From “Romney the Unknowable,” Timothy Egan, NYT:
“Ten days from now, some of the world’s best-paid magicians of image and narrative will unveil a reboot of a most unfathomable man, Willard Mitt Romney, a 2012 model with a shelf life of barely two months.
“The Republican National Convention will mark the fourth time in 18 years, dating to a losing Senate race in 1994, that a Team Romney has tried to construct a Brand Romney. The problem of who he is, Romney acknowledged last year, has plagued him ever since he became a public figure.
“In focus groups, he’s described as a tin man, a shell, an empty suit, vacuous, a multimillionaire in mom jeans. And that’s from supporters.
“A few weeks ago, Brian Williams of NBC News asked Romney if he was ‘unknowable to us.’ Great question. Romney chuckled, that nervous stage laugh, and said voters will likely wait until the debates to discern his character. Fat chance. Better to chase fireflies with a thimble, for the true Romney is a phantom — lost long ago to reinventions and calculations.” Emphasis added.
I was watching clips of Romney tonight, and I realized that he makes us uncomfortable because he’s so uncomfortable. I’ve started having an unpleasant physical reaction in my chest and stomach to that nervous laugh. He really gives me the creeps. Policy and ideology aside, I think he gives much of the country the creeps, even some who will vote for him.
I think you nailed it when you said his looking so uncomfortable is what creeps you out. It’s because there’s no there there. Empty of substance or conviction, it’s truly sickening to watch him try being authentic.