We've all heard the terrible story about how Mitt Romney once drove 12 hours to Canada with the family dog, Seamus, strapped to the roof of the car—and if you're a regular Gail Collins reader, you've heard the story many times. The New York Times columnist has "made a kind of game of trying to mention Seamus every time I write about Mitt Romney," she explains today. It's because we all need a "diversion" from the "long and depressing slog" that is the Republican presidential primary, but she also thinks the story offers a larger point about what we'd be getting if we elect Romney president.
Yes, Romney will take us into the future, but on the way there, "some of us will be stuck on the roof. The rest of us will be inside singing camp songs and waiting for the day when the master plan lets us stop to visit the bathroom. Plus, anybody who screws up on the way … gets the hose." Collins also tells and retells the story because it "puts Romney in a more human context," she writes. "This is not just a quarter-billionaire with approximately the same gift for the common touch as Scrooge McDuck. This is a real person. A person who once drove to Canada with the family dog tied to the roof of the car." Her entire column, in which she answers other Frequently Asked Questions about Seamus, is worth a read.