It was funny enough when Rick Santorum tried to rebrand himself as an economic populist. But you’ll never guess who’s getting on the “we are the 99 percent” bandwagon. Well, unless you’ve already read this.
Mitt Romney, sudden champion of Americans trying to make ends meet â€” itâ€™s coming off to progressives and veterans of Obamaâ€™s winning re-election campaign as a little too rich.
The 2012 Republican nomineeâ€™s sudden return to presidential politics already had them dusting off old attack lines. His reinvention Friday night as an anti-poverty warrior has them in a frenzy of excitement, even glee at what they see as the Democratic Partyâ€™s stroke of good luck.
Yes, children, Mittens now fancies himself to be the Savior of the Downtrodden. This is something like making Ronald McDonald the poster boy for heart-healthy diets.
- Mittens really cares about poor people. He knows this because his wife Ann says so.
â€œShe knows my heart in a way that few people do,â€ he said. â€œSheâ€™s seen me not just as a business guy and a political guy, but for over 10 years as you know I served as a pastor for a congregation and for groups of congregations… Sheâ€™s seen me work with folks that are looking for better work and jobs and providing care for the sick and the elderly. She knows where my heart is.â€
- Liberal policies haven’t worked. Of course they haven’t actually been tried for decades because they’ve been obstructed by conservatives, but let’s not quibble. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer, and this must be Obama’s fault. The fact that the rich have been getting richer and the poor poorer since the Reagan Administration is water under the bridge.
â€œUnder President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before,â€ Romney said. â€œUnder this president, his policies have not worked. Their liberal policies are good every four years for a campaign, but they donâ€™t get the job done.â€
- Â Mittens has a plan, something bold and original that hasn’t been done before. He explained to Republican National Committee members,
â€œThe only policies that will reach into the hearts of the American people and pull people out of poverty and break the cycle of poverty are Republican principles, conservative principles,â€ Romney said to no applause from the Republican crowd.
I’m sure they forgot to applaud because they were struck numb by the boldness of Romney’s plan. And maybe he could get Gov. Sam Brownback
to serve as an economic policy adviser.
Snark aside, it appears income inequality is going to be a big issue in 2016. Hillary Clinton also has been making noise about it and trying to tie herself to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a long-time friend and alleged progressive. Opposing income inequality is the new black.
But hearing it from Romney, de Blasio said, is a sign that income inequality has really arrived as the defining issue of the 2016 campaign.
â€œThis is on the minds of more and more people around the country, because income inequality is basically the touchstone of what weâ€™re dealing with right now,â€ de Blasio said. â€œIt is very telling that a guy whoâ€™s trying to find his way back to political relevance will grab onto it.â€
It is telling, and it suggests the 2016 election campaigns will be a ton of fun. But if we end up with a HRC-Jeb Bush general election choice the terrorists will have won.