THE STUMP NOVEMBER 28, 2011
When I earlier today addressed the Union Leader's endorsement of Newt Gingrich, I had not yet seen any of the supplemental TV interviews with Joe McQuaid, the publisher of the arch-conservative New Hampshire newspaper. Now that I have, though, I see that McQuaid is out there making a critique of Mitt Romney that goes beyond the endorsement's implicit suggestion that he is someone who lacks "courage and conviction," is not "grounded in their core beliefs about this nation and its people" and "who tells us what he thinks we want to hear." Specifically, McQuaid is making a separate point that I made explicitly in this space just a few weeks ago: this may not be the best year to be running Willard Mitt Romney at the top of one's ticket.
Here's how McQuaid put it in an interview on Fox News: “I think — and this is crazy, but so are we — that Gingrich is going to have a better time in the general election than Mitt Romney. I think it’s going to be Obama’s 99% versus the 1%, and Romney sort of represents the 1%.”
And here's how I put it on Nov. 8, reacting to polling showing Barack Obama doing far better among white working class voters when put up against Romney than when he is put up against a generic Republican:
"...At a time when voters are in a deeply populist mood and generally awakening to the stark reality of extreme income inequality, is the Republican Party really on the verge of nominating a man with an estimated $250 million to his name, who made his money as a private-equity titan, who 'looks like the guy that fires you,' and who likes to expound on the personhood of corporations?"
Now, one can quibble with the Union Leader's judgment that the candidate better suited for this populist moment is a man who has a $500,000 revolving credit account at Tiffany's and has become wealthy through a brazen network of corporation-coddling entities that have brought in $100 million over the past decade, as described exhaustively in Sunday's Washington Post. Still, it seems notable that even conservatives like McQuaid are beginning to take note of Romney's potential unsuitability for this moment in time.