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Mitt Romney and Kyrsten Sinema's Ted Lasso Halloween cosplay is still baffling three weeks later

  • "Openly mocking the people who didn’t vote for you is, lately, just something politicians do, but I confess that this one caught me off-guard," says Jeremy Gordon of the pre-Halloween Twitter bit between the two senators. "Romney’s self-flattering comparison to a TV character for whom 'kill them with kindness' is a mantra, his genuflecting recognition of Sinema as a deciding figure in a process that will determine the future of the country, the folksy appeal to bipartisan deal-making — typing all this, and even just thinking about it, fires off irritating klaxons inside my brain." Gordon adds: "That all this revolved around Ted Lasso added another layer to the performance. This layer may have been partly unintentional, as I would wager that Romney, a 74-year-old grandfather of 25, is not dialed into the rhythms of online discourse. (A separate tweet introducing his costume referred to 'clear eyes and full hearts,' a slogan from a totally different show about a totally different coach.) But Ted Lasso has become the mascot for a certain strain of upbeat liberalism, the sort impressed by catchy signs at the Women’s March and doing the right thing at all times. This is part of what made Romney’s costuming specifically vexing: Imagine Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez donning the clothes of the American Sniper hero Chris Kyle to announce her support for a gun-control bill...I still wonder what Romney and Sinema meant, or thought they meant, even as I also imagine the entire thing was whipped up by terminally online aides who knew exactly what reaction they would receive. What I am certain of is that none of this has to do with Ted Lasso, a show whose successes or failures cannot tell us anything about American society because we are too large and irreducible a body of people for it. Probably the photo was a straightforward attempt to reach across the aisle by informing the country that Romney is just like us, because he watches the same shows. What he’s learned from this one, apart from how to concoct a genuinely impressive rib, we cannot possibly know."

    TOPICS: Mitt Romney, Ted Lasso, Kyrsten Sinema