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Mitt slums it with fish and chips

LowDown

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At last, we have a clear sign that Mitt Romney really is "a man of the people!"

The proof of his populist pudding came on his recent political foray to Jolly Old England. While in London, the multimillionaire financier and presidential hopeful showed his common touch by chowing down with about 250 local folks on a humble meal of fish and chips, served in paper cones.

Wow — down home!

Well, not exactly. "Folks" mischaracterizes Mitt's crowd, since the ticket price for the chow-down was $25,000 to $75,000 per head.

For fish and chips!

As one somewhat surprised attendee noted, "It was the most expensive halibut in town." And the donors were not truly locals, but American financiers who are top executives working in the London financial district for the biggest Wall Street and British banks, hedge funds, and such private equity outfits as Romney's own money machine, Bain Capital.

They were drawn to Mitt's political flame because, one, he hails from their self-centered and self-serving world and, two, he fully embraces their sad complaint that public criticism and the push for more regulation of elite bankers has gone too far.

With tongue-clucking empathy, Romney assured these privileged ones that America's Dodd-Frank banking reforms were "unnecessary" and "overly burdensome" — and he would repeal them.

However, the timing of his denunciation of U.S. policy was off, for — like Wall Street — such British banks as Barclay's and HSBC are currently ensnared in public scandals involving massive consumer ripoffs and gross ethical violations.

Still, in this ornate ballroom, with millionaires munching the food of the commoners, any outrage from actual commoners was, as one muncher said dismissively, just "background noise."

Yeah, that's Mitt's crowd all right. Power to the 1 percent!

Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow, on sale now from Wiley Publishing. For more information, visit jimhightower.com.

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