So the media is abuzz today that Mitt Romney has plans to tear down his 3,000 square foot beach front home in La Jolla, California and replace it with an 11,000 square foot home. (Note NPR's sarcasm about the matter.) Yes, this doesn't exactly scream "man of the people" and these kinds of splashy displays of wealth turn off voters. However, it's not exactly a secret that Romney is incredibly wealthy now is it?
Further, you have to admire the chutzpah of the media here -- it's not like rich politicians with big houses are a new phenomenon. Let's take a gander at John Kerry's real estate portfolio -- and I'm pretty sure you can see John Edwards' house from space. And what of the decades of romanticizing the "Kennedy compound"?
In any event, Vanity Fair, a magazine dedicated largely to fetishizing opulence, informs us that the "uniquely unlikable" Romney's proposed house is so big that you could fit the entire "Diane [v]on Furstenberg fla[g]ship store in New York’s Meatpacking District" inside of it. Wait until Obama gets back from vacationing in his modest neighborhood in Martha's Vineyard and informs the hoi polloi of that dramatic comparison!
But perhaps the media ought to think twice guffawing over the size of Romney's house so long as Obama's president. An 11,000 square foot house may seem egregious (though not so much when you realize he's got five kids and 16 grandkids he'd probably like to shelter), but there's one salient fact here that should be noted: Romney's paying for the house with his own money.
Unlike a certain resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Romney didn't strike a shady deal with a felon convicted of numerous public corruption charges to substantially defray the cost of his residence.