I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have you getting baked on my beach:
Four years ago, when he was just a well-heeled civilian in search of a quiet beach house, Mr. Romney paid $12 million for a three-bedroom Spanish-style villa with unobstructed views of the Pacific and a rich history: Maureen O’Connor, the former mayor of San Diego, once lived there, and Richard Gere had used it as a vacation rental.
Little did Mr. Romney know that his efforts to quadruple the size of his house would collide with a bid for the White House, foisting the unpredictable dramas of home renovation and presidential politics onto a community that prides itself on low-key California neighborliness.
So now, after overcoming the distrust of social conservatives and evangelical voters to clinch the Republican nomination, Mr. Romney must win over another constituency, one that his campaign team never anticipated, polled or targeted: disaffected neighbors.
For now, though, the Romneys are making regular use of their La Jolla house. Despite a busy campaign schedule, they have stayed there for the past two weekends. Mr. Romney has been spotted pruning the trees by his pool and touching up the paint on a fence.
The Romneys rarely entertain neighbors, but they have tried to weave themselves into the fabric of local life. Mr. Romney and his wife take regular walks around La Jolla, exchanging pleasantries with fellow strollers and occasionally enforcing the law. A young man in town recalled that Mr. Romney confronted him as he smoked marijuana and drank on the beach last summer, demanding that he stop.
The issue appears to be a recurring nuisance for the Romneys. Mr. Quint, who lives on the waterfront near Mr. Romney, said that a police officer had asked him, on a weekend when the candidate was in town, to report any pot smoking on the beach. The officer explained to him that “your neighbors have complained,” Mr. Quint recalled. “He was pretty clear that it was the Romneys.”
Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for the Romneys, we don’t have private beaches in San Diego outside of beaches that adjoin military bases. Access to their beach, just north of Bird Rock, isn’t easy, but it’s hardly inaccessible. And although their neighborhood is calmer area party-wise than mine is, this is going to be an ongoing affront to the Romney’s delicate sensibilities, president or no president.
Interesting for us is that the people who sold the Romneys their house is the family of one of the L&T Casey’s buds from school.
Small world, man…