For about a year now, Mitt Romney seems to have been preoccupied with the “faculty lounge” of a specific Ivy League school. The line is getting tiresome, but the former governor just can’t seem to let go of it.
“My career was spent in the economy. I didn’t learn about the economy just reading about it or hearing about it at the faculty lounge at Harvard or debating it in Congress.”
Some of the troubles with this are obvious. Romney didn’t really spend his entire career in the economy; he spent most of the last two decades either seeking government posts (political campaigns) or seeking government money (running the Olympics). He wasn’t “debating it in Congress,” but that’s only because his congressional campaign failed when voters backed someone else.
But it’s the incessant talk about Harvard’s faculty lounge that seems so wildly out of place. I understand the context – Romney understands anti-intellectualism goes a long way with Republican voters – but this is a misguided way to connect.
First, Romney has two post-graduate degrees from Harvard, and he has three sons with post-graduate degrees from Harvard.
Second, Romney, as recently as this afternoon, pointed to members of the Harvard faculty as a major influence on his political views.
Third, many of Romney’s top policy aides are either Harvard alums, Harvard professors, or both. (If he’s going to talk about how awful it is to get advice from the “Harvard faculty lounge,” as he has many times in reference to President Obama, it’d help if Romney weren’t getting advice from the Harvard faculty lounge.)
And fourth, Romney is enjoying the generous financial support of members of the Harvard faculty lounge.
There has to be an easier way for the former Massachusetts grad and Harvard alum to pretend to be a normal person.