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Martin Long

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Two Romney Problems Clash: Elitism Versus Tin Ear Syndrome

Posted: 04/12/2012 2:27 pm

Maybe you read about how Gawker had a mole inside Fox News. Well, he got caught and is now public.

On Joe Muto's first post as a Gawker mole, he uploaded a really interesting video of the pre-interview banter between Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity. Take a look at the video at the top of that first blog entry now. Here is an excerpt from Joe Muto's post on that video:


Romney professes his and his wife Ann's well-known love of horseriding, praising the qualities of the "Austrian Warmbloods" that his wife rides -- they are "dressage" horses, he notes -- while maintaining his own preference for the "smoother gait" of his own "Missouri foxtrotter."

Now there's nothing wrong with Mitt and his wife loving horseback riding. But remember this video next time Romney attacks Obama for golfing. The inherent elitism and snootiness of golf is NOTHING compared to competitive horseback riding. And I think Mitt loses points with the GOP base for his correct pronunciation of dressage. To GOP-voter ears it sounds not only gay, but even worse, French.

Watching this video, I felt two contrary and competing emotions: horror and attraction.

Horror, due to Mr. Romney clearly not understanding that he is an elitist and that he comes off as one. I genuinely felt sorry for the guy. There can now be no doubt that he has a Ross Perot-sized tin ear.

Attraction, because I found myself realizing that this video actually shows Mr. Romney as more human than anything I've seen before (and he was my governor for four years). He's sitting around, chewing the fat with Mr. Hannity -- someone he is clearly comfortable with -- talking about his wife and their mutual love of horses.

This simultaneous revulsion and attraction towards Mr. Romney was a new combination for me. The video's release will, of course, only exacerbate Mr. Rommey's elitism problem. If the poor guy could only learn to show a little bit of the normal humanness that he lets out of the lock-box for his Hannity-banter, perhaps he could actually communicate with people.

Perhaps he's so repressed that he purposely keeps everything bottled up inside just so he doesn't come off poorly. If so, that strategy clearly isn't working. My suggestion: spend some time with regular people and try to connect with what they find interesting. You just might find some common ground and seem human. Then again, maybe you really don't have any common ground with regular people. In that case, I can only say, congratulations President Obama, you've been re-elected.

 

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