As fun as it’s been to dump on poor Mitt Romney since Tuesday’s debacle, the truth is that it wasn’t all his fault. Sure, he was awkward, contradictory, and dishonest. But so was Richard Nixon—and he won both the vice presidency and presidency. Twice. Nonetheless, a third Romney bid would be about as welcome in the GOP as a pot-smoking Mexican lesbian who praises contraception.
So what does Romney do now? Well, all signs point to the ex–Next President of the United States going the boring route—writing a book that some people will buy just to be polite, working as a financial consultant so he can purchase his 12th house from some sucker who couldn’t pay his mortgage, teaching at BYU or something on government, or zzzzzz. Am I still talking?
Look—this is the 21st century, people. There’s only one way for Mitt Romney to win the love of the American people: He has to get on television. Fast.
To aid that effort, here are a few concepts that I’m sure Team Romney is already kicking around:
(1) Bain Capital Theater. Everyone knows that Mitt Romney is the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan (except for the winning the presidency in a landslide part). Well, before Reagan became president, he hosted a wildly successful show called General Electric Theater, which every week aired a play, a film, or an adaptation of a short story.
Hosted by Romney, Bain Capital Theater would have a similar format. First episode: “The 47 Percent,” a horror film about a pack of freeloading veterans, senior citizens, and student-loan recipients setting yachts on fire, ordering the wrong wine with dinner, and wearing white after Labor Day.
(2) Etch a Sketch America. This is a reality series in which Romney and Karl Rove use their patented polling technology to debunk what we only think we know about American history.
With every week comes a new revelation: the San Francisco Giants didn’t actually win the World Series ... John McCain is the current president of the United States ... Vietnam surrendered to the United States ... and for sweeps week, the girl Karl asked out in high school actually did want to go with him to the prom.
(3) The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. The universally beloved Ann Romney and her book club meet every week to discuss quilting, gardening, and their menfolk while sitting around a giant loom. Things get wild when one of Ann’s children brings home a “disco” record for the phonograph, and Ann decides to play it. You’ll never listen to Pat Boone the same way again.
(4) Binders of Women, or The View—Romney style. Each week Romney pulls a name from his magical binder and brings that woman onto his program so that she can show America how valued she is as a member of our society. Romney personally presents each woman with a brand-new silk apron, teaches her to make an omelet the way he likes it, and politely listens to her cute opinions. On several episodes, Paul Ryan makes an appearance, so the women can watch him as he lifts weights and finds increasingly convoluted ways to show off his abs.
Week one: Romney takes Seamus on a roller-coaster ride and laughs at the funny noises Seamus makes. Week two: Romney and Tagg dress up as ghosts and chase Seamus all through the mansion while holding axes, because they saw how much fun this was on an episode of “Scooby Doo.”
(5) Benson, 2012. Mitt Romney is a goofy, clueless aristocrat who trades barbs with his sassy African-American butler. In other words, it’s your typical Tuesday night in the Romney household. To spice things up, Paul Ryan plays the next-door neighbor—a super-genius who solves the Medicare crisis, lifts weights, and finds increasingly convoluted ways to show off his abs.
(6) Mitt, the Dog Lover. Determined to prove that tying poor Seamus to the roof of his car was not an exercise in animal cruelty, Romney adopts a new dog, named Seamus the Second, and takes him on fun adventures.
Week one: Romney takes Seamus on a roller-coaster ride and laughs at the funny noises Seamus makes. Week two: Romney and Tagg dress up as ghosts and chase Seamus all through the mansion while holding axes, because they saw how much fun this was on an episode of Scooby-Doo. Week three: to prove how much Seamus loves riding in enclosed spaces, Romney drives across Utah with Seamus locked in the trunk of his limousine, along with his favorite things: a 50-pound bag of dog food, a heavy jug of water, a dozen tennis balls, and two live squirrels. Week four: a special episode as Seamus inexplicably runs away. Week five: introducing ... Seamus the Third!
(7) Sesame Street. To make amends with Big Bird, Romney takes a role as a friendly health-insurance executive who moves into the brownstone on Sesame Street. Things go well until Oscar the Grouch is diagnosed with a burst appendix and Romney discovers he is uninsured. As Oscar dies a painful, needless death, Doc Romney teaches children not to be “deadbeats.” Romney himself learns an uncomfortable lesson when he walks into Bert and Ernie’s apartment without knocking.