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Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley 501

Posted by Soulskill
from the suddenly-the-primaries-become-clear dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Brian Fung writes in the Atlantic that one of Romney's electoral problems is that he occupies a kind of uncanny valley for politicians, inexplicably turning voters off despite looking like the textbook image of an American president. Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, something about Romney leaves voters unsettled. As with the robotic version of the uncanny valley, the closer Romney gets to becoming real to a voter, the more his likeability declines. 'The effect is almost involuntary, considering the substantial advantages Romney enjoys from appearance alone,' writes Fung. 'But in person, his polished persona gives way to what appears a surprisingly forced and inauthentic character.' Political commentator Dana Milbanks adds that although Romney is confident and competent, in casual moments his weirdness comes through — equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness. 'Romney's task now is to work his way out of the uncanny valley toward a more compelling style of humanity,' concludes Fung. 'But every day he lingers in it, the hill grows steeper.'"
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Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley

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  • by Cornwallis (1188489) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:18AM (#38890183)

    Geez, one of the worst of the Washington Post shill-meisters. And it is Milbank, not Milbanks who has said "that the whole campaign-trail reporting gig is a complete waste of time and borderline fraudulent". How is this /. material?

    • by Svippy (876087) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:21AM (#38890203) Homepage

      How is this /. material?

      Because it has 'robotics' and 'Uncanny Valley' in its word cloud. Now you know how to get to front page of Slashdot.

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Even if both are apparently used with a completely new meaning?

      • The creepiness factor is huge, and the buzzwords seemed to do it.

        And the who-cares quotient is large enough to cause vehement backlash to Pickens, who's become Slim, rather than Hugh.

        • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:56AM (#38891241) Homepage Journal

          The creepiness factor is huge

          IMO every one of the Republican nominees are pretty damned creepy, especially Gingrinch (apologies to Tom Tomorrow).

          I think the "uncanny valley" characteristic here is pretty damned far fetched. If Romney looks creepy, what makes Obama look any less creepy? Or any holywood movie star, for that matter?

          I just saw today that Romney's superpac is mostly made up of Wall Street investors. Maybe someone should Occupy him?

          At any rate, we have no good choices. I'll probably vote Green or Libbie anyway, just because I find it incredibly stupid to vote for anyone who wants to put you, some of your friends, or members of your family in prison. You may not smoke pot, but someone you love does. And we're spending billions we can't afford arresting, trying, and imprisoning THOSE YOU LOVE. How rational is that?

          • by dpilot (134227) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:15AM (#38891405) Homepage Journal

            Someone was outside my office yesterday making the same gripe about pot laws, so for even more fun I drew another line for him supporting his argument.

            Have you ever considered the link between our pot laws and illegal immigration?

            Our drug policy is based on interdiction - stopping the supply. Drugs also follow the law of supply and demand. If we reduce the supply and the demand stays constant, the price rises. This has been happening. The net is that drug lords in Mexico and South America are very well funded. In Mexico in particular, the drug lords seem to be better funded than the authorities, so much so that large parts of the country are essentially lawless.

            This makes for a bad business climate. No business, no jobs. No jobs, go somewhere else to find them - like the US.

            Oh yeah, there's another line to be drawn between our agriculture and energy policies and the same illegal immigration. Think corn.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:48AM (#38890481)

      Because Mitt Romney is the most advanced humanoid robot we have yet designed. The fact that it has made it this far in politics is absolutely stunning, even if it fails the Turing test every once in a while.

    • by ideonexus (1257332) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:31AM (#38890937) Homepage Journal

      I did find the article interesting when it appeared in The Atlantic, but after some thoughtfulness I realize it's very unfair to argue that a human being falls into the Uncanny Valley, and that this article is really just a stretch to find some shred of fresh insight in a Presidential Primary that has dragged on forever through too many debates with a mainstream media that can't look away while viewers are completely over it (sorry for the run-on sentence). Things that fall into the UV are supposed to be "creepy," and Romney isn't creepy, he's just out of touch and it's fair to compare him to the Al Gore of the 2000 election in that respect.

