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Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Please...not another president whose hypercompetitive pathology masks conflict with his father
Posted by Jill | 6:44 AM
Willard Rmoney and George W. Bush are in one respect two peas in a pod.

George W. Bush on the links and on the tennis court, as recounted by Gail Sheehy in 2000:

Even if he loses, his friends say, he doesn't lose. He'll just change the score, or change the rules, or make his opponent play until he can beat him. "If you were playing basketball and you were playing to 11 and he was down, you went to 15," says Hannah, now a Dallas insurance executive. "If he wasn't winning, he would quit. He would just walk off.… It's what we called Bush Effort: If I don't like the game, I take my ball and go home. Very few people can get away with that." So why could George get away with it? "He was just too easygoing and too pleasant."
Another fast friend, Roland Betts, acknowledges that it is the same in tennis. In November 1992, Bush and Betts were in Santa Fe to host a dinner party, but they had just enough time for one set of doubles. The former Yale classmates were on opposite sides of the net. "There was only one problem—my side won the first set," recalls Betts. "O.K., then we're going two out of three," Bush decreed. Bush's side takes the next set. But Betts's side is winning the third set when it starts to snow. Hard, fat flakes. The catering truck pulls up. But Bush won't let anybody quit. "He's pissed. George runs his mouth constantly," says Betts indulgently. "He's making fun of your last shot, mocking you, needling you, goading you—he never shuts up!" They continued to play tennis through a driving snowstorm.

It is something of an in-joke with Bush's friends and family. "In reality we all know who won, but George wants to go further to see what happens," says an old family friend, venture capitalist and former MGM chairman Louis "Bo" Polk Jr. "George would say, 'Play that one over,' or 'I wasn't quite ready.' The overtimes are what's fun, so you make your own. When you go that extra mile or that extra point … you go to a whole new level."

Willard Rmoney, with his own family, as recounted by Philip Rucker in the Washington Post, last weekend:
The Romneys, 30 in all these days, spend their time away from the stresses of everyday life — like, say, wrapping up the Republican nomination for president — by following a highly orchestrated, highly competitive regimen of sports and games known as the “Romney Olympics.”

The Romney Olympics have long included a mini-triathlon of biking, swimming and running that pits Mitt and his five sons and their wives against one another. But after Mitt once nearly finished last, behind a daughter-in-law who had given birth to her second child a couple of months earlier, the ultra-competitive and self-described unathletic patriarch expanded the games to give himself a better shot.

How much of a dick do you have to be to change the rules of what's supposed to be a friendly family sports competition (never mind how pathological it is for a family to be this hypercompetitive with each other) so you can have a better shot at winning over younger people? How much of a core of self-loathing do you have to have where finishing a race behind your daughter-in-law drives you to change the rules?

It could be argued that these kinds of leisure activities are trivial, but after what we saw from eight years of a president chock-full of unresolved daddy issues, I think this account of how the Romneys spend their summer vacation ought to set of massive alarms in Americans' heads as to what they can expect under a Rmoney regime.

(h/t: TBogg)

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Blogger merlallen said...
i thought the family meetings were kind of creepy.