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Call Me ‘Mit’

Mitt Romney beefs up his campaign by cutting down on extras.


It came as no surprise to me that my old missionary companion Mitt Romney is doing what he needs to do to avoid the McCain multi-residence problem (the former Republican presidential candidate was ridiculed not only for having too many houses, but also for not knowing how many he had.)

Just last week Mitt unloaded his Deer Valley castle, and his Massachusetts mansion is currently on the market. People think this isn’t much of a sacrifice, especially since Mitt still retains possession of his $12 million beach compound in La Jolla, as well as his $10 million summer getaway on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. But Mitt loved his cozy Deer Valley castle and that modest 6,400 square-foot colonial cottage in Massachusetts.

Nevertheless, my former missionary companion knows he will never achieve his lifelong dream of becoming president unless he does some major downsizing. And I know from experience that Mitt is no stranger to downsizing. I well remember how during our mission to Paris, France, we were forced on many occasions to exercise our free agency and downsize ourselves. For instance, Mitt, always a stickler for personal hygiene and good grooming, downsized his bathing when our water bill went up. He even downsized his favorite brand of soap, La Petite Savon du Marie Antoinette, using his standard-issue missionary pocketknife to cut every bar exactly in half.

So I know Mitt will succeed in downsizing himself at this critical juncture of his life. Fortunately, my old missionary companion is not a sentimental sort, as evidenced by the famous incident of making the family dog ride on top of the station wagon on a cross-country trip. After reducing the number of houses, Mitt plans to downsize the number of his strapping sons—five in all, you know them as Tagg, Tigg, Togg, Tugg and Howard.

Mitt told me it wasn’t all that hard to decide which of the boys to jettison. “Howard has never really fit in, and Tigg has always been an outsider, either because he resented having a short-vowel name, or because he had to ride on top of the car with our Irish setter.” Lesser men might have been down at mouth at having to downsize family members, but my old companion always looks at the bright side of things.

“Now that I’ve re-organized my progeny, downsize-wise, I won’t have to twiddle my thumbs quite as long while the boys hog the bathroom and blow-dry their hair. I can get in there and slap on the Brylcreem and then get on the road.”

Speaking of hair, Mitt is mulling over downsizing his famous coiffure. “I don’t want to cut it as short as that Obama guy, but my grooming advisers think my pompadour makes me look too much like a game show host. And they say bald guys resent a guy like me who has too much hair.”

Mitt started combing his hair high on his head back in our mission days, when he wanted to compensate for his diminutive stature. I always tried to bolster his self-confidence by pointing out what a big head he had (we never could find a beret big enough for him to wear). Today, he is justly proud of his large noggin, and despite rumors to the contrary, he is not about to have his head shrunk, even though the most recent Republican president was a known pinhead.

There is another aspect of Mitt’s downsizing that is rather delicate, and that involves my former missionary companion’s longtime use of shoe lifts. One insensitive staffer made the mistake of casually mentioning that an easy downsizing maneuver would be the elimination of Mitt’s shoe lifts. That staffer suffered the same fate as the unfortunate Olympic volunteer who forgot to pack Mitt’s lifts when he was scheduled for a photo op with Senator Bob “Beanpole” Bennett.

Knowing Mitt as I do, I doubt he will take the drastic step of divesting himself of his shoe lifts. (A couple of practical jokers on the staff are continually tempting fate by lifting Mitt’s lifts from his wingtips when he unlaces them for his daily foot massage. One frolicsome female on Team Romney actually stuffed the lifts into her brassiere and declared, “My tits are Mitt’s.”)

Mitt’s most daring strategic downsizing involves the superfluous “T” at the end of his name. After all, no one calls himself Tomm, or Bobb, or Jimm. Much as it kills him to do so, Mitt will henceforth call himself “Mit.”

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