Alternate headline: “Republican nominee not so different from average American after all.”
Well, a little different. The point of this latest “news” belch, as always with big-media lifestyle pieces about the Romneys, is to remind you that their house is bigger than your house — a lot bigger, and getting bigger by the day. (“The new house, by contrast, will be 11,000 square feet with a split-level four-car garage equipped with an elevator to ferry cars up and down.”) Turns out the renovations might even partially obstruct his nice gay neighbors’ ocean view. Rich people, man. Always blockin’ out the sun.
Here’s the part that’s gotten the most attention on blogs. No-win situation for Romney: If he grumbles about local pot-smoking, he’s a narc, and if he doesn’t grumble about it then his public/private hypocrisy on marijuana makes him almost as much of a fraud on this issue as you know who.
The Romneys rarely entertain neighbors, but they have tried to weave themselves into the fabric of local life. Mr. Romney and his wife take regular walks around La Jolla, exchanging pleasantries with fellow strollers and occasionally enforcing the law. A young man in town recalled that Mr. Romney confronted him as he smoked marijuana and drank on the beach last summer, demanding that he stop.
The issue appears to be a recurring nuisance for the Romneys. Mr. Quint, who lives on the waterfront near Mr. Romney, said that a police officer had asked him, on a weekend when the candidate was in town, to report any pot smoking on the beach. The officer explained to him that “your neighbors have complained,” Mr. Quint recalled. “He was pretty clear that it was the Romneys.”
Local realtors tell the Times that Romney’s move to the neighborhood could increase property values by 10 percent, so there’s the silver lining for Quint: Soon he’ll be able to afford a lot of extra bud to enjoy in the privacy of his home. The other silver lining here is that this story is so profoundly stupid and petty that even reliably left-wing outfits are grumbling about it. MSNBC dumped on it in a panel discussion this afternoon and HuffPo’s Jason Linkins described it as having “all the political salience of a sack of dog leavings.” Quote:
Eventually, however, it really shifts into gear, and you learn that the more important takeaway is Romney has apparently moved in alongside a gaggle of affluent, backbiting NIMBYs who are just mad that he is threatening their property values — through both the extensive, ongoing renovations to his home and … well, by just being around, and having a large group of security personnel traveling in his wake. They are sad that their road is blocked up, and their “ocean views are in jeopardy,” and their favorite “dog walking routes” have been “disrupted.”…
And at another point in the piece, one of Romney’s neighbors tells Barbaro that if it were President Barack Obama causing all this neighborhood disruption, “I’d probably be fine with it.” You could say the same thing about Obama supporters’ reactions to the president’s “kill list,” only that would have been a more interesting story.
Yeah, sure would. Via the Daily Caller, here’s Scarborough and crew twisting the knife this morning, again on MSNBC. Exit question: How long before we get the next story about Ann Romney’s pricey dressage-horse hobby? Maybe with an angle about how the smell of the horses’ waste isn’t very pleasant to passersby? Over/under is one week.