The Romney campaign says that labeling its candidate "weird" amounts to a veiled attack on Mormonism. But in an excerpt from Alex Pareene's new e-book at Salon, Pareene holds that Mitt Romney is, in fact, just plain bizarre, like "a brilliantly designed politician android with an operating system still clearly in beta." The former governor is "simultaneously dorkily earnest and ingratiatingly insincere," and his social interactions leave Pareene scratching his head—and considering that his e-book is titled The Rude Guide to Mitt, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Pareene doesn't hold back when cataloging them.
For instance, there's the fact that he wanted his grandkids to call him "Ike" after Dwight Eisenhower. Then there's what the New Yorker calls his "one-upmanship." When a voter mentioned a daughter at Michigan State, Romney noted that "my brother's on the board of Michigan State." Another said she was from Illinois, prompting Romney to remind her that he'd won the straw poll there. And then there's this video. But where Richard Nixon "was epically, operatically weird," Romney is just boringly, tamely weird, going out of his way to deny having used bad words, or pointing out that the trees in his hometown are "the right height." Click through for more "weird" Mitt moments. (Read more Mitt Romney stories.)