06 April, 2012

Really, Mitt?

Never a big one for self awareness, Mitt Romney has accused Barack Obama of being out of touch. 
No, really.  Mitt Romney says Barack Obama is out of touch.

President Obama thinks he's doing a good job. I'm not kidding. He actually thinks he's doing a great job ... It's enough to make you think that years of flying around in Airforce One surrounded by an adoring staff of true believers telling you that you're great, that you're doing a great job, it's enough to make you think that you might become a little out of touch with that. And that's what's happened.

So what are you saying, Mitt?  Are you saying that if you were president, you’d travel by Greyhound bus* and surround yourself with people who think you suck?  Are you saying that if you become president, you’ll take a leaf out Sarah Palin’s book and sell Air Force 1 on eBay and put the proceeds towards the national debt? 

To accuse any sitting president of being out of touch just because of the nature of the office is a tiresome and predictable argument.  I wrote years ago about what a lame angle it was when it was applied to Bush, and indeed predicted that Republicans would eventually pull it out to use against Obama.  (The date was 16th December, 2009. Write it down folks!)  I have few kind words for Bush, but I never begrudged him flying around in Air Force 1.  That’s called Being the President. 

But there’s an extra layer of irony when it’s Mitt Romney making the accusation.  Is this the same Mitt Romney who, on the spur of the moment, wanted to make a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry?  That must have been a tense moment for Mitt, trying to figure out what number would represent his confidence of winning but not his immense wealth.  A swing and a miss.  My guess would be that most average people, when making a bet that they’re sure they will win, while not wanting to be too broke on the off chance that they lose, might stretch to $100 which, by the way, is the square root of 10,000. 

Is this the same Mitt Romney whose appeal to Michigan was “I like cars,” and “My wife drives a couple of Cadillacs.”  You’re probably the same yourself.

Is this the same Mitt Romney who put on a Southern accent and started saying “y’all” to impress the locals – because that worked so well for Hillary Clinton, didn’t it?  She at least had the justification of living in Arkansas for 20 years.  You know what Mitt, I’ll be that before the primary, I’d had cheese grits more recently than you.  I hesitate to name a figure, so let’s just say 10% of my weekly earnings against 10% of yours.  That would be fair, right?

Is this the same Mitt Romney who told NASCAR fans that he follows the sport, “Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.” 

This is the guy, who currently claims to be unemployed, who’s saying Obama is out of touch?
If making cheap shots about understanding the plight of the common man is the game he wants to play, I wish someone in the press gaggle would ask him what a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk costs.  Or would that be a “gotcha” question from the lamestream media?  Actually, yes it would.  I don’t expect high office holders to know the price of specific groceries at any particular time and place.  But I’ll bet every other unemployed person does – and you can raise that bet as high as you want to go.

*I realise that you might have to look up what a Greyhound bus is.  I’ll give you a hint: it’s not a bus with a caged greyhound strapped to the roof.


  1. "I have few kind words for Bush, but I never begrudged him flying around in Air Force 1. That’s called Being the President."

    I thought I smelled false equivalence...

    While you make good points about any president taking flack for flying around on AF1, choosing Bush as your example actually defeats the point you're trying to make. While republicans like Mitt will make the case Obama is wasting time flying around on AF1, Bush actually used AF1 to escape accountability, and the media, on more than one occasion, first on 9/11, and then during Katrina. I checked your original post, which also neglects to mention these false-equivalence-killing examples. Bush actually did what Obama is being criticized for, so attempting to assert that it's just the nature of the job, to link the two, to prove your assertion, fails in that regard.

    1. I'm not here to defend Bush (or Obama, for that matter) but I don't mind giving him the benefit of the doubt that he used Air Force 1 for transport and leave the validity of any particular trips for another discussion.

      Likewise, if Romney had chosen to quantify which particular flights he feels weren't appropriate and what he thought Obama could have been doing instead, then we could discuss them on their merits.

  2. The reason why right wingers would regard Obama as an "elitist" (code for "uppity") and Romney as "representing the views of the common man" is probably a matter of some complexion.

  3. That is the second time this week that a conservative has called the joint chiefs or the various department secretaries a bunch of lying sycophantic toad eaters.
    It is a good thing they won't be needing to work with any of those peeps.