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The Bain of his existence
July 13, 2012 1:16 PM   Subscribe

Mitt Romney and Bain Capital. The Obama campaign has been running ads attacking him for outsourcing while at Bain. Mr. Romney claims this unfair, he says "he left the firm in February 1999, but a review of public records shows that his authority lingered for three more years as Bain repeatedly listed him on government filings as the man in charge".

"Earlier this month, FactCheck.org stated that if Mitt Romney had not left Bain Capital in 1999, he "would be guilty of a federal felony by certifying on federal financial disclosure forms that he left active management of Bain Capital in February 1999." Factcheck stands by it's assertion that Mr. Obama's ads are misleading as Romney may have just been "'sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president' and .. have no responsibilities whatsoever and to have merely been a passive investor" who also collected $100,000 in 2001 and 2002 as an executive.

"Back in 2002 when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney and his aides had no problem admitting he retained his position as CEO of Bain Capital after 1999. Press articles from the time describe how Mr. Romney was on a 'leave of absence' after 1999 and had not fully cut ties with the private equity firm."

Glenn Kessler defends this seeming contradiction saying that 'there is no standard definition of a "chief executive"... no requirement for anyone to have any responsibilities even if they have that title."

Ben Smith thinks Mr. Romney has walked into a trap.

Some think the Democrats see an opening to swiftboat fair or not.

Politicker summary from politicalwire.
posted by dig_duggler (1590 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite

 
I literally just saw an ad which informed me that "President Obama believes in 'insourcing'," rather than sending jobs overseas. I bet he's also for education and against crime.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:19 PM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Nice work if you can get it. Hundreds of thousands in compensation for not running a company you're still listed as the head of in SEC filings. And these kinds of people have the gall to call middle and working class Americans over-entitled.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:20 PM on July 13, 2012 [42 favorites]


Some think the Democrats see an opening to swiftboat fair or not.

This is a good point because Republicans have never done anything underhanded or unethical in the pursuit of political office.
posted by goethean at 1:22 PM on July 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


The felony angle is new, though, and this one's much better sourced. This issue could potentially lead to criminal charges. I really don't see how Romney can have it both ways: I was CEO, president and owner on paper, but I played no role in the company. It managed to run rudderlessly despite what we've all been told about how the roles CEOs play in these kinds of companies are so vital and important to the operations of their companies that they deserve the outsized compensation packages they get.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:24 PM on July 13, 2012 [43 favorites]


I really don't see how Romney can have it both ways.

Simply put, he's unbelievably wealthy and can afford to hire a platoon of lawyers who will explain exactly how and why he can have it 4-6 different ways.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:25 PM on July 13, 2012 [61 favorites]


It's cool, Romney's used to being in two places at one time.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:25 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why do people vote against their own interests?

"The Great Backlash is a style of conservatism that first came snarling onto the national stage in response to the partying and protests of the late sixties. While earlier forms of conservatism emphasized fiscal sobriety, the backlash mobilizes voters with explosive social issues-summoning public outrage over everything from busing to un-Christian art - which it then marries to pro-business economic policies."

"Like a French Revolution in reverse - one in which the sansculottes pour down the streets demanding more power for the aristocracy - the backlash pushes the spectrum of the acceptable to the right, to the right, farther to the right. It may never bring prayer back to the schools, but it has rescued all manner of rightwing economic nostrums from history's dustbin. Having rolled back the landmark economic reforms of the sixties (the war on poverty) and those of the thirties (labor law, agricultural price supports, banking regulation), its leaders now turn their guns on the accomplishments of the earliest years of progressivism (Woodrow Wilson's estate tax; Theodore Roosevelt's antitrust measures). With a little more effort, the backlash may well repeal the entire twentieth century." -Thomas Frank
posted by four panels at 1:26 PM on July 13, 2012 [59 favorites]


I'm a "passive investor" in a number companies (thank you, 401K) and to my knowledge, not a single one of them has sent me a check for $100K.
posted by tommasz at 1:27 PM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


[There was a deleted thread on this topic - this one avoids some of the framing problems, and we're going to keep it. Carry on. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 1:27 PM on July 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


Mitt Romney exists in a permanent quantum state. If he can argue that the ACA mandate both is and isn't a tax, he can be both CEO and not-CEO simultaneously.
posted by Bromius at 1:28 PM on July 13, 2012 [21 favorites]


This is a great round-up. Thanks for putting this together, dig_duggler.
posted by Phire at 1:29 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Perfectly explicable. No contradiction or felony:

If "corporations are people my friends," then this is like the passing of a tapeworm or other intestinal parasite, in which the organism itself vacates the body and yet leaves a viable, latent version of itself behind.
posted by R. Schlock at 1:30 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I really don't see how Romney can have it both ways.

I can. The same way military service is a good thing when it's a Republican's service, and a bad thing when it's a Democrat's.
posted by 2N2222 at 1:31 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to say he was technically in charge on paper but he had nothing to do with Bain’s operations,” Karmel continued. “Was he getting paid? He’s the sole stockholder. Are you telling me he owned the company but had no say in its investments?”

"Mr. Chairman I did not have any leadership activity with that money"
posted by clavdivs at 1:33 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd wager Mittens is at least moderately worried about his considering the media saturation that is coming. a 3 network interview is both a) an attempt to deflect (with a possible VP pick) and it will b) Sure let a lot more people know that Bain is still a concern
posted by edgeways at 1:34 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "stands" link in the OP from Factcheck.org is pretty fatal, IMO, to any notion that this might get traction as a Romney-lied-to-the-SEC-or-the-voters scandal. Which to me was really the potentially interesting dimension of this. From everything I've read, I just don't see much meat on the bones of the substantive allegation that Romney oversaw Bain-led outsourcing post-1999.
posted by eugenen at 1:35 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Some of my best friends are corporations!"
posted by oulipian at 1:35 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]



I can. The same way military service is a good thing when it's a Republican's service, and a bad thing when it's a Democrat's.

Let's cut this rhetoric down please.
charlie rangel is a fine american.
posted by clavdivs at 1:35 PM on July 13, 2012


Romneygate: When did you go and when did you know it?
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:36 PM on July 13, 2012


Man, I hope these sorts of attacks on Romney can be sustained. I love how Obama campaigns - to win.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:36 PM on July 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


He's rich; he'll get away with it.
posted by dobie at 1:37 PM on July 13, 2012


I think that the parallels to swift-boat are strong with this issue; there's a lot of smoke for one side to huff and puff about but no fire yet. I thought the deletion of the post this morning was a good one; can't we check back in a week when we'll know whether this is a thing?

If I thought that it was taking space in the election news cycle from some issue that really matters, I'd be more perturbed, but if it wasn't this it'd be some other bullshit.
posted by Kwine at 1:37 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Someone raised the question of whether Factcheck.org had much history of offering proper retractions when mistaken. Do they do that much, or weasel things around so as not to admit mistakes?

It seems odd to me the way they're really doubling down hard on their initial position over this, like they're defending themselves, like... defending gospel?
It seems like the intellectually sensible response to this would be to move to the position that new evidence is continuing to emerge and be evaluated, without pre-judging that half-looked-at new evidence doesn't change anything, and that we are totally correct and trustworthy about this even though so much is unknown.

This is coming off as factchecker.org getting high on their own supply.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:38 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


The "stands" link in the OP from Factcheck.org is pretty fatal, IMO, to any notion that this might get traction as a Romney-lied-to-the-SEC-or-the-voters scandal.

How do you figure? How do you describe yourself as President, Chairman, and CEO of a company to the SEC, and yet have no responsibility for its decisions?
posted by goethean at 1:38 PM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I just kinda hope that when/if Romney loses that is the end of his never ending presidential aspirations. Go back to $_State and enjoy the car elevator already
posted by edgeways at 1:39 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think that Tony Soprano would be proud of Mitt and his no-show job.
posted by skye.dancer at 1:40 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Nothing a decade's worth of tax returns couldn't put to rest.
posted by hal9k at 1:40 PM on July 13, 2012 [22 favorites]


How do you figure? How do you describe yourself as President, Chairman, and CEO of a company to the SEC, and yet have no responsibility for its decisions?

From the Factcheck piece:

None of the SEC filings show that Romney was anything but a passive, absentee owner during that time, as both Romney and Bain have long said. It should not surprise anyone that Romney retained certain titles while he was working out the final disposition of his ownership, for example. We see nothing to contradict the statement that a Bain spokesman issued in response to the Globe article:

Bain Capital, July 12: Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney’s departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999. Accordingly, Mr. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period.

Jill E. Fisch, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, said Romney would not have committed a felony by listing himself as managing director — even if he now claims he had no role in running the company after February 1999. There is no legal obligation to describe how active one is in the day-to-day management of the company, she said. And just because he held title of managing director doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s responsible for decisions like layoffs or outsourcing.

posted by eugenen at 1:41 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do both Romneys have the vote?
posted by Artw at 1:41 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


$100k seems like a lot, but for that sort of position, it probably wouldn't cover the expense account if the job was actually being done. This is a pretty confusing story so it's hard to tell if that has any real bearing, but it's fairly evident to me that it's a token salary rather than what he got for doing real work. (Begs the question of what is real work in his context, of course, but that's another tunnel to crawl through.)
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:41 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, he's certainly sunk now. There's no way the people who support Romney will stand for this sort of thing.
posted by Legomancer at 1:42 PM on July 13, 2012 [15 favorites]


'there is no standard definition of a "chief executive"... no requirement for anyone to have any responsibilities even if they have that title."

