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Is Mitt Romney Smarter Than A Third-Grader?

September 24, 2012

Mitt Romney -- Not as smart as he thinks he is?As loathe as I am to date myself too much, it is true that I was a third grader during the Carter administration. As far as current events went at the time, the big thing that caught my eye was a rash of oil tanker spills. For a while it seemed like there was a major spill every month or so. (Although this was long before the Exxon Valdez, so “major” is a relative term.)

At any rate, I was a thinker — a problem solver! I came up with what seemed to me to be a  brilliant solution to the spills — one which, frankly, I couldn’t believe no one had thought of. So I wrote a letter to President Carter suggesting that the problem could be avoided in the first place if, instead of oil tankers, we took to the skies and transported oil via cargo plane. (I know. Genius, right?)

One of the nice women in the White House wrote me a lovely letter in response, thanking me for my concern and ingenuity, and affixed the President’s signature. I was thrilled! But of course my idea was never implemented. Because it was an ill-informed idea, unable to pass scientific, or even logical , scrutiny.  But I was 8 years old.

I tell this story today, because that same sort of thinking is evident in Mitt Romney’s comments on Friday. Following an incident in which a plane carrying his wife Ann suffered an electrical malfunction resulting in some degree of smoke and fire, and necessitating an unscheduled landing, Romney had this to say:

 When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. (LA Times)

Makes you wonder, huh?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2012 12:30 pm

    Your readers may be too young to remember, but the zany H. Ross Perot during a 1992/1993 Presidential debate (trying to show what a git-er-dun guy he was), said the following, and wasn’t trying to be funny…

    If we need more time in a day, we will just strap every 747 to the ground in Texas pointing West and we will slow the Earth down and make it a longer day.

    It was at that moment that I knew Ross Perot was profoundly ignorant about so many things, and wasn’t a valid contender for POTUS. This Rmoney sliding-windows statement is the same as that 747 idea of Perot’s.

  2. September 24, 2012 8:41 pm

    Has Mitt ever seen the 1970’s film Airport? I think it would give him a good explanation of why you don’t open the windows on an “aircraft”.

    BTW, Carter’s reelection bid in 1980 was the first election in which I voted. So yeah, Smirk is right Sandi … get off my lawn you whippersnapper! 🙂

  3. E.A. Blair permalink
    September 24, 2012 7:04 pm

    There was a time that I thought that the solution to getting rid of nuclear waste was to launch it into space on a trajectory that would intercept the sun. Also not a good idea.

    The Carter election was the first presidential election in which I voted (and in my state, the drinking age was lowered to 18 along with the voting age).

    • wnymathguy permalink
      September 25, 2012 12:32 pm

      Did you reverse your stance on the Sunward launches of radio-active waste because it would be too expensive? I like that idea and had considered it in the past myself.

      • E.A. Blair permalink
        September 25, 2012 12:51 pm

        No, it was for the same reason the Soviets took an early lead in the Space Race: “Our rockets always blow up” (as related by Tom Wolfe in The Right Stuff. e.g.: “6 December 1957 – Vanguard TV3, the first U.S. attempt to launch a satellite, fails with the rocket blowing up on the launch pad.”

      • E.A. Blair permalink
        September 25, 2012 2:49 pm

        I did, and it was for the same reason the Soviet Union took an early lead in the Space Race: e.g.: 6 December 1957 – First U.S. attempt to launch a satellite fails, the rocket blowing up on the launch pad.

        As Tom Wolfe explained in The Right Stuff “…our rockets always blow up…”. If you don’t know the history of the early space program in the US, it might not be so obvious.

        • September 27, 2012 6:42 am

          P.S. thanks for the informative reply. I didn’t know we blew up that many rockets. I only knew of the “throttle up Challenger” moment.

  4. September 24, 2012 6:22 pm

    As loathe as I am to date myself too much, it is true that I was a third grader during the Carter administration.

    Thanks. I was in college. Now get off my lawn, you damn kids!!

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