“What are you guys going to have?”
Sen. Mitt Romney’s staff surprised him on Tuesday by delivering a cake to his office while singing “Happy Birthday.”
A Twitter video of the moment shows Romney, freshly 72, expressing delight at the gesture. The Utah Republican jokes that the cake is what he has “always wanted, ” and asks the staff : “What are you guys going to have?”
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Romney then comes around his desk to blow out the candles, and that’s when events take an unusual turn.
The traditional birthday cake ritual, of course, involves trying to blow out all the candles at once – and only afterward removing them from the cake. But Romney can be seen plucking his candles out one-by-one, holding each flame near his mouth to be extinguished. As he proceeds, he gathers the wax remnants in his free hand.
This process unfolds over nearly 40 excruciating seconds as staffers laugh nervously.
Eating in public is always risky for politicians, especially those who, like Romney, are already seen as out-of-touch elites. The act is particularly dangerous during presidential campaigns, as Romney well knows as a twice-failed Republican candidate for the office.
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- Sen. Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, prepares to blow out candles on his 72nd birthday in his office in Washington, D.C. on March 12, 2019.: Screen grab from Twitter