Mit was fit to be tied.
“Did you see Meet the Press this morning?”
My old missionary companion, Mit
Romney (he recently downsized his first
name, his houses and his family to show
that he’s taking the recession seriously,
even though he’s loaded), was on the
phone, spitting mad about the latest piece
of good luck to come to his arch-rival, fellow
Mormon high priest, and eternal bete
noire, Jon Huntsman Jr.
I, too, had seen the earnest and slightly
dim David Gregory, the host on Meet
the Press, announce that Gov. Huntsman
had hurt his future presidential chances
by confessing to an extramarital affair.
Mr. Gregory almost immediately apologized
for mixing up the Utah governor with
Nevada Sen. John Ensign, who had spilled
the beans a while back about cheating on
“Mit,” I said, “this is good news, my man.
This helps you out. What is it they say, you
can’t un-ring a bell? Even though Gregory
corrected himself in the next breath, people
will always think somewhere in the
back of their minds that Huntsman had
violated his sacred marital vows.”
Mit gave out a bitter laugh. “Don’t you
get it? That dickhead Gregory has done your
well-groomed governor a great big favor.
Instead of being a dull and boring pussy-whipped
Mormon guy like me, he suddenly
acquires an air of sexual mystery.”
Once again, my old missionary companion
had bested me in the astuteness
“I can’t catch a break,” said Mit, who sees himself as the Rodney Dangerfield of American politics, the man who can’t get no respect.
“First, Junior gets appointed ambassador
to China, where he’ll be sipping tea
and talking about Confucius with those
Chinese commies, while I’m humping my
bag all over Iowa making nice with the
rubes so they’ll vote for me in 2012. Now
“Who knows,” I said, trying to soothe
my seething friend. “This thing will just
blow over. Just like the Mark Sanford deal
with the babe in Buenos Aires. Already,
people have moved on to the Michael
Mit was having none of it, and in my heart of hearts, I knew he was right, as he always was.
“Here’s what I want you to do,” Mit said, now all business, as always focused on the task at hand and getting down to brass tacks. “You’ve done a good job of hinting at all the good times we had on our mission together in Paris, France, like our ménage a trois that steamy August afternoon with the cute little femme de chambre. By the way, have you seen Public Enemies? That actress who plays Johnny Depp’s girlfriend, what’s-her-name Marion something-or-other, reminds me of that little brunette chambermaid gal.
“But, I digress. I’ve got
to do something more dramatic,
something to get the
electorate’s attention. I don’t
want to get out there like that
Sanford guy and blubber all the
way through a press conference about
my soul mate and her sexy tan lines.
All that schmaltzy crap just made me
“No, what I have in mind is some juicy rumor that can never be tracked down. Can’t have those media weasels tracking down one of those German girls we met in Wiesbaden and spilling the beans about the nude hikes we took. Do you have any ideas?”
I was thinking about those German
girls, Ursula and Gudrun, and trying
to picture them today, probably
dowdy hausfraus measuring
out their days with kaffee und
“You don’t want to go back
too far,” I said. “It would just
be something chalked up to
youthful indiscretion. How
about something slightly
exotic, with perhaps just a
suggestion of something forbidden?
Or maybe a showbiz
angle that would give you an
aura of being a hip and swinging
“I got it!” Mit said. “Marie would
be perfect! I know all the Osmonds,
and they would all go along with
the story. And I’ve always thought
she was sexy as hell. Remember
when we used to read those fan
magazines about Donny and Marie
on our mission? And wasn’t
she great on Dancing With
For a guy so astute, sometimes
Mit didn’t have a clue.
“I really doubt folks would be
surprised by a liaison with Marie.
You need an affaire de coeur that
crosses what Mark Sanford calls
the ultimate line. Why don’t we
give Gladys Knight a call?”
There was a long pause. “I’ll
sleep on it.” Another pause. “But
I’d sure prefer Marie.”