Is there a standard definition of US President? And a requirement for anyone to have responsibilities with that title? If the GOP is any example, it would seem there is not a requirement for a congressman to take any responsibility.
posted by Golden Eternity at 1:45 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


No matter what his responsibilities actually were, this LOOKS bad. Romney was already going to lose, but now he’s going to lose and look like a crook, I think.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:46 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


"The Buck Stops Here" was Truman's slogan. A Democrat. Republicans believe in "the money goes here, responsibility goes anywhere else."
posted by entropicamericana at 1:47 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


It doesn't matter if it's all true or not. It sticks so well, it reads so nicely. Either Mitt Romney is responsible for outsourcing and layoffs as part of Bain Capital or he gets to earn 6 figures while doing literally nothing.

Put this in every ad, and play "Fortunate Son" in the background. 300EV in November.
posted by Jeff Mangum's Penny-farthing at 1:48 PM on July 13, 2012 [36 favorites]


Potentially naive question here, but say his firm did something, or didn't do something required by law, that was illegal or caused some tremendous harm... Would Mitt have been responsible in that case because he was listed as the head honcho on the documents?

I'm no lawyer or legal expert so please give me the benefit of the doubt as to what sort of thing could cause a CEO/Pres/Owner to be the one getting sued/prosecuted and insert that into the above hypothetical situation.

Anyway, if the answer is "Yes, he would be the one getting sued if his company was killing baby seals with flamethrowers and it was company policy to do so while lying to the government about their seal rescue missions" then I don't see how the argument saying he was listed as the responsible party but "really he wasn't there, just trust us" holds any water at all. I mean, isn't that the point of these filings altogether? If not I wouldn't necessarily be surprised given how twisted the whole business sector and legal rigmarole is at that level and in that field happens to be, just all the more cynical.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:48 PM on July 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I don't know, it feels to me like the whole "avoid even the appearance of impropriety" ship has pretty much sailed entirely these days. Since that "pseudo-CEO" position (and its compensation to responsibility ratio) is effectively the modern "American Dream" if there is no criminal wrongdoing found I would expect him to skate on this issue. (I don't think he'll win either, and as an MA resident during his tenure there, I hope I'm right.)
posted by feloniousmonk at 1:49 PM on July 13, 2012


This is such a gift to the Obama campaign. Either Romney profited from actively laying off thousands of American workers, or he profited for not showing up to work while thousands of American workers were laid of, and either he lied to the public about it, or to the SEC, or both. It is not a win for him to say, "Well, I held the job title and cashed the checks but I wasn't really president/chairman/and CEO because I didn't DO anything". Particularly when running for president.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:49 PM on July 13, 2012 [23 favorites]


Rachel Maddow pointed out the other night that Romney was trounced by Kennedy in his bid for the Senate from Massachusetts by the EXACT same Bain attacks that Obama is using. Mittsy's defense was EXACTLY the same is it today: "I am not to blame, because I wasn't involved."

Just 6 years later he won his residency fight for the Massachusetts governorship, by arguing he was SO involved with Bain that he had to be in Massachusetts enough to qualify for residency.

IOW, for almost 20 years now, Romney's description of his Bain involvement depends solely on how he can benefit from it NOW.

Romney is nothing if not an opportunist.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:52 PM on July 13, 2012 [49 favorites]


Anyone can tell you that I don't know anything about anything, but I feel like the whole 'since he was the sole shareholder but left the company to run the IOC it took a while to get all the paperwork fixed, and since he's there on paper and he's a rich fucker we'll keep paying him because hey whynot' makes sense in a shitty way that doesn't actually necessarily mean he lied about this to any party. I agree that it sure looks plenty bad, regardless, and using it as evidence of residency so he could run for governor certainly seems to skew the just-a-misunderstanding angle, but still.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:52 PM on July 13, 2012


I think this dovetailing with the new Batman movie is a masterpiece of unfortunate timing.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:53 PM on July 13, 2012 [20 favorites]


Potentially naive question here, but say his firm did something, or didn't do something required by law, that was illegal or caused some tremendous harm... Would Mitt have been responsible in that case because he was listed as the head honcho on the documents?

In case you haven't noticed lately, it appears that corporations are held accountable for their actions in an inversely proportional relationship to the harm they cause. Unless it's something personal between the owners of the company and someone important at the Fed.
posted by odinsdream at 1:53 PM on July 13, 2012


FWIW, I think as someone mentioned the swift boat angle might turn out to be the most sticking. The fact that major news networks are talking about whether or not a presidential (assumed) nominee committed a federal crime that also couples in with the rich/outsourcing/ not like you narrative makes it especially compelling. Moreso than say, angry black preacher (I hope).

There have also been huge ad buys by the rnc this week in swing states as polling is showing the Bain attacks appear effective.

And as mentioned above Mitt is doing a near full Ginsberg tonight, which means this really is doing damage and they know it. But it's July. But so was the beginning of the swift storyline.
posted by dig_duggler at 1:54 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


odinsdream: Yes yes, but that aside. Jeeze, leave my hypothetical naivety alone, at least in that regard.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:55 PM on July 13, 2012


Romney demands apology over Bain claims

Globe will not issue correction to Romney
posted by homunculus at 1:55 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


None of the SEC filings show that Romney was anything but a passive, absentee owner during that time, as both Romney and Bain have long said.

But that is contradicted by statements he made during his run for Governor that he attended board meetings of Bain-owned companies during his "leave of absence". The SEC filings are not the only relevant documentation here.
posted by schoolgirl report at 1:55 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't see the scandal.

Many companies will pay you handsomely to be associated with them if you're politically connected. Shareholders were getting $100k/year of political influence -- board members get paid in this price range.

It's common for CEO transitions to be a multi-year affair. It's also common for CEOs to do nothing but grin-fuck investors and customers and leave hard stuff to the other execs.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:56 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a standard definition of US President? And a requirement for anyone to have responsibilities with that title?

Remember Iran/Contra? There's no requirement for the President to have any responsibility or involvement with anything at all, as Reagan ably demonstrate for the last few years of his presidency.
posted by The World Famous at 1:56 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


He claims to have had no role in running the company, but his signature is on six different offerings filed during that time. Is he saying that he has no role in running his own right hand?
posted by Fnarf at 1:57 PM on July 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't see the scandal.

Either Mitt is responsible for the thousands of layoffs/mill/plant closings, etc. or he lied about it to become governor.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:58 PM on July 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


"It's common for CEO transitions to be a multi-year affair. It's also common for CEOs to do nothing but grin-fuck investors and customers and leave hard stuff to the other execs."

just because it is common doesn't mean the electorate will think it is okie-dokie.
posted by striatic at 1:58 PM on July 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: I really don't see how Romney can have it both ways.

Simply put, he's unbelievably wealthy and can afford to hire a platoon of lawyers who will explain exactly how and why he can have it 4-6 different ways.
Also, as a viable presidential candidate, the courts would be loathe to pursue any but the most serious charges against him (IMO).

The popular press has no such inhibitions, but the Right Wing will spin any truth away, and their true believers won't waver. If wavering was possible, the many poor and underemployed Republicans would already be considering the possibility of pulling the "D" lever in November.
goethean: Some think the Democrats see an opening to swiftboat fair or not.

This is a good point because Republicans have never done anything underhanded or unethical in the pursuit of political office.
Kind of the point of the comment - "swiftboating" refers to a specfic Republican PR stunt.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:59 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just trying to imagine if Obama had been listed as the Chief Executive Officer of, say, ACORN, but then he tried to insist that he had not actually been involved with ACORN, despite having attended several board meetings and of course dutifully filling out legal proper paperwork listing himself as the CEO.

The rage would be so great that it would make Rush Limbaugh assume his final form.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:01 PM on July 13, 2012 [116 favorites]


said this in the other thread: At this point Mittens' credibility is pretty piss poor, i think it is not unreasonable to assume some degree of incompetence or worse barring him being able to show definitively that no really I did nothing for 3 years and collected 100K for doing it well.

Hell the ads write themselves after that point:

"America is struggling to get back to work:

What does Romney know of work? He got paid 100,000 a year to do nothing, which is what he will do for America."

posted by edgeways at 2:04 PM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


I've noticed the Romney campaign has been using the Rove's "turn your weakness into an attack on the opposition" tactic. [John Kerry's military medals vs. GW Bush's sitting the war out at home getting turned into the Swiftboat mess is a defining masterpiece of the genre.]

So I'm curious what accusations they're going to level against Obama in the next 2-3 weeks that Fox commentators will be able to claim are equivalent to this mess.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:04 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


clavdivs: I can. The same way military service is a good thing when it's a Republican's service, and a bad thing when it's a Democrat's.

Let's cut this rhetoric down please.
charlie rangel is a fine american.
True. Republican military service is still a bad thing to Republicans, when it's the other guy (see GWB versus John McCain in the 2000 Republican primaries, for example).
posted by IAmBroom at 2:05 PM on July 13, 2012


My friends in Salt Lake tell me that among them, Romney was considered a buffoon when he came to run the Olympic bid. You know, there was that scandal and they had to bring in a Mormon bishop for some reason. I did a quick google and found this, which I have to paste in for the sheer juvenile giggle factor.
"Attending the Summer Games in Sydney this year to promote Utah's Games, Romney got a cold shoulder from some Olympic leaders and unending questions about Utah's taint."
If there's one guy who knows all about Utah's taint, it's Romney.
posted by Catblack at 2:06 PM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm ticked that this comes out after he pretty much locked up the nomination. Royally ticked.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:08 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


What does Romney know of work? He got paid 100,000 a year to do nothing, which is what he will do for America.

But the President gets paid four times that. Maybe he'll do four times as much for America!
posted by malocchio at 2:08 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm ticked that this comes out after he pretty much locked up the nomination. Royally ticked.

The Nebraska State Convention is tomorrow, and they could theoretically give Ron Paul the 5th state he would need to be on the ballot.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:10 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I enjoy that Romney's apology demand isn't so much "This isn't true" and is more "Please correct these inconvenient facts."
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:11 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I'm ticked that this comes out after he pretty much locked up the nomination."

