oh my god

Buying ‘Hardware Stuff': Day One of the Press’ 24-Hour Surveillance of Mitt Romney

Just wowIt’s a fresh, hellishly dystopian day for Mitt Romney and Co., collectively referred to as “Boston.” Until now, the press could only cover our fair non-incumbent at scheduled events or when summoned to transcribe amateurish spin. Starting today, a small herd of nosey scribes known as the “protective press pool” will follow Romney wherever he goes, always, until the end of time, but probably just until November. What is a day in the life of a Mitt like? We’ll never know. But we do now have some sense of what a pretend day in the life of a Mitt is like. He does simple-folk things, like run errands to the grocery and hardware stores. His advisers surely gave him a thorough briefing on what one is supposed to do at these retail institutions, because he nailed it: At the hardware store, for example, he exchanged United States legal tender for market goods and services he described as “hardware stuff” — just as he was told to do, and in the terse lingo of the proletariat.

Hopefully the pool reports will all stay this hilarious, and we can have one sure-thing post each day until the election. First, to the village merchant of hard-wares, shortly after sunrise:

Gov. Romney arrived at Bradley’s Hardware in downtown Wolfeboro, N.H., at 8:45 a.m., after a short drive down Main Street.

Romney was wearing a casual salmon checkered button-down shirt, his sleeves rolled up his forearm. He wore jeans and black New Balance shoes. As he walked into the store, he was carrying what appeared to be a shopping list. He said hello to a local woman, “Hi, there, how are you doing?” When your pool asked her if she planned to vote for Romney, she said, “Of course.”

Romney is inside the store shopping and your pool is holding on the street outside.

The pool coverage of Mitt Romney’s Typical, Unspectacular Day Doing Errands continued at the cookery’s supply market, and then the dispensary of medicines:

Gov. Romney left Bradley’s Hardware at 8:54 a.m. with a beige bucket of goods. Asked what he bought, Romney told your pooler, “Hardware stuff.” Then, he said, “Going to the grocery store now,” and climbed into his Suburban.

At 8:57 a.m., Romney arrived at Hunters Shop ‘n Save, a nearby grocery store. Before entering the store, he stopped to get two ears of “native sweet corn” from an outside display. They were on sale for two for $1.00.

When your pool asked if he was cooking tonight, Romney said, “Absolutely.” At that, Romney grabbed a shopping cart and went inside the store. Your pool remained outside in the parking lot.

At 9:09 a.m., Romney exited the store with a shopping cart full of groceries. He loaded up the trunk of the Suburban himself, without help of agents. He had 12-packs of Caffeine Free Diet Coke and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi, as well as a 24-pack of Poland Spring bottled water. He also had two plastic bags of groceries. Your pooler spotted Greek yogurt.

When your pool asked whether he was cooking tonight, Romney said, “I’ll make my own dinner. That’s not exactly cooking.”

Romney said, “I’ve got some folks coming over today.” When one reporter asked if they were Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty, Romney laughed, “Ha, ha, ha, ha,” but did not answer.

At 9:11 a.m., Romney walked across the parking lot to Rite Aid pharmacy. Your pool stayed outside. At 9:16 a.m., Romney emerged from the store with a plastic bag of goods. He held his iPhone with his left hand up to his ear, but then had a conversation with one lady whose car was blocked in by his motorcade.

“I’m sorry for blocking you in there. I don’t know about these guys,” Romney told her, motioning at the Secret Service agents.

“It’s because you’re a very special person,” she told Romney, giving him a thumbs up.

“Have a nice day,” he said.

Romney arrived back at his residence at 9:22 a.m. and your pool is holding.

At what unspectacular destinations will he perform unspectacular tasks this afternoon? Perhaps a clothery, a haberdasher, some other bullshit…


About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell
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  1. SorosBot

    But was he surprised by the workings of the mysterious bar code scanning machine, like Bush Sr.?

    1. larrykat

      12 minutes from arrival at the grocery store until exiting with a cart full of groceries?? I call bullshit and pre-shopped merchandise. Probably had his valet go down there and pick it all out before hand.

