April 3 2012
The House That Mitt Is Building
There is a notion afoot that Mitt Romney is just too rich to be president. Exhibit A: he is so insensitive that he is building a lavish beachfront house in California.
Vanity Fair has gone so far as to do a story on the very large things that could fit inside Mitt’s new house (the cafeteria at Conde Nast and Diane Von Furstenberg’s flagship store in New York’s meat packing district, for example).
The Democrats (and the Obamas in particular) are so hilarious when they talk about people so rich that they are out of touch with regular folks. Sometimes they pick a curious venue for these statements: Joe Biden, for example, recently noted that Republicans “don’t have a sense of the average folks out there. They don’t know what it means to be middle class.”
Venue: dinner for 87 filthy rich liberals at the Georgetown residence of Sen. John Kerry and his wife, Heinz heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry. Both are famously in touch with the middle class.
The guests had paid $10,000 a couple to feast on grass-fed New York strip steaks and white truffle mashed potatoes, much the same menu I often enjoy on my TV dinner tray. Those Democrats sure have a sense of how the average folks live!
But here’s the truth: Envy is always bad, and when it’s class envy preached by filthy rich snobs, it is especially bad. Romney has made a lot of money. Are Democrats saying that should somehow disqualify him from being president? Okay, he made it in business rather than writing books or inheriting the bulk of it, the preferred route to wealth for liberals. But still...
And does anybody seriously believe that the Obamas live more modestly than the Romneys? Give me a break. The main difference is that in the case of the Obamas, we’re picking up the tab, and in Romney’s case, he is paying his tariff.
We obviously want to have a stately residence for our First Family, and I for one am proud of the White House. Please, I am not complaining about that! Some of the perks, however, do bug me. I don’t like Air Force One’s doubling as a campaign plane, though, to some extent, this is often done by incumbent presidents.
But I also I don’t mind that Mitt is building himself a palace—he is using his own money. Furthermore, I am going to suggest that if Ann Romney decides to visit—say—that European hub of decadent wealth known as Marbella, the Romneys will pick up the tab themselves.
Romney is famously tight-fisted about money. If he had a daughter, for example, who wanted to go to Mexico for spring break, I can imagine his saying something like, “You’re going to have to settle for Virginia Beach. We can’t ask the taxpayer to foot the bill for the 25 Secret Service agents that Mexico would require.”