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JLeslie's avatar

Do you think Romney should just be himself, or keep listening to his advisors?

Asked by JLeslie (57533points) March 16th, 2012

Some of the clips on TV of Romney saying y’all in the south and talking about grits makes me cringe. It just doesn’t fit him. He is not going to connect that way in my opinion. Candidates who get away with that usually really have lived in the region. For instance HiIllary Clinton can easily fall into a southern accent or midwestern, because she is a southerner, and a midwesterner, and a northeasterner. She has lived in all those places for many many years.

Probably Newt Gingrich can get away with that sort of thing also, being from the south, but spending a lot of time in the north. I don’t follow him, but that would be my guess. I don’t even think it is getting away with anything or pandering, I think it is real. Slight change of accent, speach pattern, and familiarity with local foods and customs. He might not be the best example, but there are many polticians who have lived and spent significant time in various parts of the country.

But, Mitt is not familiar, he is just putting it on quite obviously. Do you think it helps or hurts him in the end?

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29 Answers

tom_g's avatar

He should be himself. It’s really too bad that the selection of elected officials is so dependent on these types of things, rather than the candidates’ positions on issues. I disagree with most of Romney’s politics. I’m not going to vote against him simply because he doesn’t seem “folksy” enough.

Remember all of the “who would you rather have a beer with?” questions? When that question hits the nightly news this election cycle, it’s time to throw out any remaining televisions in our houses.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It hurts. He does it thinking the people are too stupid to notice that he is pretending. I think that is a lot of Romney’s thinking…that we’re all really stupid and we need some smart, rich, savvy guy like him to take us by the hand and lead us around so we don’t fall in the cow patties.

AmWiser's avatar

I agree Romney should be himself. But then again that would hurt him even more than he is hurting himself now. And Mitt, please take those damn bluejeans off. Not becoming atall.:DDD

Blackberry's avatar

If someone told him to say that, this is clear evidence of sabotage….If he decided to say it himself: that means he really does think we’re all stupid.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I don’t think he does it because he thinks people are stupid. I think he does it because he is being told to.

The Republicans are usually very good at being political machines. On message, know what works with certain groups, and with Romney I think the advisors don’t take into account Romney’s personality or something?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think he does it because he is told to do it too. But he doesn’t strike me as being a deaf, dumb and blind puppet, like Bush was. He must agree with what he’s being told or I don’t think he’d do it. Many, many people in the political world (advisers too) feel their intelligence, whatever, is way above the average American’s and tend to suffer the fools gladly to get their power, fame and fortune.

marinelife's avatar

Are you saying that it is Romney’s advisers who tell him to do that? I am not at all sure of that.

I think if left to himself, he puts his foot in his mouth pretty quickly. For example,. when he said in Detroit that his wife drove “a couple of Cadillacs” or earlier that he wasn’t worried about the poor.

tedd's avatar

Scary thought…. what if he is being himself?

ragingloli's avatar

I do not think he even has a “self”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@marinelife I was adressing @JLeslie‘s thoughts. When on a campaign you have these people called “campaign advisers.” People who write his speeches for him, “experts” who tell him how to dress, people who attempt to prevent him from putting his foot too far in his mouth, which is what he does, as you pointed out @marinelife. So I agree with @JLeslie. He’s following someone’s advice, but foolishly, I’d say.

marinelife's avatar

@Dutchess_III My response was just a response to the question. I was not addressing you. If it had been, I would have used the @Dutchess_III convention.

JLeslie's avatar

@marinelife You make a good point about the Cadillac’s. I do think he is following advice. I saw on a program a talking head say Romney should just say he is rich, not make apologies for it, and sell it as the American dream. I’m paraphrasng. A couple days later that is what he did. I think he is doing everything at once, which I am sure all politicans do, speaking in his own words and also steering his message based on outside advice. Advice from people who do that professionally, and advice from the media, family, everyone.

@Dutchess_III Probably they do to some extent think a lot of America is stupid, do you think differently? A lot of people just follow the leader. I think the mistake is not knowing what might seem offensive or condescending. What do you think?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JLeslie Not sure what you mean by do I think differently? I don’t feel that most Americans are too stupid to come out of the rain. The ones that are won’t be voting anyway.
I think the biggest mistake is having the arrogance to even think that way…it’s going to come out. That’s something I like about Obama. He’s been down in the trenches with “us,” especially as a child growing up. He doesn’t assume that the only reason any one is poor is because they are stupid. He knows better. Romney doesn’t.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III So you are equating poor with stupid? I mean you are saying the advisors and Romney are equating poor with stupid? I guess I got confused because I started with an example regarding the south not the poor.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m sorry…I missed your reference to the South. Yes, I’m saying that many, many politicians…many well-off people in general who have never had to scrap their way from the bottom up…feel that being rich is very easy to do, so if you aren’t rich it’s because you’re stupid. Most American’s are far from rich. Ergo….

