The Romneys: "Papa" and "Mamie"
If Romney wins the White House, he will have more grandchildren than any sitting president in history (President John Tyler, who was elected in 1841, had 15 children from two different marriages - eight with his first wife, who died in the White House in 1842. And while Tyler's genealogy is not completely documented, it is clear he didn't have 18 grandchildren by the time he was in the White House.)
The 65-year-old candidate and his wife, Ann, have 18 grandchildren in their brood, the product of their five sons and 43-year marriage. The kids range in age from 16 years old to just 3 months, and are a major priority for their doting, but very busy, grandparents. Just last week, the entire family - 30 in all - gathered in Wolfeboro, N.H., for a week of ice cream, water sports and unbridled adulation from Mitt and Ann.
One of the most common gripes waged against Romney is that he has a problem connecting. He has a plank-like posture and uses terminology seemingly ripped from a 1950s sitcom script. His wealth and pedigree have been both boons and challenges: Many argue that he is simply unrelatable to the average voter. But a glimpse into his family life - and his littlest enthusiasts - paints quite a different picture.
"Papa" and "Mamie"
Mitt and Ann are known as "Papa" and "Mamie" to their grandchildren, but Mitt's moniker was not always as such. If Ann's nickname seems to harken back to a former first lady, it's intentional - when their first grandchild, Allie, 16, was born, her grandparents were free to hand-choose their aliases. Mitt chose "Ike" and "Mamie" -- after the Eisenhowers. "He just thought it was a cool name and he liked it," says Allie's father, Tagg, the Romneys' eldest son. (In his book, "No Apology," Romney refers to Eisenhower as a the type of leader who has "changed the course in their nation's history.") Mitt was "Ike" for about seven years, until grandchildren Nos. 2 and 3 - twins Nick and Chloe - rebranded him as "Papa."
Unique titles are a common theme in the family; none of the Romney sons called anyone "Grandma" or "Grandpa" growing up. Ann's parents, Edward and Lois Davies, were known as "Pops" and "Meme" to their grandchildren. Mitt's parents, George and Lenore Romney, were called "Barda" and "Mahz," respectively. ("Barda" was an apparent reference to the nickname of one his grandchild's blankets.)
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