Someone on twitter wrote that the fact that none of Romney's primary candidates did any research into this (issues that came up in previous elections!) tells you all you need to know about his opponents.
posted by stratastar at 2:12 PM on July 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


New ad out, looks like they are running with the Bain pretty hard right now.


hey could theoretically give Ron Paul the 5th state he would need to be on the ballot.

i know it won't happen, but it would be pretty funny
posted by edgeways at 2:12 PM on July 13, 2012


I'm tickled that this comes out after he pretty much locked up the nomination. Royally tickled.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:12 PM on July 13, 2012 [44 favorites]


>> I'm ticked that this comes out after he pretty much locked up the nomination.

When Newt's polls were soaring during the primaries, I read an article describing how his success was putting Obama's team in a total tizzy. They'd spent so much time building a playbook against Romney, and they hadn't even considered the possibility of running against Newt. They were basically starting from scratch on him.

At that moment I got really excited to see what was in the Romney playbook. Now we're finding out.
posted by JohnFredra at 2:13 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


The truly amazing thing is that NONE of this came out after he locked up the nomination. It's the same shit that has (deservedly) dogged him for years.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:14 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Geez people, it was only $100,000 a year. It's not like you could live off that much money.
posted by octothorpe at 2:15 PM on July 13, 2012 [19 favorites]


the substantive allegation that Romney oversaw Bain-led outsourcing post-1999

Can one of you folks who believes this please explain why the FactCheck piece seemingly ignores the fact that it's also a crime to make misstatements on SEC filings, and in those filings he identifies himself as acting CEO? (Also explain why FactCheck.org needs to track me with like 100 tracking cookies, as Ghostery reveals).

They seem so eager to clear him of charges of having lied on his financial disclosure filings when he claimed to have left the company that they don't address the contradictory filings identifying him as the Chief Executive Officer of a company he played no active role in. I keep seeing stuff like, "Well, you have to understand, SEC filings are really complicated." But why should that matter legally? It's not like anyone seriously thinks he didn't mean to indicate in those filings that he was still CEO. Why don't they explicitly address the contradiction between the two filings and explain how one has legal weight and the other doesn't?
Jill E. Fisch, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, said Romney would not have committed a felony by listing himself as managing director — even if he now claims he had no role in running the company after February 1999. There is no legal obligation to describe how active one is in the day-to-day management of the company, she said. And just because he held title of managing director doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s responsible for decisions like layoffs or outsourcing.
Oh--I see. A sworn statement that one is the managing director of a company is legally meaningless, because who's to say what being the formal boss of a company really means in terms of legal responsibility. Holding a managing director legally responsible for the company in which they continue to hold that titular position is some kind of mind-blowing legal stretch. Right. Can anybody find some experts that aren't so keen on the tracking cookies? I think I might trust them more.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:16 PM on July 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I think the Op research done in the primaries was pretty pathetic, and Rickie still made him sweat.

I know the Dem primary last time was bloody and frankly heart rending at times, but lord it did show they both where in it to win it they both threw some pretty heavy punches. The best thing to come out of the GOP primary was the hilarity of Herman Cain
posted by edgeways at 2:16 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Boston Globe Reporter Defends Romney Bain Story To Maddow: 'They're Not Getting' A Correction (VIDEO)
posted by homunculus at 2:16 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bunny Ultramod: I think this dovetailing with the new Batman movie is a masterpiece of unfortunate timing.
You magnificent bastard. Up until now, I hadn't realized why that company's name kept earworming me.
St. Alia of the Bunnies: I'm ticked that this comes out after he pretty much locked up the nomination. Royally ticked.
One thing Obama does well is timing. "Hey, we've got killer dirt on Romney!" "Patience, padwan. The time is not yet here."
roomthreeseventeen: The Nebraska State Convention is tomorrow, and they could theoretically give Ron Paul the 5th state he would need to be on the ballot.
OHPLEASEOHPLEASEOHPLEASE Nader the Republicans!!!
posted by IAmBroom at 2:16 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


What does Romney know of work? He got paid 100,000 a year to do nothing, which is what he will do for America.

He will do essentially the same thing as President that he did from 1999 through 2002: Work full-time in a relatively low-pay job while still collecting a huge income based on his prior work at Bain.
posted by The World Famous at 2:17 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder what percentage of GOP voters thinks a CEO "works" and how many know they just sometimes give investor conference calls, appear on CNBC and just schmooze the rest of the time. Who was that CEO who missed his firm's entire meltdown because he was too busy at backgammon tournaments?

There is very little an executive can be personally accountable for. The only think I can think of is execs can be found personally responsible if they actually refuse to pay workers money owed or there is "commingling" of funds, like revenues going directly to an execs personal bank account.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:17 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Geez people, it was only $100,000 a year. It's not like you could live off that much money.

That giant boathouse and all those boats alone cost that much a year!
posted by winna at 2:17 PM on July 13, 2012


Someone's gotta pay for the dressage horses.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:19 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


From the Factcheck piece:

None of the SEC filings show that Romney was anything but a passive, absentee owner during that time, as both Romney and Bain have long said. It should not surprise anyone that Romney retained certain titles while he was working out the final disposition of his ownership, for example.


But the Boston Globe says that Romney was listing himself as CEO on SEC filings as late as 2002. How long does it take to make the transition?
posted by tommyD at 2:20 PM on July 13, 2012


So I'm curious what accusations they're going to level against Obama in the next 2-3 weeks that Fox commentators will be able to claim are equivalent to this mess.

They'll say that Obama's campaign is merely using "Chicago tactics" without ever denying the charges. Then they'll report, in a macho-condescending "you should know this already" drone, that many CEOs have nothing to do with the actual operations of their companies, without ever denying the charges.

I don't know that they need to go after Obama's strengths so much. He's the incumbent presiding over a weak economy. They've already written off his eloquence as stuffed-shirtedness presiding over teleprompters. I guess they'll just construe his continued popularity as evidence that Obama has hypnotized half the nation, which is why it's all the more important for the enlightened rebels to free the country.

I'm ticked that this comes out after he pretty much locked up the nomination. Royally ticked.

If the Obama camp had fired this gun too early, it would have gotten lost in the extended Romney-Perry-Paul-Santorum-Paul-et al. catfight.

By launching this attack now, they're sinking Romney's ships before the party has time to get a better navy.

It reminds me of when Obama let the nutjobs wail about his birth certificate for years, only to produce his birth certificate while roasting Donald Trump, a mere day or two before he would tell the world that Osama bin Laden had been killed. The timing on that destroyed any possible influence Donald Trump could have on the election.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:21 PM on July 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


Bane?
posted by incandissonance at 2:21 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder what percentage of GOP voters thinks a CEO "works" and how many know they just sometimes give investor conference calls, appear on CNBC and just schmooze the rest of the time. Who was that CEO who missed his firm's entire meltdown because he was too busy at backgammon tournaments?

But this is just the thing, isn't it? Many people are actually hogwashed by the idea that executive compensation is as astronomically high as it is because these people do indeed work incredibly hard. So hard it puts the toil of your average 3-part-time-job just to make the poverty line worker to shame. And because of their hard work they benefit by getting paid lots and lots! (and we benefit with all those jobs they create hahaha). So of the argument is that, well he's CEO sure but that isn't really WORK, how does the next CEO somewhere else say he deserves millions in salary because he works?

And then... $100,000 is nothing for a CEO. So I'm sure there's an argument that it was a token amount for a token title. But for the average person calling $100,000 a "token" should rankle.

I don't have much of an imagination because I cannot see how Romney comes out of this winning, but he will because people like him always do.
posted by marylynn at 2:24 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


You would kind of think Romney and Co would have had a plan of action in place once Bain reared it's head, they weren't naive enough to think "nah this won't come up at all" where they?
posted by edgeways at 2:25 PM on July 13, 2012


How long does it take to make the transition?

Just long enough to establish residence so that one can run for Governor, apparantly.

Remember, folks - CEOs are an integral part of the process of creating jobs at failing companies (that's why they get paid so much) ... unless they are just figureheads, not responsible for the running of the company (including buying a fetal disposal company or outsourcing jobs) ... unless the CEO is running for office in the state the company is incorporated, but actually living and working in a different state - in that case he is on-the-job! Attending board meetings! making decisions! ...except those bad decisions. He somehow missed those meetings...

...my head hurts.
posted by muddgirl at 2:25 PM on July 13, 2012 [22 favorites]


I said this in the prior deleted thread, but I'll say it again. I'd like the Romney camp try to clarify the difference between being the acting head of the company and CEO by equating it to Prime Minister vs Figurehead Royalty.

I would then proudly wear the button "Romney for Queen of England '12"
posted by filthy light thief at 2:29 PM on July 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Stuff like this just makes me hate politics. I already know they're all scumbags, and I wish the whole country didn't have to wallow in the candidates' proverbial trash cans for months on end leading up to the election.
posted by pdq at 2:30 PM on July 13, 2012


Mitt Romney's Signature Appears On Bain SEC Filings During Time He Said He Left Bain
Between 1999 and 2001, Mitt Romney, then the CEO of Bain Capital, signed at least six documents that the private equity firm filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The documents run in direct contradiction to a claim that Romney has made repeatedly: that he had nothing to do with Bain, and therefore no responsibility for Bain investments, during that period.

It's also a claim he made in August 2011 on the federal disclosure form he filed as part of his presidential bid. Romney didn't leave any wiggle room: "Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee [for the 2002 Winter Olympics]. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way."

That is false.

SEC files include at least six instances of Romney signing documents after February 1999, proving -- unless the signatures were forged -- that his claim to not have "been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way" is wrong.

Most of the documents reference Romney as the "reporting person."
posted by ericb at 2:33 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do both Romneys have the vote?

