Michael Tomasky discusses why people really, really don’t like Mitt Romney (emphasis below is mine):
Romney, though? This is the biggest washout of modern times, folks. Gallup just this week put the likeability ratings at Obama 60, Romney 31. It’s not that Obama’s number is unusually high. Look back at those Kerry-Bush numbers. Americans are an open-hearted lot, at least presumptively, so they want to like the guy who’s going be the president. But they Do. Not. Like. Mitt. Romney.
It would be more interesting for all of us if there were some great mystery here, but there isn’t. He reeks of privilege. Every time he says something off the cuff he says something obnoxious. Corporations are people, pal. I like firing people. Where on earth did you get those Godforsaken cookies? (Note: I still can’t believe what he said about the frigging cookies!)
He also—and this actually is interesting, because it’s something our normal public discourse does not like to admit or allow for—is way too rich. We’re constantly told that Americans don’t have any class envy, and compared to some European nations they don’t. But even Americans have limits. A few million, even $50 million; okay. But a quarter billion dollars? A house with an elevator . . . for the cars? It also matters to people how the money was made. It’s okay to be worth a gajillion dollars if you’re Bill Gates or Steve Jobs and have made everyone’s lives more interesting and cooler. But what’s Mitt Romney done? Helped give us Domino’s Pizza.
Even so, Romney might still pass muster, but he has no grasp of the one crucial reality of class in America: you can be filthy rich as long as you don’t look or act like it. Gates doesn’t comb his hair, much. Jobs wore sneakers. Romney just looks too pressed. Even when he’s wearing those jeans. You can look at Romney on television and practically sense how he smells—of costly ablutions whose brand names the rest of us probably don’t even know. And he acts relentlessly rich.
And this brings us back to the Cranbrook School incident. We might have learned from The Washington Post this week that Romney gallantly interceded on poor Lauber’s behalf. Or even, maybe, that he did the awful deed, but a few years later he got in touch with Lauber to say, “Gee, old scout, went a bit overboard there.” Or even that he acknowledged to one of his confederates that he regretted the incident. In other words, we might have learned something that showed he knows he behaved like an asshole. But all we learned is that he behaved like an asshole and is now pretending to forget it. A jerk is one thing. But a jerk who takes no responsibility for his jerkitude is pretty much the definition of an unlikeable person.
Read all of it, it’s good. My one question to conservative voters would be: what’s there to like about Mitt? If your first response is that he’s not Obama and that’s enough, then what’s that say about you?