United States

Oct 19, 2012

Rundle: on a Virginia night, Romney’s nerdshow rolls on

Virginia is a microcosm of America: an urbane north and rural south. Guess who turned up to see Mitt Romney? It was short but, to the faithful, perfectly sweet.

Guy Rundle — Correspondent-at-large

Guy Rundle


White floodlights on the hill, the old Hollywood type, limelight cylinders and a jumbotron screen behind the makeshift stage, playing some warm-up act, stumbling through the pledge of allegiance, Still the Same blasting over the fields. You can’t see the jumbotron supports in the dark, so it looks like this moon-faced Romneybot is floating in space, in the Virginia night. Folks are streaming into the park, down the road leading from this pretty Virginia town, all neat stucco houses and birch trees, a place where even the bail bondsman’s office has a shingle roof and a hand-carved wooden sign (“serving all Va. Prisons!”).

Most of the townspeople don’t live here of course — the historic downtown is part tourist bauble, part old well-born Virginny types, but the old town is now ringed by fauxlonial-style apartment blocks and minimalls, with an express commuter bus to DC. I rode in with those folks, DC types, rumpled office workers in cheap suits, women swapping heels for flats, and diving into Fifty Shades Freed on their Kindle. They’re urban-types, priced out of the DC market as the city booms. A decade ago, few of them would have disturbed the peace of the Virginia countryside, reliably Republican state for nearly half a century until Obama took it in 2008.

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10 thoughts on “Rundle: on a Virginia night, Romney’s nerdshow rolls on

  1. paddy

    [luvved up and stuffed with empathy like a vodka suppository]
    Lurve your work Guy.

  2. virtualkat

    r they really going to elect THAT guys? seriously? can’t u do something?

  3. Observer

    America has been in decline for years now and will never regain its former “glory”. Both sides of politics are are corrupted, just one more than the other. What a choice, and yet there are so many shills and apologists on each side. So many of the citizenry appear to be completely fooled and taken in by the rethoric. I just shake my head. Whomever they elect, they will get what they get. More of the same corruption, vested interest, environmental degradation and stripping away of basic rights. What a place to live… They can have it!

  4. Andrew McMillen

    Great read Guy. Paddy, I was about to quote the very same passage. Genius.


    That Gallop poll was the subject of today’s 538 blog (NY Times) by Nate Silver. In short when Gallop’s out of line with all the other polls, believe the the other polls. They have history on it, and Silver cites it.

    In short, on the model Silver uses to concatenate all the polls, Obama is a few points up and still likely to take the majority of the swing states.

    If by some accident they do elect the android, (and I’ve always thought he was Asperger material, btw) he’ll be mauled by the far right loony tunes (and Paul Ryan) who gave him the primary and we’ll get four years of more craziness than ever GW Bush could manage.

    But right now there’s no need to panic.


    Actually that was yesterday’s NY Times. Today, Nate Silver shows Obama up further to 70% chance of a win. The day of the last debate, Intrade had Obama at 60%, so it’s been moving slowly towards the Prez.

  7. mikeb

    “luvved up and stuffed with empathy like a vodka suppository.”
    “It’s like watching someone move sacks of chicken giblets around in a walk-in freezer.”

    GR – do you save these up just waiting for the right moment? You should release a book listing all your witty phrases. I’d buy it.

  8. zut alors

    ‘…that gully trap of contumely and resentment, Fox News…’

    A delicious definition.

    A falcon’s hood would’ve been a handy prop for Ryan during the vice-presidential debate – Biden quoted facts and figures galore. If pressed he probably could’ve quoted Ryan’s marathon time accurately…unlike Ryan.

  9. Tony D'Ambra

    Romney is a ‘jack-ass’ as a US friend put it to me in an email recently, but hey why the patrician contempt for the 1959-ers? I know this sort of wise-acre journalism goes down a treat on the East Coast, but getting down and dirty with the great unwashed may provide some real insights.

  10. MJPC

    They’re chunkier, lower slung and quite a few of them have come a long way, from the late 1950s to judge by some of the clothes.
    Simply brilliant Guy!
    The frighetning thought is that Romney could be elected president at a time that there needs needs to be a steady hand in the White House to manage the strife (and what could be-Iran/Israel)in the Middle East, something Romney and his Tea Party followers are not.

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