After inspiring a few dozen key volunteers into a veritable frenzy of polite applause during a Tuesday afternoon visit to Las Vegas, Willard Milton Romney turned his firing-on-all-cylinders campaign to the urgent task of charming the local press corps.
After some typically stupid questions from the TV people, the AP's Kathleen Hennessey started off the fun part by basically asking Willard if he planned on taking a position on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump during the course of any of our lifetimes.
"I would make sure that in no circumstances would we do something that would put the health and the well-being of Nevadans at risk. And this is a matter that is being currently studied and reviewed. We'll want to see what the results of that review are," Romney hemmed and hawed (Hemney? Hawmney?). Then he said that he hates the federal government because he's a Republican. More or less. But then he said that he doesn't hate it so much that he'll stop it from forcing nukes up Nevada's patootie. "Clearly Nevadans have a lot to say with regards to this and other policies. And if something looks, uh, we're going to await the results of the work that is now being carried out."
As it happens, Kenny Guinn, the last credible, sane and emotionally stable person to hold the office of Nevada governor, is a Romney supporter. In fact, Guinn was at Romney's side while the Magic Mormon met the media. And as Romney equivocated and scrambled to fill the air with words that someone might mistake for an answer to Hennessey's question, well, maybe it was just us, be we could have sworn we saw Guinn wincing once or twice. Next thing we know, a voice, that turned out to be the lowly Gleaner's, was blurting, "Governor Guinn is that good enough for the people of Nevada?"
"Absolutely," Guinn said, demonstrating that he's just as eager to apologize for his party ramming nuclear waste down the state's throat today as he was during two Karl Rove campaigns for George W. Bush. "I know the data he's going to be looking at will give him the basis on which he can make a decision that we will be very proud of," Guinn said.
Hennessey, thankfully undeterred by Gleaner's impertinent interruption, pressed ahead, asking Romney "you do plan on taking a position during the campaign?"
"Um, I already have. I just described my position. I may pursue that even further," said a now nervous-looking Romney.
"It sounds like you said you're going to look at the research," Hennessey said.
"Well my position is that I'm not going to do anything that would put the health or well being of Nevadans at risk," said a now clearly frazzled Romney, dashing to wrap himself up in the comfort of his (poorly and inadequately) prepared Yucca sound bites.
At this point, the R-J's Molly Ball weighed in with the interrogatory equivalent of a short jab to Romney's strikingly handsome lantern jaw: "But you're not ruling it out. The dump."
"Uh, it's something that I'm going to look at further," Romney said, reeling. "As the, as the, uh, results of the, um, study that's ongoing (pause) are (pause) provided."
Then one of the TV people asked Romney if all the Mormons were going to vote for him, or something like that, which turned out to be the last question. Willard Milton visibly relaxed, and a delivery that had been growing increasingly pained and tentative resumed some measure of confidence, as for once he found he preferred talking about the Mormon thing to what else had been on the table.
And why not? He's got a position on the Mormon thing.
Nevada War Party voters, being industry suck-ups who support big bidness at every opportunity and typically look at the environmental ethic as something to scorn in derision, preferably by repeating something cute that Rush said, probably don't care about Romney's specific position on Yucca Mountain.
But Romney's scrambling on Yucca is of a piece. There's Romney the great white hunter. And Romney who attacked Barack Obama for advocating a sex education policy that Romney himself supported. And the fighting Romneys, battling the evildoers on the campaign trail, presumably so we don't have to fight them at home. And a slew of as yet mostly unpublicized gaffes as governor. And the Romney who stumbles over the one issue that every presidential campaign should have in the can before they let their candidate put one expensively
manicured pedicured and elegantly shod foot in the state.
If the War Party wants to go with Willard, fine. It'll be delightful to make fun of them when they're all whining and wringing their hands over the discovery that their presidential-looking guy's magnificent jaw is made o' glass.