Mitt Romney may have a shot at claiming the presidency come November, but he’s certainly not winning any popularity contests in La Jolla.
Mr. Romney’s neighbors are annoyed with just about everything he does these days. From construction to quadruple the size of his beach house to his secret service detail to wanting to outlaw gay marriage, Mr. Romney has become the most hated person on the block, reports The New York Times.
In the gossipy, resentful tradition of neighbors everywhere, Mr. Romney’s have taken to bashing him like a duck takes to water. (It’s not just New Yorkers living in cramped quarters who complain about their neighbors!)
“The only thing he wants small is government and taxes,” resident Mark Quint complained to The Times. “He likes big houses, big families and big religion.”
Truth be told, construction plans to expand the beach house from 3,000 to 11,000 square feet and add the infamous car elevator would not have endeared Mr. Romney to the neighborhood even if he were any old rich guy. And in sunny La Jolla, there is no such thing as summer work rules to blunt the misery of endless construction (perhaps this is the reason why Mr. Romney has not yet installed himself in a Manhattan maisonette? He’d likely have to combine two or three units to get to 11,000 square feet.)
Although Mr. Romney has not yet availed himself our advice, might we suggest that he drop the construction and follow a presidential example par excellence? Why not do as the Kennedy clan did and slowly acquire a compound by snapping up neighboring properties, rather than trying to cram five children and 18 grandchildren into one house?
Unfortunately, there’s not much Mr. Romney can do about the security detail, even if it’s sure to continue riling his neighbors (burdensome security details being the bain of residents everywhere and what likely got the Qatari prime minister rejected by the board of 907 Fifth Avenue).
But Mr. Romney could almost certainly improve neighborly relations by not complaining about local pot smokers or confronting residents indulging in un-Mormon-like substances on the beach. Every presidential candidate wants to be seen as being on the side of law and order, but there’s not much illegal about a little marijuana in California these days. And if there’s one thing that Californians are sensitive about, it’s out-of-state Mormons interfering with their rights.