Mitt Romney met with Donald Trump for a dinner of “sautéed frog legs, diver scallops with caramelized cauliflower and caper-raisin emulsion” last night to discuss the possibility of appointing Mitt Romney as Secretary of State, a potential appointment that has led to a great deal of infighting within the Trump transition team. Trump loyalists like Kellyanne Conway don’t want him, but the Republican establishment does, and the two sides are fighting over it in the media because it’s the only way to get their boss’ attention.
For much of the American electorate, Mitt Romney represents a glimmer of hope for a sober, serious, and somewhat moderate Republican (relatively, anyway), who might be able to keep the train on the rails while Trump takes sharp turns at 120 mph. Or at the very least, he may be able to talk Trump out of pushing the button every time a protester attacks one of his international hotels. “They spray painted graffiti on Trump Tower in Turkey! NUKE ISTANBUL!” But it also presents a conundrum: We want a reasonable man inside the cabinet, but what reasonable man would take a position inside of Trump’s White House?
Statements like the one Romney made after the dinner don’t help matters:
“I happen to think that America’s best days are ahead of us,” Romney said after dinner, according to pool reports. “I think you’re going to see America continue to lead the world in this century.”
“All of those things combined gives me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future.”
What? He can’t possibly believe that. Reminder, this is what Romney said about Trump a few months ago:
“Here’s what I know: Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing members of the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is a lousy hat.”
I hope that Trump does pick Romney, though, because it’s a better choice than Giuliani and because it would be fun to see Chuck Schumer ask Mitt during the confirmation hearings, “Is it true that you called Trump a fraud? A phony? And that he is ‘very, very not smart’?”
In either respect, the dinner between Romney and Trump did provide us with Internet currency in the form of a meme, and whatever else you want to say about Trump’s victory, that David S. Pumpkins photo at the bottom makes it all worth it (Oh god no, no it doesn’t).
For the first time in his life, Mitt Romney is All Of Us. pic.twitter.com/e8TyFgmtDl— John Green (@johngreen) November 30, 2016
My mom's take on this photo: "Romney looks like he's just been told 'No, Secretary of STEAK'" pic.twitter.com/RxNHDMqc69— Megan Amram (@meganamram) November 30, 2016
*record scratch*— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) November 30, 2016
"Yup, that's me, Mitt Romney. You're probably wondering how I ended up here" pic.twitter.com/ppTrG9mnlh
I found the uncropped version of that Trump and Romney photo. pic.twitter.com/VdeLh3QnB1— neontaster (@neontaster) November 30, 2016
Within 24 hours Trump will tweet that he never had dinner with Mitt Romney and CNN will be asking a panel of experts, "What even is dinner?" pic.twitter.com/i8eREEq0cN— Joseph Scrimshaw (@JosephScrimshaw) November 30, 2016
Mitt Romney is making a face like he's out to dinner with his mistress and his inlaws just walked in pic.twitter.com/9hDnhTEX09— ♡ brian essbe ♡ (@SortaBad) November 30, 2016
TRUMP: Welcome to the Hotel California.— Richard Pictures (@doctorveritas) November 30, 2016
ROMNEY: Such a lovely place.
TRUMP: Such a lovely place.
ROMNEY: Such a lovely face. pic.twitter.com/AchKpfoLUi
Here are 2 people who have never seen a Madea movie. pic.twitter.com/yGIBlMuNzh— billy eichner (@billyeichner) November 30, 2016
What does this call to mind? Anyone? https://t.co/97dF7hu4MU— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 30, 2016
God, I love that last photo.
Also, here’s a fun side note that Romney should probably never, ever mention to Trump if he wants to be Secretary of State:
Trump's share of popular vote continue to fall as more votes are counted; now just 46.4% (to Clinton's 48.2%); did worse than Romney (47.2%) https://t.co/NMpt0bJ2tE— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) November 29, 2016