Andrew Sullivan analyzes Mitt Romney’s very weird laugh:
One gets the sense that Mormons, perhaps because they remain deeply insecure about their religion, make an extra effort to seem utterly great, happy, nice, genial human beings. Hence what’s been called “The Mormon Mask.” (More discussion of the concept here.)
Romney laughs that way; he also talks as if he’s learned the English language from some tribe of extremely cheerful, mainstream, extremely white Americans from around 1958….
How to overcome the huge gap between what one believes and how the general culture would react if the details of his faith were fully explained? One option: The construction of a personality designed to mimic the least offensive, nicest, all-American persona. So Romney sounds and looks like a focus-group tested model president from 1965. But the focus group doesn’t exist – except in his own mind and manner every year of his life.
I can definitely see what he is talking about:
This is why Americans don’t buy into Romney – everything about the man is completely false and constructed. He’s incredibly uncomfortable in his own skin because deep down, I don’t believe Romney understands exactly who he is. He’s obviously a deeply ambitious man with huge aspirations for wealth, status and power, and he’s willing to pretty much say or do anything to acquire it. Arnold Schwarzenneger is an example of someone with similar aspirations, but who understands and is comfortable with himself. Arnold would always tell everyone he met: “I’m ambitious, I want money and I want power”. He was honest about it and it actually made him more charismatic. Romney just comes off as incredibly creepy when he plays the uber nice All American ‘Great Guy’.
He should try being himself at some point – people might actually start to respect him a little.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.