Monday, August 22, 2011

Romney Cementing His Elitist, Tone Deaf Image

Mitt Romney has filed for a permit to bulldoze his 3009 square foot house in La Jolla, California to make room for an 11,062 square foot mansion. I am not arguing against him building this house. It is his money that he earned and he can do with it as he pleases. And yes, this project will put some people to work. Those arguments are superficial.

Romney already suffers from an image of being an elite, rich CEO who is completely out of touch with the common man. Anecdotes of Mitt shopping at WalMart, driving an old, beat up pickup truck, buying his own shirts, etc, will not dispel this image. The most damaging line of attack against Romney in 2008 was leveled by Huckabee when he said that Romney reminds you more of the guy who fired you than the guy you work with. This really resonated with voters, not only in Iowa, but in all working class communities.

And then there was this insipid moment.



During the 2008 general election McCain was hurt badly by the number of homes he owned. In 1992 George HW Bush was damaged significantly with the spurious account of him being amazed at seeing a scanner for the first time in a supermarket. The Bush moment was a complete myth, but it developed long legs in that election cycle and really helped to sink his reelection.

I am a Romney supporter, and as such, I would beg Romney, for the love of sanity, put a hold on your home expansion until AFTER the election is over.



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34 comments:

craigs said...

DanL
I don't know about this. The guy has a 2 bedroom home on the beach in LaJolla that is overpriced by the media and the tax assessors and 5 sons and 22 Grandchildren. He sold two other houses and his a vacation place in N. Hampshire.
Why would anybody have a problem with an expansion that might take 2-3 years to approve and build......as opposed to Rick perry who has been living free on the taxpayer dime for 12 + years. At least Mitt is using his own money....and it's not like McCain with 8 homes

CraigS

Revolution 2012 said...

Dan, I don't get it.

One of the problems in our economy is that VERY FEW ARE SPENDING.

Romney by example, is doing something positive here and at the same time CREATING local jobs and contributing to the local economy.

Besides, AS PRESIDENT, he'll need plenty of extra space.

DanL said...

Craig, I don't have a problem with Romney owning a mansion. You don't have a problem with it either. It's likely that most people who like Romney don't care. But you can be sure that there are many who aren't in the Romney camp who do care. You can just spend a few minutes reading through the comments on the Yahoo piece to see that Romney is generally being panned for this.

hamaca said...

And then there's Sarah Palin who's living rent-free in the mind of one or more of my fellow Rombots.

DanL said...

While foreclosure rates remain very high, most people aren't going to give a dang about Romney creating a handful of temporary jobs with this project. Millions of Americans have been foreclosed on by Wall Street banks, and here is a Wall Street CEO who is building a mansion. How's that a good message to sale?

hamaca said...

There's no question other candidates will try to get some mileage out of this and add it to the list of items they'll use to paint Mitt as out of touch.

Not sure Huntsman will go that route, though.

DanL said...

To all of you Romney supporters who live in your insulated little worlds let me give you this challenge. Go to some non Romney sites, such as Yahoo, and read the comments to articles on this mansion. It might be illuminating to you to see the strong sentiment against Romney on this. You really need to detach yourselves from you personal ideology for a while and look at this blunder from a strategic standpoint.

Anonymous said...

Rick Perry pays 10k a month in rent while the gov's mansion is being worked on and he has made improvements on the house at taxpayers expense. Sarah Palin bought a 1.7 million dollar house in AZ. Who is your canidate?

Anonymous said...

Hamaca--LOL!

I agree that now is an odd time for Romney to expand his house, although it is true that he and Ann have a lot of kids and grandkids who might like to spend some time on the beach. I believe the Romneys now have their new condo in Boston, the home in New Hampshire, and their place in California. I think they sold their large home in Utah, so perhaps that's why they want to expand in CA.

Well, whatever the reason, I am sure people will make hay of it if they can. It's amazing how Obama and Clinton can vacation in the exclusive Martha's vineyard, near where the Kennedy's own a "compound," and the press thinks it's great. Mark Steyn was pointing out that Massachusetts is the only place in the world where a "compound" is considered by the press to be a good word. Most of the time "compound" describes where Obama bin Laden and his ilk are found hiding.

The press excuses Obama and Clinton, but let a Republican expand his new house on the beach WITH HIS OWN MONEY, and you would think the world is coming to an end. I guess the only politically correct path to living in these types of places should be to let the taxpayers pay for it!

AZ

Revolution 2012 said...

America is the land of opportunity.

Use your brains, take chances, and then spend the money you earn on what you want. House and other things like:

According to IRS documents reviewed by The Huffington Post, Mitt and Ann Romney's charitable foundation gave $4,325,000 to the Mormon Church in three hefty installments in 2003, 2008 and 2009. That was 74 percent of their foundation's donations from 2002 to 2009, during which time the couple gave a total of $5,854,916 to charity.

Noelle said...

I don't care what the subject is, I read incredibly anti-Romney comments all the time. If it weren't the remodel of his house it would be something else. The people who don't like Romney will find something to complain about.

The same is likely true for those who don't like any candidate.

The problem as I see it is that the push for a class war is having an affect, and that's unfortunate. There was a time when being successful was a good thing. Now it's often portrayed negatively. What is really unfortunate is now Republicans are often as guilty as democrats when it comes to engaging in class warfare.

BOSMAN said...

Dan,
"To all of you Romney supporters who live in your insulated little worlds let me give you this challenge. Go to some non Romney sites, such as Yahoo, and read the comments to articles on this mansion."

WHO CARES what they say on those sites? If class warfare is part of their little game to discredit Romney, so be it.

That's why at RS, where above that....Oh wait...

Ben said...

Dan,

You could have at least made your heading a question by placing an "is" at the beginning and a question mark at the end.

