Thursday, July 19, 2012

The people will want what they want

I know some people think Ann Romney is not fair game in the back-and-forth of the presidential election campaign, but she can't have it both ways. She can't make partisan comments and then expect to be left alone.

I quite enjoyed her statement on Good Morning America regarding calls for hubby Mitt to release more tax returns. Her response was that "We've given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and how we live our lives." I would emphasize the term "you people." Does she mean "you little people," or "you people of relatively modest means who simply don't understand?"

Well, you see, Ann, here's the thing. You and Mitt don't get to decide how much is enough. The American people will tell you what they need to see to make a decision. Sure, you can decide how much is enough in a formal way, but if the voters don't agree, don't expect to move in to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

That's the sweet thing about politics in comparison to being an insanely rich private citizen. You have to be responsive to the interests of massive numbers of people all the time. You almost never get to tell them "we have given you people all you need to know," and if you do, you pay a price.

If you can't get used to that, you and Mitt are really not going to like the job you're auditioning for, should you be lucky enough to get it.

(Update: New York magazine said today they reviewed the tape of Ann Romney's comments and don't think she said "you people." I listened to it very carefully and I disagree. I even sat down with someone who hadn't heard the story beforehand and, without prompting, she heard "you people" very clearly.)

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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