So… Mitt Romney is building a car elevator at his mansion in La Jolla. I have two facts to share before I talk about this: 1) I used to live in La Jolla. And 2) my current neighbor has a car elevator.
Okay, so technically I “lived” in La Jolla because my zip code was 92037, but I was one block East of Interstate 5, by the big Mormon temple there. Not a bad neighborhood, and just a couple miles from the beach, but in terms of real estate, it was a completely different world from where Mr. Romney lives.
And my neighbor’s car elevator is just a hydraulic lift that fits completely into his standard two-car garage attached to his three-bedroom home. It basically allows him to fit three cars into a garage built for two.
So maybe that’s the reason that my response when I first saw the Twittergasm over Romney’s new car elevator was, “meh.” People are suggesting that this is this week’s “Etch a Sketch” moment, but I don’t think so. At all.
I think the first reaction many people will have to hearing about someone building a car elevator will be, “awesome.” If I were Mitt Romney and someone asked me about my car elevator, I’d reply enthusiastically and use the word “neat.” I may not be a political expert, but I think that any opportunity that Etch a Sketch can remind people of Batman rather than Thurston Howell, the better.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not concern trolling here. If this works, go for it. I just don’t think this is a particularly effective attack on Romney. It’s like Cokie Roberts complaining during the 2008 campaign about Obama vacationing in Hawaii, instead of Myrtle Beach, because it is “exotic” and therefore elitist. The general reaction to that was, “STFU Cokie.”
Maybe it’s more like the John Edwards’ $400 haircut, but $400 haircuts are stupid, and car elevators are cool. (Actually, car elevators sound cool. The reality of a hydraulic lift that allows you to stack two cars in a garage is pretty boring.)
I don’t know. It seems like an envy-based attack, and I don’t think those are nearly as effective as political pundits think they are. People don’t dislike Romney because he is wealthy and has nice things; they dislike him because he wants to use the power of government to protect the wealthy at the cost of the poor and middle class.
Stick with Etch a Sketch. That’s gold.