Sunday, June 17, 2012

Yukking it up, just like common folk (with brewskies in hand)

Woo-hoo, most assuredly!!! 

I honestly don't care that Ann Romney is a part of the horsey set. She and Mitt have a lot of money. Most people who aspire to high office in America have some cash in the bank. At the same time, I think it's absolutely fair game that the press write about how much their houses cost, what kind of cars they own, their hobbies, whatever. It just is.

People have a right to know if the candidate they may vote for can relate to their own lives. Having a lot of money doesn't make that impossible. FDR and JFK did a pretty good job convincing voters they cared. But if you continually act like you have no idea how the other 99% lives, as Romney does, expect some heat. Too bad.

Having said that, this picture of Ann Romney at a dressage event recently is intended as a gentle shot at Stephen Colbert who had some fun waving around a foam finger on his show recently to mock the elitism of those who root for prancing horses.

As The New York Times reports:

"Folks," Mr. Colbert said, "the image of Romney as a privileged princeling ends today, because now Mitt is just your average blue-collar fan of dressage."

To show it can take a joke, the United States Equestrian Federation distributed 500 foam No. 1 fingers here, a cheeky reference to a prop Mr. Colbert used in his skit as he clutched a beer bottle in his other hand and cheered, "Woo!"

Okay, good gag for Ann and her friends. Way to push back with a sense of humour. (Love the product placement on the Budweiser, by the way. Nice touch, because these people really look like they suck back the suds.)

The attention, though, as the Times notes, may not be a great thing for the Romneys:

But as Mr. Colbert's satire suggested, the scrutiny may not be entirely a blessing for Mr. Romney's image as a man in touch with the concerns of average Americans. As millions tune in to the Olympics in prime time this summer, just before Mr. Romney will be reintroducing himself to the nation at the Republican convention, viewers are likely to see "up close and personal" segments on NBC about the Romneys and dressage, a sport of six-figure horses and $1,000 saddles.

But, honestly, the issue is not wealth. It's the way Romney comes across that has created the impression he's from another planet. The wealth is just a way to make the point and laugh at him, which I'm all for.

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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  • Frankly, I never got the impression that FDR or JFK had any idea how the average person lives. But they did know they liked sound economic policies that were popular, so they carried them out.

    If a candidate wants to sponsor racehorses or attend regattas or whatever, it doesn't bother me as long as s/he supports good economic policy for the nation. That's my beef with Romney; his economic policy is lousy.

    But yeah, Presidential elections are won on factors like this, not on serious policy issues. I guess I should be grateful that this time, at least, the candidate with the worst superficial image is also the one with the worst policies.

    By Anonymous Mysterious man from the Shadows, at 6:09 PM  

  • I guess my point about FDR and JFK is that they didn't go out of their way to prove they were clueless. In each case their policies attempted to address realities of poverty and struggles of the majority despite the fact that neither came from average economic circumstances. That at least speaks to a willingness to relate to those experiences.

    By Blogger Richard K. Barry, at 10:53 PM  

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