Political Animal


January 21, 2013 3:44 PM The Restoration That Wasn’t

By Ed Kilgore

So how many of you found yourselves wondering today what the inauguration of Willard Mitt Romney would have looked and felt like? Aside from the certainty that the crowd would have had a different, er, complexion, and the equal certainty that we’d see a lot of images and interviews of quite naturally excited LDS folk, a Romney inaugural would have been treated by the conservative media and perhaps much of the MSM as a restoration, a return to the Natural State of Things after the four turbulent years of the Obama administration. True, Washington’s social lions might have been a little unsure as to whether a tee-totalling Mormon would be a big improvement over the society-shunning Obamas with their insulting unwillingness to attend dinners and cocktail parties. But by and large, official Washington, for all the heavily Democratic voting habits of its actual citizens (and those of most of the nearby suburbs), tends to prefer Republican regimes (or at least those before and after JFK’s) as orderly and appropriately upscale.

What I most wonder about is how far the organizers of, and the principal figure in, a Romney inauguration would have gone to tame the vengeful hordes of Tea Folk, in person and via the available media, who would have viewed the ejection from office of the hated Obama as a world-historical event and a first step towards a more thorough-going Restoration of the pre-New Deal Republic. Mitt himself would have had to do something in his inaugural address to redeem his endlessly repeated promise to “repeal Obamacare on my first day in office.” Would he have signed an executive order crippling implementation of the Affordable Care Act before, after, or indeed even during his speech (maybe with a tart word to the Chief Justice immediately after the ceremonial swearing-in)? And would he have boldly promised “the 47%” freedom from their wretched dependence on the federal government?

It’s interesting to speculate, but not for that long. Romney has already been thoroughly forgotten by his own party, so let’s leave him to his hard-earned privacy.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • inkadu on January 21, 2013 3:59 PM:

    Willard who?

  • rdale on January 21, 2013 4:21 PM:

    Romney is probably at Costco buying hairgel.

  • Emily on January 21, 2013 5:11 PM:

    I asked my husband if he thought it was a slap at Romney that Obama's inauguration had the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir singing instead of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He thought it was not.

  • c u n d gulag on January 21, 2013 5:25 PM:

    Well, thankfully, despite the Republicans best efforts, cheating and all, Romney and Ryan didn't win.

    So, who gives a sh*t what it might have been like?

    It would have been ugly, and stupid - like their followers.

    But, thankfully, we don't have to speculate. Once again, TRUTH, trumps fiction - and, and an African-American named Barack Hussein Obama, is POTUS!

    Republicans, 'It's YOUR party, and you can cry if you want to... cry if you want to... cry if you want to...' We'd cry too, if our party was YOU!

  • Hmmmmm on January 21, 2013 6:22 PM:

    Had Romney been elected we sure wouldn't have heard the strains of Lady Gaga's "On the Edge of Glory" as played (and quite well) in the parade by the Lesbian and Gay Band Association!

  • Hmmmm on January 21, 2013 6:24 PM:

    Also probably not in the parade: all of the Latino/Hispanic and Native American groups (bands, dancers).

  • Gogetum on January 21, 2013 10:48 PM:

    Honestly, while I know there's many who refused to celebrate with President and Mrs. Obama today, had this been a Romney/Ryan Inauguration, might we have seen just a shade of foreboding unease hovering beneath those smug looks of victory?

    It's not an easy life when your "campaign contributors" suddenly have a better seat at your job than you do.

  • tam1MI on January 22, 2013 12:06 AM:

    Judging by all the obnoxious people in 2000 who bellowed at every camera they saw, "WE'RE TAKIN' OURAH COUNTRY BACK!!!", the romney inauguration would been ugly, ugly, ugly.

    Remember, the Right are the people in 2004 who filled the internet with rants about how they were going to go out and shoot every liberal they found, then hang their bodies from the lampposts. And that was the election they WON.

  • June on January 22, 2013 8:07 AM:

    Have to admit, I kept marveling yesterday that there was almost no invocation of Romney's name in the televised coverage of the inauguration. The second thing I marveled at was that Romney spent the entire election trying to present himself as "the grownup," yet he didn't even have the guts or grace to attend the inauguration.