Romney's Dilemma; High-Priced Fundraising or Image Control?

The Romney campaign struggles with an "out of touch" image after a series of high priced fundraisers, but is it fair?

For someone trying to convey the image of being in touch with the middle class, Mitt Romney is off to a rocky start. The candidate’s campaign faltered last weekend after a series of high-profile (and pricey) GOP fund-raisers highlighted the stark differences between the uber-rich and the rest of us. Not only were the events held in three separate palatial estates in a tony enclave of the Hamptons, but one of the fundraisers (which charged an staggering $75,000 per couple) was held at the home of oil billionaire David Koch, who along with his brother Charles, have widely been criticized for secretly donating millions of dollars to special interest groups.

More damaging perhaps is the chatter that surrounds these fundraisers as news organizations reported on the expensive cars guests drove and the outlandish things guests said. In fact, Al Sharpton staged a scathing reenactment of the Koch fundraiser and Comedy Central posted a game where players could identify if a line was from the Hamptons fundraiser or “The Great Gatsby.” Hint: “We are VIP’s,” is not one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s gems.

Ironically, President Obama has also benefited from pricey fundraisers including a recent $40,000 per person event hosted at the home of George Clooney. The only difference was Clooney’s guest were smart enough to keep their mouths closed until they were out of earshot from reporters.

Whether or not Romney can rehab his image remains to be seen but one thing’s for certain, there are more high-priced fundraisers in both candidates’ futures.

Chime In! Do you think criticizing Romney for the Hamptons’ fundraisers is fair? Chime in below.

Beth Engelman is a single mom living on a shoestring budget. When not writing her “Mommy on a Shoestring,” column for the Sun-Times News Group or contributing to “iVoices on IVillage” on issues that affect real families, she is attending $50,000 fundraisers and looking for VIP parking (just kidding). For more information on Beth visit MommyOnAShoeString.com, tweet her @momonashoe or friend her on Facebook.

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