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Top Ten Emotional Intelligence Moments of 2012
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EQ Moment #6:

Oblivious Chef Touches Romney’s Face (Twice) at Campaign Stop

When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stopped at the Tin Fish restaurant in Port Sant Lucie, Florida for some seafood last October, a routine photo opportunity turned into an awkward moment of epic proportions. Owner Joseph Melluso took it upon himself to wipe the rain from Romney’s face so vigorously—and without warning—that Romney reeled back in shock. Romney’s surprise did not deter Melluso, who tried to go back in again for another wipe after spotting a bit of napkin stuck on Romney’s mouth. This time Romney saw Melluso coming and took care of the problem himself.

Melluso’s colossal lack of social awareness is evident in more than his willingness to touch a stranger’s face without warning. The Secret Service travels with presidential candidates for a reason—crowds can pose real danger for public figures. Melluso’s uninvited reach in wasn’t just socially awkward; it was also likely a bit scary for Romney, at least until he realized what was happening.

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