Which 19th century president do Mitt Romney’s advisors want him to be? Karl Rove always hoped that George W. Bush would live up to his idol, William McKinley and… well, George W. Bush sucked, as president, however that stacks up. According to campaign manager Matt Rhoades, Romney has another one-term (but un-shot) president in mind: James K. Polk, who fought the wacky Mexicans and shook his fist right-good at those British fucks in Canada, for Oregon. Romney, according to Rhoades, could be the James K. Polk of entitlements! Now isn’t that a future that we can all stand up and hug?

The hot news comes from a story in the new Huffington Post iPad dongle, Huffington, which costs money. Fortunately we have Mike Allen of THE POLITICO PLAYBOOK to give us the skinny:

ARTICLE OF THE DAY — JON WARD in Huffington magazine (available today on iPad; article posts Monday), “The One-Termer? Thinking Bold Thoughts With Team Romney”: “Matt Rhoades is guarded and intense … [W]hen I met him in mid-July, in a bohemian coffee shop in Boston’s North End, the 37-year-old manager of Mitt Romney’s campaign was hesitant to speculate about what the Republican candidate would do as president, and how. … But when I asked Rhoades … what Romney might do with the budget and entitlement reform plans Ryan had already outlined, Rhoades’ eyes lit up. He gave me a name: James Polk. … Rhoades and the rest of the members of Romney’s inner circle think a Romney presidency could look much like the White House tenure of the 11th U.S. president.

“Polk, who served from 1845 to 1849, presided over the expansion of the U.S. into a coast-to-coast nation, annexing Texas and winning the Mexican-American war for territories that also included New Mexico and California. He reduced trade barriers and strengthened the Treasury system. And he was a one-term president. Polk is an allegory for Rhoades: He did great things, and then exited the scene, and few remember him. That, Rhoades suggested, could be Romney’s legacy as well. … Multiple senior Romney advisers assured me that they had had conversations with the candidate in which he conveyed a depth of conviction about the need to try to enact something like Ryan’s controversial budget and entitlement reforms. Romney, they said, was willing to count the cost politically in order to achieve it.”

So they idolize James K. Polk because he didn’t even care about politics, and Mitt Romney wants to strip entitlements… but is he even going to give us a Mexican War? No bread, no circuses. Just a management consultant. Sucks.


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  • 1stNewtontheMoon

    how many mexican wives was james k polk allowed to have?

  • the_onceler

    What we need is another Ulysses S Grant overseeing Reconstruction.

  • jaytingle

    How do we know he doesn't want a Mexican war? He is a Mexican. His polygamous grandpa lived in Mexico, all the better to be polygamous. Mitt wants to reclaim his polygamous roots.

    • Fox E. Puppet

      At least Chihuahua, where Daddy was born…

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      This has to be a first for the USA: both candidates had polygamous grandfathers!

  • bumfug

    And then when he dies he could, like Polk, be honored by having an army fort in a fetid, steaming, dismal swamp in Louisiana named after him.

  • ChernobylSoup

    A Mormon wanting to be the next Manifest Destiny president is, let's just say, disconcerting.

    • 1stNewtontheMoon

      any way newt gingrich can twist this into mittens stealing newt's plans for moon colonization?

  • I'm beginning to regret paying more attention to Chinese history than US history.

    • anniegetyerfun

      Don't! They'll eventually take over anyway.

      • Dui le.

        • anniegetyerfun

          In the area in which I lived last time in China, there was a habit of saying “jiu shi” to verify any information. However, because the local dialect was prone to dropping entire syllables, it always sounded like they were saying “joesh”. I think of it as a Chinese version of “totes”.

  • hagajim

    Just what we need, to get poked by the new Polk.

  • Didn't Polk invent Soap on a Rope????????

