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There are few things more ridiculous than wealthy men trying to convince everyone they know what economic deprivation feels like. Even when the stories are possibly true, such as when Paul O’Neill and aged Klansman Robert C. Byrd dueled over who had the most authentic PWT background, the spectacle is demeaning and degrading to everyone involved: participant or spectator.
When the man involved is fabulously wealthy and from a prominent family with privileged upbringing it is just insulting.
Still stinging from his rather bizarre offer to gift Governor Rick Perry $10,000 during the last of the interminable debates — I say gift rather than bet because Romney‘s book did get the Soviet May Day picture treatment before his latest attempt to become a professional politician — the Romney campaign has now set out to make Mitt v 467753.1: Romney the common man.
From Politico: Mitt Romney Begins Humanizing Campaign
In the past 24 hours, the former Massachusetts governor has talked about his father, experiences while working as a missionary that weren’t even in his memoir — and twice in two days, he’s brought up the Mormon faith that he’s until now largely steered clear of.
For a candidate who’s developed a reputation for stiffness after years spent focusing on his professional background and business expertise, it’s a sizable rhetorical pivot — and one that coincided with a renewed effort by his GOP rivals and Democrats to make an issue of his personal wealth following the the awkward $10,000 bet he offered Rick Perry during Saturday night’s debate.
While even Romney’s wife apparently thought the offer to bet Rick Perry was somewhat bizarre:
When a reporter asked Romney whether he regretted offering the bet, he tried to play down the incident with humor. “After the debate was over, Ann came up and gave me a kiss and said I was great,” Romney said, adding that his wife joked to him: “There are a lot of things you do well. Betting isn’t one of them.”
It seems that Romney was most galled by the juxtaposition of this challenge to Rick Perry’s story of being raised on a cotton farm.
Today, from the Politico story, we have this jewel:
“Most of the apartments I lived in had no refrigerators,” Romney told a crowd of 300 at a VFW hall here Sunday afternoon, launching into a long anecdote about life as a Mormon missionary in France that touched on the difficulties of shopping before every meal and living in buildings without a shower.
“If we were lucky, we actually bought a hose and we stuck it on the sink, and we’d hold there with the hose and the big bucket underneath us in the kitchen and wash ourselves that way,” Romney said. “And so, I lived in a way that people of lower-middle income in France lived and said to myself, ‘Wow, I sure am lucky to have been born in the United States of America.’”
One hardly knows what to make of this. In 1965, Mitt Romney was selected to undertake a missionary assignment in France (quick! what else was happening in 1965 but not in France) he drew a salary and lived in the manner of a lower middle income French family. He stayed in places that didn’t have a proper toilet or refrigerator. He had to shop every day. The freakin horror of it all.
If we ever needed more evidence that Romney is an out of touch rich guy in search of a hobby, this story gives us all we need. I understand next week the campaign is going to leak that Romney secretly likes to chow down on whitefish roe instead of Beluga caviar.