Unless of course it's not a question in your mind.

larry said...

Dan.

"Millions of Americans have been foreclosed on by Wall Street banks,"

And a large percentage of these people bought homes they couldn't afford to begin with.

Are we supposed to feel bad fot that group?

I sure as hell don't.

You live with-in your means. I do. Romney does.

Massachusetts Conservative said...

YOU GUYS!!!!!!

The remodeling IS IN FACT being held off until after the election.

This story will go away, and never come back until 2013/2014.

craigs said...

Anonymous

Rick Perry hasn't paid any rent anywhere for 12 + years. The Governor doesn't pay rent to the state to stay in the Governor's mansion and he sure doesn't pay rent when the Governor's mansion burns down...like 4 years ago

CarigS

Anonymous said...

larry, I agree with you, on all of what you said. But this isn't about my world view. It is about an image that Romney needs to avoid portraying of being an out of touch, elitist, CEO.

DanL

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, if you were to take a few seconds in reading you would see that I said that I support Romney.

DanL

Anonymous said...

Bosman, you and I and everyone who wants Romney to win should care about this. It doesn't matter to this discussion how morally repugnant class warfare is. What does matter is that it is a very effective tool. Huck used it to devestating effect in 2008 against Romney. And it really hurt HW Bush in '92. Do you really want to give the opposition such a powerful weapon to use against your candidate? Ignore this at your own peril.

DanL

Anonymous said...

Dan L. I have no problem with this at all. Just as I had no problem with Huckie building a McMansion in Fla, or Palin having the 3 cabins, 2 homes on the same site in AK, and 1 home in AZ. Or McCain with his 8 homes. I only own one home. And it's one we can afford on one income. but If I could buy a vacation home somewhere like LaJolla, I'd do it in a microsecond. Stop the class warfare.

Revolution 2012 said...

Dan,

If there are Republicans out there that hold Romney's wealth against him, They can all GO TO HELL.

They deserve 4 more years of Obama and so to their kids and grand kids.

DanL said...

Revolution,

How about the independents and cross over voters? Want them to kiss off too?

This is so foolish. This is an easily avoidable error, but so many of you are willing to go done fighting for this one.

Thankfully there have been some Romney supporters today who haven't been behaving like C4R.

Terry said...

Yeah, lets piss on anyone who has followed the American dream and have bettered themselves.

It's to bas there isn't an intelligence test to vote. Because these jealous whiners wouldn't qualify to vote.

These same people cry about those on the public dole when their thinking isn't to far behind.

TexasConservative said...

John Gibson and Rich Lowery were talking about this on the radio today-stating that Romney should have waited as this will give a bad impression to those who are struggling to even pay their bills.

DanL said...

TC, thank you. You and I agree on this.

Anonymous said...

When was the last time pucker cheeks (Lowery) had anything positive to say about Romney?

So why should it matter what he says now. This shpeel is part of him MO already.

Pablo said...

I agree with Dan that this is a bad political move. Identity politics is alive and well in America. In fact, I would argue that the establishment's uneasiness with Romney has more to do with identity politics than with his policy positions. This is not going to help.

Anonymous said...

This has likely been planned for a while, the drafters have been drawing the plans which were needed for the filing for permits, he likely has a project manager that has is incharge of this and is doing his job, who knows the remodel might be rejected. The building will not start until all the "stuff" is done. It's his money let him create a few jobs and help people keep their houses with it. I wish he was building closer to me I might be able to work on it and it would help me make my house payments.

RJP

Anonymous said...

This has likely been planned for a while, the drafters have been drawing the plans which were needed for the filing for permits, he likely has a project manager that has is incharge of this and is doing his job, who knows the remodel might be rejected. The building will not start until all the "stuff" is done. It's his money let him create a few jobs and help people keep their houses with it. I wish he was building closer to me I might be able to work on it and it would help me make my house payments.

RJP

Anonymous said...

I myself thought this was bad timing. Why couldn't he wait another year to leak this information? The media will never give him a fair shake on this, in context of all the ways he is a hardworking everyman.
mikeZ

Anonymous said...

I'm late to the discussion, but I think a lot of Romney supporters really missed Dan's point on this one. He's not arguing anything other than this is a bad political move.

Dan, I read all kinds of stuff about Romney on many sites all the time, so I'm not an insulated person living in a bubble about Romney.

You may be right, but I'm not convinced this is going to have a huge effect on the race. Not when you have Perry--the guys who is playing the populist card to the hilt--out there charging the taxpayers $10,000 a month for his rental mansion, furnishings and Food and Wine magazines. And not when the majority of people already know how wealthy Romney is.

I assume Romney has a good reason for expanding his home right now, and it's most likely nothing more than making sure his family is comfortable when they visit. Maybe this is the best time to do it for a number of reasons which we are unaware of. For one--if he wins, this would be much more difficult to do after he's in office. And a lot more unseemly.

I do agree that in a time of economic crisis, it can look bad.

One other thought is that maybe this is just nothing more than Romney living his life the way he wants, and letting the chips fall where they may. He seems to be a lot more sure of himself this time around, and a lot more unwilling to pander.

-Martha

DanL said...

Thanks for getting the point Martha.

Anonymous said...

I just want to add my two cents....romney's money is his and he may do whatever he wants with it. He is going to live his life whether hes president or not. If he wants to build, then dammit build!

Romney will be criticized by idiots for ANYTHING he does.If romney were out walking a dog, they would say hes trying to be a normal person..romney needs to just say the hell with everyone. If he wants to wear a tie, wear a damn tie, if he wants to slick his back perfectly, then slick it, if he wants to drive a bugatti its his choice.

Closer To Home said...

Focus, Focus, Focus.

This is an unneeded distraction from the message Romney would like to deliver.