New York Times columnist David Brooks has recently branded Mitt Romney as the “least popular candidate in history.” Recent musings that Romney has no chance of winning a ‘popularity contest’ against Barack Obama have called into question some of Romney’s more questionable acts. As voting day draws nearer, I, as a first-time voter in the U.S., am left pondering what value Romney does have in the race. I have yet to find any.
Standing out in my brain, in the laundry list of public faux pas Romney has committed wholeheartedly, is a more recent public appearance. Generally speaking, I usually find myself exasperated at the vast majority of quotes, slang terms, and incidents that make headlines as “offensive” to minority groups these days. I, even as a Latina woman, err to the side that people take offense too easily. I feel that at this day in age, people are entirely too quick to use ethnicity as a crutch or a soapbox. In some instances, however, a person should just know better.
Case in point: last week an article broke in the Huffington Post suggesting Mitt Romney had worn brown-face, (hardcore bronzer, for those who don’t know), to an interview on Univision, an entertainment channel geared specifically to the Latin American community. A side-by-side comparison of Romney’s face days before and during the interview shows a definite move toward the orangey-brown side of life – a tone that can seemingly only be found from a bottle.
An article released in the Miami New Times on the 25th attempted to explain away Romney’s sun-kissed Oompa-Loompa likeness, after makeup artist Lazz Rodriguez stated it was her use of a dark Mac concealer that cause Romney’s skin to appear dark. Combined with the harsh lighting of the set, according to the article, Romney’s natural skin tone didn’t stand a chance of shining through.
It is perhaps cynical of me, but I’m not entirely convinced this recent development isn’t a cover up. As a ballroom dancer, I know a bit about spray tans and harsh lighting. If anything, bright lights should have washed Romney out and made him appear lighter. I’ve seen the same effect on dancer’s faces at International Style competitions, and the photo evidence draws out sun from a bottle.
Even more concrete as circumstantial evidence, however is the fact that, mere days before the interview, Romney had stated on camera that “had [my father] been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.”
Just for icing on the cake, Romney did this after also suggesting that 47% of the US population would vote for Obama because they consider themselves victims. Whether you find these individual acts or thoughts offensive on their own, when stacked up, they almost become comical. As a representative of the Republican Party, Unpopular Romney is doing absolutely nothing to expunge the doubts of liberal America of his devotion to the equity of minority groups. He is, however, providing plenty of material for the appalled laughter of an entire nation.