  2. Come here a minute

    Wife's in London. Will Mitt have to figure out how to work the washing machine?

    1. kittensdontlie

      Being a master of the domestic arts, Mitt is pretty sure that is an auxillary dish washer.

    2. chicken_thief

      Then why would he need to buy condoms at the Rite Aid? I mean, I'm not suggesting that Mitt is fucking around on Ann or anything. But it would be irresponsible to not ask the question.

  3. ChernobylSoup

    There was an awkward moment when he asked the only black member of the press pool to __________.

    1. Baconzgood

      "Sorry", taking the grocery bags that he just gave the man "I thought you were the delivery boy."

  4. Baconzgood

    “It’s because you’re a very special person,”

    That's a really nice way to put it. Very PC nice PC woman.

  5. Sue4466

    He spent 9 minutes in the hardware store, 11 minutes buying a cartful of groceries,and 5 minutes at the Rite Aid? I call bullshit.

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      You'd be quick in those stores too if you just grabbed random shit off the shelves.

  6. mlle_derp

    Mitt's just a regular guy at the regular hardware store buyin' regular hardware stuff.

    (Snicker, snicker.)

    1. Harrison Wintergreen

      In the electrical supplies aisle, when asked if he needed a 220-volt plug, he sagely responded "Sure, yeah, 220, 221, whatever it takes."

      apologies to Mr. Mom.

  7. Boojum

    "When one reporter asked if they were Rob Portman or Tim Pawlenty, Romney laughed, “Ha, ha, ha, ha,” but did not answer."

    And that is exactly the way he evinced laughter: "Ha, ha, ha, ha," with the right number of "ha's", which is four, indicating moderate levels of amused discomfort.

    1. CthuNHu

      I guarantee that for any reporters who have covered Romney, this was their absolute favorite part of this story, and they knew exactly how Mittens looked and sounded at that very moment.

      Kudos to brave and patient pool reporter Phil Rucker. A nation turns its grateful eyes to you.

      Note: "…moderate levels of amused discomfort" is incorrect. "…an attempt to convey a moderate level of amusement while actually feeling moderate levels of discomfort and contempt" is more accurate.

      1. Preferred Customer

        RC Cola? That's like the American Motors of the soft drink industry.

        "Screw you, Dad! You think you're so big! You can't control me! I'm buying Coke *and* Pepsi! And a Ford! And a couple of Cadillacs! And I'll be president one day, too!

  8. mookwrthwilson

    Diet Cherry Pepsi can't be for him or his family…it has caffeine…must be for his boyfriend…or maybe one of his horses…

  9. freakishlywrong

    He's SO one of us! (actually, I run my fucking errands on the weekend or in the middle of the night, due to my "job")

      1. Generation[redacted]

        As an unemployed father, he's demonstrating the hardship he has to suffer due to the Obama economy.

    1. MumbletyPesade

      You crack me up. I *just* finished zipping around town during "lunch break" which I routinely substitute with errand running. The time it took me to find my choice coffee bean hipster joint was a.) filled to overflowed parking, and b.) auxiliary coffee stand vacant "WE'RE CLOSED", was all the time I could afford away from my desk — in which same interval, Rmoney could've helped himself to a few extra leveraged buyouts for his mid-day snack.

    2. slithytoves

      Right – and that's when every store is so crowded because we're in the same boat, and you waste half your day in lines or trying to find someone to help you, and then you get home and have to go to work again.

  10. Blueb4sinrise

    THIS IS DRAMATIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "Then you put stuff in the cart and push it to the checkout."

    "You gotta be kidding!"

    "No, really."

  11. Baconzgood

    If I had 100 million and people following me and reporting about all the little errands I do in a day I'd totally fuck with them. Buy every Hustler in the store, an enema, and then ask "how much for your women, I want to buy the little girl and your wife" in my Jake Blues voice.

    1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

      One time I went to the hardware store and bought a shovel. I picked up duct tape and extra large garbage bags just for fun.

    2. horsedreamer_1

      "I didn't say I want a lot of sheisse porn. I said I want all the sheisse porn you have".

