HEINUS – DETROIT When speaking to a group of Michigan voters, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney remembered details of an event that occurred before he was born. Romney regaled the crowd with his memory of a celebration of the 50th year of the automobile in Detroit on June 1, 1946. Romney was reportedly not born for another six months.
Romney spokesman Theo Severchase von Haltenzein said the candidate shouldn’t be criticized for having a superb memory. “Governor Romney has incredible recall, it doesn’t surprise me he actually remembers things from before his birth,” von Haltenzein said. “Just yesterday he recounted to us exactly what each of us had for breakfast that morning, including side orders of bacon or sausage and orange juice with pulp or without. Impressive.”
According to Sinead O’Fitzpatrick, professor of political science at East Lansing College of the Brain and Lower G.I., many American political candidates have demonstrated the ability to remember events prior to their birth. “It’s almost common,” O’Fitzpatrick said. The professor cited the following examples.
William Henry Harrison: Spoke at stump speeches during his 1840 campaign for President of having been aboard the Santa Maria with Columbus and guiding him toward America and inventing a cure for seasickness.
Grover Cleveland: Claimed in 1892 that he founded the city of Cleveland in 1796 and named it after himself. Said he had fond memories of pitching his tent on the shore of Lake Erie and starting the city but that he had originally intended to camp on the edge of Lake Ontario and found the city of Buffalo.
Warren G. Harding: For several months during his 1920 Presidential run Harding insisted that he could fly and see angels. He said this ability helped him defeat the Turks during the Ottoman Empire’s 1683 attempt to take Vienna. His aides later stated that Harding had misspoken and had really meant to say that the candidate was unhappy with recent losses in the stock market but felt better and had improved digestion after his front porch was repainted by campaign workers.
Thomas Dewey: Said on several occasions during his 1948 campaign against Truman that he taught Abraham Lincoln to read and remembered having met George Washington in Philadelphia and having helped the first President search for a lost manuscript that told the story of Washington’s adventures as a young man during a trip to Egypt. Dewey later backed away from these comments and said he had merely suggested a few books to Lincoln and heard Washington give a speech to his Masonic lodge about pyramids.
Michael Dukakis: During a campaign stop in 1988, said he gave Archimedes the idea for the screw and claimed that he designed the Parthenon while working as a bartender in Athens. Aides later issued a statement that the candidate was woozy from his ride in a U.S. Army tank and meant to say he saw a movie about Greek history when he was in college.
(Mitt Romney image by Dwight Burdette)