is the political continuum Republican see. If Giuliani is a liberal, it’s a lot easier to see how Obama is a socialist?

  • rea

    I don’t want to extend Romney the benefit of any doubt, but it’s possible that he’s not quoting Popeye there.

    We now have pwoerful evidence that romney was not quoting Popeye. Romney subsequently said:

    Remember that Popeye line: ‘I am what I am and that’s all what I am’

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/80166_Page2.html

    And of course, if he denies it, it must be true!

  • thebewilderness

    I don’t think he could make it any clearer. He is a vulture capitalist and he is going to eat the seed corn of America, because that is what vulture capitalists do.

  • Halloween Jack

    Nobody else is picking up that, even though Mitt sort of admits that he’s an asshole, Politico tries to turn it around that Obama “succeeded in making him a less likable person”?

  • The Dark Avenger

    Convince seniors that R’s are so financially irresponsible that, even if they don’t intend to, their policies will rob retirees of their social security benefits. Then convince them that they intend to.

    We just have to quote the Republican platform on Medicare:

    Under the defined contribution approach envisaged by the Rivlin-Ryan plan [a proposal that’s remarkably similar to Romney’s], most of the risk of future health-care cost increases would be shifted onto the shoulders of Medicare beneficiaries,” Uwe Reinhardt, a health policy expert at Princeton University, said last year. “This feature makes the proposal radical.”

    The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found that the plan will raise seniors’ out-of-pocket medical expenses by thousands of dollars, a fact Democrats hasten to point out. The draft Republican platform claims that the competition among private insurance plans will lead to major cost savings, though little evidence exists to support this argument.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/republican-party-platform-medicare.php?ref=fpblg

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