Democrats, in full class warfare mode, have taken to calling Gov. Mitt Romney “Willard,” apparently in the belief that his given first name is elitist.
Al Sharpton, for example, referred to Romney as “Willard” on MSNBC on Dec. 14, in a segment attacking him for his Wall Street connections.
Sharpton also called Romney “Mr. Monopoly Man,” to emphasize the point.
Earlier this week, Republican Presidential candidate Willard Mitt Romney delivered a speech framing the 2012 presidential election as a choice between an “entitlement society” and an “opportunity society.” It really takes chutzpa for a guy who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth to rail against an “entitlement society.” Here is a guy who got his start in life the old-fashioned way–he inherited it.
Last month, Democrat Brent Budowsky even claimed in The Hill that “Willard M. Romney, better known as Mitt” had changed his first name because “Mitt” had “presumably [been] tested by polling and focus groups in which Mitt performed better than Willard.”
Left-leaning blogs have piled on. BoingBoing claimed, for instance, that Romney had “lied” about his name when introducing himself at a GOP debate. (Aside from the fact that Romney has gone by the name “Mitt” for years, it was clear, in context, that he was joking anyway.)
Willard is not a common name (though I did have a college roommate named Willard). It was apparently much more popular a century ago.
Regardless, there are a few well-known Willards today, the most famous of which is Will Smith–real name, Willard Christopher Smith, Jr.
Aside from encouraging rappers to become more responsible role models, it’s hard to think of the Obama-loving Fresh Prince as elitist or unhip.
The left and the mainstream media fly into a fury whenever anyone uses the President’s middle name, Hussein. Talking Points Memo took Gov. Sarah Palin to task for referring to “Barack Hussein Obama” on Fox News last year, for example.
Obama himself has used his middle name to impute prejudice to critics–such as when he claimed that Israelis were suspicious of him because of “the fact that my middle name is Hussein.”
If referring to Obama’s middle name is somehow off limits, even when no offense is intended, why is it acceptable to abuse Mitt Romney’s given first name?
It’s true that a few conservatives who prefer an alternative to Romney have also taken to using “Willard”–or, as former Big Journalism editor Michael Walsh puts it, “Brave Sir Willard.” However, conservatives typically haven’t attempted to assert the left’s hypocritical “Hussein” double standard.
At the very least, Democrats and their media mouthpieces owe “elitist” Will Smith an apology.