When I first heard about this interview, I confess that my mind immediately heard the "start packing" as a suggestion that our President should carry a gun. Such are the impressions right-wing arrogant cynics leave on me, I'm afraid. Fortunately, Mittens was suggesting the Obamas should be packing their bags, with Ann helpfully adding that "it's their turn now."
Such a sense of entitlement this candidate has. It's the same arrogance that angered the farther-right wing supporters of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. That idea that Mitt is somehow owed the Presidency. That's not playing all that well with voters, at least not as far as I can tell, and this CNN poll confirms it.
Mitt Romney has an image problem he's been trying to cure by using his wife to boost the "likability factor." Unfortunately, Ann Romney revealed herself to be as nakedly ambitious and cynical as Mitt on Monday when she said the Hilary Rosen remarks were "an early birthday present". She did try to walk that statement back during this interview by saying, oh no, she didn't mean the divisiveness, just that it was great that people were "talking about it."
I fail to see what's so great about resurrecting a distraction from the 90s and splattering it all over the airwaves and Internet, particularly when it was distorted from its original meaning and then used as a wedge to divide women. I'm not alone on that. Here's a snippet from the CNN poll findings:
Half of those questioned say that Obama is more likely to stand up for what he believes, with only 29% saying that about Romney. Nearly half say that Romney is more likely to change his position on the issues for political reasons, just 39% saying the same thing about the president. Obama has double-digit leads over Romney on likeability, honesty, confidence, values, leadership and almost every other characteristic tested, with one important exception.
"Obama and Romney are essentially tied on who is more likely to get the economy moving again, and that may provide Romney an opening to chip away at Obama's current overall lead," says Holland.
Honestly, I don't think any average voter has much of a clue how to get the economy moving again as long as control is so deeply vested in the oligarchs' secret dens of dealmaking, so if Mitt ties that one up, it's purely because he's a rich dude who pals around with team owners, puts his cars on elevators and is completely out of touch with what it might be like to have to actually work for a living. If Richie Rich were brought to life, he would be Willard Mitt Romney.
Here's Willard's avuncular advice for all of us who are less fortunate than he:
"We don't divide America based upon success and wealth and other dimensions of that nature. We're one nation under God .... This is a time when people of different backgrounds and different experiences need to come together. I happen to believe that I'm by far the best qualified in this race between myself and President Obama," Romney told Sawyer.
When asked about Obama's suggestion that Romney release 12 years of his tax returns, Romney said he had no intention of doing that.
"The president is going to try and do everything possible to divert from the attention being focused upon his record as president and the failure of his economic policies. So he's going to try to make this campaign about the fact that I've been successful, that I've made a lot of money," he said.
Of course, that misses the point entirely. It's not that Willard's been successful and made a lot of money. It's that he's been successful, made a lot of money, and done so by sheltering that money in offshore tax havens, paying half the tax rate of ordinary Americans, and thinks the best pathway back for the economy is to keep tossing our pennies into the coffers of zillionaires, who can then fund more right wing think tanks and own more right wing media and attempt to indoctrinate more voters in this country in order to keep it.
Willard's run at the Presidency is nothing more than a wealth preservation strategy. Can't afford the car elevator in the mansion? No worries, Millionaire Mittens will find a tax loophole for that.
Spare me the condescension about divisions in this country. I wonder, has Mitt ever had to struggle to come up with a budget to pay for his kids' college education? No. Has Ann ever been concerned about whether the horse feed is getting too expensive or whether the electric bill for the car elevator is going to run the family budget into the ground? No. Has Mitt ever even bothered to try and understand why health care reform and the Affordable Care Act in particular means so much to so many of us? No.
As long as Willard and wife give interviews like this, it's going to be a tough haul for him. It's hard to imagine a majority will like a "poor little rich kid" enough to put them in charge of the country.