Romney’s Persecution Complex

by Stuart Shapiro

Let me say first that I would never run for President.  Baring your soul and everything you’ve ever done for all to examine seems so unpleasant that it far outweighs any attraction.  That said, the candidates know what they are in for.  It has become clear in the last few weeks that Romney just doesn’t understand why everyone isn’t bowing down before him.  From the 47% comments to Ann Romney’s accusations about conservatives it is clear that the Romneys see criticisms as evidence of fault by the critic, not themselves.  Amy Davidson summarizes what this says about Romney:

Any gratitude toward the country we’ve all built, Romney seems to be saying, is misplaced. Instead, the feelings Romney regards as proper ones for the rest of us to assume are a cheerful appreciation of the wealthy and an eager resolve to be just like Mitt—and also a little nicer to him. Romney has reduced the great issues of fairness and a just society to the rather boring question of whether people are being fair to him and his friends, and whether they admire his fine qualities. Among other things, this cannot help him electorally: What is less attractive than a manifestly lucky man sulking about how everyone is jealous of him?

While narcissism is common among presidential candidates, Romney appears to have a bigger problem than most.  The nice thing about it is, he probably still doesn’t realize what is wrong with the campaign and is powerless to change it.  Humility is hard to pick up on the fly.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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