From “blah” to “brilliant,” Newsweek and Daily Beast readers had plenty to say when we posed this query on Facebook: “What’s the first word to pop in your head when you read the name ‘Romney?’”
After tabulating the responses from the 278 readers who posted their free associations and taking into account the more than 100 other readers who “liked” certain answers, The Daily Beast turned to Wordle, an online program that creates “word clouds.” For our utterly nonscientific but totally entertaining survey, we weighted each response as one line of text, including its number of “likes” (i.e., if someone posted “rich” and it got three “likes,” we counted it four times). When we included these liked words, we had 409 responses all together.
Three of the most popular responses—“money,” “greed,” and the largest in our cloud, “rich”—address Romney’s wealth, an issue that has made its presence felt repeatedly throughout his campaign. The Bain Capital co-founder, under pressure from the other Republican candidates, released his 2010 tax return this week. The documents revealed that Romney, who is estimated to be worth more than $200 million, made $27 million that year.
Perhaps the second-most revealing response was “Mormon.” Mitt, who served as a bishop in the Belmont, Mass., Mormon community, has been fielding questions about his faith for years. While campaigning for the 2008 Republican nomination, Romney made a well-received speech on faith and politics in Houston. This year, when condemning comments about Mormonism made by a pastor who endorsed Rick Perry, Romney said, “I just don’t believe that that kind of divisiveness based upon religion has a place in this country.”
Other responses included “Willard,” “hot,” and the accurate but not particularly imaginative “politician.” The Beast’s favorite?