      That being said, Republicans seem to be split into the "angry" and "policy" factions. Newt Gingrich is in many ways more liberal than Romney, but Red-Meat-Limbaugh-Coulter conservatives love him because of his in-your-face debate style. He appeals to that anger Fox News and 24-hour conservative AM radio has firmly rooted in so many Americans. That's why I find it hilarious that Limbaugh and Coulter are arguing against him, as it was their rhetorical style that has made his candidacy possible.

      I hope Romney wins this so America can have a constructive debate over economic equality. He'll bring attention to the fact that capital gains are only taxed at 15% compared to labor-income being taxed at 30%, and that the reason it's so low is because he personally lobbied against making it more equitable in the 1980s. Evangelical Christians will have to rethink their tax-deductible church donations in the context of Romney's $3 million yearly donations to the Mormon Church. He'll bring attention to the fact that companies like his keep their money in tax shelters overseas and that his consulting firm bankrupted many of the companies they claim to have saved when they had to pay the consulting feeds. He's not creepy, but he is out of touch with what life is like for 99% of voters ("I'll bet you $10,000."), and he'll put a face on the faceless economic issues we need to address in these United States.

  • Religion (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Framboise (521772) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:20AM (#38890193)

    People strongly involved in religion always let me this strange impression that they are hiding something, as unable to really disclose what they think.

    • I had forgotten he was Mormon. Isn't that considerably weirder than your average flavor of Christianity? 99% of what I know of Mormonism is from South Park.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Eh, most Christians will try to claim their "weirder", but only because they completely ignore their own weirdness. You don't really have a strong leg to stand on to make fun of people who wear "magic underwear" when you ritually eat crackers that you pretend are the flesh of your 2000 years dead savior.

        • And then you get the weird and crazy left overs like scientology.

        • Re:Religion (Score:4, Informative)

          by Rolgar (556636) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:27AM (#38890907)

          Only Catholic and Orthodox Christians (and according to polls, only half of the Catholics) believe that the host (think about what that word means) becomes Jesus. The Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants and every other variety of Christian reject that particular teaching. They believe it's only a symbolic presence, so they what they consider the the most outrageous of orthodox teachings as well.

      • by jasenj1 (575309)

        Yes, it is. And it's not really Christianity. I'll save the details, but mainstream Protestant and Catholic denominations do not recognize LDS as "Christian". It is heavily based on the same teachings, but there are some core foundational differences. To those who think Baptists, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Jews, Muslims et al. are all worshipping pretend fantastical delusions, the differences don't really matter, but they are there.

        Mormons have "be wholesome" as a very strong teaching of what it takes to b

        • Re:Religion (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:51AM (#38890509)

          Except that Romney is doing it wrong.

          Being a "vulture capitalist" who makes millions of dollars by ruining the lives of others, destroying viable companies as part of a firm whose mantra was "strip and sell", is not wholesome.
          Dodging taxes and exploiting loopholes is not wholesome.
          Supporting a party with racism as a key platform plank is not wholesome.
          Supporting a party that wants to go to war with the world and waste lives is not wholesome.

          Whether you are pro-choice or not, the LDS Church is not pro-choice, and yet Romney was pro-choice as governor, vehemently so. So that would not make him a "wholesome Mormon modeling good Mormon behavior."

          The problem with Romney is he's not wholesome at all. He's a stellar example of what's wrong with the Republican Party today - an amoral, evil asshole who's wearing a Fred Rogers suit.

          • Re:Religion (Score:5, Informative)

            by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:54AM (#38891205)
            Putting quotes around stuff doesn't make it true.
            The companies that Romney was said to "strip and sell" were companies that were on the verge of collapse. So they buy the companies, make them profitable and then sell them. A big reason why a lot of companies get in the verge of collapse status is because they got too ambitious in their growth, or have reached their peak and they kept trying to grow, while other forces are making such companies business model not as successful. The current owners do not know what to do, or are afraid of making the tough decision to unfortunately lay off people in areas where growth isn't feasible. Also part of the process is to hire people in the right areas. Then when they get the company back on their feet they will sell it. That is their job. If there weren't companies doing this a lot more companies will just close down and all the employees will loose their job.

