On the heels of his “I like to fire people” Mitt slip, Romney is facing some trouble in New Hampshire. And since New Hampshire mirrors his what we could call his home state of Massachusetts this is bad news for Willard.
The problem for Mitt is that he lives in a millionaire’s bubble and unlike the wealthy Kennedys, for example, Romney just doesn’t have the compassion gene. He is quite simply unable to fathom a world in which it’s not funny to talk about how you like to fire people over Dom Pérignon.
Even as Mitt fights back against the “I like to fire people” debacle of yesterday, he’s drowning in the reality of who he is and how he grew up.
Even as Occupy Wall Street protests the candidates, raising the voice of the 99% and their concerns about jobs, Romney is catering to the 1%.
What you see is what you get with Mitt. Even his name tells the story of his prep school upbringing, though Mitt wasn’t a popular kid in school and never excelled at much. Still. When your dad is a CEO of an auto company and then governor of the state, it doesn’t matter much if anyone thinks you’re cool. You’re going to have an entourage of sorts just because power and money do that.
At a time when Americans are losing their savings, their pensions, their homes, and even their lives for lack of money but no lack of hard work, the Millionaire Mitt is quite simply the wrong candidate to sell the Republican Party’s policies for the 1% to the 99%.
Mitt is talking about gutting the social safety net, getting rid of Medicare, Medicaid, and almost every other social safety program Americans depend upon. How is he going to sell economic and social Darwinism when in contrast we have Barack Obama who has shown the Republicans a thing or two about fiscal responsibility but still champions the middle class, the social safety net, and unions (Obama just made several appointments to the Labor Board that may be a larger impact on the daily lives of the American people than even the financial protection board. Union leaders and working Americans are salivating.)
A Rick Santorum or Rick Perry could sell taxing the poor for the benefit of the rich better than slick Mitt with his prep school smarminess and condescending privilege. Of course, Rick Santorum couldn’t even get elected in his home state and Rick Perry can’t be allowed to speak in public, so they face their own challenges. Such are the problems for a party that elevates being uneducated, misinformed and stepped on by the man as cool on one hand and is stuck with the results of 40 years of their Southern strategy – the only voters they can get to support them are the voters who still believe the Republican Party is on board with the social values the evangelicals are told to care about for the sake of the Republican Party. What a web we weave when at first we do deceive. But the piper is a callin’.
The Republicans have a problem. With Obama having stolen Republican’s usual “we’ll keep you safe” foreign policy and national security meme, it’s all about the economy – or rather, it should be. And Obama has been talking about working people and an unfair economy since long before the Bush stock market crash of 2008.
Mitt is the only electable Republican candidate in a national election and yet he is also the only person who can’t sell catering to the rich and make it seem folksy. Sarah Palin or George W Bush he ain’t.
If I were Mitt Romney’s strategy team, I’d bring in a stylist and a speech coach for Mittens. I’d teach him how the rest of America talks and then I’d dress him in something that didn’t make it appear as if he was buttoned up and ironed down. Something earthy. And I’d do something to fix that hair.
But Mitt has had the money to fix his image problem for a long time and he hasn’t been able to manage it. No matter what they do to the guy he ends up looking like a button downed spoiled son of the elite. And when Americans are broke, suffering, starving and finally getting pissed off about the lack of the 40 year trickle down, do you really think they’re going to buy meaner policies than Reagan’s without the Ronnie charm?
The GOP only manages to peddle their crap to the uneducated because they package it well as something other than it is; they take a bumbling clown like Dubya I-want-to-have-a-beer-with-you Bush, wrap him in the flag and hang a cross around him and then photograph him pretending to cut brush, ride horses, and sporting flight jackets. They spin a fantasy, a narrative, of the big daddy or in Palin’s case the mean Mama, whom the base can relate to but who also makes them feel safe.
Not many people can relate to Mitt Romney and he simply doesn’t engender even an appearance or semblance of a sense of safety that even Bush managed to pull off, however contrary that appearance was to the reality that was George W Bush.
I’m left wondering if Cracker had a point. Can we take our guns up to heaven? If so, maybe this is the next sell for the GOP. After all, they’ve messed up earth pretty good. Time to move on, rebrand, etc. Heaven is ripe for the pickins’ and I hear Jesus loves the guns.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.