"I love being home, in this place where Ann and I were raised, where but the both of us were born," Romney said after introducing his wife, fellow Michigan native Ann. "No one's ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place where we were born and raised."
What? No comment about the perfect height of the trees?
And watch the crowd cheer that remark because they really, really want to hear that true Amurcans are rich, white Mormon dudes and the black guy in the White House is a poseur. Such is the coded language of birthers.
Mitt Romney is a complete and utter failure as a candidate, a person, a Christian, and a human being. For a little bit of perspective -- serious perspective -- read Ta-Nahesi Coates' amazing essay about the line a black president walks because race is still a very, very big deal in this country. Nativism isn't just an idea or a word, it's a destructive, ugly, painful belief system.
The irony of Barack Obama is this: he has become the most successful black politician in American history by avoiding the radioactive racial issues of yesteryear, by being “clean” (as Joe Biden once labeled him)—and yet his indelible blackness irradiates everything he touches. This irony is rooted in the greater ironies of the country he leads. For most of American history, our political system was premised on two conflicting facts—one, an oft-stated love of democracy; the other, an undemocratic white supremacy inscribed at every level of government. In warring against that paradox, African Americans have historically been restricted to the realm of protest and agitation. But when President Barack Obama pledged to “get to the bottom of exactly what happened,” he was not protesting or agitating. He was not appealing to federal power—he was employing it. The power was black—and, in certain quarters, was received as such.
I hear Romney is trying to walk it back now by saying he was simply reaffirming his Michigan birthplace. Right. Sure he was. The irony of verbal slipups is that they inadvertently reveal true beliefs.