Construction Literary Magazine

Fall 2020

Mitt Romney Eats Cookies

Mitt Romney Eats Cookies

Editor’s note: This post is part V of the Etch A President Saga, a satirical series on the 2012 Election campaign.

“I’m not sure about these cookies. They don’t look like you made them. Did you make those cookies? You didn’t, did you? No. No. They came from the local 7-Eleven bakery or wherever.”

Mitt Romney, April 17

“Who insults a cookie?!” exclaims Thomas Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“A free plate of colorful cookies at campaign stop!” says Joshua Bekenstein, co-founder of the venture capital firm Bain Capital.

“The horror, the horror,” whispers Mitt Romney.

Longtime political advisor Eric Fehrnstrom presses the OFF button on the Republican presidential candidate, who is actually a robot, as previously established. The three men—coconspirators in installing a tax-slashing Mormon in the West Wing—are meeting deep inside the campaign headquarters in Boston.

“Indeed, it was a gaffe that not even our revolutionary Etch A President programming could overcome,” says Fehrnstrom. “But there is an explanation: Mitt was obviously traumatized by cookies as a child.”

“Cookie trauma?” asks Bekenstein.

“Perhaps the worst kind,” explains Fehrnstrom. “As a child, Mitt’s penny-pinching father only allowed the family to purchase generic brand cookies and snacks. You know the kind: a little less rich in color, a little less sweet in flavor, and a lot less respectable in the school lunchroom.”

“I think I still have beer trauma from Trader Joe’s Simpler Times Pilsner,” says Bekenstein.

Monson wrinkles his nose. “It was Trader Joe’s Name Tag Classic Lager that ruined my palate,” says the church president.

“It seems you can both relate to Mitt when he went to school one day with cookies from the 7-Eleven,” says Fehrnstrom. “The teasing was incessant. He’s never been the same.”

“Cookie trauma,” Bekenstein says in a hushed tone. “No wonder that when he sat down at the Bethel Park Community Center in Pennsylvania and saw those perfectly circular and neon-colored cookies, his mind automatically jumped to 7-Eleven.”

“What else could explain it?” says Monson. “I mean, what presidential candidate sits down to a big plate of free cookies at a campaign event and criticizes the food as being cheap? That’s worse that a gaffe! It’s tasteless, heartless, idiotic, shallow, short-sighted.”

“Good thing it’s not that,” says Bekenstein.

Fehrnstrom nods. “The real Mitt Romney may have died decades ago, but his childhood traumas have somehow carried over to the Romney3000. This week a circuit seems to have malfunctioned in his Etch A Sketch programming, overpowered by the memory of those processed cookies from 7-Eleven.”

“So what do we do about the folks at Bethel Bakery who were offended by Mitt’s comment on their homemade cookies? They’re having a heyday with this, launching a ‘CookieGate’ promotion that gives customers a free half-dozen cookies for each dozen they purchase.”

Monson looks at his iPhone. “And look at this tweet from the DNC: Mitt Romney disses a beloved local bakery in Pittsburgh—and 7-Eleven. #cookiegate.

“Ouch. That beloved Pittsburgh bakery is untouchable,” says Fehrnstrom. “They’re a ma-and-pa shop that’s more than 50 years old. We just have to let this blow over.”

“But it’s not just the cookies,” says Bekenstein. “Now both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are withholding their endorsements. That’s after we already gave Rick the keys to the White House bowling alley and paid off Newt’s campaign debt. We’re taking heat over the firing of our gay foreign policy spokesman.”

“And we’re losing women voters,” says Monson. “Polls show Mitt trailing by 14 points to He Who Shall Not Be Named among women. If only we could turn back the clock on women’s suffrage. Terrible idea, it was.”

“I have an idea for how to deal with the women,” says Fehrnstrom. “There is a little-known data point being overlooked: Romney actually leads by 9 points among married women.”

“Being unmarried is un-American!” says Monson. “Men should be married at least once.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” says Fehrnstrom. “Obama is winning the un-American vote. If we spin this right, Obama may himself reject votes from unmarried women.”