Yes, for now.
posted by tommasz at 2:35 PM on July 13, 2012


I certainly would be all for shorter political seasons, I think there is at least an argument to be made that running the gauntlet makes one a better political animal, and also would counter that politics, especially electoral politics is a VERY reflective human thing. They are scumbags because we are scumbags.
posted by edgeways at 2:36 PM on July 13, 2012


"What scares me is the realization that the Romney apologists are not simply being political here. They seem honestly perplexed that people are making a big deal over the fact that Romney said under oath that he was the CEO of a company for three years that he also said under oath he wasn't managing.  

Because, to them, it is not a big deal.  It's just how things work when you are dealing with a "complicated" business and annoying government regulations.  Those who work in (and report about) corporate finance have completely bought into the idea that what they do is way too important and complicated for the general public or a bunch of government regulators to understand.  So they play by their own rules - which are only tangentially related to the actual laws on the books meant to keep the system running and protect the public.  

And that's how you end up with the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression."

posted by dig_duggler at 2:36 PM on July 13, 2012 [39 favorites]


Between 1999 and 2001, Mitt Romney, then the CEO of Bain Capital, signed at least six documents that the private equity firm filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Maybe (since he was so busy with the Olympics and was transitioning out of his role, very slowly) Romney didn't actually read or understand those filings. He just signed them. You know, like the people who signed ridiculous mortgage agreements without reading or understanding them. That's why Romney supports mortgage relief for American families.
posted by muddgirl at 2:37 PM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


The idea that CEOs are the hardest working people at a company speaks to the religion-ization of corporations in general. Of course they work the hardest, they are godlike figure whose clarion call summons forth the light from which all life must necessarily spring forth. The reality of this is that some CEOs really do open the place up every morning and shut it down every night, and those are usually the ones we know for their actual tangible business success. The ones we know due to their self-promotion tend towards being the aspirational Captain of Industry, Donald Trump type, who measures their success not in real terms, but as deltas between them and their so-called peers.

I don't know what category Romney fits in based on ability, but based on his actions, he's pretty firmly in the second category to me.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:37 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


If he releases his tax returns going back 15 years, then all these questions can be put to sleep.

If he does not release them,...
posted by Flood at 2:41 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Unless Romney looks like he's done something really illegal, I don't think he'll suffer much among the anyone-but-Obama crowd (aka Republican voters), who always yawn when a Republican does something that would get a Democrat skewered. However, this may have a significant impact on the undecideds, who are already receptive to seeing Romney as an unsympathetic, out of touch, rich stiff.

What may squick out the Republican true believers is Romney's involvement in a medical waste firm that dealt with aborted fetuses back in 1999 as part of Bain, according to SEC filings, again after he claims he was no longer involved. Imagine how this story would be exploding if Obama were an investor, or janitor, or had walked down the same street.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:41 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


But, further raising questions about how much Romney remained involved, the Huffington Post reported that in testimony in June 2002 Romney claimed he regularly travelled back from Salt Lake City to Massachusetts, where Bain has its headquarters, to sit on the board of one of the companies Bain invested in, LifeLike.

Romney was giving testimony to a hearing to determine whether he met the residency requirements to enable him to stand for governor of Massachusetts in 2002.

"There were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth," he said.

He said that he "remained on the board of the Staples corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike corporation" at the time.

Staples is another company that Bain invested in.

Bloomberg reported Friday that Romney, in addition to filings published by the Boston Globe on Thursday saying he was chief executive and president of the main holding company Bain Capital, is also named as one of two managing members of another Bain-related entity, Bain Capital Investors LLC, as late as 2002. *
Managing member. It means you are managing ... not passively, but actively.
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on July 13, 2012


I don't think he'll suffer much among the anyone-but-Obama crowd
That is not the crowd that will win him the election. He needs the middle, and this will cause him to lose the middle.
posted by Flood at 2:43 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney’s Big Tax Return Tell
So a lot of Republicans wish Mitt Romney would just get it over with and release several years of tax returns. If you want evidence that Romney’s drowning in the Bain deluge, there it is. His allies think a complete accounting is his only lifeline.

Remember, in the VP vetting process Romney gave the McCain campaign over 20 years of tax returns. Schmidt ran that campaign and my hunch is he has the best combination of political smarts and actual knowledge of what’s in the returns to make the call.

Six months ago, he didn’t think it was worth it.

... I could be wrong about this. But if Schmidt cries uncle, I think we’ll have reached the point where the attacks Romney’s weathering right now are more harmful than what’s in those returns. And the fact that we haven’t reached that point yet suggests they’re full of ugly stuff.
posted by ericb at 2:43 PM on July 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


You know, like the people who signed ridiculous mortgage agreements without reading or understanding them.

only, uh, in one case they are subject to predatory practices and in the other one gets 2x the average yearly income of Americans
posted by edgeways at 2:44 PM on July 13, 2012


(edgeways - did you miss the last sentence of my comment? I was being a bit Swiftian but I'm out of practice.)
posted by muddgirl at 2:46 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've seen interviews with Schmidt and he seems like a pretty together guy, hell he'd probably be a better office holder then the folks he actually has worked for.. but, I gotta wonder, they picked Sarah Palin over Romney. i have to wonder what exactly is in those tax returns anyways?
posted by edgeways at 2:47 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry muddgirl, it probably didn't come across well over the screen I wasn't reading anything into your comment, just making a observation between the two sets. You're tops in my book
posted by edgeways at 2:49 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


WaPo:
Romney’s sudden departure from Bain had left the partnership in flux, in fact almost breaking up the firm, and a final resolution was not reached until he ended his Olympic sojourn and decided to run for governor. At that point, he signed retirement papers that set his departure date as February 1999, the month he left for the Olympics.

Business Wire from July 19th, 1999:
Bain Capital CEO W. Mitt Romney, currently on a part-time leave of absence to head the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee for the 2002 Games said, "Geoff and Marc have each made very significant contributions to the growth of our business, and have played important roles in furthering its success. ... While we will miss them, we wish them well and look forward to working with them as they build their firm."

Maybe Romney can clarify what his responsiblities were during his part-time leave of absence.
posted by andoatnp at 2:49 PM on July 13, 2012


i have to wonder what exactly is in those tax returns anyways?

You're going to lay bare exactly how little tax the rich pay on their income and what vehicles they use to avoid it.
posted by maxwelton at 2:49 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the points you two raise about the mortgages will stick with middle class independents. Lots of people themselves ended up (or know someone who did) with a mortgage that went south for one reason or another over the last 10 years. They signed a contract, they were responsible. They got to deal with the fallout. Now we have someone who can sign things and own things without-really-being-responsible-for-them-in-any-way. It will rub them wrong.

My father, an Alabamian who as far as I know has voted for a Republican all his life has said he's just not gonna vote this time. I believe 'a snake in the grass' were his words. And that was 6 months ago...
posted by dig_duggler at 2:51 PM on July 13, 2012


maxwelton , I guess so. Reid was basically baiting Romney today saying (paraphrase) "Romney has essentially paid no taxes in 12 years".

seriously, Mittens, you want people to invest in a country you yourself won't invest in? That screams presidential material right there.
posted by edgeways at 2:53 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe Romney can clarify what his responsiblities were during his part-time leave of absence.

It looks to me like his responsibilities were to keep his name on the letterhead and occasionally meet with important people so that its investors wouldn't lose confidence and cause the firm to collapse. But that's just my impression.
posted by The World Famous at 2:53 PM on July 13, 2012


The returns would also include how much was (or was not) given to the church or other entities, which is what I think might be a big part of the hesitancy. It's one thing to know, but it's another to see, especially if a whole lot of money is going to superpacs or he is actually not following Mormon rules correctly or whatever.
posted by feloniousmonk at 2:54 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Meh. I've been looking at the Bain Capital VISchedule 13d (the "beneficial ownership report") and it shows it is mishmash of delaware corporations some of which W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder of (one bermuda corp thrown in for good measure). Since the corporations are "citizens" of Delaware, despite living in Boston, the Corporations are subject to Delaware Court of Chancery. The only court of chancery in the US. Good luck showing Mitt even knew what color the walls were painted at their boston HQ.

BTW, you guys know nobody really signs these docs right? It is a tiff of his signature that gets sent to EDGAR.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:54 PM on July 13, 2012


BTW -- in any of the resposes Romney's team makes one needs to keep in mind that there are separate 'Bain' entities involved here. There are instances where they are trying to misdirect on which entity they are speaking when they speak about 'Bain.'

The parent company is the management consulting firm, Bain & Company in which Romney was a partner and at one point served as interim President.

Bain Capital is a separate entity which was founded in 1984 by Bain & Company partners Mitt Romney, T. Coleman Andrews III, and Eric Kriss. Romney was designated as "sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president' in various state and federal filings up to 2002. His signature appears on all of those filings.

There are also a number of funds under management by Bain Capital: Bain Capital Private Equity, Bain Capital Ventures, Brookside Capital, Sankaty Advisors and Absolute Return Capital.

Disclaimer: At one point in my career I was employed by one go Bain & Company's competitors. I also co-founded and was Managing Director of a subsidiary company of this competing company.
posted by ericb at 2:59 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's the same shit that has (deservedly) dogged him for years.

Mitt Romney's Flip Flops.
posted by ericb at 3:02 PM on July 13, 2012


just a quick point that I saw on TPM: Romney wasn't paid $100k, he was paid at least 100k. Could have been $500k. Which could be easily answered if those tax returns were released....
posted by slapshot57 at 3:03 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney's Bain Story Unraveling Quickly.
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney: 'I Believe in America,' but Bank in Switzerland.
posted by ericb at 3:07 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


He claims to have had no role in running the company, but his signature is on six different offerings filed during that time. Is he saying that he has no role in running his own right hand?
posted by Fnarf at 1:57 PM on 7/13
[+] [!]


