For Mitt Romney, Tuesday night’s expected triumph in the New Hampshire primary will offer a tempting opportunity to gloat. Such unattractive conduct would no longer be surprising from the Republican front-runner, who is enduring the gradual disclosure of his personality.
The hot Romney video of the moment displays him telling the Nashua, N.H. Chamber of Commerce: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me,” and went viral not because of its specific context, which wasn’t particularly damning, but because the public perceives the remark as a distillation of elite heartlessness. Every decent person who has had to fire someone knows that doing so — under almost any circumstances — is unpleasant, difficult and frequently wrenching. To boast that you “like to fire people” after observing years of economic pain among the jobless suggests a deep defect that, to most Americans, may disqualify Romney from the presidency.