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Chan Lowe: Mitt Romney's high-stakes bet


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There’s a reason why so-called “Gotcha” questions are important in campaigns. It speaks to the dual nature of the office of the president as head of state as well as head of government.

This person, whoever he or she may be, is expected not only to be leader of the free world⎯to possess an omniscient view of the shifting sands of global developments⎯ but to be “one of us,” sprung from the masses and chosen by us to point the way forward. So when a member of the media asks if a candidate for this high office knows the price of a gallon of milk or gas, it’s just as critical to constructing the framework we use for assessing a potential leader as a question about the U.S. trade imbalance with China. Smart pols now verse themselves on the prices of typical consumer goods in case the dreaded question should ever arise.

Those who were around for the presidency of George H.W. Bush remember with a cringe his sense of wonderment the first time he saw a grocery store scanner in action. It was an inadvertent slip, but it was damaging because it added to the already-popular narrative that Bush was out of touch with the American people.

Mitt Romney has tried everything to appear as though he were an average American. He’s lost the tie on occasion, he sometimes wears plaid shirts, he sports khaki Dockers. He even purposefully mis-arranged one cliff of his trademark Brylcreemed hair sculpture.

All it took was one ten-thousand-dollar bet, though, to reinforce his card-carrying membership in the hated one percent. You could almost see the wheels turning in his head: “I know, I’ll bet the S.O.B. ten bucks. No, let’s make it $10,000! That’ll really prove my point.”

That the relative amounts made so little difference to him is exactly his problem. It was a mere throwaway line, but it was a revealing window to his soul. He’ll have a devil of a time neutralizing its effects.

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Comments

I saw a show that Bill Maher did & he talked about the very very wealthy...We have this fantasy that our interest & the interest of the super rich are the same...Like somehow the rich will get so full that they'll explode...Candy will rain down on the rest of us....Like a pinata of benevolence.! !
But- here's the thing about a pinata: it doesn't open on it's own..You have to beat it with a stick..When Romney try's to act like "one of the regular guys" he falls way way short...Now some of us were born at night...but it wasn't last night -so we're not buying that routine...I bet you $1 dollar.....


The GOP has never been more confused


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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