            Dodging taxes and exploiting loopholes... He is not dodging taxes or exploiting anything, his primary source of income has a 15% limit on it. The tax form with the paper will have that number and if you had most of your money coming from you will probably be paying similar tax rates. Blame the Tax law for this not the man.

            Racism as a key platform? The republican party is not racists however they are #1 with racists (to paraphrase The Simpsons). The Republicans are not racist as part of their platform. However their goal of smaller government does clash with with equal rights groups who feels that government needs to be more involved.

            During the republican primaries I am not hearing much War Hawking going on. They do want to keep the military of the US strong.

            Romney was a Governor of Massachusetts a strong pro-life stance would get him nowhere, besides the Abortion issues is political smoke anyways...

            You have a problem with facts, you want to vilify the republicans you are just as bad as the republicans are to the democrats. You come up with lies and you back them up with more lies from other sources so your lies seem like the truth.
          • by JWW (79176)

            I agree, Capitalism is a horrible and awful economic system, but its still better than any other economic system we've ever devised.

          • Re:Religion (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:18PM (#38892875) Homepage Journal

            Being a "vulture capitalist" who makes millions of dollars by ruining the lives of others, destroying viable companies as part of a firm whose mantra was "strip and sell", is not wholesome.

            It also goes against everything Jesus taught.

            Dodging taxes and exploiting loopholes is not wholesome.

            "Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's" is what Jesus taught... i.e. "pay your damned taxes".

            Supporting a party with racism as a key platform plank is not wholesome.

            Nor Christian.

            Supporting a party that wants to go to war with the world and waste lives is not wholesome.

            Nor Christian. I really can't understand conservative "Christians". Conservative means stingy. Christians are supposed to be generous; e.g. liberal.

            an amoral, evil asshole who's wearing a Fred Rogers suit.

            Never trust ANYONE who wears a suit and tie. Especially if the guy in the suit claims to be a Christian; the tie is Satan's leash, the symbol of wealth and power, the symbol of greed, the symbol of everything Jesus was against. If your preacher wears a tie, you're in the wrong church (unless you worship money, in which case you're fine).

        • Re:Religion (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:16AM (#38890767) Homepage Journal

          Of course, many Catholics claim that Protestants are "not really Christianity", either (and vice-versa).

          I will say one thing about Mormons... of all the people I've met of different religions, Mormons were by far the nicest and most genuine people. They actually try and live the tenants of their religion. I'm an atheist, but if I had to pick a religion to follow because I wanted the culture, I'd pick being a Mormon. I hate alcohol anyway. :)

          They're not perfect of course (their support of California's Prop 8 is particularly troubling), but overall having Romney be a Mormon is a positive in my book, compared to, say, Santorum who is a full-blown religious wack job.

          • Re:Religion (Score:5, Funny)

            by Greyfox (87712) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:39AM (#38891041) Homepage Journal
            Yeah, but we're a rather cynical nation and have trouble believing anyone actually is that nice and genuine. It creeps us out. When someone is nice to me, they're usually looking to either sell me something or screw me over. Did you see how Romney did better in Florida when he started being a dick to Gingritch? That's familiar territory for us. That's our comfort zone. If Romney can manage to be a huge asshole for the next 46 states, he should have no problem taking the nomination.
            • by azalin (67640)
              Americans are a rather strange bunch. Probably akin to quantum physics, whoever says they truly understand them is (probably) lying. Whenever I think I get the drift, they'll do something so whacky that it leaves me baffled.
      • Re:Religion (Score:5, Funny)

        by ArcherB (796902) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:40AM (#38890395) Journal

        I had forgotten he was Mormon. Isn't that considerably weirder than your average flavor of Christianity? 99% of what I know of Mormonism is from South Park.

        Tough call. Mormons have the reputation of having multiple wives. The sad part is that Newt has had more wives than Mit.

      • Re:Religion (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:05AM (#38890665) Journal

        No, standard Christianity is every bit as weird as Mormonism. People have just grown up around it, so it gets a pass.

