Frank Rich has a new article about Mitt Romney in the January 29th issue of New York Magazine. It’s entitled, “Who in God’s Name is Mitt Romney?” The theme of the article, that Romney is missing a “human core,” is reinforced in the artwork:
To our overflowing store of examples of Romney’s disengagement — calling Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey “Sherry Healey,” for example — Rich adds more: that a business colleague once nicknamed Romney “Tin Man” because of his inability to connect, that many people who have worked with him regard him as “a man who sometimes seems to be looking not into your eyes but past them” and that, among members of the Massachusetts legislature, he was notorious for having no idea what their names were.
Apparently, one of those lawmakers whose name Mitt had no clue about was State Representative Scott Brown. The Herald Column from May 25, 2003 ($), excerpted below, recounts a time during Mitt’s tenure as Governor when he failed to recognize Scott, then one of 24 Republicans in the House, at a Boston fundraiser. Scott says that Mitt apologized for the slight, both immediately and afterwards. Mitt says he knew all along that it was Scott and was just teasing him for not showing up for regular meetings.
POLS & POLITICS
Word around the hallowed State House halls last week was that Romney had really ticked off one in his small band of Republican friends: GOP state Rep. Scott Brown of Wrentham.
As the story goes, Brown approached Romney at a May 8 fund-raiser at Bakey’s, a restaurant downtown. Romney apparently caught that Brown is a rep and made a near-fatal assumption.
“We’ll have to get you over to our side one of these days,” Romney reportedly said.
When a friend reminded Romney that Brown is, indeed, a Republican, the governor blanched – and quickly apologized.
“It was one of those brain fart-type things; we both laughed after it,” Brown said last week.
“Hey, we had met each other many times – the state convention, in his office. At his swearing-in, my daughter sang ‘God Bless America’ for him and was first to meet him at the door to the State House. For whatever reason, it just didn’t click.”
Brown said the two have joked about it since and that Romney sent a “nice note” apologizing for the gaffe.
Interestingly, Romney’s peeps tell another story.
“Of course the governor knows who Scott Brown is,” said Romney spokeswoman Shawn Feddeman. “The comment was a humorous dig at the rep, who hasn’t been showing up to the regular meetings the governor holds with Republican legislators.”
Feddeman said Brown apparently “took it the wrong way.”
Now, nine years later, when they’re both national celebrities, things almost certainly have been patched up. Still, it’s a little hard not to wonder who was right. I’m betting on Scott, but if Eric Fehrnstrom has anything to say about it, we’ll never know.
The truth may remain a mystery, but at least now we know that Mitt Romney farts. With his brain.