COMMENTARY | Politicians are constantly getting caught in hot microphone moments, gaffes and falsehoods. In the latest example, the now all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney decided to indulge in a little joking when he chose a pink tie for an interview. The video clip, which was reportedly captured by a "Fox mole" from Gawker, caught Romney as he appears to alter his voice somewhat to choose a pink tie for an appearance on Fox News' "Hannity."
"I'll take the pink one," he says in a slightly higher register. Although weak, it was an alteration of his regular tone. Buzzfeed Politics noted it was Romney's "best gay guy impression." It would have been best if it had been no "impression," obviating the questions, the debate and the attacks to come. But Romney and his camp could always ignore the coming controversy or deny he meant anything at all.
Perhaps it was something in his throat?
When posting the clip, Gawker took the time to consult Hollywood vocal coach Bob Corff. One of Corff's areas of expertise is detecting and eliminating "gay accents." "I would say he is doing his impersonation of an effeminate man," Corff told Gawker. "I think it was his attempt at being funny."
Corff also suggested Romney not "give up his day job."
It is no secret Republicans are anti-gay marriage, some as a thin facade for being actual homophobes. But Romney has never seemed to indicate any such antagonism toward homosexuals, even though he has come out against same-sex marriages. And the color pink is associated with things effeminate.
Still, if his little joke was an attempt at humor at the expense of effeminate men and/or gays, it was undoubtedly an inappropriate response to a simple question of what he would wear for an interview.
On the debate's other side, Blaze contributor Eddie Scarry makes light of the clip. He says it's "obviously in a queer accent." He imagines that if it was cold outside, Romney would have sounded like an Eskimo.
Regardless, the video doesn't make Romney a gay-bashing politician. Just imprudent.