On “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien” this morning, conservative Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, an ardent Mitt Romney supporter, said he thinks that, if Romney has a problem at all, it’s that he’s “too perfect.”
Chaffetz’ statements echo an argument Kathleen Parker made a couple weeks ago — that Romney’s biggest vulnerability is his lack of vulnerability. She wrote:
What’s wrong with this guy? Nada. Which is precisely the problem. Romney could use a limp.
To humanize him, helpful critics have suggested that he smile less during debates and try to show a little anger. Thanks to a new coach, he has become more aggressive and has begun punching back. Even so, audiences know instinctively that this is not the real Mitt. He’s just not that mad, and why should he be?
He has earned enough money never to have to work again. His investments produce multiples of millions in barely taxable income. When he looks in the mirror, he gets to rest his eyes on a relentlessly handsome face.
For most everyday Americans, life is less tidy. Half have been or will be divorced. Someone in the family is an alcoholic or a drug user. Most can barely pay their bills, and there’s not much to look forward to. When most Americans of Romney’s vintage look in the mirror, they see an overweight person they don’t recognize.
Parker concludes that it’s not that Romney can’t connect with the people; it’s that the people can’t connect with him.
This idea that Romney’s perfection is his biggest flaw might help to explain why even many members of “the Establishment” have a problem with the guy. None of us like to be reminded of all that we are not, and — as most of us are not fantastically rich, incredibly good-looking and conspicuously vice-free — Romney serves as just such a reminder to most of us.
Presumably, most conservatives would say they oppose a Romney nomination because he provided the blueprint for Obamacare, because he supported TARP, because he went along with taxpayer funding for abortion (his supporters would say he had no choice), etc., etc., etc.
But it’s worth examining how our subconscious jealousy of Mitt Romney might play a part in our disdain for him. What really is so much worse about him than about any of the other GOP candidates? Is it just that he’s “too perfect”?