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I have to think about that. I was never thinking poor equals stupid. There are lots of people with money around me who I think are stupid. I am not saying they have low IQ’s necessarily, just narrow I guess. I don’t know, I kind of hate using the word stupid to be honest, it can be interpreted a lot of ways.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I’m thinking of two specific, affluent people who are in my sphere, and both of them definitely feel that if people are poor it’s their own damn fault and they don’t “deserve” any help up. Apparently neither of them have had the introspection to closely examine their lives to notice the “help” they got from others as they were starting on their way up, or to recognize that some of it was just plain luck. They believe that they’re rich because they’re smart, and make smart decisions. They don’t recogonized that it just happens that their decisions panned out. They’ve never been broadsided, leveled, by things beyond their control.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I see. Yes, I think that attitude is out there among a lot of people, I would have to agree. I never thought of it in terms of smart or stupid, it might be just semantics though. So, you think Romney is trying to talk to the poor specifically? I didn’t get that impression, but I have not watched the Republican candidates much.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I haven’t watched him at all, so I can’t really answer your question. But from what I’ve heard, I’d hazard a guess that he does harbor feelings of superiority over the general population. This is leaking out here and there, with bad pub, so if he gets to talkin’ like the ‘po folk, one a da good-old-boys, he’s just trying to project a sympathy and and an understanding that he really does not feel. He’s just trying to control the damage from his spontaneous and “honest” screw ups that broadcast his real personality.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I guess I perceive Romney as being rich, but not putting down the poor, but rather not being in touch with them. Not knowing what might sound hurtful, offensive, or disconnected. If I met him at a party, and he told me his wife has two Cadillac’s or if I wanted to make a $10,000 bet, I would not add that up to mean he is out of touch, but when he says it in front of the population at large, it shows to me he lives very much in his own world of wealth and forgets the cameras are on.

Most people I know are more like Bill Clinton’s mindset of wanting to help the poor, but feel the poor also need to help themselves. Not that they are stupid, but that they may need a leg up, guidance, training, education. But, that is only one subgroup of the poor, there are also those who do everything right and through circumstance hit very hard times. Growing up poor obviously puts a person at a disadvantage. And, then lastly there is an argument for better wages. I think there is conversation in the country that the poor can’t be helped, I know there is. That they will screw it up no matter what you give them. But, even when I hear that, those people are not talking about all poor people. I know personally people who say such things who came from very very poor families themselves and now are upper middle class, and who they themselves do many charitable things to help the poor, especially poor children hoping it will affect their lives for the future. Among Republicans they generally are against government help.

Maybe it is a case of generalizing, where the poor hear statements made, and think the wealthy are talking about all poor people. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the poor for misinterpreting, the wealthy have responsibility for how they word things.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, not all the wealthy look down on the poor, but some do. They’re snobs.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Ok, that made me think of a question. If someone gives their opinion on what might help the poor, is that inherently seen as snobby? I agree people who look down on the poor are snobs.

sinscriven's avatar

Romney should be himself; however his real self is so far out of touch with the reality of the average American that he’s pretty screwed either way.

Recently he’s been trying to endear himself to liking sports and things like other “average americans”, then he puts his foot in his mouth and talks about his friendships with sports teams owners or other celebrities. Yeah, can totally relate there. No wonder why Santorum has been picking up steam, and that honestly frightens me.

GracieT's avatar

@sinscriven, I also am scared of Santorum. My head knows that Obama will be re-elected, but there is still a small bit of fear. I’m not completely satisfied with Obama, he’s caved in to the right far too often, but I’m absolutely TERRIFIED by the thought of Pesident Santorum. President Gingrich is still scary, as is President Romney, but Santorum still terrifies me. First as a woman, and then as an intelligent American.

Judi's avatar

Is “himself” any better? “Himself” is “I like firing people,” tying his dog to the roof of his car, and “Corporations are people too my friend.”

SpatzieLover's avatar

I agree with @ragingloli & @Judi. His real ‘self’ is not a good persona to put out there to the masses.

JLeslie's avatar

I agreed with his wanting to fire people statement in the context it was said, and so should every right wing republican. The media and the left took it, and spun it. I guess it is a valid point that he needs to be able to think ahead about how what he says can be spun and hurt him in the end.

sinscriven's avatar

@GracieT : Agreed. I kinda feel that same fear, in that his ideology is not only viable, but actually popular. The possibility of being driven into a sociopolitical, economic and technological dark age is starting to feel very real.

filmfann's avatar

I don’t know if Romney even recognizes who he really is. His shameless pandering for votes is embarassing to watch, like old I Love Lucy episodes.
That said, he has a good election campaign going. Events are well staged, delegates are prepared, and he is getting plenty of media attention. Too bad he is the candidate.

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