Saturday, February 25, 2012

Just a Regular Willard

Mitt Romney has tried hard to identify with the average guy.  He really has.  From his claim that the $350,000+ he earned from giving speeches in 2010 wasn't 'much money' to his statement that he isn't concerned about the 'very poor' or the 'rich', Willard 'Mitt' Romney has tried to portray himself as just a regular guy named Willard.  Therein lies a lot of the reason he's still running for the Republican nomination instead of having already secured it.  He keeps trying to portray himself as something other than what he is.  He is a man of wealth from a family of wealth and has lived in world of wealth his whole life.  There is nothing wrong with that.  In America, we celebrate and want to emulate those who are successful and wealthy.  It is very rare when one of them tries to make the claim that he is just one of the guys.  Some wealthy folks might be able to pull that off.  Warren Buffett comes to mind.  While I've never met him, the interviews I've seen with him make him seem very down to earth and able to identify with the day to day struggles of the middle class.  Not so for the GOP's regular Willard.  Take this statement from his 'major economic speech' in which he promoted a plan that will raise taxes on poor people and those with college age kids yesterday in Detroit:
“I love this country. I actually love this state. This feels good being back in Michigan. Um, you know the trees are the right height. The, uh, the streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles. I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually.”
The trees are the right height?  Huh?  Do average people walk around looking at the trees and commenting on their height?  Or the style of the streets?  Do they have four cars for two people, including two Cadillacs?  I don't and I suspect that most regular folk don't either.  This isn't the first time Willard Romney has commented about the height of the trees in Michigan.  He mentioned it in a stump speech a week ago prompting Larry Sabato to muse whether Romney would comment on the proper height of cacti if he wins the Arizona primary on Tuesday.  Perhaps he lost Iowa because he failed to appreciate the proper height of the corn stalks.

Romney will likely win the Michigan primary on Tuesday as he should.  He is the best candidate remaining among a very weak (and weird) Republican field.  Personally, I would have preferred Jon Huntsman, an intelligent, reasonable conservative who was unwilling to pander to the lunatics on the right but he had the audacity to serve his country faithfully under THIS Democratic president, which is tantamount to treason.  A Republican member of Congress who visited my class recently told me this privately and Huntsman said it himself on Morning Joe last week.

While I believe Romney will win Michigan and Arizona, it will likely be a result of outspending his opponents.  Rather, because his Super PAC outspent his opponents in advertising.  Michigan is still likely to be close, though, as the spending differences are much less than in Florida.  As of February 24, Romney groups have spent about twice as much as Santorum groups.  

Whatever the outcome, Willard Romney is not your average Joe.  He should stop pretending to be.

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