  12. SorosBot

    I'd be very surprised if either Mitt or Ann knew how to cook; they have people to do that for them.

  13. SheriffRoscoe

    Romney is a loser. I hope to be rich enough one day to pay somebody to do my shopping for me and DON'T HATE ME FOR BEING SUCCESSFUL.

  14. Trannysurprise

    He probably wondered if the wad of $100 bills he shoved at the cashier would indeed be enough to purchase the food type products.

  15. SexySmurf

    “It’s because you’re a very special person,” she told Romney, giving him a thumbs up.

    I'm guessing she actually held up a different finger.

  16. Oblios_Cap

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around what the biege bucket of goods he got in the hardware store could possibly be. i've never come out of a "hard-wares store" with a bucket of anything.

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      He probably purchased a bucket of roofing tar, along with some washers and a cold chisel.

  17. edgydrifter

    Who the fuck only buys two ears of corn? I don't care if you're a confirmed bachelor–you see a good deal on sweet corn, you buy yourself at least a dozen. Gluttony is American, Mitt. That's a fact.

    1. Angry_Marmot

      I asked the same question. On the bright side, for once we'll know what kind of shit is coming out of him the day before it happens.

  18. hagajim

    Mittens bought "hardware stuff" because he doesn't have a clue what he bought – but he can read hardware….thus hardware stuff. My lord, is this what "news" reporting has come to? I am ashamed that I were ever part of the media.

    1. grex1949

      It was prolly a new set of washers for the kitchen faucet and one of those grinders to re-face the valve and cure that dripping faucet Anne has been complaining about. You know, surprise the "old lady" when she returns from showing her horse at the Olympics, just like we all do, when our wife is at the Olympics showing her horse in the dressage competition. She'll be so happy when she drives up in her couple of Cadillacs and finds that kitchen faucet repaired! What a great country we live in!

  19. SayItWithWookies

    When my parents first encountered a microwave, they were trying to cook some hot dogs and put them in for what they figured was a reasonable amount of time — fifteen minutes or thereabouts. I kind of imagine Mitt cooking for himself will produce about the same results as the scorched, exploded meat that resulted.

    1. Ducksworthy

      I think you'll see similar results when Willard starts to cook the U.S. treasury's books.

  20. coolhandnuke

    I sense the L.L Bean costume he's sporting, to hide in plain sight, rejected its' host.

  21. bumfug

    Mitt was quick to point out, "When you're successful like I am you're always buying things and when you buy things they charge sales tax. I told you I pay a lot of taxes and there's your proof. Now shut up about my taxes."

    1. DustBowlBlues

      I've actually wondered if his claim to have paid taxes is based on paying sales and property taxes. I heard this AM he made a sweet $100,000 on the taxes on one of his estates by hiring a lawyer and appealing. Like they couldn't pay the bill. What complete douches. He is the least public spirited candidate for president since Calvin Coolidge. When he dies I hope someone goes all Dorothy Parker on his ass.

      1. Isyaignert

        I agree with your supposition about Rmoney's taxes. He never said he paid a lot of "income" tax just taxes.

        Bonus points for the excellent Dorothy Parker reference!!

  22. Joey_Blau

    what a miserable soul sapping existance… to be following Willard around.

    "When your pool asked if he was cooking tonight, Romney said, “Absolutely.” . . . .

    When your pool asked whether he was cooking tonight, Romney said, “I’ll make my own dinner. That’s not exactly cooking"

    about 10 minutes later… wow.

  23. mull_man

    Romney's Hardware "Stuff"
    1. Qrt shellac for hair
    2. 1 doz eneloop LSD AA batteries for servo controlled facial motors
    3. 3 cans WD40 for joints
    4. 2 stainless steel hex head bolts,1/2-20×2" for neck
    5. 1 box of 100 nitrile gloves for fudge packing

  24. SoBeach

    He's just a regular guy, doin' regular stuff. Just like me.

