Mitt Romney is like the spoiled kid who only has playmates because they want to come over and play with all the cool toys (now it’s car elevators) his rich daddy bought for him. As much as the gazillionaire tries to connect with the every man (paying your taxes would be a good start) and demonstrate his understanding of their plight, he does so looking like a Ken doll CEO who’s totally uncomfortable talking to people who don’t have a Swiss bank account and ultimately comes across as an utterly out-of-touch patrician trying to play middle-class dress-up on Halloween. Regarding his personality, it’s that of a week’s old meatloaf (or Chateaubriand in Romney’s case). And a new poll confirms that very sentiment.
The economy may still be in the crapper (mostly thanks to Republican Obstructionism), Americans don’t like the direction the country is headed and blame President Obama for it, but when it comes to the likability factor Obama is ascendant. Despite the fact that Obama’s job approval numbers have soured considerably, Obama’s favorability–the “it” factor that reflects voter’s gut– is riding strong. According to a recent USA Today-Gallup Poll, Obama’s favorability is 54% whereas respondents weren’t as enthusiastic about Romney, who had a 46% favorability rating. That really shouldn’t surprise since not even Romney’s own party wanted anything to do with him and was willing to run a pizza perv, a deranged islamaphobe, and a guy whose last name was synonymous with poopy discharge from gay sex and essentially was a mullah in a sweater vest. But one aspect of the poll that is quite telling was when it came to honesty and trustworthiness.
Respondents said that Obama shares their values and cares about people like them. And we needed to spend money to figure that out??
“Basically, it looks like Romney’s personality is holding him back and Obama’s likability is helping him,” said Jeffrey M. Jones, managing editor for the Gallup Poll. “It seems frivolous, but it matters.” (La Times)
Let’s face it, here: narrative, character and timing are really what decide presidential elections. Obama happens to have a very unique and quintessentially American story (even if large segments of the electorate think he’s a Kenyan Muslim communist), whereas Romney has the idle offspring of a workaholic story who was given every social and economic advantage to get where he is now. So if you’re name isn’t Thurston Howell III or you’re not the proud owner of a emerald-encrusted Hummer yacht, you’re probably not going to like Romney or identify with him. Although we’re perpetually told that these are nothing more but popularity contests, but is that really true? Well, I suppose it comes down to who your ask.
Morris Fiorina, a political scientist at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a known right-wing group, dismisses the whole ‘I would like to have a beer with him’ as “a lot of noise.”
“It’s always better to be liked than not liked,” Fiorina said. “But it won’t save you.“(La Times)
In the 13 elections from 1952 to 2000, only four saw a major personality gap, Fiorina discovered. It seems Americans voted for the less-liked candidate in two — Clinton in 1996 and Reagan in 1980.
“My mechanic might be a peach of a guy,” he said, “but if he doesn’t find out what’s wrong with the car, I go somewhere else.”
So then it looks like Fiorina would rather go with the guy who wanted the very makers of American cars (GM) to fail, and the guy who would want you to go to China or Vietnam to have your car looked at. It’s pretty clear what the ‘other guy’ would do.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, Youtube, like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab, and check out his Mitt Happens cafe press store. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.