Chewbacca Defense!
posted by newdaddy at 3:08 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Good luck showing Mitt even knew what color the walls were painted at their boston HQ.

Then that opens up a line of criticism of him making millions for doing nothing and getting paid both directly and via the startlingly larger than allowed retirement contributions, which at the moment would be addressed by tax return releases.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:08 PM on July 13, 2012


Yes, there are half a dozen SPACs or Special Purpose Corporations or what ever you want to call them. Sankaty operates out of Bermuda, the rest operate out of Delaware. I've only looked at the EDGAR archives for the various Bain Capital companies since Mitt seems to own most of those.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:09 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's crappy leadership either way. And aren't we supposed to be electing...a leader?
posted by iamkimiam at 3:14 PM on July 13, 2012


Then that opens up a line of criticism of him making millions for doing nothing and getting paid both directly and via the startlingly larger than allowed retirement contributions, which at the moment would be addressed by tax return releases.

That is unfair, I think it is pretty clear Mitt did both jack and shit for his millions during those years.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:15 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


And what about Romney's IRA? Like all Americans, Romney's contributions to his IRA were limited by law. In the 15 years he worked at Bain, he was able to contribute $2,000 a year into the IRA and up to $30,000 per year in a different kind of plan that the company may have used. How then did the value of his IRA grow to $102 million? That's right, he has an IRA valued at $102 million. Something more than compound interest must be at work here, because it is difficult to see how the account could have grown to $1 million, yet alone $102 million. How it grew to such a size is a Romney secret. He's not saying. I think we all deserve an answer.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:15 PM on July 13, 2012 [25 favorites]


Heres an SEC filing from May 2, 2000:
Bain Capital Investors VI, Inc., a Delaware corporation ("Bain Investors VI"), is the sole general partner of Bain Partners VI. Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, sole
director, Chief Executive Officer and President of Bain Investors VI and thus is the controlling person of Bain Investors VI.

Pants on fire.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:16 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


So who do you think will win the nomination at the republican convention then?
posted by peacay at 3:20 PM on July 13, 2012


peacay: "So who do you think will win the nomination at the republican convention then?"

Spectators. Can't wait to see what the Ron Paul zealots do with this.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:21 PM on July 13, 2012


I gotta wonder, they picked Sarah Palin over Romney. i have to wonder what exactly is in those tax returns anyways?

I thought it was McCain thinking with his dick, but maybe Romney's tax returns are that bad.
posted by jonp72 at 3:25 PM on July 13, 2012


So here's the ABC portion of the network run around Mitt is on today:
Romney insisted that he abandoned the private-equity firm he founded to run the Olympics and that, after 1999, he had "no role whatsoever in the management" of Bain even though SEC documents listed him as president, chairman of the board and sole stockholder.

"I left any responsibility whatsoever, any effort, any involvement whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999," Romney said.

Romney didn't answer when he was asked if he thought there was anything wrong with being associated with Bain after 1999, a period that has been the source of Obama's attack ads on Bain-backed companies that either outsourced jobs or went bankrupt.
And then this:
Romney gave five brief interviews to TV networks today in a hastily arranged fashion as the Bain attacks dominated the media narrative, capping a week of bad press for Romney that also included rising calls for him to release more of his tax records.

In each interview, Romney tried to shine the spotlight back on the economy, accusing Obama of diverting attention away from the sputtering recovery by unearthing new attacks.
I'm trying to find out which guests are on which morning shows this Sunday, and what grocery stores have popcorn on sale.
posted by cashman at 3:27 PM on July 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Does anybody else think this is a head-fake ploy to answer all questions about Bain in terms of 1999-2002? I'm sure it would be much worse for him if people started asking questions about the time before that, so frame his term there in his most innocuous era, and when people start talking about raping the third world or firing everybody over the age of 40, he can say "hey, we already dealt with all this, remember?"
posted by rhizome at 3:29 PM on July 13, 2012


No, I don't believe anything thinks that.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:30 PM on July 13, 2012


Jill E. Fisch, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and co-director of the Institute for Law and Economics, said Romney would not have committed a felony by listing himself as managing director — even if he now claims he had no role in running the company after February 1999...

This is of course disputed by Rock L. Obster.
posted by longbaugh at 3:33 PM on July 13, 2012 [38 favorites]


Ill Doctrine: Mitt Romney's Blackest Week Ever
posted by box at 3:33 PM on July 13, 2012 [14 favorites]


Soooo, Jan Crawford of CBS is interviewing Romney and he's denying any responsibility and a reasonable follow up would be whether he thinks investing in those outsourcing companies was a mistake.

But that question is not asked. Of course.
posted by wrapper at 3:46 PM on July 13, 2012


>But that question is not asked. Of course.

The news can't be produced by Aaron Sorkin characters....
posted by Catblack at 3:50 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ill Doctrine: Mitt Romney's Blackest Week Ever

Can we please, please, please get this man on the Daily Show. I can't stand it, he's just so good at what he does. His videos are so well done, funny, to the point, and dense with what seems to be precisely perfect language.
posted by cashman at 3:53 PM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wow. Chum in the water and you gleefully circle like sharks.

There's nothing to this. Comparisons to swift boating and Jeremiah wright are not all that apt, thought, because Romney's set himself up for this fall. He can't stand behind his true legacy, which is the Massachusetts health care program--that'd be campaign suicide. So he crows about his job creation in the private sector. It's all fair game at that point.

Still, there has been nothing substantial reported by the globe. And barring any crazy new revelations (not outside of the realm of possibility) nothing will come of this.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 3:56 PM on July 13, 2012


And since the "Will Condi be VP?" thing was starting to be a story fluffed up to distract from Bain, Condoleeza Rice (through her chief of staff) squashed that again, earlier today. No. I had not seen her June comment where she sounded like a commenter or moderator here at mefi: "There is no way that I will do this". That is hilarious.
posted by cashman at 3:59 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Condi Rice hates Robot Americans!
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on July 13, 2012


Another investment during the 1999-2002 period that has been a topic of controversy for Romney/Bain is a medical waste disposal company called, Stericycle. This company provided biomedical waste disposal services to Planned Parenthood and other providers of womens health services (including abortions). Stericycle was targeted by pro-life groups in 2009 as part of the ongoing campaign to restrict womens health services by going after suppliers and landlords. Bain capital sold its investment in Stericycle in 2004. Romney's campaign argues that he was uninvolved in the investment as he had left an active role in Bain in 1999. Even if we presume that he was aware of the investment in Stericycle, it does not follow that he would have been aware of the specifics of the types of waste handled. There is no evidence that Romeny would have been briefed at the level of detail of specific clients, particularly at the scale of Planned Parenthood. Anti-abortion groups didn't target the company until he was long after Bain's involvement and his personal oversight ended. Romeny can also claim that had pro-life groups raised concerns while Bain was in control he obviously would have acted to stop it from taking those steps.
posted by humanfont at 4:04 PM on July 13, 2012


You would kind of think Romney and Co would have had a plan of action in place once Bain reared it's head, they weren't naive enough to think "nah this won't come up at all" where they?
But two things did happen this week that hold the prospect of having more long-term influence over the outcome of the race: the controversy over when Romney really stepped down from Bain Capital, as well as the renewed interest in Romney’s complex personal finances and lack of disclosure. The Boston Globe reported yesterday that despite Romney’s claims to have severed his relationship with Bain in 1999, he continued to file papers with the SEC claiming that he was CEO of the company up until 2002. In response, Romney’s campaign exploded at the Globe and demanded a retraction, but this will certainly not be the end of the story. The media will rightfully dial in their artillery and pound Romney until they get an answer about the end of his Bain tenure. Likewise, Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns — and thus more information on his offshore accounts — probably will not stand with the media either.

Republicans that I know are grumbling that Romney should have been better prepared for these stories and have had a rapid-response plan in place to defuse them. Instead, he has poured gasoline on them. I’m not sure that a lack of preparation is the problem. The problem may be the facts, and my sense is that we will uncover them before November.*
posted by ericb at 4:04 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


--there has been nothing substantial reported by the globe--

That article is not the final arbiter. The facts as they stand point irrevocably to: Romney lied. Either it was feloniously in filings (unlikely coz of 17 squillion attorneys on the payroll); or, in order to avoid responsibility for bad things of Bain and to qualify for governor. But he's lied. At the very least, even if he skates, lacerated, under weasel words cover, this is going to be a fatal wound. He'll either have to produce tax returns which will fill books of media coverage and allow bad things to be read everywhichway undoubtedly, or he will not be believed when he says he's Mr Fix-it for the economy. This dude is done. His only chance now is full and total disclosure -- release 10 or more years of returns asap and hope the details dilute down the shadiness. I find it hard to see how he'll get through this in any semi-successful way.
posted by peacay at 4:05 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's nothing to this.

Honestly, I disagree, I think this is tremendously damaging and the Romney camp knows it. Recall that the strategy they've gone with -- the strategy they presumably believe is their best move -- is "No, listen, it was a $100,000/year no-show job. That's all it was." That's a gift to Obama's ad department.

He think that's a better argument than showing his tax returns (what could possibly be in them that's worse than this?) or copping to Bain's activities in the late-1990s, which include mass layoffs and the famously controversial abortion-disposal business. It's also basically preposterous on its face; he wants to hold Obama responsible for the economy that crashed before he was president, but wasn't responsible for what Bain did when he was president, chief executive, and sole stokeholder? This is just not a cromulent argument, and no one outside the Obama-hating true believers will buy it.

Meanwhile, he's got to figure out whether he prefers to have lied to the FEC or the SEC, while dozens of contradictory statements have piled up. (Just while I've been reading this thread he did another, telling CBS again he had absolutely no role in Bain in 1999, which contradicts his testimony to Massachusetts when determining his eligibility to run for governor in 2002.)

