Gimme, gimme, gimme a band of brothers

Confetti BettyAugust 21, 2007 

So, if we're talking about the intersection of politics with popular culture, some topics are a gimme. Marilyn serenading JFK. Walter Mondale copping "Where's the beef?" The moment "Swift Boat" became a verb. Then there's that rarest of events, the kind not only destined for the late-night shows, sure to ignite a blogfire and set off an instant flurry of YouTubery, but which actually, you know, means something.

To wit: "Karl Rove, Top White House Strategist, Is Leaving The White House." Or, if you prefer: "Rove Heads Home To Eat Offspring."

Rove's departure from the White House signals, of course, the official beginning of the end of the Bush presidency, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. But beyond that, he'll always be Rappin' Rove, supplier of more "creative" Photoshop opportunities than you can shake an iPhone at. So his departure wasn't just news, it was A Thing.

Let's put it this way: When Perez Hilton takes note? In 2007, that means you've arrived, baby.

Unfortunately, at least for the purposes of me writing about politics and pop culture, ol' Turd Blossom arrived at the very moment he's movin' on down the road. So unless he's indicted and/or signs on to run the campaign of the eventual Republican presidential nominee, his 15 minutes are up. Where does that leave us?

I'll give you five guesses, and their names are Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben and Craig: Team Romney. Forget Giuliani Girl. Move beyond the discussions about the relative hotness of the various Democratic first spouse contenders (a topic rendered moot the first time the words "Elizabeth Kucinich" and "tongue stud" appeared together in print).

The Five Romneys are the flavas of the week, headed toward their respective media moments on the heels of several well-placed profiles. The sons of Mitt are also keepers of the coveted top spots on Dad's MySpace profile, just behind the similarly easy-on-the-eyes Ann. These dudes, OK, OK, men, ranging in age from 37 to 26 are, as we say in the business, Very Much Not Ugly. Get them together and it's like Il Divo just crashed the party, except they're wearing khakis and speak perfect English.

All are united in their desire to see Dad in the White House, but in true boy-band style, they each fill a specific demographic:

  • Tagg, 37, is a senior campaign adviser. Think: The Grownup. Likes: Hangin' w/the fam, Jack Johnson. Usually Seen: Making the rounds of the cable shows, giving the candidate the straight poop.
  • Matt, 35, is in real estate. Think: The Cool Dad. Likes: Sports, The Shins. Usually Seen: Watching Napolean Dynamite with the shorties.
  • Josh, 32, is a real estate developer who, we hear, was pretty cool in high school. Think: The Thinking Man's Man. Likes: Surfing, Coen Brothers movies. Usually Seen: Piloting the Mittmobile (a used Winnebago turned campaign bus), flexing distractingly square jaw.
  • Ben, 29, is a med student. Think: The Smart One. Usually not seen, but blogs as often as he can, he swears!
  • Craig, 26, just left his job as a music producer to work on the campaign. Think: The Duuuude. Likes: Hipster bands like Of Montreal and Sigur Ros, who make up most of his Top Friends. Usually Seen: Doing something "cool" and kinda "edgy," which we know because he wears a backward baseball cap.
  • I get this picture of them all rollin' in that Mittmobile, "Young Folks" blaring over the stereo, with the older ones up front driving, talking policy and wondering if they'll ever be able to "radiate vigor." Meanwhile, in the back, the younger guys are Twittering and teaching the nieces and nephews fart jokes. Expect some bored cubicle-bound jokester to issue a series of LOLRomneys featuring the guys any second now.

    Now, these being clean-cut Mormon fellas — all married — don't look for any Twins Gone Wild!-type headlines, like we had with Jenna and Barbara. The Obama daughters, while cute as buttons bless-their-lil'-hearts, are young enough to be snark-proof; Albert Gore III is played out.

    So for now, get to know a brother. Feel free to engage in your own games of Rate-a-Romney, and have fun with it while it lasts. Because we all know that the only thing more fun than gawking at American hotties of privilege is talking trash on their dysfunction — which is certainly there somewhere, waiting for the Internets to find.

    Ridiculous? Of course. But if you think there isn't an element of the B-A-N-A-N-A-S inherent in, and necessary to, politics, you're either dead or Mike Gravel, or both. Consider: The attention suddenly focused on the Romneys is a direct result of Dad's fumble in Iowa, when he suggested that in lieu of joining the military, his sons' work on his presidential campaign is "one of the ways" they're serving the country during this time of war.

    Yikes. Apparently nobody told Romney that the surest way to get on the bad side of a military family is to compare any experience to what they go through. Instead, he totally should have mentioned that one time out on the lake, when they plucked a whole New Jersey family off a sinking boat. But it's early yet. Heck, even Barack Obama has time to learn what a hitch-ball cover is.

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