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Romney bumper stickers
We've spent the last few election cycles having to suffer media blather about the "likability" factor, and which candidate we would rather have a beer with. Because, you know, nothing is more important when running the country than boozing it up with your constituents.

Yes, it's silly and ridiculous and obnoxious and kind of depressing. But it is what it is. And really, looking at the GOP field, is there anyone you'd want to have a beer with? Rick Santorum? If you're a masochist. Newt Gingrich? I'd rather have a root canal. Ron Paul? That clown might be entertaining for a few sips, but really, I don't need to hear him rant about the gold standard anymore.

And then there's Mitt Romney, who fails the beer test on religious grounds. That might be fine, if he made it up on other grounds, but has there been a less likable presidential candidate in the last couple of decades? Maybe Phil Gramm was less likable. Maybe. And saying Romney is unlikable isn't a partisan endeavor.

Rush Limbaugh complains that he "comes across as the prototypical rich Republican." Jonah Goldberg says Romney is "a caricature of a conventionally stiff country club Republican." Another National Review writer wrote, "Perhaps it is these moments, and the various flip-flops, that create the impression of inauthenticity, while the authentic, unguarded Romney is simply disliked."

The guy has money stashed away in the Cayman Islands, in Swiss bank accounts, and makes $10,000 bets. He's different than everybody else, and everybody else knows it.

I mean, look at his bumper stickers above. By blurring out the "R," how can you read that logo without seeing the word "Money"? Indeed, that's what makes this photoshop so funny:

Romney spells money
What's bizarre about this whole dynamic is that Romney entered the race thinking his wealth was going to be an advantage. Not only does he have lots of millionaire friends to write big Super PAC checks for him, but Republicans are supposed to elevate the super-rich to deity status.

Instead, it's been a liability. In an era of Occupy Wall Street, excess wealth and greed are frowned upon. Even conservatives are feeling that populist itch, angry about bailouts that have flooded the Wall Street super-rich with taxpayer dollars, and have gotten nothing in return for it. When Romney says he doesn't care about the poor—true of every single Republican—he doesn't get high-fived, but slammed for it ... by conservatives.

That's not to say that Santorum is any better on these issues. After all, he did just tell a mother that drug company profits are more important to him than the lives of children. But he doesn't carry with him the stench of entitlement and inherited success.

It doesn't matter that Romney won't have a beer with anyone, because no one would like to have a beer with him outside of the Wall Street wealth-management scene. He's still likely to get the GOP nomination, but at this rate, there won't be anyone left to celebrate it when he does.

Romney favorabilities poll aggregate fav 28.8 unfav 46.6

Originally posted to kos on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 10:32 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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