The Grapes of Mitt.
BY NATE GIBBS
“Mitt,” Ma repeated, “what you gonna do?”
“What Al done,” he said. “Grow a beard.”
“But they mocked him.”
“Yeah,” said Mitt. “He didn’t grow it thick enough. I been thinkin’ a hell of a lot, thinkin’ about our people livin’ like pigs with only a dozen homes, an the good rich banks layin’ fallow, or maybe one fella with only a million acres, while the forty-seven percent is dependent on all he does. An I been wonderin’ if all our folks got together an’ yelled…”
Ma said, “Mitt, they’ll drive you, and raise your marginal rates up like they done under young Billy Clinton.”
“They’re gonna raise my rates anyway. They driven’ all our people to ruin.”
“You don’t aim to run again, Mitt?”
“No. I been thinkin’, long as I’m a outlaw anyways, maybe I could appear on Fox News. Like that Glenn Beck fella. Or maybe—Trump. Like that guy. Get a hotel and outsource it. Outsource the whole damn thing—the room cleaners and the blackjack dealers and them receptionists too. That would show them unions. Hell, I ain’t thought it out clear, Ma. Don’ worry me now. Don’ worry me.”
They sat quiet in the coal-black underground cave full of cars. Ma said, “How’m I gonna know about you? They might tax you an’ I wouldn’t know. They might hurt ya offshore accounts. How’m I gonna know?
Mitt laughed uneasily.
“Well maybe like Paul says, a fella ain’t got a soul of his own, but his corporation does—an’ you can’t take that away—an’ then—"
“Then what, Mitt?”
“Then it don’t matter. Then I’ll be around. I’ll be ever’where—wherever you look. Wherever there’s a corporation that’s being told it’s not a person—I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a regulator beating a Limited Liability Corporation, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a white guy voting against a socialist, I’ll be there…. God, I’m talking like Paul. Seems like I can still see him sometimes even though he gone back to Congress and I’m—I’m still here. Comes of thinking of him so much. Thinking of him—and of his flannels. God, I loved his flannels, and the way his pecs looked in his flannels.”
“I don’t un’erstan’,” Ma said, “I really don’t.”
“Me neither,” said Mitt. “It’s jus’ stuff I been thinkin’ about. Get thinkin’ a lot when you movin’ aroun’ between vacation homes.” He glanced at his watch. “You gotta get back, Ma.”
“You take the Super PAC, then.”
He was silent for a moment. “Awright,” he said.
“And Mitt, later—when it’s all blowed over, you’ll come back to the way you were? Back when you believed in speaking French in public and that immigrants were people?”
“Sure,” he said, “now you better go. Here, gimme your han’. He guided her toward the entrance. Her fingers still clutched his wrist. He swept the security codes into the keypad and pointed out. “Drive up past Sycamore Drive, and then across Creek. Good-by.”
“Good-by,” she said, and she drove quickly away. Her eyes were wet and burning, but she did not cry. And as she went, out of the dim sky the rain began to fall, big drops and few, splashing on the roofs of the Lexuses and the Cadillacs.
SUGGESTED READSFinding the Right Time to Make a Presidential Run
by Nathaniel Missildine (5/16/2011)
Monologue: Mitt Romney’s Haircut Will Not Be Denied
by Jesse Adelman (1/10/2012)
History’s a Bitch: A Dog Walk Through Time: A Political Story With Legs
by Robb Fritz (2/28/2012)
RECENTLYButterball Help-Line Help-Line
by Alysia Gray Painter (11/25/2015)
Alphabetically Organized Relatives: A New Contest from Amy Krouse Rosenthal and McSweeney’s
by McSweeney's Books (11/25/2015)
Doing Science: The Wonkiness of Pure Bloodlines, and Their Unexpected Upsides
by Emily Helliwell (11/25/2015)
POPULARThe Four Horsemen of Gentrification
by Zain Khalid (11/3/2015)
Monologue: An Extremely Pregnant Woman Has a Few Questions for the Motherhood Maternity Customer Service Desk
by Amy Rolph (8/4/2015)
Monologue: As Your Governor, I Will Protect You From Mass Shooters If They Are Syrian
by Pete Reynolds (11/18/2015)