I've always thought James Thurber was the finest humorist of the last century. One of his essays has been on my mind lately. It's about a mythical newpaper reader who writes a letter to the editor complaining about her dog – wretched, lazy animal won't do a thing – doesn't run, doesn't walk, doesn't play, doesn't bark. Thurber's mythical analyst has a simple answer for the reader, "I think what you have is a cast-iron lawn dog."*
I thought it was funny when I first read it. Lately I've been thinking about it again, wondering whether Mitt Romney is a cast iron lawn candidate.
You know, just kind of sits there on the lawn.
But I've decided I was wrong. Mitt Romney isn't that kind of candidate. He the kind who actually hurts himself just being himself. The cast iron dog wouldn't have put the family cat on the roof of the car when they went off on vacation. The cast iron Romney wouldn't have said, "a couple of Cadillacs" when asked what his wife drove nor would he have said he didn't much worry about extremely poor people.
So he's not a cast iron candidate. So far he seems a cadidate who's just kind of lost in the woods. Maybe he'll find his way out.