What separates the electable among us from the also-rans? A deep commitment to principle? A nuanced understanding of public policy? A keen insight into how the minutiae of governmental functions affects the average American? Haha, no. In fact, it's hard to pin down the ineffable qualities that separate regular sociopaths from the sociopaths who manage to win public office, but there are some traits that clearly help. Good hair. Money. A strong jaw line.
Which raises the question: Who is more electable, Mitt Romney or Bobby Newport, heir to the Sweetums fortune and candidate for Pawnee city council on NBC's Parks & Recreation?
Round One: Penchant for Platitudinous Oratory
"I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that's the America millions of Americans believe in. That's the America I love." – Mitt Romney
"I'm against crime and I'm not ashamed to admit it." – Bobby Newport
Round Two: Family Wealth
Bobby Newport, scion of the powerful Newport family that founded the Sweetums candy manufacturing company, attempted to blackmail the citizens of Pawnee, Indiana with the threat of his father moving the Sweetums plant to Mexico in the event of Leslie Knope's election to the city council, thereby depriving the city of thousands of jobs and its status as the fourth most obese city in America.
Mitt Romney's father actually moved automobile plants to states with friendlier business climates, but neither Romney magnate has threatened to close factories for purely political gain.
Round Three: Appeal to Animal Lovers
"PETA was after me when I went quail hunting in Georgia. And they're not happy that my dog likes fresh air." – Mitt Romney, on the Seamus controversy
"Hi, I'm Bobby Newport. I'm a regular guy. I like dogs. I'm here with my Persian greyhound Reclette, who was given to me by the pretender to the crown of Alsace-Lorraine." – Bobby Newport
Round Four: Handsomeness
Advantage: You decide.
Round Five: Walk a Fine Line on Divisive Issues
"I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for twenty years, it should be sustained and supported. And I sustain and support that law and support the right of a woman to make that choice." – Mitt Romney
"I believe people understand that I'm firmly pro-life." – also Mitt Romney
"I guess my thoughts on abortion are… You know, let's just all have a good time." – Bobby Newport
Round Six: Cultivating Friendships
"The other night I was with another restaurant guy, Papa John." – Mitt Romney
"Hi, I'm Bobby Newport. My dad is friends with John Cougar Mellencamp. That's pretty cool." – Bobby Newport
Round Seven: Reliance on Strong Lady Advisers
Bobby Newport relies on the tough-minded advice of DC-based campaign pro Jennifer Barkley.
Mitt Romney has Ann.
Summary: Romney 3, Newport 3, 1 tie. As expected, it's too close to call.
Romney photo by Jay LaPrete/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Mitt Romney, NBC, Television