Great Candidate! Very Successful Banter!

Truly, the crop of Republican presidential candidates this election are grim even by the usual standards. And even the veterans of this trail of garbage nightmares seem to be engaging in unusually egregious amounts of nincompoopery.

Mitt Romney was in fine form while touring an elevator company in New Hampshire yesterday:
"Ian. That's kind of a British name," Romney said to a 7-year-old boy asking for an autograph. The boy, Ian Sandhage, responded with a question.

"Are you going to take Obama's house away from him?" he said.

Later, Romney continued guessing the origins of people's names.

"I'm Lisa Dellisola," one woman said to Romney. "That's a Spanish name? Italian?" he responded. (It's Italian, and she confirmed Romney had her vote.)

As Romney began to leave the company after his hourlong visit, he looked at the Ellen Boss, the girlfriend of the company's general counsel, Cory Hussey.

"Nice," Romney said as she blushed. "Nice choice. Just like me," a reference to his wife, Ann.

Playing guessing games with people's names is a bad idea for a whole lot of reasons, from inadvertent offense—a lot of USians have a bad habit of pretending that conflating Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese, or Scottish, English, and Welsh, or Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, etc. is No Big Deal, when in fact such mistakes can cause offense for several reasons—to obliging adoptees to out themselves. I was at a public event years ago at which a local politician noted that a young women "didn't look Irish," to which she replied, "That's either because it's a Scottish name or because I'm adopted." Oof.

And I don't imagine I need to explain why it's gross for a man to compliment another man on his "nice choice," as if his attractive girlfriend is a piece of prized property. Whooooooooooops your retrofuck misogyny!

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