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Pete, watch this therapeutic video!

The grumpy, unhappy, “we’re all doomed” Pete is starting to trouble me. Does he need Prozac, a spiritual uplift, or what?

Maybe he needs a self-help expert! Who, better, than TV’s Reverend Governor Mike Huckabee? Maybe he can’t make Pete feel better about himself. But certainly he can make him feel better about Mitt Romney.

Mitt, Huckabee explains, is like Denny’s—that quick and reliable source of decent food at a low cost. Just because you wouldn’t have your anniversary there, doesn’t mean you won’t take the family there after the game some Friday night. Don’t Denny’s and Mitt inspire our ordinary affection and trust?

If that’s not enough, Mke reminds you that Mitt is also like bean dip—always available whenever you need it at the end of table.

Now to counter PORCHER FOODIEISM (justly criticized on realistic and populist grounds by Carl in the thread), I frequently talk up the neglected virtues of lowbrow chain restaurants such as the Waffle House.

I also believe that Huckabee knows his Denny’s and probably has to struggle even now to display the virtue of driving by without stopping on the way home from church or a stop on some book tour.

Mitt might appear to us as the rare rich guy who might—out of mega-frugality and Mormon lack of aesthetic sense (from which Huntsman pretentiously exempts himself)—occasionally eat at Denny’s.

Or maybe not—the excellence of Denny’s, if you can call it that, is a huge amount of food at a low price. There are various breakfasts that spare you the burden of choice: You get can hotcakes, eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, sausage, toast etc. in one meal deal. Fit Mitt couldn’t have had many of those meals. Do we really connect Mitt with that kind of bounty?

Certainly Denny’s might be praised as a godsend for guys with lots of kids like Mitt and Rick (but with regular jobs, of course) who want to take the whole family out to eat once in while. We can also imagine that Rick stopped his pick-up truck at a Denny’s (just to eat) now and again in Iowa between Pizza Farms or whatever.

The big issue is whether the guys who eat at Denny’s will ever warm up to Mitt. They’re a step up from the Waffle Housers but still usually members of our middle-to-lower middle class. They really are often Southern Baptists on the way home from church.

The same goes for the guys (wherever they are) who still eat that canned bean dip while watching the game.

It might be that Santorum will turn out to have the edge on Romney on those fronts. Huckabee also might not have quite convinced Pete in his comparison of a billionaire with Denny’s. (It’s probable, of course, that the guy or guys who own all those Denny’s are closing in on being billionaires.)

Seriously, folks, I appreciate the statesmanlike effort Huckabee is making to reconcile the evangelicals to Romney. He might have done that after he was doomed four years ago.

Three things Mitt and Rick share in common: Good marriages, lots of kids, authentic faith and “grounding” in strongly institutional religion.

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