“Leave it to Beaver” was an iconic TV series that ran from 1957-63. It portrayed a kinder, simpler image of Americana, suburbia..white picket fences, a stay at home mom, and a close knit family. It reflected the values that made this country great. The greatest generation, that had won World War II, had served again in Korea, had settled down, put down roots, started families, and would soon be once again challenged to win the Cold War.
In addition to the Cleavers, LITB had a recurring cast of characters that served as counterfoils to Wally and the Beaver. “Whitey” was Beaver’s cool, hip, wise-guy pal. “Lumpy” was Wally’s clumsy, semi-oafish best friend, but blessed with a heart of gold.
Yet if there is one character from the show that stands out, in manuy ways even moreso than the four main characters, it is Eddie Haskell.
Eddie managed to be everything, and nothing at the same time. He said whatever was needed to say at any given time, changing his mind, going back on his word, at the drop of a hat, if he felt that somehow he’d benefit from it. His only loyalty was to himself.
He defined the meaning of “two-faced.” He was oily, smarmy, and yet, managed to be charming, and fool most of the people most of the time.
Watching the increased coverage from Iowa this last week, especially several of the candidate’s speeches, I was struck by how much Mitt reminded me of Eddie Haskell.
It’s not just the obvious flip-flops, the u-turns on a multitude of positions. It’s Mitt’s style on the stump…the artifical attempts at laughter, the near frenetic speech, the attempts to appear to be “one of the guys” by wearing blue jeans.
Let’s face it. Mitt look ridiculous in blue jeans. He looks robotic walking in them, like the feel of the material makes his skin itch.He can’t “cowboy up.” Casual for Mitt is LL Bean khakis and topsiders. If he really wants to try to dress down, maybe, maybe, a pair of Dockers.
Eddie Haskell perfected the wide-eyed stare of pretended innocence, while lying through his teeth, about anything and everything, to whomever he was speaking. And that pretty much sums up Mitt.
First he wasn’t going to contest Iowa, then, as the field fragmented, and the others rose and fell in the polls, he realizes that he might just be able to steal one, that his ceiling of low 20’s % support might just stand up.
So now he’s in Iowa this last week, telling the good people that he’s been there all along..when he hasn’t. Just like he tells them that he’s been a job creator, when he hasn’t…he was a financial engineer.
Or pro-life, when he really wasn’t. Or against Obamacare, when he in fact invented it. Yada, yada, yada..
There were several “good guys” on LITB. Eddie Haskell wasn’t one of them. There are several “good guys” in this year’s GOP primary field.
Mitt’s NOT one of them.