        • I think mormonism is actually worse. While it's tough to compare different strands or craziness, mormonism isn't like scientology - brand new bullshit. It takes christinanity and adds even more nonsense to it. Recent nonsense, from the 1800s. So, interms of weirdness, I figure A+B has to be greater than A (for non-negative values of B, in case someone is thinking about being a jackass).

        • by Jawnn (445279)

          No, standard Christianity is every bit as weird as Mormonism.

          You evil, evil person! How dare you call a religion that has, as central and sacred part of it's ritual and dogma, the requirement that the faithful consume human flesh and drink human blood, "weird".

      • Re:Religion (Score:5, Funny)

        by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:18AM (#38890799) Homepage Journal

        99% of what I know of Mormonism is from South Park.

        Then you know all you need to know.

        Theologically, Mormons are the Muslims of the West. They're like every other religion, except with a double-extra draught of crazy. But then they became this country club for rich extra-white people with secret stuff that outsiders must not know. They begrudgingly gave up their extra wives around 1900 and begrudgingly allowed black people to have souls more than half a century later. They have wonderful teeth and if you find a mormon girl who has strayed they will do very dirty stuff. This last bit I found out when I was a postdoc at land grant school out West. [note to wife in case she's reading this: this was more than a decade before we met]

        Most of the above is gleaned from rumors and South Park (except the bit about the lapsed-LDS girl and dirty stuff) because I've only met like two Mormons in my life. I have so little in common with Mormons that I seem to have existed in a separate plane of reality from them. Perhaps I just avoid crazy people. Or maybe Mormons avoid crazy people. I was going to say that perhaps I avoid people who wear magic underwear, but I know that's not true, since I've still got a pair of drawers that I've had since college because I think they're lucky. So maybe Mormons are not that crazy.

        I used to not care about Mitt Romney, until I heard a serious biographer of his say in an interview that Romney will occasionally cut up for his family or friends by doing a spot-on impersonation of Michael Jackson singing Billie Jean. Apparently Mitt knows all the lyrics and can do a great moon-walk. Does the One Glove thing. Ever since I heard that, I am scared to death of the man. Whenever I see him on TV I start to hyperventilate and have to run out of the room.

        • I used to not care about Mitt Romney, until I heard a serious biographer of his say in an interview that Romney will occasionally cut up for his family or friends by doing a spot-on impersonation of Michael Jackson singing Billie Jean. Apparently Mitt knows all the lyrics and can do a great moon-walk. Does the One Glove thing. Ever since I heard that, I am scared to death of the man. Whenever I see him on TV I start to hyperventilate and have to run out of the room.

          Most hilarious thing I've heard all week. Excellent.

  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:21AM (#38890209) Journal
    Speaking of uncanny appearances, Endorse Liberty (a PAC that supports Ron Paul) put out some web ads featuring other politicians, including "Fake Mitt Romney". One of the first things he says is "I'm Fake Mitt Romney, which makes me a lot like the real Mitt Romney". You can see it here [youtube.com].
  • by gx5000 (863863) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:24AM (#38890231)
    You mean in person he comes off as a hypocritical crook, you don't say ?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:29AM (#38890271)

    He kinda reminds me of the futurama guys:

    John Jackson:"It's time someone had the courage to stand up and say: I'm against those things that everybody hates."
    Jack Johnson:"Now, I respect my opponent. I think he's a good man. But quite frankly, I agree with everything he just said."
    John Jackson:"I say your three cent titanium tax goes too far."
    Jack Johnson:"And I say your three cent titanium tax doesn't go too far enough."

  • I guess the Men In Black need to improve the technology for their prosthetics and vocoders.
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:32AM (#38890313)

    The whole presidential campaign process in general is shaping up to an unfortunate dramatic comedy of a cast of misfits. Do these individuals really represent the US population?

