Ever wonder what it's like to live next to Mitt Romney? The New York Times published an article today about the Republican nominee's new beachfront home in La Jolla, a wealthy enclave of San Diego. The piece highlighted the Romneys plans to expand the villa from 3,000 square feet to 11,000 square feet, complete with a car elevator. The family's presence in the neighborhood is no quiet matter and has got the neighbors talking.
Little did Mr. Romney know that his efforts to quadruple the size of his house would collide with a bid for the White House, foisting the unpredictable dramas of home renovation and presidential politics onto a community that prides itself on low-key California neighborliness. So now, after overcoming the distrust of social conservatives and evangelical voters to clinch the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney must win over another constituency, one that his campaign team never anticipated, polled or targeted: disaffected neighbors. It will not be easy. There are those who seem pleased by Mr. Romney's presence here, which real estate agents have whispered could raise home values by 10 percent. "Personally, I’m glad it’s people who have a little bit of money and taste living there," said Susan Coll, who lives three houses away. But many of the residents of this exclusive tract in La Jolla say they are rankled by what they see from their decks and patios as the Romneys' blindness to their impact on the neighborhood. And personal politics is fueling their frustration as much as anything else, several days of interviews with about a dozen residents suggest.
Romney's La Jolla neighbors Randy Clark and Tom Maddox will join us tonight at 10pm ET.— By Jessica Ferrer