    Why, just this morning I told the household staff to take a break while I scrubbed out some dirty toilets and mowed the lawn. We rich aren't so different…

  25. TheGyrus

    Shouldn't a potential future president have more important things to do with his time than putz around a strip mall?

  26. Fukui-sanYesOta

    Romney later saw a crooked physician. The pool questioned him afterwards

    pool: "What did you score?"

    Romney: "shitloads of Oxy. Bitch is making me cook tonight so I need to be mellow"

    A spectator made some pretty serious moves on Romney after hearing the news, but he seemed immune. "He's got to be gay" said the spectator after her gambit failed.

    It's unknown whether Romney prefers the Oxy or the Vikes he scored yesterday. When asked to comment, Romney's press aide simply said "Fuck you".

    1. SmutBoffin

      Later on, at the adult novelties superstore, Romney browsed the glass selection.

      "I'm looking for, like, a party bowl with a long-ish stem. Can I see that blue one with the dragon?"

      He was last seen disappearing behind the curtain leading into the dildo aisle.

      1. Fukui-sanYesOta

        On hearing that Romney had purchased the anus version of the fleshlight, pool reporters were rushing to report the quote from Willard's campaign strategist: "I'll kill your family and everyone you love"

        Further comment was unavailable.

    1. kittensdontlie

      The pool neglected to mention the white face foundation– Maybelline's 'Unadulterated Snow'– that he bought at Rite-Aid.

  27. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    Why don't he go to the liquor store and check cashing place like real US Amerricuns? Followed by a delicious, non gay, hunk of chicken and a trip to the casino!

  28. Goonemeritus

    My favorite shopping story is G.H Bush the day of the election with Clinton bought a fishing pole as if to say I guess I’m going to have some free time on my hands.

  29. Callyson

    No, because they're the same bar code scanning machines that start Mittens up every morning.

  30. Ducksworthy

    I think I know now where he gets his Jeans. And is bottled water really hardware stuff, or is that some kind of poison?

  31. larrykat

    "Gov. Romney arrived at Bradley’s Hardware in downtown Wolfeboro, N.H…." Whereupon he promptly remarked to the owner that he had "heard some distressing things" about their gate hinges and thought maybe that didn't bode well for the success of opening and closing gates. Romney then wrote a short prayer and tried to stuff it into the display of PVC piping.

  32. walterhwhite

    But wait! The Wild Cheery Diet Pepsi has caffeine. Has the pool reported this to the 12 ancient men who run the Mormon church?

  33. BaldarTFlagass

    Then after he got home, he got on the phone and bought one of the remaining manufacturing companies in this country, gutted the employee's pension fund, moved the jobs to China, fired all the employees, and then sold the company for a sweet 200% profit.

  34. Monsieur_Grumpe

    I can see Mitt in a hardware store staring long and hard at a toilet plunger wondering what it's used for.

    1. larrykat

      .. when suddenly it comes back to him: Oh yes! It was that funny-looking tool from the janitor's closet that we used on that long-haired hippie back in '65!

  35. thedeathofirony

    Of course he went to tax-free NH to shop instead of 'Taxachusetts'.

    Fucking asshole

  36. annettaj

    Mittens: "Now do I get to take this wheeled metal thingy home with me or do I
    give it to that patriotic multi-clothed American sitting in the alley?"

    And oh yeah—What fresh hell will come of this?

  37. SheriffRoscoe

    He hit a brief snag in the screwdriver aisle. His shopping list said to get a Phillips but all they had were ones that said "Stanley." (This comment is not the least bit autobiographical.)

      1. BigSkullF*ckingDog

        Quit being a Mittens apologizer! I looked at a googlemaps and it is a short drive to the sales tax havin state of Maine from there! Monster! He's a tax dodging MONSTER!

  38. BlueStateLibel

    I can just imagine him going into these stores and just randomly picking shit up and throwing it in his cart, having no idea what it is and what it's used for. I bet there's some random Cover Girl makeup, a box of Fruit Loops and a 32-bit drill thrown in with that lot.

    1. bikerlaureate

      Froot Loops? Don't tell the brave practitioner of flaming civil disobedience –

      Oh, wait, that's a Kellogg's product. Carry on.

