I enjoy Barack Obama as much as the next Canadian. I might even say I enjoy him as much as is legally possible without being allowed to vote for him. I’m not by any means immune to his charms, or the way his ears set off that decisive, masculine jaw. It was a happy few hours in my house indeed when those pictures of him running topless across the beach first broke over the briny waves of the internet. There’s a reason why the American political scene beats ours by a greasy, red-white-and-blue mile.
But there’s one thing about Mitt Romney that has Obama beat. That voice. That smooth, melodious voice. It almost doesn’t matter that everything he says is complete codswallop. When I hear him talk about shoving women into binders or taking assault rifles away from American grannies, I lose myself. I sink into a trance and float in a sea of bliss. I’m not quite sure where it comes from, either. It seems so out of place in his modest, magic-underpants-wearing, Brylcreem-combing, Massachusetts-governing form.
As Romney shuffled back to his cheap bar stool between questions in the second debate with Obama, he gave off the appearance of a meek and powerless man, if you forget his massive fortune and deep, conspiratorial connections to industry. But once he opened his mouth and put the silver spoon in his pocket, liquid gold spilled forth.
The American domestic political scene doesn’t really matter to us Victorians, safe as we are, cloistered on our little island (even if we do technically dip south of the border, we’re north of the 49th at heart). Watching the two smarmiest men of their generation go toe-to-toe on issues completely unrelated to the questions asked of them is just a guilty pleasure for us. That’s why I feel comfortable judging the candidates on merits that wouldn’t even approach political justification with a go-go-gadget extender arm. Far more important to us Canadians than softwood lumber, Arctic sovereignty or our 19-year Stanley Cup losing streak is that we maintain our global status as the next-door neighbours to the cool kids on the block. Bush Jr. kept us strong at number one in that department with his easy-going charm and hill-billy style, but it’s Mitt Romney whose smooth, unabashedly dishonest grandiloquence can bring it home for us.
So please, if you’re American, vote for Mitt Romney this November. If you happen to have any friends or family who share that unfortunate designation, urge them to vote for Romney. It’s cold up here in Canada, and the NHL has been on strike for months now. We haven’t got much, and we need this pretty badly. God knows we can’t rely on our own glorious leader to keep us cool.