Monday, December 12, 2011

Mitt Romney is rich? So is Obama

Over at The Philly Post, my column this morning is about how I don't really care about Mitt Romney's attempted $10,000 bet with Rick Perry:
The fact that our presidential candidates are rich isn’t a big deal. The fact that Mitt Romney wants to make a $10,000 bet isn’t a big deal. The fact that Romney and Newt and Perry all the rest of them want to govern the country on behalf of the rich—that’s the big deal. The fact that they want to do so at a time of skyrocketing income inequality is a big deal.

Instead of having a forthright discussion about those issues, though, we’re forced to sit through a kind of minstrel show where rich candidate after rich candidate after rich candidate pretends to be a “regular guy” with the “common touch.” And it has nothing to do with whether or not that candidate would be a good president.
Obama is among the rich candidates, incidentally, and Republicans are just as interested in tarnishing him with a silver spoon. To wit, take Andrew Malcom's column in today's Investor's Business Daily, which takes the Obamas to task for all their ... Christmas decorating:
The extravagance of 2011's decorations, however, are striking given the widespread joblessness, pale economic growth, home foreclosures and grim outlook for 2012, not to mention the incumbent president's historically low approval rating heading into his reelection bid.

How simple, politically astute, symbolically helpful and cost-effective it would have been for the Obamas this year to say that in sympathy with so many struggling countrymen, they were curtailing holiday decorations to match the sacrifices of others.
How tedious. I could get into all the ways that White House Christmas decorating isn't just about the family occupying the White House, but serves as part of the national celebration, but ... meh. How tedious.

Obama is comfortable. Romney is comfortable. There is no likely candidate for president who isn't far and away richer than the rest of us. So who cares? The question is: Who do you trust to govern on behalf of your interests? Net worth makes little difference in answering that question.

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