People are buzzing because Hillary Clinton, who likes to portray herself as an average American, is shelling out $400,000 for two weeks in a vacation home in the Hamptons with private grounds, a hedged-in swimming pool and sweeping views of the ocean.
Exactly where do people think a high-profile politician like Hillary should stay? Holiday Inn Express? They do have free breakfast bars attractive to families on a budget, but can you really picture Hillary at the waffle maker? (Find some syrup, Huma!)
Holiday Inn Express does offer free high-speed Internet access in every room, but no private servers. So, no, it’s not going to happen.
We Americans are a funny lot. We want candidates who are smarter than us, but we don’t want them to go around talking about how they’re so much smarter than us. We want candidates who are richer than us, but we don’t want them rubbing our noses in their money. And, apparently, we now want them to vacation like they’re middle class. Fine. I’m handing out hotel assignments right now:
Send Mike Huckabee to a Motel Six. Leave the light on. And a Bible in the drawer. He’s as close to a regular guy as any of them.
Last time I stayed at a Motel Six, which was years ago, “breakfast” was in the lobby — a basket filled with a half dozen stale sweet rolls wrapped in cellophane. Huckabee strikes me as a man who would graciously take one and even say thank you.
Carly Fiorina might be more comfortable at a Hilton Garden Inn. They’re classy, upscale and, if I remember correctly, have bathrobes hanging on the back of the bathroom door. She seems like a white fluffy robe sort of woman. Hilton Garden Inns have all the amenities, but they don’t do the communal breakfast thing. Breakfast is on your own in the restaurant, separate tables, separate tabs, no free mints.
Bernie Sanders might enjoy an elder hostel somewhere, maybe in the dorm room of a small liberal arts college. He’d also be fine with cafeteria food.
Trump doesn’t need a hotel; he already owns a bunch.
Ted Cruz could throw down at the Crockett Hotel, billed as only steps from the Alamo. It’s historic, plain and fairly reasonable. He’d be comfortable there, although I could see him bucking at the $24 self-parking fee. We sure would.
Jeb Bush doesn’t need a hotel; the Bush dynasty has a lockdown on Kennebunkport.
I’m not sure what to do with Ben Carson, Lindsay Graham, Chris Christie and the rest, but the important thing is, if we can guilt all the candidates into booking franchise hotels, it could drive down rental fees for luxury vacation homes. Maybe a few hundred of the rest of us could chip in and rent one.
Dibs on the room with the ocean view.
Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.