Does a Candidate's Personal Wealth Matter?

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


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