That Common Touch

I’m gonna reference two sites that I usually don’t link to because this particular story  has me so bemused that I can’t help myself.  First, I’ll reference a bit from BuzzFeed and then a diary from Daily Kos.  Forgive me SkyDancers, but I occasionally have to go rogue.  BuzzFeed does get into those pesky Republican candidate speeches where no real media outlet is allowed to go and that’s where this little quote comes from.   Remember, the last time I had to quote them was when they caught Jon Huntsmen likening the Republican Party to the Chinese Communist party.  You gotta love these candid candidate moments.

Well, this one comes from that champion of the Real Housewives of (insert ritzy zip code here).  Ann Romney tries to get real in a blue collar neighborhood and, well, it comes off as the Romneys always do; condescending and out of touch.

“I know what’s like to finish the laundry and to look in the basket five minutes later and it’s full again. I know what’s like to pull all the groceries in and see the teenagers run through and all of a sudden all the groceries you just bought are gone,” Romney said to the crowd. “And I know what’s like to get up early in the morning and to get them off to school. And I know what’s like to get up in the middle of the night when they’re sick. And I know what’s like to struggle and to have those concerns that all mothers have.”

Romney alluded to the fact that not all women can stay at home saying, “I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids. Thank goodness that we value those people too. And sometimes life isn’t easy for any of us.”

Mrs. Romney also sought to strike a balance between talking about her husband’s success and speaking about her own strugles (sic).

Okay, well now I’m not going to write my own response because there is a DK diary that does it better.

Ann shared many harrowing tales of struggle, from having to watch her husband “not getting the proper treatment at times,” to doing laundry. Because Mitt Romney’s chief lady stuff adviser is quite certain that the best way for her to connect with the common (wo)man, is to continue insisting that she, the wife of a multi-millionaire, is just a regular mom with regular problems and regular struggles and she knows just how hard it is to raise a family on nothing but your husband’s stock portfolio, the house your father-in-law the governor bought you, and today’s equivalent of a couple hundred grand.

Maybe this frosts my cupcakes because I grew up with the supreme contrast of having my dad’s family who were barely educated, blue collar, raised in a dirt farm and genuinely loving and openly charitable people with my Ivy league and Oxford educated mother’s family who just invented life dramas, problems, and their vision of being simple folk while having elevators in their huge Tudor homes run by full time staff.  My uncle–first in his class from Harvard Law School–had a normal elevator in his house, btw, not a car elevator stacked with his wife’s cadillacs.  My mother never knew there was a Great Depression.  My father still talks about how my grandmother always fed who ever came to the door even when it could only be a mayonnaise and bread sandwich.  My grandad was out digging ditches for the Railroad for nickels a day with his 8th grade education.

Wow, do I recognize that sense of being completely out of touch with reality every time the Romneys try to show that common touch.  I spent most weekends in Kansas City with both families being shunted between the two sets of family.  There couldn’t have been a more stark set of differences and even as a kid I figured out what was what fairly quickly.  I loved them all but I would never ever accuse my mom’s family of being able to get real about anything.

I have never, EVER seen a couple with less self and other awareness than the Romneys.  I include the elderly Bushes in this evaluation. No wonder the Romneys don’t do interviews with real News People.  They can’t even constrain themselves in their own speaking engagements.  Can you imagine what it would be like if some one like a Mike Wallace were actually given an opportunity to question them on their “tough” times?

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20 Comments on “That Common Touch”

  1. janicen says:

    “Maybe this frosts my cupcakes because …” No dak, you don’t have to explain yourself. This frosts everyone’s cupcakes. Everyone except the diehard Republicans who can delude themselves into thinking Sarah Palin would make a good President and Newt Gingrich has morals. Other than those people, everyone finds the Romneys preposterous and offensive.

    I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph. It’s sadly comical how completely out of touch the Romneys are. They really do not have a clue.

    • dakinikat says:

      Their campaign staff have to be talking to them about this. Do you suppose they just don’t listen? I think personally that they are just beyond help. It’s like when Romney tries to tell a joke. It’s like he has no sense of humor at all.

    • HT says:

      I’ve discovered through my own experience – much like yours – that people raised in wealth have no concept of what it means to have anything less than – mega money. They have no idea of what it means to struggle to live ergo they cannot relate to anyone who has had to live on less than tens of thousands of dollars per month. I’d like to believe that they are well meaning, but they have never actually got out of their ivory tower to find out how the hoi polloi live, outside of election campaigns during which they spend less than an hour of their time for photo ops.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    They are incapable of trying to hide their unrelatability. They can’t do it. Having lived in a rarified atmosphere as they have, particularly as adherents to their religious beliefs, they have no idea of how “the other half lives”.

