News Corp head Rupert Murdoch still doesn't like Mitt Romney, and it's as much a style thing as a substance thing, Michael Wolff writes in The New Republic. Murdoch is a conservative, but the way in which he's conservative has changed over time, Wolff notes, much like Romney. So Romney's great sins are not that he's a little phony, but that he looks like a phony. Here are Murdoch's main complaints, per Wolff:
- Romney's smile. Murdoch doesn't like it.
- Romney's hair. Murdoch mumbles about it.
- Romney's in private equity. Murdoch's daughter Prudence had a brief and unhappy marriage to a private equity guy. He sees financiers as middlemen.
- Romney is too handsome. "Romney is 'unprincipled'—one of Murdoch’s bad words—by which he usually means too camera-ready, too media-attuned, and too market-focused," Wolff writes.
- Romney's not like his dad. Murdoch "marveled at the contrast between the stolid father—George Romney, running a come-from-behind automobile company—and what he reckoned to be the hopelessly superficial son in the private-equity business."
- Romney is too well-dressed. "Murdoch has an almost aesthetic appreciation of personal strength and inner rectitude (if you wear a sharp suit, you don’t have it)" Wolff writes. Murdoch liked former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who had "the staunch, Scottish, no-frills, bad-suit mien with which Murdoch is comfortable."
- Romney is not a fighter. Murdoch "likes a bold, in-your-face, disruptive statement—practically the antithesis in tone and style to Romney’s technical, consultant-oriented overtures to the right-wing base."
- Romney is not a winner. "But 'fighter' for Murdoch also means winner," Wolff says. Murdoch believes he knows how to pick a winner.
Read Wolff's entire piece in The New Republic.