Because nothing says “I’m just like you” more than a millionaire who lives in a space ship house and has his own car wash in house, Mitt Romney walked through fields of gold at one of Lemar Koethe’s 54 farms in Iowa instead of visiting local family owned farms.
Romney didn’t pick a “real American” because… well… who knows. Romney appears “uncomfortable” around people who aren’t like him and probably seeks to avoid making another snobbish plastic poncho dig at NASCAR fans aka, “you people”. Romney picked a rich farmer to talk to, and that upset local Reverend William D. Cotton of Des Moines enough to write a letter to the editor:
They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words. The Register proved the point with its picture of Mitt Romney and the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture standing in a farm field owned by LeMar Koethe (“Romney Gets Up-close View of Drought’s Effects on Crops,” Aug 9).
Koethe owns 54 farms! That would be Romney’s kind of farmer.
One would think that he might have found a family farm for the story, one where both husband and wife work away from the farm to pay for insurance, and probably have to rent out the land because it is too costly to compete these days. Or Romney might have asked “what happened to those 54 farm families?” Those folks who once owned the farms, supported schools, shopped on main streets in small towns, paid taxes and made Iowa a really good place to live.
Romney knows nothing of that world. He lives in the world that encourages persons like Koethe to get bigger and pay less taxes, and it would be interesting to know how much subsidy and tax relief this guy was promised during that visit.
What makes this really bad is that allegedly, Romney met with LeMar Koethe as a liason to the farmers, to get insights on what’s important to drought-stricken farmers. But LeMar naturally touted less government “intervention” in farm bills.
Arguably one of the most distinctive homes in Iowa-if not the nation-this personal residence takes unique architecture to a new level. It contains an underground garage equipped for multiple vehicles, as well as a car wash bay. The lower level also contains a large recreation center with an art display area. Grade-level entry provides access to the elevator and a spiral staircase rising 35 feet to the main living area. The main level provides an amazing panoramic view of the area.
Very cool house! Kudos to multi-farm owner/real estate mogul LeMar Koethe for spending his money wisely and helping the planet. I happen to be a huge fan of green building. But of course, the point isn’t Koethe’s coolness or his worthiness or how hard he works, and I’m sure he works hard.
Love LeMar’s art gallery!
The point is that Romney skipped over talking to family farm owners and instead, met with LeMar Koethe, who certainly can’t claim to have a good grasp on what small farm owners are facing.
Is Romney planning on ignoring the 98% completely? He couldn’t even pretend for a day? He couldn’t even meet with and pose with a small, family farm owner?
Sure, they might not own their own in house car wash bay and in home recreation centers, but no one can claim that the proud owners of America’s small farms are not productive and don’t deserve a voice at the table.
Or can they?
Maybe if Republicans hadn’t ignored the real business of congress before heading off for vacay, things could have been different. In addition to ignoring the Post Office, Republicans opposed a full extension of agriculture programs that included drought relief because of the “added cost to the taxpayer” (but they didn’t mind wasting our money with 33 attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act), while Democrats wanted Congress to pass a full extension of agriculture programs that included the drought relief.
President Barack Obama’s Iowa campaign spokeswoman, Erin Seidler, pointed out that Romney isn’t exactly in touch with rural Iowa:
“Romney has no references to agriculture or farming on his campaign website, has no mention of the farm bill in his 59-point plan for jobs and economic growth and is opposing the wind production tax credit. During the Iowa caucuses, he refused to take a position on the farm bill.”
Seidler pointed out that in contrast: “Within the last month, Obama made credit more accessible to farmers impacted by drought, offered new land for emergency haying and grazing, worked with crop insurance companies to extend the time farmers have to pay their premiums, helped increase the availability of feed and water, and called for Congress to pass the farm bill.”
Mitt Romney is so tone deaf that he can’t even pull a George W. for the sake of his public image. For the love of God, will someone get Romney a new stylist (someone who can make him look less Cardboard Ken and more down home real man) and a new campaign team? This is getting ridiculous. It’s not that hard to pretend to care.
I’ve worked on many ads for campaigns, and I can assure you, this is the easy part: Don flannel and khakis or jeans, meet pre-vetted by your team Real American, walk and talk, smile, shake hands, admire Real American’s work, pretend to listen when Real American speaks about issues that matter to them, cut. This is the EASY part!
Why can’t Mitt Romney even get this right? He’s making W look like a PR genius, even as goofy as he was. Romney is actually making John Kerry and Al Gore look warm. He’s reminding me of “the little man on the wedding cake” Thomas Dewey.
Oh, and by real American, they don’t mean another millionaire, Romney. Really.
Image: DesMoines Register
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
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 is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.