Last week, Mitt Romney got in trouble for talking about riding horses. This week, Barack Obama is in trouble because he used to eat dog meat. So begins the fight to convince voters which presidential candidate is the most compassionate and in-touch with the common man.
The infamously short-lived mole at Fox News, who was blogging for the low-I.Q. gossip site Gawker, caught Romney chatting off-camera with host Sean Hannity about the horses he owns with his wife.
She has Austrian Warmbloods, which are -- yeah, it's a dressage horse, it's a kind of horse for the sport that she's in. Me, I have a Missouri Fox Trotter. So mine is like a quarter horse, but just a much better gait. It moves very fast, and doesn't tire, and it's easy to ride, meaning it's not boom-boom-boom, it's just smooth, very smooth.
(Insert haughty and maniacal, caviar-spewing laughter here.)
The liberal media loved it. ABC News called it evidence that Jolly Ole Mitt is a rich out-of-toucher. Damn the rich and their smooth, very smooth horses.
A couple days later, Democratic National Committee adviser Hillary Rosen jumped on the theme. She told CNN that Ann Romney, mother of five, has never worked a day in her life. Apparently Ann was too busy doing dressage-- whatever that is -- with her Austrian Warmbloods. No time to worry about her five helpless boys.
P.J. O'Rourke once wrote a book entitled Eat the Rich. That's the general sentiment Democrats are hoping to encourage among the huddled, bedraggled, non-horse-owning masses this election season.
Here's a Democratic eat the rich joke no one will ever tell: Q: What could be worse than having a piece of Mitt Romney's dimpled chin stuck between your teeth? A: Mitt Romney in the White House! Ha Ha!
Of course, we know that the Obamas aren't rich. No, not anymore. The president's income dropped by nearly a million dollars last year, compared with the year before. The first couple earned a paltry $790,000 in 2011, instead of the $1.7 million they brought in in 2010.
As Jay Leno put it: Even Obama is doing worse under President Obama.
But considering how the Obama campaign wants to use Romney's wealth against him, it's actually a good thing for Obama that he made less last year. Unfortunately, just when Obama started looking like a man of the people, compared to the big, bad, diamond-studded saddle-riding Romney, someone had to go and point out that Obama has a history of eating dogs.
That's right, in a passage from his memoir, Dreams of My Father, Obama mentions all the unusual food he ate while growing up in Indonesia.
With Lolo, Obama writes, I learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy).
If there's anything that says, I'm out of touch with everyday Americans, it's dousing the dear old family dog with a savory marinade, and giving it a couple hours to slow spin over the backyard barbeque. This is the kind of biographical anecdote that's bound to keep David Axelrod up nights in the brand new $1.7 million condo he just bought in D.C.
After all, how could a man of the people eat man's best friend?
When Obama quietly signed a law last November making it legal to eat horses in America, left-wing animal rights advocates were alarmed. Imagine if you were a tree-hugging horse lover with bitter class envy: Would you vote for the rich guy who rides horses, or the rich guy who recently put them back on the national menu?
The real message here is that Obama is just as much of an elitist as Romney. Obama's dog-eating globe-jaunting biography highlights the fact that he, just like Romney, has lived nothing like a common man's life.
Democrats are counting on using Romney's wealth to beat him over the head for the next six months. But in this Harvard grad vs. Harvard grad, millionaire vs. millionaire election battle, class warfare won't get the Democrats very far.
Americans need jobs and economic solutions, not empty rhetoric about how out of touch the other guy is. The Democrats narrative that they are more compassionate and empathetic is worn out.
Dems love to tell the story of how Romney strapped his dog's kennel to the roof of a station wagon on a family vacation years ago. It's supposed to be evidence that the former financier is ruthless and heartless. And maybe that was a little cold. But at least Romney didn't bring the dog along -- Obama style -- in an ice cooler.
If Dems want to play the who's-more-compassionate game this election year, there's more than one way to skin that cat.