The Presiding Patriarch had already informed young Willard that he was of the tribe of Stanley, an especially obscure but choice lost tribe of Israel, and that he would in the not-too-distant future subdue his enemies, enjoy his posterity to the last generation, and finally stand on the Earth to witness the Second Coming. Mitt was getting antsy, hoping the old guy would finish up. Sweat was trickling down his side, and he had an unbearable itch just below his belly button.
“And I prophesy to you, Willard Mitt Romney,” intoned the Patriarch, “son of goodly parents and an upright and obedient youth, that in the fullness of time you will occupy the Oval Office.” Only later did Mitt realize the significance of the prophecy, not knowing at the time what the heck the Oval Office was.
Years later, when we were missionary companions in Paris, France, Mitt spoke often about his patriarchal blessing. There was other stuff besides becoming president. The Patriarch told him how tall he would be, what his optimal weight would be, what size shoe he would require. The venerable gent also told him he would go on a long journey to a land where the natives spoke a funny language and wore berets. Furthermore, he would return from his mission and marry a pretty girl named Elna. This baffled Mitt, given that his future wife Ann was already waiting back home for him. As Mitt said, you couldn’t expect the Patriarch to get everything right.
And so his sense of destiny only became stronger through the years. He knew of a surety he would be president of the United States in the fullness of time. But few people know how shaken his faith was when he failed to become the Republican candidate for president. He retreated to Heber City, where he took up clogging and plotted his future.
Now, of course, things are definitely looking up for my old missionary companion. Just last week the local media ran stories assessing his vice-presidential prospects. As everyone knows, Mitt has begun a vigorous campaign for the second slot on the Republican ticket. Many are wondering, however, why Mitt would lower himself to pursue the position. After all, the job was definitively described by Alben Barkley, Truman’s vice president, as being worth less than a bucket of warm piss. Even if a politician for some reason hankers after the job, perhaps as a stepping stone for the presidency, he expresses his disdain for the office.
But Mitt and his fans in Utah—90 (!) percent of the vote in the primary—are not shy about lusting for the No. 2 spot. In fact, Mitt’s minions enthusiastically posit a scenario in which Vice President Mitt moves into the Oval Office after the Grim Reaper removes its occupant.
This is, after all, the model of succession in the Kingdom of the Saints. Not only that, obeisance to authority, even doddering authority, is standard operating procedure in Zion. Mitt is used to hierarchal submission, and would not be troubled by the indignities of supine second-banana-hood.
Consider the ordinary duties of the vice president: attending funerals, sitting through interminable meetings, pretending to listen to excruciatingly boring speeches. Expertise in these very duties is what creatures of the Mormon hierarchy, of which Mitt is a certified practitioner, spend a lifetime acquiring.
It is all too obvious that Willard Mitt Romney is a born vice president. Should he be called to the position by Mr. McCain, he would be a loyal sidekick. Should he and Mr. McCain triumph in November, he would gladly perform all the brutal drudgeries of the vice presidency. And should something of a fatal nature befall the president, the Patriarch’s prophecies would have come true.
But if, as is likely, the Democrats prevail in November, Willard Mitt Romney, a vigorous youth in his 60s, will still have 40 years or more to run and run and run again for the highest office in the land.
D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.