The New York Times‘ Steven Greenhouse identifies a fundamental truth about Mitt Romney: though he would likely be tougher than Rick Santorum for President Obama to defeat, many of the people who would be tasked with defeating him would kind of enjoy the task. Greenhouse lines up a series of union leaders and staffers talking about their eagerness to campaign against Romney. Reasons include wanting to use him to open a discussion of locust capitalism:
“Do we welcome doing battle with him over his past as a businessman? You bet,” said Tim Waters, political director of the United Steelworkers. “We’re already talking to folks about what happened in his years at Bain — how they closed all these factories and people’s lives were destroyed by this kind of vulture capitalism.”
Romney’s constant rich-guy gaffes also offer unions an opportunity to establish, even with working-class people struggling in this economy, that he emphatically does not feel their pain:
“Right off the bat we see that Romney has problems relating to workers because he’s part of the 1 percent,” Mr. Trumka said. “Every time he opens his mouth it comes out that he’s about the upper class. He doesn’t understand workers because he’s never around us.”
The thing is, as much as union leaders have a special relationship to Romney’s .01 percent weaknesses, and see in his candidacy a chance to reinforce a critique of the kind of Wall Street-driven economy he represents, the view that Romney is an entertaining opponent isn’t limited to unions. For instance, former Democratic National Committee staffer Matt Ortega, most recently the creator of Etch a Sketch Mitt Romney, explained the motivation for his earlier Multiple Choice Mitt site as being that “When I was at the DNC, Romney was the one guy I really wanted to run against, because he was just so much fun. I honestly believe he’s a giant phoney, and there’s literally no getting around how devoid of principles this guy is.”
So while Democratic-affiliated political professionals would have loved a Republican nominee like Rick Santorum, with poor fundraising and campaign organization and the Google problem and the positions it represents, there’s definitely some personal glee in facing off against Mitt “car elevator” Romney. For unions that have watched their members’ lives torn apart by the brand of business Romney made hundreds of millions practicing, that’s especially true.