There is something slightly odd about the outrage over New Gingrich's Tiffany's bill. That a sometimes-grouchy resident of one of America's least-fashionable cities would develop such a taste for sparkly things that it cost him $250,000 is amusing, sure. But what's uncomfortable about the Tiffany's backlash are the creepy class connotations. It's not just liberals, but Republicans--who typically protest "class warfare" and "envy economics"--who are giving Newt grief. Gingrich grew up in a military family without a lot of money, but he makes a lot of money now, and, as he points out, he's paid off his bill. And the frenzy comes as rival 2012 contender Jon Huntsman, a billionaire, is repeatedly praised as the "cool" candidate as he chills in a jean jacket, rides motorcycles, listens to the kind of rock bands advertised on torn T-shirts, and just generally does a bunch of stuff poor people like to do.
To be cool is to adopt the style of people who have less money than you, but with a wink. Leather jackets, distressed jeans, wife beaters. (Oh if only Huntsman would wear a wife beater!) Here's a photo of Huntsman in New Hampshire this weekend, being cool:
And one more:
Pretty cool guy! When Politico's Kasie Hunt asked him what he hunted, he "took only a second to reply. 'Oh... large varmints,' Huntsman said with a smile. It was a veiled swipe at Romney, who in 2008 struggled to explain his own relationship with hunting and guns--eventually acknowledging that his hunting was limited to 'varmints.' 'Small' varmints, specifically." Huntsman can hang with the regular folks way better than that slick corporate guy.