BLOG: Call me Mitt, call me

Emil Whitis
Apr 21, 2012


For a moment, ever so briefly, we touched fingers.

“Mitt, Mitt,” I yelled, waving a business card in my hand.

At first, Mitt Romney had ignored my pleas for attention.

But then, probably by accident, we made eye contact.

He had no choice but to address my persistence. He snatched the Register business card out of my hand.

And he promptly placed it in his front shirt pocket.  

“I’m with the Sandusky Register,” I said, making a telephone signal with my hand placed next to my ear. “Call me.”

Romney looked confused for a second, then eked out a smile.

Or maybe he just stared at me blankly. I couldn’t tell. The crowd giggled a bit.

I’m not sure of the odds that my business card stayed in his front pocket and actually went with him as he left the massive gypsum plant in Lorain Thursday.

But I know I watched as the Republican presidential candidate placed my business card in his shirt pocket.

My card, in his pocket.

I can’t imagine doing much better than that in my quest to grab some face-time with Romney.  

At the end of the 18 minutes of Obama-bashing, Romney basked in a sort of rock-star atmosphere that fell somewhere short of crowd-surfacing and mosh pits.  

Just a side note: There were a lot of white people from bedroom communities like Avon Lake.  

Romney went around shaking hands and signing autographs. 

He literally held two babies.    

People surged at him like hogs to a feeder trough.

They shrieked and smiled at the excitement of his nearness.

At least 20 cameras and iPhones were raised high, hands struggling to overcome the jitters.

Stone-faced security guards made it clear that visitors of my kind — the media — weren’t welcome up front near the Republican powerhouse.

No, Romney handshakes were reserved for the hand-picked.

I watched from the “press pen” — their word, not mine — with a growing sense of duty. I couldn’t just stand by while my mark mingled just 20 yards away.

I ducked the nylon rope and made my way into the crowd. My first foray got me within 5 feet of Romney.

I didn’t have the heart to shove old women and mothers and babies out of my way, so I retreated to strategize.

Romney was making a lateral sweep along the gallery gate.

The crowd bulged in front of him, and there was no way I was going to penetrate through the throngs of Republican revelers. 

But then I looked left — the crowd-corralling rail was empty about 30 feet away.

I dashed toward a single empty spot at the very corner of the rail. And there I waited. I fished out my business card as Romney crept down the line.

My foresight was spot on — Romney came right at me. I basked in the success of my brilliant tactic.

You know the rest of the story: I handed him my card, and told him we should totally do lunch.    

Even still, my success Thursday wasn’t limited to the business card exchange.

I also tracked down two of Romney’s three public relations gurus — Ryan Williams and Rick Gorka.

After jotting down the correct spellings of their names, and their emails, I explained my goal of landing an in-person interview with Romney.

Williams said it’s probably doable — Ohio is a pivotal battleground state, and Romney will definitely be back. 

Baby steps. Baby steps.

Or maybe, one colossal step in the right direction.

Each presidential election year the Register chooses two reporters to keep tabs on the national candidates and attempt to reel them in for a visit to our fine Northern Ohio home. This year reporter Andy Ouriel is following President Barack Obama's re-election campaign while reporter Emil Whitis gives his attention to the GOP race and probable candidate Mitt Romney. They update readers regularly on their progress in a series we call "Chasing the President."



why not call on ron paul or gary johnson to show up in sandusky? maybe the erie county democrat and republican parties don't want them to set foot in erie county. mitt would not show up in erie county because he knows that erie county is strongly democrat. obama will not show up because he knows a vote for mitt is a sure win for obama.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained obscenity. Discussion Guidelines


Pretty sure your not getting a call.


Republicans are stupid, If you don't have millions you are voting for peole that will screw U as well as everybody else.....

autoworker republican are the worst take democratic benifits and vote for repubs what a joke

Erie Countian

Emil, you evidently don't realize how silly and pathetic you are coming across as! Get over it!



/you said call me Mitt/


Emil Whitis makes me never want to buy this newspaper again. Absolutely awful every article and "broadcast" he does.

Erie County Resident

Just read this so called unbiased journalistic colorful article... LMAO

Emil you seem to have forgotten that a reporter is suppose to report articles from an unbiased view just giving facts not your personal editorial opinions.

Crap stories like this and that stupid show you and Andy spew out each week speaks volumes about the Sandusky Register... Nope your still no where near being rocket scientist!

SR supports the Beavis & B^tthead Show because we're liberal Obamanation Morons!

(Now let the mustard chuggin' commence)

Now how about some articles without your liberal smack talk included for a change, but I won't hold out much hope of seeing that happen.

The Big Dog's back

 ecr, it's called a BLOG. Maybe that's yours and the rest of the right wingers problem, you think blogs are news sources.

Sort of like the way the left drool and foam at the mouth over MSNBC as a credible news source?

MSNBC doesnt drool and foam at the mouth as much as they get shivers up their leg at the mention of the "messiah"


If I was him I would not call you if I read this because of a couple of your comments:

At the end of the 18 minutes of Obama-bashing, 

Just a side note: There were a lot of white people from bedroom communities like Avon Lake.


Maybe by atleast trying to be objective and unbiased, you may get that call.

Kottage Kat

The only thing Mitt could call you is silly ( not what I wanted to say)      Kat


I may be a little behind the times but what is "crowd surfacing".   If it is crowd surfing , I heard of that.


Okay, despite the fact that Emil Whitis is allegedly a "news" reporter, this is a blog. So talking about a certain number of minutes of "Obama-bashing" is excusable. What ISN'T excusable in ANY format is the "side note." That's racist at BEST and outright political propaganda at its insideous worst. Emil, you're not at all peeved that YOU didn't get assigned to follow the Obama campaign, ARE you. (No need to answer; that's a rhetorical question. Look it up.)

Oh, and here's one more thing that just can't be excused, no matter the label on the column, when it's supposedly written by somebody who knows how to write: Crowd "surfacing." LabMan pointed out, tongue firmly in cheek, that he'd heard of crowd SURFING, but not "surfacing." His comment amused me. Emil's pathetic excuse for political commentary does not.

There's a reason I say what I say to the shills who accost me in Menard's to give away a free edition of the Register: "No, thank you, I don't have a bird."


@Frugalspender............excellent idea about Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.   But these two guys want the two front runners and they are missing the chance of a life time in doing so.

Look, Emil.  I  HOPE this article was meant to be a humor piece, done all in good fun showing how hard you are trying to get in good with the Republican candidate.  You came close but you are about as close as you are going to get and you know it.  As an unbiased journalist, you need some help, that is why I am fervently hoping this was a "humor" piece and not meant to be anything more.  Right? 

However, you need to get some vocabulary skills quickly or your college/university is surely going to revoke your degree as your readers have already pointed out your mistakes. 

Wow, we all could have done without the aside comment, that was a HUGE no-no.  I don't know about Matt Westerhold, but if I was YOUR editor, I would be having a talk with you really soon about that comment!!!!!   NEVER make it again would be my first, middle and last statement to you. 

And if you are really smart, you might want to take Frugalspender up on her is as close as you guys will get to a REAL presidential candidate in the near future.  Food for thought....go for it.