  • midnighttoker69

    That's strange. When I think about a Romney Presidency, I think about Herbert Hoover … and when I think about his wife, I think J. Edgar Hoover. (in drag)

    • Fox E. Puppet

      They do have the proper amount of suction…

  • Polk salad, Annie. I want to be Polk salad, Annie

    • sewollef

      I've been waiting all thread for Tony Joe White's tune to appear….

    • Forgotten for many years, and now it's come up three times this week. Odd how that happens.

  • Mitt'll be lucky if he attains Millard Fillmore status. I'm thinking Rhoads should aim for about John C. Calhoun.

    • elviouslyqueer

      Taft or GTFO!

    • delaney_blom

      There once was a rich man called Mitt
      Who in the president's chair wanted to sit
      Just like old Fillmore, Millard
      But his real name was Willard
      And that sounds stupid as shit.

      (not very good, but you can see that Fillmore comparisons have great poetic potential)

      • Mittens promises Polk-like creation
        Of Iran wars and deregulation
        But what he took for sagacity
        Was teabagger mendacity
        So we're cancelling Romneyfication.

        It took a while, and I ditched Fillmore entirely after a few tries, but at least it's coherent.

        • You devil. I've been looking for an opportunity to use "mendacious" all day. (Srsly!)
          And "puerile" came too late for me as I was cussing about adjectives, earlier~

          • Well don't let it disquiet you, my dear. Especially on a triple-word score — that Q will just rack 'em up.

    • viennawoods13

      Why not Warren G Harding, that giant of the American political system?

  • UnholyMoses

    Your move, Millard Fillmore …

  • no one ever asked to see Polk's bir–ah fuck it….

  • PsycWench

    More like pokeweed.

  • Does this mean we should put Polk on our munniez?

  • UnholyMoses

    Boy, nothing excites me more about a political candidate than his bold and — shall I type it? — audacious desire to have everything he does immediately forgotten a few years after he leaves office.

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      The fact that you've been fucked over royally will be hard to forget … Rhoades is hoping you'll forget who did it to you.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    I'm against annexing Texas.Just another reason not to vote for Romney.

  • anniegetyerfun

    Who was the preznit that McCain and others tried to compare Obama to, before realizing that people weren't really responding to snarky comparisons to a president from the early 1800s? I remember having some fun on Wonkette with that one, but I can't remember who it was (because I was able to drink back in 2008).

    • buchanan? i know there's been some discussion of buchanan but honestly, even without alcohol, almost nothing john mccain says interests me very much.

      • anniegetyerfun

        It was someone that no one had any knowledge of. But it was a hilarious campaign move – like EVERY other campaign move made by MCain.

        • now i have to scour american history and teh interwebs for a clue.

  • ChernobylSoup

    Those were the days they shot up Mormon wagon trains, right?

  • Mitt is our next Calvin Coolidge.

  • Way to set your sights high, Mittens:

    Scholars have ranked him favorably on the list of greatest presidents for his ability to set an agenda and achieve all of it. Polk has been called the "least known consequential president"[2] of the United States.

    • BerkeleyBear

      You know setting an agenda and accomplishing it, even if it is an utter bullshit agenda largely based on claiming credit for various historic trends and a singular illegal act (which complaining about was the only thing of note Abe Lincoln did in his one term in Congress), sounds like exactly the kind of mediocrity a Harvard MBA would get excited about.

  • BarackMyWorld

    Is Polk the one who ran Romney's ancestors out of the country and into Mexico?

  • Chichikovovich

    It's about time an American presidential aspirant had the courage to aim for the conquest of British Columbia.

    54' 40" or fight!

  • delaney_blom

    More like James K. Soak.

    • PubOption

      Boner is the soak.

  • Nostrildamus

    Ryan's the pig in Romney's Polk.

