Does Mitt Romney have sex appeal? Does he need it to win?
That this campaign has been dubbed the dullest campaign ever cuts like a knife into Romney’s most serious defect: he seems so totally boring and uncharismatic. This has led at least one person to ask if Mitt Romney can make boring sexy. If America is a sexy bitch, as Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black call our country, then will she be willing to go all the way with Romney come November 4?
These were the questions running through my head upon reading the Newsweek cover story on Mitt Romney’s alleged wimpiness. What immediately struck me about the Newsweek “wimp” cover is that it was an attack on Mitt Romney’s sexuality above all–his manliness.
It isn’t fine that Romney has changed his view on every issue. It’s pathetic. It suggests that he lives in fear of America’s right wing. That’s the real wimp factor.
Calling a guy a wimp is like calling him a sissy. Asking, rhetorically, if Romney is too insecure to be president serves one aim: It’s meant to strike down the one quality that every man needs to have to be considered manly: confidence. In the last election cycle, Obama overflowed with confidence, so much so that he, at times, seemed petulant and cocky. Better that, though, than the alternative. No one wants to see a potential president get emasculated.
It’s important to think about a candidate’s sex appeal, because sex appeal matters, especially among women voters. Back in 2008, Obama’s sex appeal was inescapable and it’s what carried him into his historic victory.
Emily Esfahani Smith at Acculturated poses the question and wonders if candidates need it to win.
August 2, 2012 - 10:30 am