When It Comes to Photo Ops with Pizza, Romney Delivers

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How can you tell the story of Mitt Romney's frugality? Tell it with a pizza. How do you commemorate the death of Osama bin Laden? Deliver pizza to firefighters, as Romney did Tuesday with Rudy Giuliani tagging along. How do taunt President Obama's reelection campaign? Send them your leftover pizza. There is a jumbo slice for every point Mitt Romney could possibly hope to score.

Romney's campaign flooded Twitter Tuesday with images of the candidate buying and delivering pizzas to a firehouse. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul and press secretary Rick Gorka tweeted these photos:

According to Reuters' Sam Youngman, the sight of Romney carrying these pizzas prompted one onlooker to quip, "Just don't put 'em on the roof of the car." (Timing!)

If pizza delivery lacks a certain solemnity you might expect when noting the death of bin Laden, the whole reason we've been at war for more than 10 years, you have to understand that pizza is a medium Romney is comfortable with. Last May, when Romney visited Chicago, he ate some deep-dish pizza and then delivered the leftover slices to Obama's headquarters. This was apparently an in-your-face bit of campaign trash talk.

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But even before Romney got into politics, he knew pizza could send a powerful message to the masses. When Romney took over the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the games were struggling. NPR's Howard Berkes reports that Romney worked hard to rebuild the games' image to attract donors:

Romney also slashed spending, even canceling catering for board meetings and making sure TV cameras were on hand when he decided to sell pizza at his first board function as CEO. He paid $5 per pizza, cut each pie into eight slices, charged a dollar a slice, and ended up with a $3 profit per pizza.

You might be tempted to conclude Romney is the Michangelo of politics -- the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle obsessed with pizza, not the artist. But you'd be wrong. Politico's Mike Allen and Evan Thomas report that Romney pulls the cheese off his pizza, like some kind of philistine. Nevertheless, perhaps we've underrated the likelihood Herman Cain will be picked as his running mate.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.