    Here is a man fully promising to strike down women’s right to choose, forcing her to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, then turning her loose to fend for herself and the child since he is also willing to pull the plug on healthcare benefits along with any other form of financial aid. How does that compute in the long run?

    A man willing to eliminate collective bargaiing making he average worker live without any form of dignity and at the mercy of an employer whose very means is the bottom line at his/her expense.

    The same man willing to lift regulations on the water, air, and food that would threaten the lives of those he governs for the sake of corporate greed. A man in favor of rolling back the minimum wage that more often employs women who must seek a second income just to survive.

    He has no feeling for higher education. No plans to better the healtcare system but is in favor of gutting Planned Parenthood altogether and we are supposed to come away with the idea he cares about people?

    Who are they kidding if not themselves? Who are we kidding if we assume he is the better choice right now when his proposals – albeit they chang as rapidly as the clothes in her laundry basket – are a pathway to disaster.

    These two are desirous of one thing: the White House. That’s it. No core beliefs. No principles of service. Just a coronation they feel is their due.

    Not even sure if their kids even work since they live off a 6 million dollar annual trust fund which most of the rest of us could only dream about.

    Hypocrisy abounds and knows no limits with these two. Ken and Barbie.

    • RalphB says:

      They are truly pathetic Pat! The GOP which supports them is fcking insane. I live with the slight hope of an electoral wave in November.

    • dakinikat says:

      I think it would actually be a lot more genuine of them if they’d just admit they grew up with privilege and breathed in rarefied air. Then, they should just shut up and listen.

  3. bostonboomer says:

  4. RalphB says:

    Frank Rich’s story in New York Mag should fuel a few nightmares. It’s a really great piece.

    Sugar Daddies

    The old, white, rich men who are buying this election.

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    Is he the same man that ran for & won governor of MA? What was he like then? Was it so diiferent than the cardboard cut out we’re witnessing now? MA is the one true Blue State (except for that 2010 anomaly). At this point, one can only hope that Romney will succeed in losing the election simply by being Romney. Will he scare enough people to drive them to the polls to vote against him?

    • bostonboomer says:

      Back then he was pretending to be a Northeast Republican. Unfortunately, Massachusetts voters have a habit of electing Republican governors, don’t ask me why. I didn’t vote for him. He was a horrible governor.

  6. Beata says:

    This apropos article gave me the willies ( or is it the willards? ). “Why Creepy People Give Us the Chills”.

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/04/why-creepy-people-give-us-the.html?ref=hp

  7. dm says:

    As far as I’m concerned, the number of candidates for any office anywhere that can actually “relate” to my life are miniscule. Obama has always tried to make his life sound much harder than it was…I don’t know, maybe it was harder than mine. What I want from a candidate (and I pretty much could care less about the spouse) is an ability to understand, empathize and inject common sense and reason into their approach to policy making.

    Yes, I know you all are very anti-Romney, which is fine. We’ve had a lot of rich white dudes as presidents and candidates. He is what he is…I don’t hold his wealth or upbringing against him. All I’m interested in is what the record shows…that’s all I’m interested in now…hat tip to Barack Obama for that.

    • dakinikat says:

      His record is terrible. Haven’t you read anything BB has written? When he was governor, mass had the worst job creation in the country. He increased fees on everything and pushed for tax relief foe the rich. He got the state to pass the same individual mandate every one hates for health insurance. He served just one term because hour wanted to run for president and he was never going to get reelected because he was so bad. His tenure at bain was all about taking money out of functional companies and driving them into the ground with debt and incompetence. Do you hate obama that much that you will ignore all of this and your best interest?

      • dm says:

        Yes…I have read your links, posts and opinions. Is he my ideal candidate? Not by a long shot. Do I hate Obama that much? Yeah…big time, but I’ll spare you that diatribe. The choices clearly SUCK…but, it’s got that comforting feel of deja vu to it…don’t the choices (almost) always SUCK? My comments weren’t directed to his actual record of (lack of) achievement, they were to point out that this particular talking point – to me – is redundant. I don’t really care about the money thing…besides, all elected officials whether coming in with the wealth or going out with the wealth…they are a bunch of whores…unfortunately, that’s what our current system forces on them.

        • dakinikat says:

          This isn’t about the wealth per se. It is about being so unaware of self and others as to be supremely stupid and beyond dangerous. There are wealthy people who have empathy and the ability to listen and learn from others. I just recognize this particular brand of infantile narcissism for what it is. The Romneys are terrifyingly self absorbed. They don’t evolve even when they really need to.