Nothing at all about this makes Romney look at all good, and it's pretty much establishing a devastating combination of the "rich prettyboy" and "lying liar" narratives that separately sunk Gore and Kerry in '00 and '04.
posted by gerryblog at 4:08 PM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


To clarify, he told CBS he "doesn't recall" going back to Mass at all between 1999 and 2002, which is the direct opposite of his eligibility testimony.
posted by gerryblog at 4:09 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


From Thinkprogress:

– 2002: “[T]here were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth.”

– 2012: “I was in Salt Lake City for three straight years. I don’t recall even coming back once to go to a Bain or management meeting. We were, I was out there running the Olympics and it was a full time job, I can tell you that.”

The first one was under oath.
posted by ifandonlyif at 4:13 PM on July 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


Even if what Romney is saying this week is completely true, isn't he responsible for how the people he hired used his money? I.e. if they lost it all, or invested it in seal-clubbing robot technology, as sole shareholder wouldn't Romney still be responsible for whatever work his money was put to? I don't think he's giving himself enough wiggle room to escape responsibility for whatever nasty behavior he's trying to evade.
posted by Llama-Lime at 4:14 PM on July 13, 2012


"To clarify, he told CBS he "doesn't recall" going back to Mass at all between 1999 and 2002, which is the direct opposite of his eligibility testimony."

can you link to his eligibility testimony somewhere?

not that i don't believe you, just that it would be nice to have the contradiction clearly confirmed.
posted by striatic at 4:15 PM on July 13, 2012


So what record can Romney run on now?

1. He's embarrassed about his Bain management because of off-shoring and claims he had nothing to do with it.

2. He can't run on his record as governor of Massachusetts because he created RomneyCare.

3. He can't run on his stewardship of the Olympics because he rescued it by spending $4 million on DC lobbyists to get $350 million in federal bailouts and other earmarks.

What does he have left to run on -- besides a billion dollars of PAC contributions? He's down things like whipping up the base by sticking it to the NAACP. This could get real ugly.
posted by JackFlash at 4:15 PM on July 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ill Doctrine: Mitt Romney's Blackest Week Ever (above) paraphrases Romney's speech in Montana after his NAACP visit. A WP blog quotes Romney paraphrasing his own address to the NAACP in Montana thus:

"Your friends who like ‘Obamacare,’ you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff."

Classy.
posted by NailsTheCat at 4:17 PM on July 13, 2012


ifandonlyif's link has the testimony I was talking about, which I think ultimately derives from this HuffPo link.
posted by gerryblog at 4:17 PM on July 13, 2012


– 2002: “[T]here were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth.”

– 2012: “I was in Salt Lake City for three straight years. I don’t recall even coming back once to go to a Bain or management meeting. We were, I was out there running the Olympics and it was a full time job, I can tell you that.”


these are not technically contradictory statements, presuming the business trips and board meetings were unrelated to Bain.

certainly digging a hole though.
posted by striatic at 4:20 PM on July 13, 2012


"Your friends who like ‘Obamacare,’ you remind them of this, if they want more stuff from government, tell them to go vote for the other guy — more free stuff."

On that subject, this image was posted on my Facebook newsfeed about a dozen times today.
posted by gerryblog at 4:21 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


"The president needs to take control of these people. He ought to disavow it and rein in these people who are running out of control. He sure as heck ought to say that he's sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team."

-- Mitt Romney, in an interview with ABC News, after Obama campaign officials implied that Romney committed a felony by saying he left Bain Capital in 1999.


Sir I knew John Kerry. I voted for John Kerrey. And you sir...... well actually you remind me a lot of John Kerry.
posted by dig_duggler at 4:27 PM on July 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Well obviously he is going to lose. The real question is how bad he makes the GOP look doing it. Really? This is their Job-Creator? A man who creates so many jobs he is worth millions a year? Who are the other no-show-ceos (I'm trademarking that shit but Obama can use it). Maybe congress should start calling in CEOs and check their timesheets. Is is shocking that people would be making legal claims they are the Chief Officer of companies they have almost nothing to do with!
posted by Ad hominem at 4:30 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


ROMNEY: I've indicated that — well, first of all, we've complied with the law. The law requires us to put out a full financial disclosure. That I've done.

And then, in addition to that, I've already put out one year of tax returns. We'll put out the next year of tax returns as soon as the accountants have that ready. And that's what we're going to put out.

I know there will always be calls for more. People always want to get more. And, you know, we're putting out what is required plus more that is not required. And those are the two years that people are going to have. And that's -- that's all that's necessary for people to understand something about my finances.
Holy shit does he not get it. There's not really an hard evidence of illegal goings-on yet, which means the focus switches laser-hot on the tax returns of the late 90s and 2000s. Just releasing one more year (either 2010 or 2012 especially) isn't going to do it. If anything, the drip-drip of tax return releases is even worse.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:31 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Romney Lies Jobs Die
posted by Ad hominem at 4:33 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney Lies Jobs Die

I'm pretty sure everyone who would be outraged about Romney's involvement in the murder of Steve Jobs is already going to vote for Obama.
posted by The World Famous at 4:37 PM on July 13, 2012 [12 favorites]


can you link to his eligibility testimony somewhere? not that i don't believe you, just that it would be nice to have the contradiction clearly confirmed.

Um ... Look upward in this thread.

The Guardian:
But, further raising questions about how much Romney remained involved, the Huffington Post reported that in testimony in June 2002 Romney claimed he regularly travelled back from Salt Lake City to Massachusetts, where Bain has its headquarters, to sit on the board of one of the companies Bain invested in, LifeLike.

Romney was giving testimony to a hearing to determine whether he met the residency requirements to enable him to stand for governor of Massachusetts in 2002.

"There were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth," he said.

He said that he "remained on the board of the Staples corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike corporation" at the time.

Staples is another company that Bain invested in.

Bloomberg reported Friday that Romney, in addition to filings published by the Boston Globe on Thursday saying he was chief executive and president of the main holding company Bain Capital, is also named as one of two managing members of another Bain-related entity, Bain Capital Investors LLC, as late as 2002. *
posted by ericb at 4:39 PM on July 13, 2012


Mitt Romney's Own 2002 Sworn Testimony Claiming Massachusetts Residency Undermines Bain Departure Claim.
posted by ericb at 4:42 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Mitt Romney were running a “post-truth” campaign, would the political press report it?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:44 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure everyone who would be outraged about Romney's involvement in the murder of Steve Jobs is already going to vote for Obama.

Yea, maybe it isn't as catchy as "Obama Lies America Dies" that Palin has tweeted. I'm sure the DNC has people to come up with slogans.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:46 PM on July 13, 2012


"There were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth," he said.

He said that he "remained on the board of the Staples corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike corporation" at the time.


Romney said today that he didn't travel back to Massachusetts for Bain business, but nothing in his eligibility testimony i've seen so far directly contradicts that.

The quote says he travelled to Mass for business and social reasons but nothing specifically related to his managerial duties at Bain.

There's a ton of smoke there but the possibility remains that his trips to Massachusetts both satisfied the eligibility requirements while also being unrelated to running Bain.
posted by striatic at 4:48 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well obviously he is going to lose.

Well a few hundred million dollars in GOP attack ads might take offense to that.
posted by cashman at 4:49 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The thing I don't understand is even if Romney was content to be a figurehead, he still had to know that was a dangerous position in which to be placed. I was a lowly peon in an organization which had to do SEC filings and even before SOX we got terrifying lectures every year on the importance of legal and regulatory compliance. And I wasn't even directly performing duties which had any bearing on financial or regulatory issues! After SOX the lectures got even more terrifying and we had to sign acknowledgement every year that we understood our obligations under the law. So if I, a minute cog in an enormous machine, had to sit through an hour-long HR drill every year on it, surely the c-suite folk got it even more vigorously.

But all the c-suite people i ever knew have been unbelievably dumb though charismatic meatheads, so perhaps he just didn't worry about it.
posted by winna at 4:50 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


And then, in addition to that, I've already put out one year of tax returns. We'll put out the next year of tax returns as soon as the accountants have that ready. And that's what we're going to put out.

He's been running for president about six years now and he hadn't had time to get his tax returns in order yet?
posted by octothorpe at 4:52 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


He's talking about his 2011 returns. He gave the McCain campaign 23 years of tax returns; he's got them all ready.
posted by gerryblog at 4:55 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel like the facts of this don't matter as much as the optics, and his ability to get out ahead of the story and define the narrative for himself. Which he's doing a lousy job of.

Obama's speech in reaction to the Jeremiah Wright kerfuffle was pretty much a textbook example of the right way to do it. Unfortunately an inspirational nuanced personal speech about SEC filings is a pretty tall order, even for someone with Mitt's exemplary rhetorical gifts.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:59 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don’t recall even coming back once to go to a Bain or management meeting.
Political Science 101 might as well have an entire section entitled "Scandals: If There's No Legal Issue, Then Offer Nothing Less Than Unequivocal Denial." Saying you don't recall is essentially meaningless (see also: Bill Clinton).

His campaign team must be pulling his hair out, and if he's not, then he's not working hard (or worried) enough.

There's a ton of smoke there but the possibility remains that his trips to Massachusetts both satisfied the eligibility requirements while also being unrelated to running Bain.

Again, this isn't about legality anymore, at least not if everything is actually above-board. It's about the image of impropriety, which he's doing nothing to dispel. He should be saying--essentially verbatim--that he was never in Massachusetts for Bain business, and by the way, here's my tax returns for that time period that show nothing weird at all. He's equivocating, which feeds into the narrative that he never gives specifics; he's avoiding the relevant tax returns, which feeds into the narrative that he's hiding something; and he's putting himself in front of several major news agencies, which makes him look desperate. Now, of course, if said tax returns are as embarrassing or moreso than the one year that he's already released, he's in a bind, but that's a situation he put himself in. The McCain situation makes that a very likely story, and should be pushed by at least some of the news agencies (although I don't have faith that they'll do it).

