Mitt Romney’s Totally Non-Elite, Regular Guy Visit to Montana

Willard Romney is just like the rest of us. Who among us doesn’t need an elevator for our6575713629_56f9c09778_z cars, possess a few offshore bank accounts for our small savings, or have a record of profiting from outsourcing productive American companies?

And I think this regular guy’s sense for how the average person lives was very well captured by the Ravalli Republic’s David Erickson tonight, despite the Romney campaign barring him from the event:

  • Romney’s host, brokerage house founder Charles Schwab, has a home at the gated community outside Hamilton
  • Before and during the fundraiser, protesters lined the roadway leading to the main gates of the historic Bitterroot Valley mansion…
  • Cost to attend the event was $2,500 per person, or $5,000 per person to get a photo taken with Romney. Those who dined privately with the former Massachusetts governor paid $25,000 per person.
  • The tarmac at the Ravalli County airport was full of private jets and helicopters on Wednesday afternoon that flew in for the event.

Willard Romney. Totally not an elitist working for the 1%.

Update. Want a very clear sense of just how out of touch with reality Montana Republicans are? Look no further than Steve Daines, who describes Romney’s private, 200 person event in a gated community in this fascinating way:

Steve Daines, who is the Republican candidate for Montana’s U.S. House seat, said, “This is the largest event ever in the history of Montana politics.

Really? Not President Kennedy appearing at the old Marlow Theatre in Helena? Not, say, Democratic candidates Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton packing the Butte Civic Center four years ago with thousands of people?

I guess not. Those events were only open to the unwashed masses. Clearly an event for Mr. Daines’ kind of people, no matter how small, is more significant.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • This is really below you. How many of these same kinds of fundraisers has Obama had? And are you buying into the outsourcing story that even the WaPo has called into question?

    I think this has to be the most superficial thing you’ve ever written.

    • I think the post is really motivated by two things. One is my sense of frustration about this Republican/Romney narrative that somehow Mr. Obama is an out of touch elitist, while Mr. Romney understands “ordinary Americans.” It’s just not true.

      The second is the almost total lack of perspective by Montana Republicans about this event. Look at the Steve Daines quote. The most important political event in Montana history? A private gathering of people, many of whom aren’t even Montanans?

      Come on.

      • Oh, I get it. The hyperbole of the GOP is less than the hyperbole of Dems. I guess what you see depends on where you sit. But as soon as you start calling out own partisans for raw political hyperbole your stock will gain with me – a guy who sees both sides as equally disingenuous as demonstrated by your “outsourcing” comment.

        So, one side is “out of touch” and the other side spins falsehoods (but really, both are/do both.) Yeah, pick a side, they both suck.

        • And Dog knows, Dave, it’s all about the stock gains we have with you. 😉

          No, Dave. Boiling things down to ‘both sides are the same’ is really beneath *you*. You have decided that, despite your being squicked out by Rmoney, that it is important for you to keep Obama from getting re-elected. That’s a pretty clear indication that you’ve made a choice that one is not the same as the other. One is worse, to you.

          Yet here you task Pogie with showing you that he thinks both sides are ‘bad’. That’s self-serving, and really kind of silly. He has no reason to do so, because to him, Obama may not the bad you claim and have faith in. If one needs to agree with you to ‘gain stock’ in your universe, then it would be very appropriate to ask exactly what that stock would be worth? That’s a clear answer if ever there was one: not much at all.

          • I neither said that “both sides are the same” on fundamental issues. I said that both sides are the same on the use of vapid political shit.

            You’re confusing the subject.

            I stand by my words and I think you’re equally blind.

            • Dave, to claim “what you see depends on where you sit” is exactly a false claim of equivalence. Here you are deciding what are “fundamental issues”, and rather blindly expect others to agree with what those are. They may not, and it certainly doesn’t depend on ‘where they sit’.

              I don’t think I’m confusing the “subject” at all. I think you are confusing what is actually subjective and what isn’t.

                • Hyperbole. Now that depends on where you sit, doesn’t it?

                  As Pogie clarified, fundraisers are exactly an issue, if one seeks to make themselves ‘likable’. Wanting to have a BBQ beer with the dry-drunk GW got him elected to a second term. In that term, he tried to kill Social Security, oversaw the most massive increase of deficit in the country’s history, watched blindly as the economy fell into the sewer and here you are saying that it’s not an issue if we elect one blowhard over another, as long as it’s the blowhard you like and not that other guy. Yeah, it’s exactly an issue, Dave.

                  Yeah, it’s all about hyperbole, to you. But the hyperbole supporting one guy has positively impacted a whole bunch of lives, and the hyperbole from the other guy is obviously a bunch of hot air. They both hold big money fundraisers, so they’re both the same, right? It is all hyperbole and I’m just being ‘banal’ for pointing out that your stance is ridiculous based on what either man has accomplished. I don’t pass the Budge muster. Sucks to be me.

                  As for “banality”

  • Mitt Romney IS 21st century America; the perfect expression of bottom-line, ends justify the means wealth extraction, utilizing loopholes to protect his money from all the lazy black people who want to take it from him.

    that said, as more comes out about the Trans Pacific Partnership, despite the attempt at populist re-branding, Obama is also an enabling corporate tool trying to pander his way into another 4 years. say goodbye to national sovereignty, and hello to corporate control, folks, if this NAFTA on steroids goes through.

    and who gave us NAFTA? oh, that’s right, Bill Clinton.

    • I’m going to channel a response to this from Dave Budge: “In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the… Anyone? Anyone?… the Great Depression, passed the… Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered?… raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.”

      • Hard to know what your point is. For the record, however, I don’t think we’re anywhere near the apex of the Laffer Curve and marginal increases in taxes (not necessarily increases in marginal tax rates) will raise revenue. That said, there are compelling arguments to lower marginal rates but, by eliminating deductions, average tax rates can go up.

        The GOP constantly spews what I consider nonsense about lowering taxes and increasing revenues. This is simply rhetorical nonsense since there is really no way of knowing our exact place on the revenue sensitivity curve. Likewise, Dems engage in rhetorical nonsense by not differentiating marginal v effective tax rates.

        We need more adults in the room.

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