Mitt Romney's real NASCAR gaffe: mocking ponchos as "fancy raincoats"
At the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Mitt Romney's humanity-mimicking A.I. software malfunctioned yet again. The GOP front-runner told the Associated Press that he doesn't follow NASCAR "as closely as some of the most ardent fans, but I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners." (Mitt Romney! He has friends! Just like us!)Exactly. I mean, I laughed with everyone else about the NASCAR team owner friends, and puzzled over the Cadillacs comment (My first thought: "At the same time?"). But the raincoat thing made me recoil in horror at the rudeness, the arrogance of it, and the shocking degree of privilege embedded in the assumption that the attendees had money to burn on more expensive rain gear. Was he raised by wolves?
The comment, which came days after informing Detroit voters that his wife "drives a couple of Cadillacs," instantly sent Twitter into overdrive, so to speak. But another Romney comment from Daytona — reported by the New York Times — gained far less viral attention:[T]he crowd initially booed Mr. Romney, who occasionally struck a discordant note, as when he approached a group of fans wearing plastic ponchos. “I like those fancy raincoats you bought,” he said. “Really sprung for the big bucks.”It's one thing to absent-mindedly boast about your wealth and connections, but ribbing people for their inexpensive rain gear just seems... um... dickish? Beyond the terrible 1% vs. 99% optics, it's plain bad manners. Hey, money can't buy you class.