    • by stjobe (78285)

      Not yet, but one of them will. Sadly.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:03AM (#38890625)
      No, because Republicans have sacrificed virtue for "electability" as have the Democrats. So rather than voting in the primary for people who really represent their beliefs, they vote for someone who is "electable" in the process getting someone who doesn't represent their beliefs at all.
    • by jbeaupre (752124) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:29AM (#38890919)

      No. Every election cycle, I take a look at the candidates and think "Are these the best of the best? Can't we do better?" The answer to both is a big NO.

      These guys are the survivors of a weird winnowing process. Egotistical enough to believe they should be president, connected enough to get support, organized enough to run, stubborn enough to stick with it, and with not too many skeletons in the closet. Can speak well and doesn't appear overtly crazy or hideously ugly.

      A couple of those talents are useful as president, but there isn't a 1:1 correlation.

      Makes you sort of wonder if the way candidates were chosen in a smoke filled back room wasn't an improvement. I almost wish we could elect a couple committees to go and recruit a presidential candidate each for the whole population to then vote on. Call them the hypothetical R and D committees.

  • >> Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can't quite name, ..and it has nothing at all to do with the fact that anything he says is inherently untrustable, and that he is only self-serving like the worst used car salesman?

    Vote Paul.

  • Are you saying Mitt Romney is a robot planted to take over the country?

    I knew it!
  • by chill (34294)

    The truth is finally coming out. Willard Mitt Romney is really just another alias for R. Daneel Olivaw [wikipedia.org]. Just like on Trantor, some are finally beginning to suspect.

  • So what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:43AM (#38890439)

    As a non-American who lived in the USA for 10 years, I find it amusing that you guys worry so much about your presidential candidates' private lives.

    I remember the presidential blowjob incident. The SAME people who thought Clinton was a great president decided he was no good anymore because he screwed an intern.

    Now we find out Mitt Romney is a dork when he's off the limelight. So fucking what?? Is he able to get the job done should he get elected?? If you think so, vote for him.

    Finally, does your boss worry and judge you based on what you do in private, off the clock?? How about your customers, co-workers, subordinates, etc.??

    No, no, and no, right? Then why the fuck do you care about the candidates' private lives.

    Disclaimer: like I said, I'm not America, no longer live in the US, don't vote, don't care.

    • You're a moron (Score:4, Informative)

      by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:47AM (#38890475) Homepage

      The reason he was impeached wasn't sex. It was because:

      1. He lied under oath. We call that perjury and it's a felony.
      2. He lied under oath in a trial where he was having to account for unwanted sexual advances on a woman.
      3. As a matter of law, we try to make at least a half-assed attempt to protect women from aggressive, unwanted sexual advances.
      4. Felonies are actually named as a basis upon which a President can be impeached.

      If he had just admitted the truth, there was nothing the system could have done to him because it was a civil trial and Presidents cannot be impeached for purely civil matters.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        "As a matter of law, we try to make at least a half-assed attempt to protect women from aggressive, unwanted sexual advances."

        You're talking about Herman Cain, right? Because Lewinski sure seemed like she wanted to do all that stuff. In fact, she tried to hide it.

        Oh right, it's about "principles" and not the facts. I forgot to wear my derp-hat.

      • Who's the moron? (Score:5, Informative)

        by KingSkippus (799657) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:08AM (#38890697) Homepage Journal

        BZZZT!!! Bullshit.

        We don't call lying under oath "perjury." We call lying under oath about something material to the case at hand "perjury." Clinton did lie under oath in a deposition about Whitewater to questions that had not a damn thing to do with the case, therefore not perjury. If you go back and check, he was completely acquitted of that charge--even by several Republicans.

        Also, even if he were eventually found guilty, felonies are not named as a basis upon which a President can be impeached. "High crimes and misdemeanors" is the basis. Clinton had an affair. Stop trying to conflate that with giving away our nuclear codes to China.

        By the way, you might want to know that as a matter of law, we do not prosecute people because of consensual sex.

