PRETTY COOL IDOL BRO  2:50 pm August 24, 2012

Mitt Romney Wants To Be Your New James K. Polk

by Jim Newell

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.

[Politico]

 

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{ 114 comments }

1stNewtontheMoon August 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

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

the_onceler August 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

What we need is another Ulysses S Grant overseeing Reconstruction.

BarackMyWorld August 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

"I'll drink to that!"
-U.S. Grant

actor212 August 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I'll have what he's drinking!

Tundra Grifter August 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I've mentioned this before. If you want to read a very funny story, check out "If Grant Had Been Drinking at Appomattox," by James Thurber.

BlueStateLibel August 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I'd prefer another General William Sherman laying waste to the rednecks. Love that guy.

jaytingle August 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

At least Chihuahua, where Daddy was born…

Biel_ze_Bubba August 27, 2012 at 7:31 am

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

bumfug August 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

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.

fartknocker August 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

But they do have an ammunition plant at Ft. Polk. Bullets, beans and bread keeps our troops safe.

elviouslyqueer August 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I'm thinking an rusted outhouse stuck in a sugarcane field outside Loureauville, LA. would be much more appropriate for ole Mittens.

ChernobylSoup August 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

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

1stNewtontheMoon August 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

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

MittBorg August 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

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

anniegetyerfun August 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

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

MittBorg August 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Dui le.

anniegetyerfun August 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

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

johnnyzhivago August 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

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

actor212 August 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Dope on a Rope, you mean

Ayn Rand Paul Tard August 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm

You're thinking of 'Mitt's rhymes so dope, like Polk on a rope'.

midnighttoker69 August 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm

They do have the proper amount of suction…

actor212 August 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

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

sewollef August 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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

deanbooth August 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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

SayItWithWookies August 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

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

elviouslyqueer August 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Taft or GTFO!

MilwaukeeKent August 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

side-Taft!

delaney_blom August 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

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)

SayItWithWookies August 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

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.

Mumbletypeg August 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm

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~

SayItWithWookies August 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm

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

viennawoods13 August 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

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

UnholyMoses August 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Your move, Millard Fillmore …

Gratuitous World August 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

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

PsycWench August 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

More like pokeweed.

gogogodzilla August 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Does this mean we should put Polk on our munniez?

UnholyMoses August 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm

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 August 27, 2012 at 7:36 am

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 August 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

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

anniegetyerfun August 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

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).

fuflans August 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

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.

fuflans August 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm

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

ChernobylSoup August 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

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

Angry_Marmot August 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

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

Fixed.

johnnyzhivago August 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Mitt is our next Calvin Coolidge.

actor212 August 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm

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

Chichikovovich August 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

More like James K. Soak.

PubOption August 24, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Boner is the soak.

Nostrildamus August 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Ryan's the pig in Romney's Polk.

actor212 August 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm

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.

Chet Kincaid_ August 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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

actor212 August 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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.

Chet Kincaid_ August 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm

And you guys go to the gun range right after?

actor212 August 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Marcellus likes us to stay in practice

OneYieldRegular August 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm

So Joe Biden was right.

Mumbletypeg August 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm

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?

MLHencken August 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Mitt K. Polk: Napoleon of the Chump.

Tundra Grifter August 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

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

Callyson August 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm

He lost me at Annexing Texas.

Antispandex August 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Polk was the poor man's Millard Fillmore.

Jus_Wonderin August 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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

elviouslyqueer August 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Not with Ryan as VP, thank you very much.

viennawoods13 August 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Heh. William Henry Harrison did even better.

weejee August 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

This is a Polk in the eye Willard!

Doktor Zoom August 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

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

ChillBill August 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

I see Nixon potential in Mitt.

ProgressiveInga August 24, 2012 at 3:10 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm

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

Chet Kincaid_ August 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

But mullets look stupid!

sewollef August 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm

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.

SayItWithWookies August 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

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

Angry_Marmot August 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Liquor up front, Polk them in the rear.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:19 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm

"James K. Polk is often listed as the worst president we've ever had." – http://www.ethicsdaily.com/james-k-polk-our-worst

Way to go, Mittens.

Calapine August 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Romney would have made an excellent president of Rhodesia.

docterry6973 August 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm

IAN SMITH LIBEL!

RadioBowels August 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Polk is the new Reagan.

BlueStateLibel August 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm

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

neiltheblaze August 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm

That's what we need! An expansionist!

arduinohacker August 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm

"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.

FlownOver August 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

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

gurukalehuru August 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm

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

DahBoner August 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

But, how many Pickled Peppers did Polk Poke?

prommie August 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

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

fuflans August 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm

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

i do not want him to be president.

fuflans August 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Malcolm in the Middle theme song singers libel!!

thebeatgoeson August 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm

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.

fuflans August 24, 2012 at 11:24 pm

i stand corrected – and happy to be so.

cheers!

Reeseman August 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

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 August 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm

They Might Be GIants have this covered.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGCuDDAPggw

ttommyunger August 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm

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

unclejeems August 24, 2012 at 7:45 pm

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 August 25, 2012 at 1:12 am

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?

WordSaladNation August 25, 2012 at 9:44 am

Linnell/Flansburgh '12!!!

labman57 August 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm

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

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