In Senator Kerry’s case, it was the photo of him wind-surfing in 2004 when he was the Democratic challenger to former president George W. Bush – an image Republicans quickly used to show that Kerry’s wealth allowed him to live an elite life-style … “different from you and me.”
It’s a ticklish political situation for Romney, or at least has the potential to be. He wouldn’t be the richest man ever to run for the White House (that would be Ross Perot back in 1992 and 1996). But if elected, he would be the wealthiest president ever, according to the detailed reporting of Forbes Magazine’s “wealth team.”
Back during the Republican primaries and debates, it took some needling by Newt Gingrich and others to get Romney to release his tax returns for just two years (far fewer than the 23 years he provided Sen. John McCain in 2008 when Romney was being considered as McCain’s running mate). Meanwhile, thanks to the reporting of Forbes and others, the specifics of Romney’s wealth are known in greater detail.