        And by the way, he WAS impeached because of sex. You can try to dress it up any way you want, but that's it, period. They tried to get him on Whitewater, and they couldn't. He was completely acquitted of all of those charges, too. Maybe you don't remember so well what happened during those days, but I sure as hell do. The Republicans made some shit up and hauled him in to give a sworn deposition under oath about Whitewater. Once he got in the room, they started asking him all sorts of sordid, slimy questions that didn't have a damn thing to do with the case at hand. Everyone in that room--especially Bill Clinton--knew that the testimony would be leaked and that it had zero to do with any actual crime. It was character assassination, pure and simple. Hell, they knew they didn't have the votes to actually find him guilty, so the end goal wasn't really to remove him from office, either. The point was to get Ken Starr's report out to the public and put all of the salacious details on people's televisions; to distract the public from REAL issues.

        Clinton was by far one of the best presidents we've ever had. Eight straight years of relative peace, no messy expensive international entanglements, budget surpluses, record low unemployment, booming economy with little inflation, etc. Had the Republicans not conducted their little smear campaign, there's no way come hell or high water Al Gore could lose in 2000, it would have been a Reaganesque landslide. They were desperate, and as a result, Clinton for a couple of years had a very hard time carrying out his duties as President. I kinda wish he had been able to focus on things like, I dunno, say, Osama bin Laden, instead of having to testify about where someone consented for him to put a cigar.

        So stop being such a tool and persisting with this bogus "but he lied under oath, waaaah!" bullshit. He was impeached due to sex, and it was nothing but a Republican ploy to take the White House in 2000, end of story.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:18AM (#38890787)

          The deposition that Clinton lied about having sex with Monica Lewinski was for the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit. I would think having sex with an intern would be material to this case.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Jones

          As with Nixon it was not the crime but the cover up. Only Nixon is synonymous with being a crook and Clinton is not.

          • As with Nixon it was not the crime but the cover up. Only Nixon is synonymous with being a crook and Clinton is not.

            Both Nixon's crime and coverup were significantly more serious than Clinton's, so I think that's understandable.

        • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:33AM (#38890967)

          You dare post facts here? Prepare for a hoard of tri-corner hat wearing goons to pummel you with nonsensical ravings and coordinated mod bombing from a collection of attack accounts.

        • We call lying under oath about something material to the case at hand "perjury."

          If it's not pertinent to the case, why was it asked, let alone answered?

    • by Joehonkie (665142)
      "The SAME people who thought Clinton was a great president decided he was no good anymore because he screwed an intern." What? No. The people who were after him were the REPUBLICANS, who never wanted him to be president.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:51AM (#38890503)

    "Barack Obama is a socialist. He's trying to overhaul this country along the lines of Europe." (pauses while boos fill the hall).

    "That's right, my friends. Now, Europe is a nice place to visit - I spent about five years there in France during the Viet Nam War. Bonjour, tout le monde! Comment allez-vous aujourd'hui?" (pauses, but is met by silence)

    "And Switzerland is a great place to park your money for tax purposes, but I've found we have a better tax shelter right here in the Cayman Islands!" (pauses again.. scattered nervous applause)

    "Not that I ever had much money in those accounts, contrary to what the elite liberal press has suggested. Maybe $30 million or so at the peak. But I am not going to apologize for being a successful businessman, I've created a lot of jobs during my career. There's Everett " (points to the someone in the crowd) "Everett worked for the printer we used at Bain Capital for the private equity contracts." (sustained applause)

    "I'm going to repeal Obamacare. I'm going to win the debates - when the President starts in with one of his outrageous Keystone Cops statements I'll turn to him and say, Ten Thousand Dollar bet, Barack?"

    "And when November comes, we're going to put Obama's dog on the roof of the car " (cheering starts to build) ".. and we're going to take it for a spin on the highway for a few hours, and then we're going to close down the union plant that built the car!" (wild cheers and cries of "Mitt, Mitt")

  • The man's top ten donors are all Wall Street blue blood institutions, he's the inspiration for Obamacare and more. The more conservatives get to know him, the more they start to think it doesn't matter if Obama wins because Romney not only shares the same core issue positions, but has the executive experience to quite possibly be even more "effective" in the ways they want to prevent. This race has become a case of the Republican primary voters and RNC once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I

  • by footNipple (541325) <footnipple.indiatimes@com> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:55AM (#38890557)
    Here we go. The hard and heavy wheels of destruction are starting to turn. Inevitable I suppose.

