Kirean was adopted, apparently by Mitt Romney's 35-year-old son Ben and his wife, Andelynne (shown holding the child in the tweeted photo). Ben was the only of Mitt Romney's five sons who did not have any children.
And while the toddler is undeniably adorable, the name is an odd choice for a dark-skinned child adopted into the family of a man who has a complicated relationship with race. It did not go without notice that the name Kieran is the anglicized version of the Gaelic name Ciarán -- which means "little dark one" or "black."
Mitt Romney's new black grandson is named Kieran Romney. Kieran is Gaelic for Black. Subtle and practical.— Tim Cogan (@timcogan) September 21, 2013
Ciarán […] is a Gaelic male given name meaning "little dark one" or "blacky" […] It is anglicized [as] Kieran— max read (@max_read) September 20, 2013
"Kieran" is a nice name, always loved it, but WOW. SUBTLE. Mitt Romney Welcomes New Grandson Via Twitter | News One http://t.co/2X0hCojvB1— TRUEORIGINAL GATA 黒猫 (@ThaGataNegrra) September 21, 2013
when kieran finds out what his name means, he's gonna FLIPPPPP— Rembert Browne (@rembert) September 20, 2013
it's possible that the Romneys don't know that Kieran means "black" and that they just thought it was a nice name, guys— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) September 20, 2013
(Romney also apparently lost count of his grandkids somewhere along the way: While little Kieran does appear to be No. 22, he also welcomed a grandchild back in July as the 22nd.)