Which Mitt is this? Or, rather, the better question might be, where was this Mitt during the campaign?
For months, he had to fight off the perception that he was an out-of-touch multimillionaire, a vulture capitalist, and a stiff, robotic elitist who thought it was funny to tell out of work folks who were scratching to put a can of beans on the table for dinner that he was “unemployed too.”
Just a few months ago, his idea of being an “Average Joe” was to wear blue jeans — that were so perfectly pressed they had a sharp crease. Apparently, no one told him that that’s kind of the opposite of the whole jeans-wearing idea.
As much as his staff tried to point out that, “See? He puts on his pants one leg at a time, just like everybody else,” it never quite worked. It was pretty clear from his neatly ironed denim that what his staff said could be true, but it was probably equally true that he had never put his legs in jeans before.
Now he’s off at Disneyland. And, most surprisingly, acting normal!
As the conservative Washington Times described it:
“Mr. Romney filled his own car with gas, wore jeans and a plaid shirt, and went with his wife, Ann, to see ‘Breaking Dawn Part 2,’ the big finale of the ‘Twilight’ vampire movie series.”
(Just a little break here before we get back to the rest of the Times’ description:
Surely some liberal jokesters must’ve tried to make something out of the Romneys going to see a movie about a bloodsucker and his wife.)
But that’s not all the Mittster did.
“He went to Disneyland, drank chocolate milk, had pizza and chatted casually with nearby customers,” The Times continued. “He grinned. His hair was tousled.”
Even some of his harshest critics were impressed to see him doing regular things.
Comedian Rob Delaney tweeted:
So where was that guy during the campaign?
For months, while he was getting bashed by his opponents and the media, he seemed only to reinforce the stereotype.
Take his response to Texas Gov. Rick Perry during one of the primary debates. Romney insisted that he was right and Perry was wrong on a point about health care.
Perry, and most real Average Joes, were flabbergasted. Ten grand is a lot of money – for most of us. And it’s not the kind of bet folks run around making. A buck. Ten bucks. Or, as kids do in the schoolyard, “Is so! I’ll bet you a million dollars!”
Not Mitt. It sounded like he thought $10,000 was pocket change. It may be for him, but not for 99 percent of the country. Including Rick Perry.
After he got the stunned look off his face, Perry told Romney, ““I’m not in the bettin’ business.”
The comment haunted Romney for a while. Perry’s campaign put out a web video showing Romney saying it over and over with the words “one bet you can count on … the truth isn’t for sale” superimposed on the screen. He wasn’t alone. The Washington Post reported that then candidate Jon Huntsman bought the website “www.10kbet.com” and loaded it up with articles about Romney’s faux pas.
Republican strategist Mary Matalin told the Post
. She didn’t think the comment would be disastrous for Romney, but it was “one more heavy brick in [Romney’s] political backpack”.
She was right. It was. And he never quite shook it – or the perception that, as F. Scott Fitzgerald once said of the rich, he’s “not like you and me.”
But now Romney is pumping gas, taking in a flick and wandering around in the land of Mickey Mouse?
The opinions expressed here are those of the bloggers and celebrity guest writers and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Terra, Terra’s affiliates, subsidiaries, parent companies, clients and partners. They should not be attributed thereto.