Romney’s relatability problem satirized on SNL


The Republican Party may have trouble wrapping its arms around Mitt Romney as the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee, but”Saturday Night Live” has fully embraced him. Saturday, the show offered viewers its take on Romney’s struggle to be “relatable” as they say, a problem that has plagued the former Massachusetts governor, who can come across as stilted on the campaign trail.

The show’s famous “cold open” starred Jason Sudeikis in a skit that showed Romney selling himself as simpatico to a variety of interest groups across the nation. Like Fred Armisen, who has mastered Barack Obama’s clipped speaking style, Sudeikis has developed into a passable Romney, fusty exclamations and all. But -- sorry guys -- it’s hard to imagine anyone ever topping Tina Fey’s ability to channel the Alaskan rogue, Sarah Palin.

Video: Watch the SNL skit in full

Saturday’s skit began with a sedate C-SPAN announcer intoning over classical music, “Following his primary victories last Tuesday in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington D.C., Republican front-runner Romney made campaign stops in a dozen cities across the country, where he claimed to be interested in things we know he’s not interested in.”

To the Pittsburgh Trade Assn., the would-be nominee professed, “Of course you know, growing up in Michigan, I have always been an enormous fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers ... In baseball, on the other hand, I rooted for the Pirates. Oh Jiminy Cricket, what a ball club....And how about those Pittsburgh Penguins?”

A voice from the crowd: “We don’t believe you!”

At the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the candidate announced: “There is one issue on which I will never back down, because it’s the core of who I am: cat spaying. It’s simply the right thing to do, and quite frankly, the reason I got into this race. I want to be known as the ‘cat neutering president.’”

He told the East St. Louis, Ill., Chamber of Commerce: “The only place that has ever truly felt like home is right here.”

“Really?” said the mayor. “This is a hell hole.”

Finally, he appeared as the host of, yes, “Saturday Night Live,” where he managed to mangle one of the most well known opening lines in television history.

“It’s a thrill to be here on ‘Saturday Night Live,’” he said. “It’s my favorite show -- all the wonderful comic skits and sendups and japes. And that unforgettable opening that we know so well -- ‘Hey New York, let’s start the show!’”

It’s unclear whether Romney watched the show or was told about it. His campaign did not respond to a request for a comment. Or a critique.

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