Mitt Romney Channels Popeye the Sailor?

Soon to be Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney has raised concerns among top GOPers that he won’t try to change his image with voters and on several occasions now has said: “I am who I am.” As various pundits have noted, he seems to be channeling Popeye the Sailor, the popular newspaper and movie cartoon character of the mid 20th century who has largely vanished from the airwaves. Still other pundits see Romney’s declaration as a sign that the well-telegraphed news stories are correct: the Romney campaign plans to go acutely negative, using codes words to try and increase the number of white votes for Romney not by making Romney more likable but Obama seem as more of a threat to their way of life. Some think this strategy is risky.

And, yes, “I yam what I yam” was a highly popular Popeye catchphrase used by the cartoon character throughout his long career. Here’s an early cartoon that even has the title:


Question: if Romney meets Howard Dean will he say, “Ehhhh, what’s up, Doc?”

3 Comments

  1. He is what he is, unless we look back at Gov. Romney days. Obama isn’t what he thought he was in 2008 and what the voters thought he would do.
    That’s life in politics with one finger in the air testing the winds and another finger in the air signalling to the other side.

    Mammy Yoakum: Is you inferring you has money?
    Earthquake McGoon: Lady, I is filthy with it.
    Mammy Yoakum: Mister, you is filthy without it.

  2. It’s hard to know what exactly Mitt is since he has changed his mind so much, but I interpret his statement more that he considers himself a straightforward, competent, somewhat boring family man, and that’s the image he will take. That’s a better strategy than trying to recast himself for the general election. Remember Al Gore’s alpha wolf training and his makeover consultant telling him to wear more earth tones? That stuff generally isn’t going to work.

    Mind you I am not saying that’s what Romney actually is, but I think that’s how he sees himself. I don’t see his comments as having much to do with negative campaigning as the negative ads were going to come regardless of what image Romney took.

  3. Interestingly, as mentioned in today’s NYT, he has been an advocate for a inflation- adjusted minimum wage. I wonder how many other socialistic ideas he has been hiding while he loads up on giant cases of goods at Costco. What a phony.

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