    IMO, Romney is, intellectually and experientially, the most qualified candidate for US president that we've seen in the last two centuries. I'm not sure what kind of president he'll end up being, but he is certainly qualified for the role and infinitely more qualified than the current US president.

    FWIW, I had the opportunity to work in fairly close proximity to the man back in 1994. Back then I got the distinct impression that he was generally the smartest guy in the room. But what really stands out in my memory was a meeting where various topics of quantitative finance were discussed...in detail. He was very comfortable with partial differential equations. :-)
    • by Hatta (162192) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:34AM (#38890971) Journal

      Yes Romneys qualified. He's had years of experience plundering companies for his own personal profit. Now he can bring that experience to the whole country! Bain Capitol anyone?

      • by khipu (2511498) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:03PM (#38892675)

        Yes Romneys qualified. He's had years of experience plundering companies for his own personal profit.Now he can bring that experience to the whole country!

        I sure hope so, because "plundering" failing companies is far preferable to bailing them out with taxpayer money, which is what Bush and Obama have been doing.

    • He might know PDEs, but what does running a VC firm have to do with being qualified to be president? The two have almost nothing in common.

    • by sam_paris (919837)
      Are you serious or is this a subtle joke I am miss-understanding? Romney is intellectually and experientially the most qualified candidate for US president? Really? Really?

      Romney is a corporate shill, who is willing to flip-flop on any issue as long as it gets him the nomination and presidency. He doesn't care about 99% of the people in this country, he only cares about keeping himself rich and empowered, and keeping those other rich people and especially corporations, rich and empowered.

      If he becomes
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:57AM (#38890571) Homepage
    Oh, you'll laugh about it, until you meet one. You'll sense it, deep in your brainstem, that you're prey.
  • by ciaohound (118419) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:58AM (#38890583)

    If Romney is in the uncanny valley, let's eliminate the impossible and what's left must be the truth. He clearly is not a corpse, and let's face it, zombies are fictional, so he must have some sort of prosthesis. Not a prosthetic hand, but perhaps a prosthetic forehead.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Sponge Bath (413667)

      ...let's face it, zombies are fictional

      That will upset Christians. Zombie Jesus is a cornerstone of their system of myths.

  • What bothers me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @09:59AM (#38890599) Homepage Journal

    Even before Iowa, people were claiming Romney was "electable". WTF? Why is a guy who couldn't beat a 100 year old loser in 2008 "electable"? More important, when has the "electable" candidate actually WON?? McCain was electable, and so was Bob Dole. On the other side, John Kerry was electable, and I'm pretty sure Hilary was more electable than an unknown 2 year Senator with a foriegn name.

    • Yep. I'm sorry but I'm not voting for Obama, Santorum, Gingrich and I'm certainly not voting for Romney. I don't want a president like the last 10 that we have had. When was the last time we actually had an anti-war candidate from the democrats? When was the last time we actually had a free market candidate from the republicans?

      If the Republicans choose Gingrich, Santorum or Romney as their candidate, I'm not voting for them. If the democrats have Obama as their candidate I'm not voting for them. Inste
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dr2chase (653338)

        Of the two candidates that actually have a chance of winning, is there one that comes closer to what you desire? You may vote for ponies, but what you're getting is a kitten or a puppy.

        • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:11AM (#38891367)

          You may vote for ponies

          It's the Celestia/Luna 2012 ticket for me.

        • You may vote for ponies, but what you're getting is a kitten or a puppy.

          Given the cart that needs pulling to get out of the quicksand, I'll vote for the pony.

          The Republicans can't win the general election without the Ron Paul supporters and they know it. And polling indicates that at LEAST half of the Paulistas will NOT vote for any of the other members of the Republican field, considering them at least as much of a problem as Obama. (Only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney poll as potentially winning against O. A

  • by jfruh (300774) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:13AM (#38890739)

    ...when he said Romney looks like "the guy who plays the American president in a Canadian movie."

