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The next best thing to calling a Republican “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” or “Uncle Tom” (where appropriate) is to call him “out of touch.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is the latest wealthy Republican to be called “out of touch.” The proof? Why, he offered to bet rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The amount offered was — gasp — $10,000! This, of course, makes him another born-on-third-base-and-thought-he-hit-a-triple Republican. The Democratic National Committee pounced and immediately put out a video: “Mitt Romney: Simply Out of Touch — Ten Thousand Times Over.”
But which “elite, out-of-touch politician” considers a $172,200 annual salary “relatively modest” — Republican presidential hopeful Romney or President Barack Obama? Answer: Obama.
Whose $300K-per-year hospital-executive wife traveled to working-class Zanesville, Ohio, and complained about the high cost of her daughters’ summer camp, piano and dance lessons? Answer: Obama’s.
The then-U.S. senator was making $170K. The 2005-2009 median income in Zanesville: $28,854, almost $13,000 less than the national median.
Romney fits this role perfectly. Son of a former American Motors CEO and Michigan governor, Romney made a bundle buying and selling businesses. Pretty blond wife. Pretty kids. Every hair in place. What’s not to hate?
Never mind that there are more multimillionaire Democrat senators than multimillionaire Republican senators. Never mind that the average contribution to the DNC is larger than the average contribution to the RNC.
If not enough anecdotes exist to paint a Republican as a condescending patrician, why, just make something up. The New York Times wrote a phony story to slap the “elitist” label on former President George Herbert Walker Bush. At a grocers convention, Bush was intrigued by a device that could read torn bar code labels. Only one pool reporter was present, from a Texas paper, and he filed an unremarkable two-paragraph report on Bush’s tour at the convention.
The New York Times, however, ran a front-page story headlined, “Bush Encounters the Supermarket, Amazed.” The Times falsely wrote that the allegedly clueless out-of-touch Bush was surprised by an ordinary checkout scanner.
Reacting to the Bush-didn’t-know-a-scanner assertion, a systems analyst for the National Grocers Association who showed Bush the scanner said: “The whole thing is ludicrous. What he was amazed about was the ability of the scanner to take that torn label and reassemble it.” Nevertheless, Bush’s image as a rich, out-of-touch patrician hurt.
Obama, on the other hand, is a “man of the people.”
But Obama has long enjoyed a very un-Joe Sixpack-like life.
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