Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mitt And The Common Man

Maureen Dowd has a column in this morning's New York Times about the problems Mitt Romney has admitting publicly to the tenets of his faith. I have never been too concerned with Romney's faith. That is between him and his God. But I am troubled by something else Dowd mentions.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Romney has applied for a permit "to replace his single-story 3,000-square-foot beach house in La Jolla, Calif., with a 7,400-square-foot home featuring an additional 3,600 square feet of finished underground space." His New Hampshire home, I read, is also impressive.

Considering that the financial collapse of 2008 was caused by a mortgage crisis -- and considering that millions of Americans have lost their homes or are struggling to stay in them -- Romney's decision, at this point in the campaign, seems remarkably insensitive, to say the least.

It plays into Romney's central problem: People don't believe he is who he says he is. Dowd writes:

There’s a certain pathos to Romney. His manner is so inauthentic, you can’t find him anywhere. Is he the guy he was on Wednesday or the guy he was on Thursday?

He has the same problem that diminished the equally animatronic Al Gore. Gore kept mum on the one thing that made him come alive, the environment, fearing he’d be cast, as W. liked to say, as “a green, green lima bean.”

People  -- including the Nobel Committee -- listened to Gore when he finally stood up for what he believed. Romney's problem is that no one really knows what he believes -- although actions like bulldozing his California house and replacing it with a house that most Americans would find  a tad too opulent is sure to fuel suspicions that Romney is not the man he claims to be. He certainly is not a common man.

This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.


The Mound of Sound said...

You should see Romney's ski cabin.

It can be yours for $5.25 million (although word is he'll take $5.2 mill)

Owen Gray said...

I've seen pictures of the other two homes, Mound, but the Utah home puts the other two to shame.

And he thinks ordinary people will relate to him -- or that he can relate to them.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

He is definitely not the common man. More surprisingly he does not seem to be able to downplay his enormously wealthy life style. I like the issue of his wife grumbling that she had weekly get a very eary fight to California so she could ride her horse. Obviously, money is no object.

Romney would do better to emphasis the family owned cottage at Grand Bend. It was a very modest cottage bought by his father years ago. Just before they bought this place the racist restricted covenant of the community was declared void so he need not be tard with that brush. Appaently, the cottage has not been turned into a monstrous house.

Owen Gray said...

Even though Romney jokes about eating "cheesy" grits, Philip, it's obvious that they're never on the family menu.

He just doesn't have "the common touch."

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I would not brag about grits. I may be the only Canadian with three five pound bags of grits on his shelf. You cannot get them here in Canada is seems. A friend of mine brought me these from Florida. They have little to recommend them. I have tried with an egg and the famous red beans and grits. I am from British stock give me my porridge any time over grits. I thought I could eat grits while I was on a binge of reading Appalchan literature.

Owen Gray said...

I first encountered grits when I was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, Philip. I thought they were Cream of Wheat.

I was soon set straight by the people who knew what they were talking about. Obviously, I didn't know what I was talking about.