BTW, don't count on anything big from his campaign before the Q2 GDP and monthly jobs reports are released in a week or two. He and his campaign team are betting against either or both (especially the GDP) showing decent news. If there's negative GDP growth, then this matters much less. If it's between 0-2% growth, which is predicted (aka "this is what a recovery looks like), the race remains essentially unchanged, maybe a tick up or down. If it's more than 2%, then he's stuck with relatively bad news (for him) until the next GDP report in the fall and/or the euro collapsing.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:04 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not trying to be glib, but why would accountants need to prepare his old tax returns? They already have been prepared, as they would have been prepared when they were submitted. They are now finished documents. Is there any possible way to interpret this charitably, or is it pure bullshit? I know you can amend returns in subsequent years to correct an incomplete or inaccurate filing, but that surely can't be what's currently delaying this paperwork?
posted by samofidelis at 5:09 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama Camp ‘Not Satisfied’ With Romney’s Answer On Bain

IMO, Axelrod and Plouffe are earning their week's pay on that line. Romney just basically told the country that they have to be satisfied with the scraps of info that he gives them. In his own words, "it's all that's necessary" for them to understand, but according to the polls, outside the base he doesn't have any ground to stand on when it comes to this particular issue.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:13 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not trying to be glib, but why would accountants need to prepare his old tax returns?

He's referring to the tax-return for next year. He doesn't plan to release old tax returns at all.
posted by -harlequin- at 5:13 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I'm not trying to be glib, but why would accountants need to prepare his old tax returns?"

he doesn't, because he's not planning to release *old* returns, just his most recent.

the old ones are prepped, and he provided them to McCain as part of VP vetting, but he isn't going to release them to the public.
posted by striatic at 5:14 PM on July 13, 2012


[The Obama Camp] would like to see more of Romney’s tax returns as well as minutes from Bain Capital meetings, reports NBC’s White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

Oh, that is good stuff.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:16 PM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


i have been thinking since this story 'broke' that it was purposely put out there now, in July, by the Romney people. you know, "get out ahead of it" and all that. and no one is gonna care in November. politics is such bullshit nonsense. I mean if the right is seemingly not caring about his preposterous stance on the healthcare bill given his history in MA, why would this story make any sort of difference to anyone?
posted by ninjew at 5:19 PM on July 13, 2012


The Obama campaign is now flat-out stating they're not going to apologize, which is the campaign equivalent of picking up Romney's gauntlet and slapping him with it. At least his campaign scheduled that stupid little dare for a Friday night, so I can't say they're completely incompetent.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:20 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Obama camp must be extremely confident that there is nothing in Obama's past that could be dredged up or demanded by the Romney campaign to hurt Obama, even by insinuation. That surprises me, particularly given the First Lady's history of earning six-figure salaries for serving on corporate boards.
posted by The World Famous at 5:21 PM on July 13, 2012


What does he have left to run on?

Charlie Pierce suggests the best message for him to run on is "I'm Willard Romney — and I'm all you got, bitches."
posted by benito.strauss at 5:22 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


You plebes just don't understand the lives of the rich. They simply have things that we don't, like second vacation homes they don't live in and second jobs they don't work at.
posted by mkultra at 5:28 PM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Prior to taking leave to run the Olympics in 1999, Mr. Romney took a leave of absence from Bain Capital during his 1994 Senate campaign. Another Globe article published in 2002 contains a quote from a former Bain Capital executive named Marc B. Wolpow who said Mr. Romney remained in a very active role at Bain Capital while he was supposedly on a leave of absence for his Senate race.

“I reported directly to Mitt Romney . . . You can’t be CEO of Bain Capital and say, `I really don’t know what my guys were doing,’” Mr. Wolpow said of Mr. Romney role at the company during his leave.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:30 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some think the Democrats see an opening to swiftboat fair or not.

This is a good point because it would be massively unfair and swiftboaty to point out what a colossal liar Romney is.
posted by 3.2.3 at 5:35 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Prior to taking leave to run the Olympics in 1999, Mr. Romney took a leave of absence from Bain Capital during his 1994 Senate campaign. Another Globe article published in 2002 contains a quote from a former Bain Capital executive named Marc B. Wolpow who said Mr. Romney remained in a very active role at Bain Capital while he was supposedly on a leave of absence for his Senate race.

So the 1994 Senate campaign leave of absence, where Romney remained in the state of Massachusetts to campaign for Senate, and which didn't take three years, was different from his 1999 leave of absence where he moved to Utah to run the olympics? How is this evidence of anything?
posted by The World Famous at 5:42 PM on July 13, 2012


... given the First Lady's history of earning six-figure salaries for serving on corporate boards.

This is almost word-for-word the distraction my father tried to use when I talked to him about this this afternoon. You guys must listen to the same show.
posted by gerryblog at 5:43 PM on July 13, 2012 [26 favorites]


The Obama camp must be extremely confident that there is nothing in Obama's past that could be dredged up or demanded by the Romney campaign to hurt Obama, even by insinuation.

How does that follow? You think there would be some sort of unspoken gentleman's agreement that the Romney campaign would adhere to if Obama's camp drops this?
posted by ODiV at 5:49 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is almost word-for-word the distraction my father tried to use when I talked to him about this this afternoon. You guys must listen to the same show.

I don't listen to any shows at all. The only news I've seen of this at all has been from MetaFilter.

When you talk about people making money from sitting on corporate boards, it's difficult not to think of the President and First Lady, who also made money from sitting on corporate boards. I assume they did more than the apparently nothing that Romney was doing at Bain from 99 to 2002, though.

How does that follow? You think there would be some sort of unspoken gentleman's agreement that the Romney campaign would adhere to if Obama's camp drops this?

If they drop it? No, it's certainly too late for that now.
posted by The World Famous at 5:51 PM on July 13, 2012


I don't think he's going to try to not release his tax returns. That would be disastrous. Instead, I think he's going to try to be smart and let that chorus get louder and louder, to the point where it is assumed that he damn near wrote off the offing of police officers on there. Then he'll release them and it'll be "oh it's not that bad". And it'll probably also be while something else is going on.

There probably isn't anything horrible in there, except that it will make him look like namely what he is - an ultra rich opportunist. Right now he's still playing the "aw shucks, I's just a lucky fella who likes capitalism" card. So he just has to wait until it's clear that he is an ultra rich opportunist, and then his tax returns will be no big deal.

But his framing of it is really poor. "No, Americans don't deserve that information" in the age of the internet, when it is directly relevant to what you claim as your strongest point for being president. You can't say it's all about the money, then refuse to show us what you've been doing with your money, and do it almost in a way to take offense that we'd dare want to see it.

I don't know, maybe that strategy will work for him. Maybe he'll turn it into some kind of privacy thing, and rich people will rally behind him. But Mitt is a snappy yellable slogan away from being in trouble in a second here.
posted by cashman at 5:53 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney said he will stay on as a part-timer with Bain, providing input on investment and key personnel decisions. But he will leave running day-to-day operations to Bain's executive committee.” (Greg Gatlin, “Romney Looks To Restore Olympic Pride,” The Boston Herald, 2/12/99)

So, did he provide input on the investment decisions regarding companies that sent jobs overseas?

So the 1994 Senate campaign leave of absence, where Romney remained in the state of Massachusetts to campaign for Senate, and which didn't take three years, was different from his 1999 leave of absence where he moved to Utah to run the olympics? How is this evidence of anything?


I posted it mainly for the quote from a Bain employee that characterizes being the CEO of Bain and having no idea what is going on as something you can't actually do.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:56 PM on July 13, 2012


So what did you mean, The World Famous? If they hadn't brought it up they could expect a certain amount of restraint with regards to the past of their candidate? From up here in Canada your elections look like all or nothing affairs; if someone finds a nuclear option, they use it and if they can't find a weakness, they invent one. I'm Canadian though so maybe I'm misreading it.
posted by ODiV at 5:56 PM on July 13, 2012


My favorite thing this week was Romney running ads calling Obama a liar. I'm not saying that Obama hasn't lied about anything ever, but Romney's built his entire campaign around lies. His reputation is that he's a liar, even in his own party. I would think that he wouldn't even want to invoke that word for fear of it splashing back on to him.

Watching the Romney campaign pains me. It feels like they have no long game and don't think anything through. I am having John Kerry flashbacks.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:57 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd kind of love it if the Obamas released a bunch of tax records from their time on boards while Romney's busy covering his ears and going "lalalalala".

Question: if Romney publicly contradicts what he said to qualify for Massachusetts residency to run for Governor, can the State of Massachusetts take legal action against him?
posted by jason_steakums at 6:00 PM on July 13, 2012


Republicans have been throwing shit at Obama over every little thing for four straight years, I'm nog sure that even an influx of millionaire cash would let them step it up that much.
posted by Artw at 6:00 PM on July 13, 2012


His reputation is that he's a liar, even in his own party. I would think that he wouldn't even want to invoke that word for fear of it splashing back on to him.

I think that if he's called a liar by someone he's called a liar, then an actual threatening word becomes neutered into a he-said-she-said both-sides-do-it no-big-deal equivalence.

He gains by that. It armors him.
posted by -harlequin- at 6:03 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


So what did you mean, The World Famous? If they hadn't brought it up they could expect a certain amount of restraint with regards to the past of their candidate?

Yes. But not because anyone is a gentleman.

From up here in Canada your elections look like all or nothing affairs; if someone finds a nuclear option, they use it and if they can't find a weakness, they invent one.

