Saturday, July 7, 2012

Michael Smerconish is Wrong about Jet Ski Mitt


Michael Smerconish is substituting for Chris Matthews on Hardball this week, and usually he does a fine job for MSNBC, although he is more of a conservative than Matthews.

But I think he really missed the boat yesterday - literally - in doing the "Let Me Finish" segment about Jet Ski Ken and Barbie . . . excuse me, that is Jet Ski Mitt and Ann Romney.

First of all, the title of his segment was "Let them Relax." Well, when isn't Romney relaxed? He describes himself as an "unemployed" multi-billionaire. He jokes about it all the time. Why wouldn't Romney and Ann be relaxed? They've got it all, and can have it all anytime they choose.

I agree with Smerconish that there's nothing really hoity-toity about a jet ski, which is a common sight in North America. Plenty of "average Joes" have jet skis.

But that picture still matters in the scheme of things, and not because we are "fixated" on the leisure time of presidents or presidential candidates. 

Why would Mitt Romney jump on board a jet ski in front of press photographers the same week that a damning article came out in Vanity Fair about wealth hidden offshore in a tropical paradise? I understand that the Romneys were in New Hampshire on a lake, but most Americans might see the pictures and figure he was more likely in the Cayman Islands or some exotic place where his money is stashed. So it's the watery symbolism of those pictures that might hurt Mitt's chances.

And he seemed to be mugging for the camera as he always does "Look at me relaxing! I deserve it because I'm wealthy!" He seems to be perpetually posing for glamour shots. Does that play well in a country where we are mainly having "staycations" and sweltering in over one-hundred degree temperatures this summer?

Smerconish compared the Romneys to the Obamas, Reagans, and Bushes to make his point. True, all of them have more money than most Americans dream of having. But there the comparison stops.

Yes, Obama has gone to Martha's Vineyard several times for vacation, but we can't really begrudge him borrowing a house for a week so his family can get out of sweltering Washington for some privacy. Were the Romneys looking for privacy on that big noisy jet ski? I think not.

And Obama plays golf to relax - big deal. Playing golf is almost a requirement for public office no matter where you go - a big yawn about that. Most males in our society learn to play golf as teenagers, and it's just not that high-brow, except to certain Republicans who used to fault Bill Clinton for the same thing. Again ~ *yawn*

Most Americans can identify with Ronald Reagan or George Bush wanting to go cocoon at their rancho-deluxe in the West. Frankly that was one of the few likable things about either Reagan or Bush - their "aw shucks" and wanting to put their cowboy boots under their own table for some BBQ now and then. Reagan on a horse cut a great figure, and when Nancy went out riding with him they were actually cute! And trust me, I hated their guts when Reagan was in office, so that's a big concession from me! LOL

But see . . . we never heard Reagan talking about his horse elevator, did we? And George W. usually took his whole White House gang with him to Texas. Those were laid-back, but "working" vacations.

The elder Bushes at Kennebunkport were much more old-money New England posh, and the envy of many people. Remember when murderer Scott Peterson killed his wife then lied to his new girlfriend, Amber Frey, that his family was going to Kennebunkport for Christmas just to impress her? But that's really not favorable towards the Bushes, so forget I brought it up. Anyway . . . it proves that the display of ostentation is a double-edged sword, and I'm afraid the next generation of con-men and Ted Bundy types will probably be lying about their offshore millions and ability to jet ski.

But I jest, and this really isn't funny. The fact is, we are now in a multi-year recession rivaling the Great Depression, and Mitt is no Roosevelt or Kennedy on a sailboat. Sure the Romneys just want to have fun on vacation, but was it just a week ago that Romney and 700 wealthy friends were attending a lavish party in Utah en Chateaux, and before that we saw videos of his dancing horse that is going to the Olympics, and before that, his wife wore a $10,000 t-shirt for an interview. We also had the spectacle of Romney going to Las Vegas with Newt and Trump for a one-night dinner date.

Again, I ask you - when isn't Romney relaxed? When isn't he partying and having fun? He's a "wild and crazy guy" as Ann Romney said.

And one last point - the main difference between Romney and all those other people? They were elected President.

I don't think that's going to happen for Mitt, but I'm sure he'll find solace in money, jet skis, and other ways to relax.

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