pretty cool idol bro

Mitt Romney Wants To Be Your New James K. Polk

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.


About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined 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. Tundra Grifter

        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.

    1. BlueStateLibel

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. fartknocker

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

  3. ChernobylSoup

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

    1. 1stNewtontheMoon

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

        1. 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”.

  4. 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)

    1. 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)

      1. SayItWithWookies

        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.

        1. Mumbletypeg

          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~

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

  6. 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).

    1. fuflans

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

      1. 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.

    1. 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.

  7. Chichikovovich

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

    54' 40" or fight!

  8. actor212

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

    1. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Goonemeritus

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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!"

    1. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. FlownOver

    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."

  20. 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.

    1. 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?!

  21. Tundra Grifter

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

  22. fuflans

    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.

    1. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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?

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