Romney Isn’t One of Us Either

Out Amongst the People

It’s not often that you get a chance to see how a politician behaves among ordinary people.  They’re usually surrounded by security, and mobbed by media, so on that rare occasion in which you find yourself relatively alone with one for even a moment, most people will try to exploit the moment and express their own opinions.   In these situations, some politicians bear up better than others, and some are able to disguise the actual contempt or at least ambivalence they feel for we “little people.”  The Romney campaign thought it would be a good idea to have Mitt fly coach just to be among the people.  Unfortunately, once there, he promptly ignored a fellow passenger who wanted to discuss health-care reform with him, reports a New York Times blogger, Emmarie Heutteman.  According to the article, Carolyn McClanahan of Jacksonville, Florida was seated next to Romney.

From the blog posting:

According to Ms. McClanahan, about an hour into the flight — which Mr. Romney mostly spent reading USA Today and using an iPad while wearing headphones — she told him her idea for improving the American health care system: slashing overhead costs by switching to an electronic billing system.

“He looked at me blankly and said, ‘I understand,’ then put his iPad headphones in and kept reading,” she said.

While Ms. McClanahan said Mr. Romney was probably exhausted, she was disappointed he showed so little interest. Even another passenger’s request for a restaurant recommendation in Boston elicited little from Mr. Romney, she said. “I can’t give you any,” he said, according to Ms. McClanahan. “You’ll have to ask someone else.”

This is demonstrative of the arrogance that pervades the permanent political class.  I recognize that Romney just wanted to catch his flight, but if you sit in coach in an attempt to appear to be “just one of us,” then you should expect that people will attempt to make some conversation, particularly if you’re a presidential candidate.  Mitt is just another of those politicians who want your vote, but not your opinions.  I have no idea whether Ms. McClanahan had any good ideas or not, but after all, you never know.  I’m not surprised by this, although this sort of confirmation is troubling.

Undoubtedly, this may be Mitt’s last appearance in coach, because now his campaign is catching grief.  The Times article concludes:

Ms. McClanahan said that if Mr. Romney wants to improve his image with voters, he’s going to have to do more than just fly coach.

“I think that one of the problems right now is that politicians aren’t in touch,” she said. “They’re trying to act like they’re in touch. You need to be a little more sincere about it.”

Indeed. That’s one of the problems with Mitt.  In fact, it always has been: He’s roughly as genuine as a stuffed ape holding a plastic banana.  He’s got no credibility with average Americans because he simply isn’t one of us.  He never has been, and he clearly seems out of his element when among us.  It’s only a matter of time before they put him in flannel at a skeet-shooting range, or at a NASCAR race to show us how he’s one of us.  McClanahan’s instincts are right about Romney.  He’s out of touch. He’s out of style, and if  conservatives and Tea Party folk have anything to say about it, he’ll be out of the running.  Sadly, that’s going to be more difficult than some now think.

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5 Responses to Romney Isn’t One of Us Either

  1. mellow says:

    oboma lite, newt is the only one who can take on oboma and win

  2. stevethird says:

    Contrast this with Sarah Palin's capacity to relate to us worker bees. Maybe I should let go of the hope of a Palin candidacy, but given the current crop of pretenders to the throne, there's really no reason to. I'll hang on , because the alternatives are so profoundly unattractive. If, one year from now, it's between Mitt and the Messiah, I'll trundle on down to the town hall and pull the lever for the "R", then run home and take four showers. Until the nominee is determined, Ill be praying.

  3. Barry says:

    I've been reading your blog for several months now and I pretty much agree with everything you talk about. However, a very staunch conservative friend of mine made a point about Romney the other day that made some sense. I agree with ABAR but after my friend pointed this out I may be going back to the ABO team.

    My friend's point:
    Romney is not a democrat. He is a Republican, maybe not a Conservative, but a Republican. He's a flip-flopper, his positions on issues flap in the breeze. He goes whichever way the majority goes. So. If he's elected president and we, the Conservatives, take full control of Congress do you really think Rommey will ever veto a bill the democrats don't like? Also, do you think a Conservative Congress will ever pass a bill presented by Romney that in any way goes against Conservative principles?
    Our goal this election should be to clean out Congress of all liberals, Democrat and/or Republican. Then if the independent fence-sitters decide that Romney is the only one who can bridge the partisan gap in DC, and he gets the nomination and wins the presidency, we'll have someone who at least will not obstruct what we want and need to do, namely repeal ObamaCare (among other things). If Obama wins that'll never happen even if Congress consists of 100% Conservatives.

    Does that make any sense?

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Barry, It makes sense, if you believe that a fence-sitter will basically act as the auto-pen for a conservative Congress. The problem is that I doubt that very much. It's not how Bush behaved. In point of fact, the Bush legislative agenda was very moderate, or even liberal, domestically, and for the first six years of his presidency, the somewhat more conservative Congress enacted the majority of his agenda, rebelling only a couple of times. If you can build 2/3s majority in both houses(not likely, but possible) you don't need a single Democrat, or any president.

      Also, Romney is barely a Republican. By this, I mean that he is another wealthy progressive who has more sympathies with the left on many issues than with the right. Here are the real problems in your friend's hypothesis: Congress is passing bills that Obama is putting forward now. If this Congress will do Obama's bidding, what makes your friend think they won't do Romney's? This very moment, Boehner's crowd is pushing a neutered BBA to please Democrats. Then there's this, and I've got really bad news for your friend: There is a broad segment of the conservative base of the Republican party that will stay home rather than vote for Romney. This will be devastating to the Republicans not only in the inevitable presidential loss, but also in the lack of coat-tails for down-ballot elections(senate, congress, state, local.) If the Republicans nominate Romney, they will lose the presidential race, but also many close house and senate races they might otherwise have won. Bank on it.

      Now is not the time for we conservatives to go wobbly. We must stand on principle. If we don't, we'll lose anyway, because the battle almost always is won by he who is most consistent. Selling our souls for the illusion that "Romney can win" is a good way to wind up in that position[again.] Thanks! Mark

  4. Barry says:

    I agree with you 100% Mark. I will not vote for Romney in the Florida primary (and neither will my friend BTW) and I will make this known to all my friends and neighbors but I will go to the polls and vote for him for President if he does get the nomination.
    Obama cannot be allowed to serve another term. Yech! Ya know, there's just something wrong with that sentence: Obama "serving" another term. He's not serving anyone but himself and his agenda.

    Thanks for the reply Mark. I read your stuff every day and we're definitely on the same page.