(suggested song to listen to while reading: 10cc, 'I'm Not In Love')

As the Republican Convention begins in Tampa Florida, I suggest as its theme song, a very old 1970s song 'I'm Not In Love' by 10cc. (It's a very cool song, BTW, with a 'synth' sound created with massive vocal overdubs). The hard-core conservative wing of his party is not in love with their nominee Mitt Romney. I actually read a quote recently, where a conventioneer said basically what she liked about him was that he was "alive." In other words, she was so against Obama that it didn't matter who ran against him as long as a minimum requirement was met. However, just being able to breath does seem a rather low bar to set.

It's not just his so-called 'base' that remains unsmitten. The country at large generally doesn't like Romney. He is what they term "underwater" with his favorable/unfavorable polling; more people dislike him than like him. This contrasts with Obama who pollsters generally find people like, even if they don't like the economy they’re swimming upstream in. It may be that Romney is actually unlikeable; at least in terms of being able to project something to a lot of people. He doesn’t seem to be much of a performer. Not everybody is.

Liberals have been on the opposite end of this. The right-wing hero Ronald Reagan was an actor before becoming a politician (and a President!) and it often seemed as if he was playing a role as opposed to doing the job. People liked that. Doing the job is messy. Play-acting is well, fun to watch.

Team Romney knows this and they are in overdrive right this minute, trying to raise their guy's likeables. For example, I happen to have been told recently somewhere in the media that Romney puts peanut butter on his pancakes. Oh you see, he's just a normal, likeable Joe. (I happen to think that's disgusting).

They also know something else. It's not going to happen. Romney is so stiff it's like someone pressed the still frame button in the middle of shooting a video. When he does move he moves with rabbit hops, like he has rubber-bands around his motions, his attempts at sweeping, commanding gestures, always coming across staccato, a visual stutter. His body language is a broken English.

So the beekeepers of the Romney messaging hive, will do what they best; to get the honey from him, they will keep him from you. You might seem to be seeing a lot of Romney this week in Tampa but you won't be. You will be seeing a giant spectacle around a piffle.

to be continued...


Mike Tyler is a celebrated post-beat poet who has been covered over the years everywhere from The Times to Wired. He is releasing his debut UK album, Erection, on August 20th via The Art Can Not Be Damaged.

Click here to read part one, here for part two, here for part three, and here for part four.