Is Romney the Heir Apparent or Will His Riches Get in His Way?
With both Chris Christie and Sarah Palin declining to run for the Republican presidential nomination this week, the path now seems to be pretty clear for Mitt Romney. This should guarantee a fair amount of media attention to the speech outlining his foreign policy direction that he’s planning to give at The Citadel on Friday. No doubt he’s fresh off of some intensive coaching by the cadre of foreign policy advisers he has recently hired. The roster is heavy with veterans of the Bush administration era so the general direction of Romney’s policy ideas shouldn’t be too hard to predict.
However there are still some significant obstacles ahead of him. Romneycare, the precursor to Obamacare is an obvious one and his challengers aren’t going to let that one drop. Neither will the Tea Party groups. In addition to that his religion still remains an obstacle for evangelical Christians who are not an insignificant portion of the Republican voting block.
But I think something even bigger looms on the horizon - something the Dems will no doubt bash him with and bash him hard. It was particularly ironic to hear Mitt (today we are all the unemployed) Romney whining about the class warfare being waged (presumably against him and his cohorts) by the dangerous hippies currently occupying Wall Street. After all, some might call acquiring companies and stripping off assets like “workers” in order to make huge profits, a form of class warfare all its own.
But the real irony here is that Mittens would be one of the gazillionaires paying a lot more taxes if Obama’s Buffet Rule ever makes it through. Michael Scherer at Time Magazine ballparks Mitt’s tax rate, based on information provided by Mitt himself, at about 14%. This may be even lower than Buffet’s estimation that he paid about 17% on his income. Scherer posits that maybe what we really need is the “Romney Rule”. That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? And Greg Sargent notes that Obama allies are already beginning to pick up on the idea.
Further muddying the waters for the uber-rich would-be presidential candidate is the little matter of his beachfront vacation home in La Jolla, CA. La Jolla is not exactly your cozy little unassuming beachy dive. Median home prices are around $960,000. Mitt and the family bought a beachfront property there in 2007 for a measly $12M. But with kids and grandkids, how can a self respecting millionaire expect to entertain in something that modest? So the plans are to tear this one down and replace it with a somewhat more expansive 11,062 foot cottage. Not to worry, though. They won’t even break ground until after the campaign so how could that possibly be an issue? I mean just because millions of people in this country are struggling to hang on to their own little first homes, don’t we all really wish we had a leader whose vacation home is a beachfront mansion?
So all I can say is RUN, MITT, RUN! I can’t wait to see what the Obama campaign will create with such great raw material!
SOMEWHAT RELATED: Speaking of rich jerks, Herbie Cain weighs in on the Wall Street protests by stating that people who are unemployed and not millionaires have only themselves to blame. Seriously, have Republicans always been this heartless or was I just missing something a few years back?