This Happened in Real Life

If I had to caricature a fundraising event for the country’s wealthiest people, it would look like this:

The line of Range Rovers, BMWs, Porsche roadsters and one gleaming cherry red Ferrari began queuing outside of Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman’s estate off Montauk Highway long before Romney arrived, as campaign aides and staffers in white polo shirts emblazoned with the logo of Perelman’s property—the Creeks—checked off names under tight security. […]

A New York City donor a few cars back, who also would not give her name, said Romney needed to do a better job connecting. “I don’t think the common person is getting it,” she said from the passenger seat of a Range Rover stamped with East Hampton beach permits. "Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them.

“We’ve got the message,” she added. “But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies—everybody who’s got the right to vote—they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income—one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.”

In general, it’s not good for politicians to celebrate wealth. That’s especially true when the candidate is exceptionally wealthy, and even more true when he’s trying to appeal to people who—four years prior—helped crash the economy. If Romney loses in November, I imagine people will point back to this as an example of the things that held him back with voters: insularity and entitlement.

I will say that the donor’s comment—“Nobody understands why Obama is hurting them”—sounds oddly similar to liberal complaints about working-class whites who “vote against their interests.” It’s an über-rich counterpoint to “What’s the Matter with Kansas.”