Mitt Romney and WaWa: “Amazing”

Mitt Romney’s reaction to WaWa is, in his own words, “Amazing!” The part about WaWa is near the beginning of this three-minute video, and especially at the end. You have to endure a fascinating anecdote about a dentist and government bureaucracy in between, but it’s  worth it.

Mitt Romney appears to be a very knowledgeable CEO in the high-finance business, owner of many mansions and cars, a man who loves dogs and so on.  

But it’s breathtaking how out of touch he is with the daily lives of regular folks. For ordinary people in my part of this great country, WaWa is part of everyday life. You know: Work, commute, kids, sleep, WaWa, Walmart, McDonalds, work, public school, email, work, maybe a little down time in front of the TV before you fall asleep. Yesterday, today, tomorrow, the next day. Repeat. Did I mention work? Did I mention WaWa? That’s life.

(For those in regions not served by WaWa, it’s a gas station and convenience store, similar to 7-Eleven and Royal Farms.)

Mr. Romney’s rant about the dentist and bureaucracy was amusing, but I’m afraid he’s as out of touch with how government works as he is about ordering a sub.

Government has computers too. Computers that do things even more amazing than ordering lunch. They’re everywhere. The difference is that government data and transactions are a little more complex than ordering a sandwich. In many cases, government work also involves matters of public safety, national security, education, and confidentiality.

I worked four years, not too far back, at the Motor Vehicle Administration in my state. The MVA comes in for a lot of criticism, most of it valid. But the MVA has a sophisticated and fast computer system that effectively handles enormous data bases, keeps information confidential, and processes far more complex transactions that ordering a sub. Mr. Romney would be amazed.

It is entirely possible that Mr. Romney is as out of touch with the workings of regular government agencies as he is with ordering a sub at WaWa. He’s a skilled and highly competent financier, but I doubt he understands much about real government, real business, and real work.

Why would anyone who lives in my part of America want someone who doesn’t have a clue about how we live to be president?

I understand that a lot of people do want Romney to be president. I concede it’s entirely possible that the Romney voters have a more sophisticated understanding of life than I do.

But it’s not my life.

— John Hayden

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