While people who should know better have been seeing crucifixes in Mike Huckabee's bookshelves, Mitt Romney is airing an ad in New Hampshire that not only implies God is his decorator, but hints that Mitt might actually be the savior himself.
At least he saved one lost lamb, a runaway named Melissa Gay.
Here's how her earthly father, Robert Gay, tells it, in the ad, over ominous headlines and images of New York City so skuzzy they make Death Wish look like Wonderful Town:
"My 14-year-old daughter had disappeared in New York City for three days. No one could find her. My business partner stepped forward to take charge. He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York. He said, 'I don't care how long it takes, we're going to find her.' He set up a command center and searched through the night. The man who helped save my daughter was Mitt Romney. Mitt's done a lot of things that people say are nearly impossible. But for me, the most important thing he's ever done is to help save my daughter."
... from the Negroes.
Doesn't that warm your heart? Every word is perfect. Not just the way it builds to the reveal -- "And the name of that boy... was Abraham Lincoln" -- but the way its oblique construction allows the story to sound more homey, and less like two multimillionaires freaking out.
"My business partner," sounds so much better than identifying Gay as a managing director of Bain Capital. Makes it sound like he and Mitt ran a start-up dry goods store.
"He closed the company." Yes, and he threw his apron on the ground, too. And turned that "closed/open" sign around on the front door. Of the office tower.
"You lock up, Clem. Bob and I are off to New York, before his daughter pulls a train. Tell my wife, if she needs me, I'll be at the Port Authority, punching a Puerto Rican in the face."
"He set up a command center," sounds so much cooler than, "He made our employees hand out fliers and waited inside by the phone."
That doesn't concern me. I think Taxi Driver is overrated. And I'm also not interested in the statement: "Mitt's done a lot of things that people say are nearly impossible." That's just bizarre. Like what? Put five tennis balls in his mouth at one time? Solved the riddle of the fucking sphinx? He invested other people's money in Staples.
No, why I'm bringing this up at all is the statement:
"But for me, the most important thing he's ever done is to help save my daughter."
There's no denying that Mitt Romney made his office workers wander around New York City for three days asking runaways if they were or weren't related to anyone rich. That really happened, unlike his march through Detroit with Martin Luther King. But where was Melissa Gay?
According to the Boston Globe:
"It turned out that an unidentified boy had taken Melissa to his family's home in Montville, N.J., and on the night of July 11 they called police after seeing television reports about the case, ending the search."
She had been there for a couple of days. Just sort of hanging out.
Yes, Mitt Romney is so strong he can find missing heiresses in New Jersey by looking in New York.
The teachable moment here is the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
"After this, therefore because of this." Mitt Romney looked for a girl and then she phoned home. Therefore Mitt saved her.
Why stop there? The next month NASA turned up evidence of ancient primitive life on Mars. Maybe Mitt's search did that too.
The Yankees beat the Braves in the World Series. And the name of the man who made it all possible was... John Wetteland. Or was it really Mitt Romney?
So, did Mitt Romney save Melissa Gay? I don't know. But you certainly can't say he didn't not not save her. If she'd been in any danger. Which she wasn't. Besides, no one said he saved her, exactly. Robert Gay said he "helped save" her.
"Helped save." The exact same weaselly phrase, twice, even while choking up.
Hmmmm. It would just be creepy to suggest someone else came up with that line.
But maybe they "helped."
WHAT GAY MEANT ABOUT MITT:
I could hire a private detective -- because I'm a multimillionaire -- but when I misplace my kids, Mitt Romney makes people look for them, for free.
HOW TO USE "HELPED SAVE" AT HOME:
In 1987, I helped save Baby Jessica from a well in Texas by getting drunk in Montreal with my friend Stan.