ROMNEY: ON WEALTH, STILL SAYING THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT GOP VOTERS WANT TO HEAR
Mitt Romney continues to get really damaging coverage on the issue of his wealth, though I say that not for the reason you'd think (unless you're a regular reader of this blog):
Mitt Romney Has Some Down-to-Earth Tastes, He'd Like You to Know
Like the stars in Us Weekly, Mitt Romney wants voters to know that he is just like them.
Mr. Romney has tried the new $4.39 Carl's Jr. jalapeno chicken sandwich ("delicious"), celebrated the Reagan Library debate with fast-food burgers and fries (again, Carl's Jr.), and dug into a Subway flatbread sandwich while sitting in an airport terminal ("better than the usual campaign diet of morning donuts").
... Mr. Romney ... has begun something of a self-initiated product-placement regimen in his campaign -- to sometimes awkward effect -- branding himself with less-than-luxury everyman labels.
... But to aides and friends of Mr. Romney, the situation is more complicated. They say this -- the Southwest flying, self-deprecating, penny-pinching guy -- is the real Mitt, the one they know in private....
... aides recall Mr. Romney sitting in coach while offering his frequent-flier upgrades to staff members, or hanging out atop a coin-operated washer and dryer on the road, waiting for his clothes to dry....
The conventional wisdom on this is that it makes Romney look phony. That's probably true, even though his behavior may not actual be phony. (If he's really like this, he wouldn't be the first rich guy to pinch pennies.)
I say -- as I've said a couple of times before -- that he should wallow in his wealth, at least for now. That's what GOP voters want him to do. They believe (even if he doesn't) that wealthy white Republicans got to where they are because they deserve4d their success. God wanted them to be rich. When he tries to downplay his wealth, he's mocking God.
By contrast, I go over to the Click column at Politico and I see that there are two items today about Rick Perry's ties to Hollywood celebrities -- one about Perry's friendship with Russell Crowe and one about Dean Cain, the former TV Superman, endorsing Perry (on Fox News, naturally). That's not directly about wealth per se, but it's about glamour and hoity-toityness, but glamour and hoity-totyness Republican-style. Perry senses that GOP voters don't hate money and Tinseltown glamour -- they just hate the fact that Democrats have these things -- so the Perry campaign clearly wants these stories out there.
If you're a Republican and you have access to all this, then go ahead and flaunt it. Worked for Reagan, didn't it?