Is Romney Just Too Perfect?

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 2 2012 @ 9:04am


Michael Brendan Dougherty made the case last week: 

Most Americans would get a beer with Clinton. And thus they'd vote for him. But they'd rather have had Romney date their young daughter. And that's a problem for Romney. … Romney is too distinguished by his success, by his good looks, his clean living, and picture-perfect family to be the vehicle through which a mass of today's Americans express themselves in politics.  We can forgive riches (George W. Bush), or a little vice (Clinton), or a good family life (Obama), so long as there is a little tinge of the frathouse or at least a cigarette habit to offset it.  In a society that assumes equality–that we're all basically the same–Mitt Romney just stands a little too tall and straight.

Similarly, Kathleen Parker argues that people have a hard time connecting with the "near-perfect" Romney, and not the other way around. Scott Galupo is indignant

Romney's principal problem isn't a lack of personal connection with people. It's that he irritates people. He's a transparent phony who, unlike President Bill Clinton, isn't even particularly good at being phony. … [He's] a rancid impostor.

(Photo: Ann Romney and her husband, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, point to children in the crowd during a campaign rally at Brady Industries February 1, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Romney won the Florida primary on January 31 and is now looking ahead to Nevada's caucus on February 4. By Ethan Miller/Getty Images)