  • During his presidency, many abolitionists harshly criticized him as an instrument of the "Slave Power", and claimed that spreading slavery was the reason he supported annexing Texas and later war with Mexico. Polk stated in his diary that he believed slavery could not exist in the territories won from Mexico, but refused to endorse the Wilmot Proviso that would forbid it there. Polk argued instead for extending the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific Ocean, which would prohibit the expansion of slavery above 36° 30' west of Missouri, but allow it below that line if approved by eligible voters in the territory. William Dusinberre has argued that Polk's diary, which he kept during his presidency, was written for later publication, and does not represent Polk's policy. Polk was a slaveholder for his entire life.

    A picture of Polk hangs in the boardroom at Bain Capital.

    • I'm getting sick of your pro-slavery comments!!! Oh, sorry.

      • Look, it's only on Friday nights, and we have a safe word. It's not my fault you can't talk with a ball gag in your mouth.

        • And you guys go to the gun range right after?

          • Marcellus likes us to stay in practice

    • OneYieldRegular

      So Joe Biden was right.

  • hot news comes from a story in the new Huffington Post iPad dongle

    Never mind the wonkie stickers. Where's my "Lloyd Dangle" dongle, edit-peeps?

  • Mitt K. Polk: Napoleon of the Chump.

  • Tundra Grifter

    That would be the Mexican War Abraham Lincoln thought was such a poor idea.

    If Old Abe had been around for George Bush's Presidency, not only would he have been Really, Really Old Abe but also he probably wouldn't have thought much about us going to war with Iraq.

    • Guppy

      On that note, I see Newell's They Might Be Giants and raise him Titus Andronicus.

  • Callyson

    OK, Wikipedia, what are the fun facts about Polk?

    Polk also issued the gag rule on petitions from abolitionists…Polk was a slaveholder for his entire life.

    Yep, sounds like a role model for Mittens…

  • Goonemeritus

    He lost me at Annexing Texas.

  • Antispandex

    Polk was the poor man's Millard Fillmore.

  • Jus_Wonderin

    If you say the word Polk over and over and over, it begins to sound like a nasty word. I figure the same works for Romney, though I bet you don't have to say it as many times for the effect.

    Oh, and I love Janet Jackson.

    • Angry_Marmot

      It was Janet's polkies that caused all the trouble.

  • elviouslyqueer

    Wait. There's an upside to the whole Romney-Polk comparison:

    He died of cholera three months after his term ended.

    Go Mittens! You can DO this!

    • sufferinsuccotash

      In fact, poor health was the real reason for Polk not running again, that and the fact that his pro-Southern policies had pretty much alienated Northern Democrats.
      If Robme's campaign manager can be this ignorant of US political history, you can bet that Willard himself doesn't know doo-doo about it either.

    • EatFrankRich

      Not with Ryan as VP, thank you very much.

    • viennawoods13

      Heh. William Henry Harrison did even better.

  • This is a Polk in the eye Willard!

  • Doktor Zoom

    Austere, severe, he held few people dear.
    His rooftop rack filled Seamus fill of fear…

  • I see Nixon potential in Mitt.

  • ProgressiveInga

    Something about this just seems right. I've always thought that Mittens wants to be president just so he can check it off of his list. And I bet they sell The Checklist Manifesto at Staples.

  • Goonemeritus

    I think this is a clear sign that Romney would support the reintroduction of the Missouri Compromise.

  • sewollef

    I believe the Huffington doohickie for iPad is now free, Jim.

    Well, at least I haven't paid for a single one, so if it's supposed to be a paid thingie, then I've made out like a bandit.

  • What was the best thing to come out of a Polk presidency? Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.

  • Angry_Marmot

    Liquor up front, Polk them in the rear.

  • Brilliant Move by Romney. Instead of useless, expensive wars overseas, we can concentrate on fun, cheap wars just across our borders. Mexico and Canada, you have been warned!

  • OneYieldRegular

    When I was growing up in Outer Backlandiastan, nearly all of my elementary school teachers insisted on a field trip to the nearby James K. Polk birthplace. Willard Mittens Romney would have taken one look at this ramshackle hovel and run back to Ann's Cadillac #2 screaming, "Ewwww! Peasants! Tell the driver to start the car!"

