26 October 2012

Sununu’s OIP Derangement Syndrome

In July, Romney campaign co-chair John Sununu said President Barack Obama “has no idea how the American system functions” because, in part, he spent ages six to ten in Indonesia. That same day Sununu told reporters, “I wish this president would learn how to be an American.”

A couple of days later Sununu apologized for “using those words,” but stood by their sentiment. Sununu, incidentally, was born in Cuba.

In September, during the Democratic National Convention, Sununu declared that Michelle Obama’s dress cost more than $1,000 and that her husband’s campaign was lying about that figure. A mechanical engineer by training, Sununu had never shown any knowledge or interest in ladies’ fashion before.

People who do follow that field immediately pointed out that the designer who made Michelle Obama’s dress usually prices her work at well under Sununu’s figure (and that Ann Romney had worn an Oscar de la Renta dress costing $1,990 at the Republican convention). And indeed, the Obama dress has an announced price of $398. I can’t find any remarks from Sununu acknowledging that.

Early his month, after the first Presidential debate, Sununu called Obama “lazy” and said, “When you’re not that bright, you can’t get better prepared.” His television interviewer gave Sununu a chance to rewrite his “lazy” comment, and he endorsed it.

Sununu has even criticized the way President Obama walks onto a helicopter. One might recall that Sununu left his job as George H. W. Bush’s chief of staff because he had used government helicopters and planes for several expensive personal trips.

This week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed the President for a second term, laying out reasons for supporting Obama and a detailed critique of Romney’s shifty foreign policy. Sununu told an interviewer he thought Powell had “a slightly different reason. . . . I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being president of the United States—I applaud Colin for standing with him.” Today Sununu retracted that comment based on his friendship with Powell, not the obviously racist thinking behind it.

A man can only retract and apologize for comments only so many times. Sununu’s antipathies are undeniable. He displays the symptoms of OIP Derangement Syndrome.

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