Yesterday, at a speech in front of the Detroit Economic Club, Mr. Romney’s remark that his wife drives “a couple of Cadillacs” haunted his campaign. Today, many news articles and op-eds questioned his ability of connecting to the average American people. The article from POLITICO even provides a list of things he said about his wealth that made him distant to voters. However, I do not see it problematic in many cases.
To me, media is hypercritical and orients the interpretation of what he said. Being curious about the audience reaction toward his Cadillac remark, I went to YouTube and watched that clip. That remark was just one sentence in a paragraph that he said to show his nostalgia for Michigan, although I though it was somewhat overly scripted. The audience did not have a big reaction, and if we let that remark go at that, less people will know it. The fact that he is well-to-do does not prevent him from being an effective president.
To a certain extent, I think he is honest and sees things clearly, but it is hard to sell what he truly thinks. For example, his admission that the U.S. gas price is driven by the global market’s rising demand, and that there is less a president could do. He points out that the people expect president to do something to control the gas pricing, but by doing so, president will have to send money abroad. This admission does not sound very pleasing, but I think it is true to a large extent. Power is more distributed in the recent decade in the world, and things are becoming more interdependent. His problem is that when he is frank, he irritates the audience, at least the media, but when his speech sounds good, it sounds like something written by a speech writer with a purpose, just like his remark in Detroit: “This feels good, being back in Michigan. You know, the trees are the right height. The streets are just right. I like the fact that most of the cars I see are Detroit-made automobiles”.