Does a Candidate's Personal Wealth Matter?

Politics & Views 8

Hundred Dollar BilsTelevision commentators were abuzz this morning over Mitt Romney's recent campaign comments about the kind of cars he and his wife drive.

Mitt revealed that he drives a Mustang and a truck. His wife Ann, he said, drives "a couple of Cadillacs."

To many Americans, driving "a couple" of Cadillacs seems extravagant. On the other hand, Mitt Romney earned his wealth. Doesn't his family have the right to enjoy it the way they see fit?

It's an important question because, ultimately, it could help decide votes. That's why we decided to ask our political bloggers the following question this week:

Does a candidate's personal wealth matter to you when casting your vote?

Mitt Romney is by far the wealthiest of the presidential candidates. His net worth is estimated to be between $190-$250 million. To some, his wealth makes him seem like a good businessman who makes sound investments and that, they say, is exactly the kind of president this country needs. To others, his wealth makes him seem out of touch with real Americans. They argue that a man with this kind of money simply can't relate to the lives of the people he wants to lead.

The other candidates are worth considerably less money, but no one is hurting financially.

Ron Paul is worth between $2.25 million and $5 million.

Newt Gingrich's net worth is estimated at around $6.7 million.

Rick Santorum is worth somewhere between $880,000 and $1.7 million.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama comes in at second richest, with an estimated net worth of $10.5 million. Since much is made of Newt Gingrich's wealth and his running tab at the famed jeweler Tiffany, it's a little surprising that Barack Obama is even wealthier than Gingrich.

Here's what our political bloggers have to say:

Punishing Success: Presidential Candidates' Wealth & Predictable Class Warfare Rhetoric

Being Elite Can Cost You An Election

How a Presidential Candidate Got Rich (Not How Much Money He Has) Is the Important Thing

RIch Man, Common Man: The Matter of Money In Elections


Image via Refracted Moments/Flickr

2012 election


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Lovin... LovingKentucky

Their personal wealth does not weigh heavily on my decision, except where their wealth clouds their judgement on how the non-wealthy live.

starl... starlight1968

I agree, the wealth they have does not bother me.  It's how they choose to live their lives and have no clue how the rest of the American public suffers that bothers me.  They shouldn't be so non-chalant about things the others struggle to have, they should respect what they have/don't flaunt etc.

witch... witchkiss

If a person is wealthy, how they treat the poor makes a difference in how I view them.

nonmember avatar cookie

It's not the fact that they are wealthy that matters, it's how they made their money in my opinion. If they did things that were morally corrupt to become wealthy, then I have a problem.

KenneMaw KenneMaw

Wealth doesn't bother me as much as personal experience.   I think our presidents should have more experience that being a frigging lawyer.  They should have business and preferably military experience as well.  You can have a whole staff of lawyers to explains bills to you, however, unless you have worked in a business setting or been in battle, no amount of advisors can make you understand 'real life'.   

i.payton i.payton

It's not so much whether they are wealthy or not, it's how well they connect to the people. If they're saying stupid things like, "I have friends that own NASCAR teams" or talking about their numerous cars/houses, that is crazy insensitive.


rturn... rturner79

I'd say congratulations on your success!  I like a president to have drive and be a success in his life.  He also shouldn't have to hide it.  He should be proud.  Don't we all strive to be successful and make more money?  He shouldn't be ashamed as some seem to think.  Nor does having money mean he is completely out of touch.  

jwalk... jwalkerTX

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Why begrudge someone because they have achieved this?  If you haven't gotten to this point...You still have work to do.

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