  • Neil Stephenson (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2NO@SPAMgdargaud.net> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:14AM (#38890743) Homepage
    As usual reading Neil Stephenson is spot on for the average geek: Interface [amazon.com] is about a slightly 'enhanced' presidential candidate that is the _perfect_ shill for big business.
  • by Anonymous Meoward (665631) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:28AM (#38890913)
    "The audience at the inauguration were puzzled by the beginning of President Romney's long-anticipated speech, in which he simply intoned: 'Attention all planets of the solar federation: we have assumed control, we have assumed control, we have assumed control..'"
  • by pscottdv (676889) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:29AM (#38890915)

    equal parts 'Leave It to Beaver' corniness and social awkwardness

    I wonder, what is his slashdot id?

  • by seven of five (578993) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:39AM (#38891055) Homepage
    Mitt cannot harm a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to be harmed.
  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @10:47AM (#38891135)
    What's really uncanny is the two or three editorials per day about Romney's massive electability problems. And I only read one mainstream outlet; this story suggests other papers are doing the same thing. All this babbling about his problems and how he can't possibly win, and meanwhile he's, you know....winning. At least the nomination, and he probably has as good a chance as any against Obama in the general election.

    I don't like Romney at all, but I'm still profoundly unsettled by this desperate meta-campaign to convince people he can't win. Are news outlets delusional? Are they trying to shape public policy by falsely prophesying some inevitable result? It just plain creeps me out.
    • by radtea (464814)

      I don't like Romney at all, but I'm still profoundly unsettled by this desperate meta-campaign to convince people he can't win. Are news outlets delusional? Are they trying to shape public policy by falsely prophesying some inevitable result? It just plain creeps me out.

      I think its a matter of selling eyeballs to advertisers. No one is going to read or comment on a story that is true, which would appear under a headline: "Romney's Campaign Prepared to Spend Its Way to Victory".

      Money is the big determiner of primary outcomes, and Romney has the most by a long shot. Ergo, he's going to win. But pundits don't get paid to point out obvious facts. They get paid to stir up controversy, especially where no reasonable level of uncertainty exists. Ergo, all this bullshit in a

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:27AM (#38891553) Homepage

    This sounds like the author has never heard of the word smarmy before.
    Define: smarmy [google.com]

    Adjective: Ingratiating and wheedling in a way that is perceived as insincere or excessive; unctuous.
    Synonyms: sycophantic - adulatory - oily - obsequious - fawning

    Define: smarm [google.com]

    Verb: Behave in an ingratiating way in order to gain favor: "I smarmed my way into the air force".
    Noun: Ingratiating behavior: "it takes smarm and confidence".

    Mitt Romney looks like someone who forced himself to smile so long that it is stuck on his face like a sticker. The guy probably sleeps with that grin. It looks weird and painful. It screams "used car salesman" which is the essence of smarmy. I suspect that everyone realizes this, but many don't seem to understand that this is a common shared concept and there is a word for it.

  • by jtara (133429) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:09PM (#38893675)

    The best thing the guy could do is to be more like his father, George Romney. He was governor of Michigan when I was a child. He was a self-made auto executive before that. The family didn't come from money. In fact, they fled from a Mormon colony during the Mexican Revolution and "struggled during the Great Depression". (Yes, I cribbed that from Wikipedia...)

    Before running for governor, George Romney was CEO of American Motors, the underdog of auto manufacturers. When George Romney ran for the office of governor, he released *7* years of tax returns. He became a popular Republican governor of a almost-exclusively Democratic state. I don't recall any "mormon" issue, but I was a little kid, and I think awareness of Mormonism was pretty low. Nobody knew what that was, or else didn't care.

    I don't know why Mitt refuses to take after his father, who seemed - to me, at least - an honest and direct man.

    I suppose the problem is - he CAN'T be like his father. George grew up in a Mormon colony in Mexico and in Salt Lake City during the depression. Mitt grew up in Bloomfield Hills, which is one of Earth's Reality-Free Zones.

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp

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