Who would you rather have a beer with -- Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? Don't answer that. It's the worst and perhaps the most detrimental way to pick a president (see George W. Bush), yet it's a question often asked by pollsters to gauge a candidate's likability and relatability. Bush, who admits he used to drink too much, arguably became our 43rd president because, as polls showed, he was the candidate people would rather have a beer with, because apparently the Commander-in-Chief should be a regular beer-drinking guy just like you and your friends. The truth is, anyone running for president is not like you and your friends. And shouldn't be.
He/she should be vastly more intelligent, articulate and sober more often than not. Average Americans don't run for president. They simply don't have the money or connections to go to an Ivy League school, get elected to office and run for president. Still, every four years, presidential candidates tour the country, trying their hardest to appear to be average, beer-drinking guys just like you and me. But this year one candidate is struggling mightily.
After nearly a decade of running for president, Romney remains the elitist, out of touch corporate stiff we've all known him to be, yet surprisingly one week before the election most polls are showing the race within the margin of error. But there's one category where the president is beating Romney badly -- likability. According to a recent Washington Post/ABC poll of likely voters, Obama leads Romney by 26 points in likability, which is not surprising. Romney's a pretty hard guy to like, and certainly a hard guy to relate to with his offshore bank accounts, numerous mansions -- one sporting a car elevator -- and his $100 million trust fund for his five sons. Like I said in a previous post, "Rich Don't Work for Romney."
There's nothing inherently wrong with being rich and coming from a well-connected political family. But if you're running for president you have to care about all people, not just the ones in your tax bracket. And that's the difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Obama is on the people's side and Romney is on his friends' side.
If you're not Romney-level rich, why would you even consider voting for him? Economically, pragmatically and morally it just doesn't make any sense. How is Willard Mitt Romney going to help the average, beer-drinking guy out there? The truth is, he's not. But he wants your vote so he will do anything to seem somewhat normal and relatable. But it hasn't worked.
So, what more can the richest man to ever run for president do between now and November 6 to make himself more likable to the electorate? He's already eaten pancakes with Fox News host Chris Wallace in his New Hampshire mansion, so that's out. He could go to a football game, but he'd likely sit in a skybox at Gillette Stadium with Patriots executives looking rich and awkward. How about just having a beer like Obama's been doing out on the trail? The president's been drinking beer all over the country, and to prove just how American he is the White House has even released the recipe for its own beer (the White House Honey Ale and Honey Porter).
But because Romney's a Mormon, he can't drink alcohol, so that's out too. If his faith did allow for such sinful activities, you can be sure he would have been doing keg stands throughout the campaign. So it turns out that the only candidate you can actually have a beer with is Barack Obama, but don't vote for him because of that. Vote for him because, unless you're in Romney's tax bracket, Obama is very likely the only candidate whose policies will directly help you and people like you.
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