Romney’s Applebee’s Edge

I missed last night’s 60 Minutes interview with Mitt Romney, but after listening to excerpts this morning on the Laura Ingraham radio program I went online to watch the interview in its entirety to see just how bad an interview Mike Wallace conducted.

Verdict? It was great. Wallace wasn’t nearly as smug and Romney wasn’t as plastic as I expected. In fact, Romney may have brought to politics an entirely new criterion by which to judge candidates — the Applebee’s Factor.

Every election cycle pundits and the media focus on the “beer factor” — which candidate appears real enough to make you want to hang out with him and have a beer. Well, Romney’s teetotalism makes the beer factor irrelevant. But I think he’s got something else. Something just as … homey.

Of all the candidates, Mitt Romney’s the guy I’d bet most Americans would want to hang out with at an Applebee’s restaurant. And before you roll your eyes smugly, because you, of course, would never dine at such a pedestrian eatery, consider that in Matthew Dowd’s book, Applebee’s America, the restaurant is described by patrons as “a second home.” That’s the point. Romney is the guy you want to hang out with at the dinner table.

Mitt and You: Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood. Whether that translates into votes is another question.