As Mitt Romney started his speech to University of Alabama alumni yesterday in Birmingham, apparently, he didn't notice the stunned silence and the frowning faces.
"Well," he paused, "actually, I have friends that employ a great many of you folks and he says if you can understand what you say, you couldn't find harder worker bees!"
Romney laughed at his own joke and the assembled moved restlessly in their seats. A few got up and left the room.
Romney laughed nervously at this point but continued, "I once attended one of your NASCAR races that you folks seem to like so much. you know,sat in a owners box. I have never seen so many crushed beer cans in my life!"
As chairs scrapped and several more left the room, Romney chuckled and said, "Ya'll sure do know how to have fun!
At this point Romney realized that his jokes were being less than well received. He tried to recoup. He shouted out in a pleading voice that had a tinge of desperation in it: "I have a refrigerator and a couch on the front porch of my mansion on the lake in Vermont!
"And I might not have lived here but I watched more than a few episodes of Dukes of Hazard in my life." He was speaking frantically now, "And a friend of mine had a maid who had a cousin that had head lice. I had a shower with my cousin once. I was only six at the time, but it counts!"
As an aide rushed to the podium and took Romney by the arm, he shouted, "I've seen Gone With the Wind twelve times!"