Romney's Reading Response

You know how sometimes you forget that certain programmed things need updating? That your voice mail message has your old job title, or your email signature macro has your old fax number?

I think somebody who's responsible for programming Mitt Romney forgot that you need to periodically update the canned answer to "what books have you read recently."

Last night, being interviewed by Bret Baier on FOX News, Romney responded to that input variable with an answer that seemed genuine and plausibly human: that he's currently reading a "fun book," but the last serious book he read was President George W. Bush's memoir, Decision Points.

That was, however, almost the exact same answer he gave a full six months ago, when interviewed in late May for an interview that aired on NBC's Today Show, except that in that interview he remembered to name the fun book. (Misname it, actually; he called it Rule of Nines; it is actually Law of Nines.)

Maybe he's just a really, really slow reader. Or maybe he's so afraid of adding to his "flip-flop" reputation that he won't even change the book he's reading.

But probably it's just another example of Romney's real problem: inauthenticity. You can never feel like he's just giving you an honest answer. He has carefully crafted, tested responses to everything -- even something intended to give a peek into the candidate's authentic, personal side, like what he's reading.

Compare the interviews for yourself. The book question comes at about the 14:12 point of the Nov. 29 Bret Baier interview; and about 5:38 of the May 31 Today Show report.

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