  39. DemonicRage

    This is proof positive again that he is the Republican version of John Kerry. The press followed Kerry around on a 'natural' day shopping and he pointedly bought a jockstrap. I'm not making this up!

  40. Limeylizzie

    "casual salmon checkered button-down shirt", does he know that that sounds very gay and very non-blue collar, also sounds as if it would look foul on him.

    1. GeorgiaBurning

      I've never been to NH, but Banana Republic dress-down seems a bit preppy for a hardware store.

  41. thewarmingsun

    Can you imagine what the rehearsals for this were like?

    "Goddammit, Mitt. No! You give the cashier money. She doesn't give you money!"

  42. DahBoner

    How dare Those People actually cover what a Republican actually says and does!!!

    Don't they know they're only supposed to cover fake events like clearing brush or riding a horse on a ranch in Santa Barbara????

  43. GeorgiaBurning

    Somebody still doesn't get it. He needs to show up in a flannel shirt, paint spattered old jeans and a day's beard growth, and come out of the store with a couple paint brushes, a can of spackle and a gallon of turpentine. Plus a Slim-Jim from the display by the cash register.

  44. OneYieldRegular

    "Romney was wearing a casual salmon checkered button-down shirt."

    I'm surprised he didn't wear a wife-beater, you know, like the commoners.

  45. BeefHardcake

    The scene paints itself: Mitt walks into the grocery store, approaches the first person he finds and says, "Hello, Earth person! I would like to purchase some of this human food supply product, please."

    Then he peels off his fake epidermis to reveal that he is, in fact, Ultron in disguise.

  46. DustBowlBlues

    Notice that the Pepsi isn't caffeine free? When the Brigham Young Capitalist wing of the C of JC of LDS invested in Pepsi stock, the caffeine in Pepsi became not harmful to your body. I'm supposing the president of the "church" wandered into the Utah desert for about the same amount of time that Mittens spent in the hardware store, buying hardware stuff, had a talk with God's own stockbroker, who said that it was a good buy and consuming shit that's bad for your personal temple of God is okay, as long as it's a good investment.

  47. An_Outhouse

    This time of the year you can get a dozen ears of corn for two dollars. Over paying by that much is not a good attribute for the leader of the free world.

  48. An_Outhouse

    Romney spent 12 minutes in the grocery store. That's a lot of shit to buy in in 12 minutes. Maybe he called ahead and they had everything waiting for him.

  49. owhatever

    Next, I'm headed over to a private massage emporium where college girls are working to earn money for their degrees in biochemistry. Then I will go home and cook up a lettuce and watch some gay porn, I mean the Olympics.

  50. Biff

    I'm not gonna read all the comments to see if anyone else says this, but I'ma say this is a man that has never been sent to the store for tampons. Ever.

  51. TribecaMike

    I'm sure he didn't pick up any Moxie at the grocery store. For one thing, his faith doesn't allow it (24 mg of caffeine per 12-ounce bottle), and secondly he's a fecking wimp.

    1. TribecaMike

      I can see the reporters reporting oh-so-seriously over Mitt clearing the Silky Sassafras from his estate(s). Or at the least supervising a crew of wetbacks.

  52. mrivers459

    Will he be going to Kinko's tomorrow to make thousands of pages of copies of his tax returns to give to that filthy liar, Harry Reid, shut him up ?

  53. DocChaos

    So Romney managed to hit 3 separate stores in 31 minutes, buying several items at each venue? I guess if they have the shit waiting at the counter for you, and the line cleared so there is no waiting, that's possible.

  54. Warpde

    Well I heard from an inside source at Bain that Mitt's hardware shops always consist of:
    Ball-peen Hammer
    Duct tape
    Industrial gloves
    6' of Nylon rope
    10 pac heavy duty Glad garbage bags and

  55. Thunderclees

    I’ve got some folks coming over today.

    And yet you only bought two ears of corn?


  56. ttommyunger

    Geez, I wish I would bump into him at a store and have him ask me if I planned to vote for him; I could use a good laugh.

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