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?