  • Troglodeity

    "James K. Polk is often listed as the worst president we've ever had." –

    Way to go, Mittens.

  • Calapine

    Romney would have made an excellent president of Rhodesia.

    • docterry6973

      Or Governor of the British East India Company. As Wikipedia cogently notes, "its history is strongly associated with corporate abuse, colonialism, exploitation, and monopoly power."

      It would fit Mittens like a glove. So to speak.

    • doloras


  • RadioBowels

    Polk is the new Reagan.

  • BlueStateLibel

    The only expansion Romney would preside over would be the expansion of money into the 1 percenters' offshore bank accounts. And Rush Limbaugh's waistline.

  • C_R_Trogloraptor

    James K. Polk-a Your Eyes Out. Mittens.

  • neiltheblaze

    That's what we need! An expansionist!

  • arduinohacker

    "with the candidate in which he conveyed a depth of conviction about the need to try to enact something like Ryan’s controversial budget and entitlement reforms. "

    …. which Mitt walked back immediately after announcing Ryan as VP. I've landed fish that flip-flopped less than Mittens.

  • Fun Fact:

    On 2 June 1846, President Polk wrote in his diary: "Col. [Stephen W.] Kearny was…authorized to receive into service as volunteers a few hundred of the Mormons who are now on their way to California, with a view to conciliate them, attach them to our country, and prevent them from taking part against us."

  • Allmighty_Manos

    Under Polk Texas and Arizona joined the United States. Fuck that guy.

  • In retrospect, the war to steal Texas from Mexico was not a good idea.

  • DahBoner

    But, how many Pickled Peppers did Polk Poke?

  • prommie

    TMBG is mine, you fuck, mine, I called them 25 fucking years ago, when you were in diapers, way way way before it was cool to be a fucking nerd, don't fucking take this from me, leave me to them, they are all I got.

    • thebeatgoeson

      I didn't discover them until about 5 or 6 years ago, at the ripe old age of 50, but they have become one of my very favorite bands. Can we share?!

  • Tundra Grifter

    i remember in "Lonesome Dove" about all Robert Duval and Tommy Lee Jones talked about was "Polk'n."

  • me? i really don't give a fuck who he wants to pattern his presidency after.

    i do not want him to be president.

  • also: who are these people who use their spare time to compose laudatory tunes to long dead presidents?

    i suspect they cleave to the bagger wing of american politics, but i could be wrong.

    • viennawoods13

      Malcolm in the Middle theme song singers libel!!

    • thebeatgoeson

      wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong! They contributed a song to a fund-raiser disc for the Harvey Milk School in NYC and are quite progressive.

      Also, they are awesome. And they composed Jon Stewart's theme as well.

      • i stand corrected – and happy to be so.


  • Reeseman

    Polk wasn't that hot on annexing Texas either, but his veep George Dallas talked him into it. Fun fact, that is why we have a Dallas Street in Houston. Named for the former mayor of Philadelphia, PA!

  • mcrummett

    They Might Be GIants have this covered.

  • ttommyunger

    As someone famous would say: "A fuck about this I do not give."

  • unclejeems

    Polk was called the Napoleon of the West. Maybe Mitt can be the Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna of Utah, or the Custer of Colorado, or maybe he can just be the Napoleon of the Republican Party–noting that Napoleon lost about 400,000 men, with equipment and supplies, in Russia in 1812.

    Frankly, I don't think he's on par with any of those losers, either.

  • grayshorter

    Dear me, new political archeaological terms to memorize:

    James K. Polk: a postpaleoprotoneocon.

    Really what is he remembered for except for expansion of the empire?

  • Linnell/Flansburgh '12!!!

  • labman57

    Mitt is more akin to a “Pig in a Poke” than to James Polk.

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