Did you know that Fred Thompson once rented a red pickup truck during a campaign so that he would come across as folksy?
Imagine how the media would react if a multimillionaire, East Coast, big-city, thrice-married presidential candidate who was a progressive Democrat said his most recent music purchase was opera, his favorite fitness activity, golf, and added that he doesn't drive -- he navigates.
Or if a progressive Democratic candidate who had launched his political career by marrying into a wealthy and politically connected family, and then promptly ran for Congress, revealed that he has pet turtles named "Cuff" and "Link."
Or if a progressive Democratic candidate who was the son of a governor, who has a net worth of around $200 million, whose own campaign staff was concerned he is seen as not tough enough and that his hair looks too perfect ... imagine if such a candidate said that if he weren't running for office, he'd probably be chief executive of an auto company and that his staff boasted that the difference between him and the president is "intelligence."
The media would have an absolute field day, yammering endlessly about how the candidate is too "soft" and is an elitist, an arrogant know-it-all with a misguided sense of entitlement who is hopelessly out of touch with the rugged regular-folk who live in Michigan and enjoy NASCAR and country music and drive pickups. There would be a real danger of Chris Matthews literally exploding on live television, unable to contain his incredulity that such a clueless candidate could possibly think a Pennsylvania steelworker would care what he has to say. (Then, with the Klieg lights turned off, Matthews would head off to one of the glitzy balls that he frequents, maintaining his place on Washington Life's "Social List" -- or perhaps he'd take a quick trip to relax by the pool of his vacation home nestled among the dunes of Nantucket. Railing against cultural elites on behalf of the Working Man is tiring, after all.)
But when the three leading (for now) Republican presidential candidates reveal their fondness for opera (Giuliani), have their pets named after fashion accessories (McCain), and boast that if they weren't running for president, they'd probably be running an auto company (Romney), it passes without notice.
You know something else that galls me? It's that John Edwards is accused of being a hypocrite because he's a rich person who cares about the poor. Well, excuse me but who are we going to get help poor people? Other poor people? Rich people who are callous about the poor aren't hypocrites, huh?
Go read the article. It's an eye-opener.