That's not the case.

I'd kind of love it if the Obamas released a bunch of tax records from their time on boards while Romney's busy covering his ears and going "lalalalala".

Here are all of Obama and Biden's tax returns going back to 2000.
posted by The World Famous at 6:04 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


There probably isn't anything horrible in there, except that it will make him look like namely what he is - an ultra rich opportunist.

My guess is that the "bombshell" has to do with how much he's actually been tithing -- namely that he's not even remotely close to 10%.
posted by Lazlo at 6:05 PM on July 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'd kind of love it if the Obamas released a bunch of tax records from their time on boards while Romney's busy covering his ears and going "lalalalala".

The Obamas released tax records from 2000-2007, including for the time Michelle was on at least one corporate board for his 2008 campaign, and have released them normally for the last 4 years.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:06 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, here's what I know. We were just talking about responsibility, and as president of the United States, it's pretty clear to me that I'm responsible for folks who are working in the federal government. And, you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you.

Now, my understanding is that Mr. Romney attested to the SEC, multiple times, that he was the chairman, CEO and president of Bain Capital, and I think most Americans figure if you are the chairman, CEO and president of a company, that you are responsible for what that company does.

Ultimately, Mr. Romney, I think, is going to have to answer those questions, because if he aspires to being president, one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations. But again, that's probably a question that he's going to have to answer, and I think that's a legitimate part of the campaign.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:06 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


My guess is that the "bombshell" has to do with how much he's actually been tithing -- namely that he's not even remotely close to 10%.

That's interesting. I hadn't considered that.
posted by OmieWise at 6:08 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


In an interview with WJLA-TV to be broadcast Sunday, Obama had this to say today...

Is it normal to completely ignore scheduling like this?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 6:11 PM on July 13, 2012


My guess is that the "bombshell" has to do with how much he's actually been tithing -- namely that he's not even remotely close to 10%.

Yes, that's probably a huge part of why he doesn't want to release the returns. He probably pays his tithing in the form of stocks, rather than cash, too.

There is constant bickering among members of the church as to what, exactly, 10% of one's "increase" means, with some members contending that it's 10% of gross income and others saying that it's 10% of net income or something else. For a business owner whose income is not so easily quantified or liquidated on a yearly or even quarterly basis, those numbers get tricker and it becomes even more a matter of conscience.

The church doesn't seem to care one way or the other, and leaves it up to the individual to make that determination as a matter of conscience, simply taking a member's word for it if the member states that they consider what they've paid to constitute a full tithe.

But when it is eventually revealed that Mitt Romney is one of what I suspect is a majority of Mormons who don't pay anything even remotely approaching 10% of gross income, there will be a certain faction of Mormons who think less of him because of it.
posted by The World Famous at 6:14 PM on July 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


Is it normal to completely ignore scheduling like this?

Well, the TV station got it out there to hype up the interview. Obama got it out there because it is an excellent Presidential smackdown they want to be part of the story.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:16 PM on July 13, 2012


Unless this results in an arrest, this will be nothing but water off a duck's back. For now, it's just news media collecting ad revenue.
posted by Ardiril at 6:32 PM on July 13, 2012


Unless this results in an arrest

Hey, my dad tried this one too! I can guarantee you that Romney will escape prosecution.
posted by gerryblog at 6:36 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I prefer to live in my rich fantasy life: This story spirals out of control, Romney is disgraced and has to drop his candidacy. When the brokered convention comes around, who gets nominated? Santorum? Jeb? Gingrich? Pawlenty? Paul? Cheney? Oh the mind reels.
posted by fungible at 6:42 PM on July 13, 2012


Arrest and prosecution are not the same things.

The story has already had more than enough time to grow any legs, and the whole situation reads like just another lob in the election tennis match. The next episode of Colbert could well be the last we hear of this.
posted by Ardiril at 6:49 PM on July 13, 2012


I'm watching his CNN interview. Mitt just continues to be awful on television in interviews. He just comes across forced, stiff, overaggressive, smug, and like he's hiding something. He has to step it up. He was this way in the republican debates that I saw. In this interview he just keeps interrupting, his face just looks bad.
posted by cashman at 7:05 PM on July 13, 2012


The next episode of Colbert could well be the last we hear of this.

Except that it's going to stay in Obama's ads as long as the press continues to ask Romney embarrassing questions about it. I don't see how it just goes away.
posted by chrchr at 7:07 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


If the past 200+ years of elections are any indication, the embarrassment factor fades fairly quickly. The only way this stays relevant is if someone produces new hard evidence to the contrary. Right now, everyone is treading ground already covered.
posted by Ardiril at 7:15 PM on July 13, 2012


the story has legs in the sense that Obama's camp [and the press] will treat the entire Bain Legacy as fair game in negative ads, and the defense of Romney not being responsible for certain actions will ring increasingly hollow.
posted by striatic at 7:21 PM on July 13, 2012


There will be a certain faction of Mormons who think less of him because of it.

I haven't seen any polls, and if I'm wrong I'll gladly eat my words, but I would guess that the Mormon vote is about as much in play as the African-American one.
posted by box at 7:22 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


From tonight's CBS interview:
I was the owner of a, of the general partnership but there were investors which included pension funds and various entities of all kinds that owned the, if you will, the investments of the firm. But I was the owner of an entity which was a management entity. That entity was one which I had ownership of until the time of the retirement program was put in place. But I had no responsibility whatsoever after February of '99 for the management or ownership - management, rather, of Bain Capital.
Well that clears that up.
posted by octothorpe at 7:25 PM on July 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


--My guess is that the "bombshell" has to do with how much he's actually been tithing -- namely that he's not even remotely close to 10%.--

But is that going to have much traction outside of the Mormon community? The income thing is complicated as is stated hereabove. I actually think he doesn't want to release earlier returns mostly because they will demonstrate that the guy's greatest asset has been how to funnel, hide, manouver, wash and reanimate money in the most extreme - but legal - ways; which will make the republican idiocy about not taxing the "job creators" stand out there like the sore infected thumb that it is.

Everything will become about why Mr Average can't take advantage of some esoteric loophole to massively overinvest in his retirement fund etc etc. Mitt can scream for an apology all he wants : this whole story will have lasting traction. At the very least he's gonna have to answer idiotic questions:
"So Mitt, you're telling us with a straight face that being prez, ceo & executive doesn't preclude you doing absolutely nothing whatsoever. Why should we expect you not to carry this practise over to your time in the white house?".

But then again, he's not going to do any more interviews with MSM. He'll be cashed up enough soon and the rove armies will take care of airtime and attacks until then. But not doing interviews is gonna hurt him.
posted by peacay at 7:26 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


the story has legs in the sense that Obama's camp [and the press] will treat the entire Bain Legacy as fair game in negative ads, and the defense of Romney not being responsible for certain actions will ring increasingly hollow.

I was just about to say the same thing. This is something that can't really become irrelevant just by the news cycle rolling past it.
posted by Anything at 7:27 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this:

CRAWFORD: But I mean do you think the President owes you an apology because his campaign has suggested you are a criminal or a liar?

GOV. ROMNEY: Absolutely. My goodness. What kind of a president would have a campaign that says something like that about the nominee of another party? This is reckless and absurd on his part and it's something which is beneath his dignity.


My goodness indeed. It must be the first time that's happened in a presidential contest.
posted by octothorpe at 7:29 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


GOV. ROMNEY: Absolutely. My goodness. What kind of a president would have a campaign that says something like that about the nominee of another party? This is reckless and absurd on his part and it's something which is beneath his dignity.

Not to repeat my own link, but Jesus Christ in Funny Underwear, its startling what comes out of Romney's mouth.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:31 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


What's great is how many people clearly view "criminal" as an identity, and not a description.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:31 PM on July 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Its like he doesn't even know he's telling lies. Its pathological. Its uncontrollable. I would not buy a pencil from this man much less a car. If he offered me a bag with a billion dollars in it, I would throw it away because I'd assume it was counterfeit. If I was drowning and he threw me a life vest, I would check to make sure it wasn't filled with sand before I put it on. If I was on fire and he pissed on me putting it out, I'd assume he did it because he couldn't find any non-burning poor people to piss on.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:33 PM on July 13, 2012 [26 favorites]


the defense of Romney not being responsible for certain actions will ring increasingly hollow

To whom?

The only thing new here is some Obama aide labeled Romney a felon. Romney's response is the same ol' measured denial script. This is all Campaign Management 101 fodder.

This alone won't change any voters' minds who have already decided, and it is unlikely to settle anyone's decision who is undecided. Obama's camp will have to produce something substantial to establish that Romney committed a crime, or this dies because the only people upset over Bain are liberals.
posted by Ardiril at 7:34 PM on July 13, 2012


Can someone tell me if it's more than a pipe dream of mine that Romney could be dumped at the convention? (I would ask my husband who would certainly know- but bringing up politics to him particularly in an election year would be about as enjoyable as my bringing up Palin on Metafilter would be. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:37 PM on July 13, 2012


A lot of the confusion seems to stem from people's lack of familiarity with how investment firms are structured. An investment firm consists of many, many legal entities (corporations, LLCs, and partnerships). So finding a filing that called Romney the CEO of a particular entity doesn't really say much about what his involvement was in the investment decisions of Bain Capital the firm.
posted by planet at 7:39 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know this is premature, but I imagine that somewhere there is a team of lawyers preparing THE speech - "Mr. Romney, it is now highly likely that you will be charged over this" - and arguing over which one would have to give it to him if the time does in fact come.
posted by Curious Artificer at 7:39 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney had a defense that sounded credible and was effective. The new thing is that this defense, probably, no longer sounds credible and is not effective.
posted by Anything at 7:41 PM on July 13, 2012


I will eat exactly three hats if Romney gets charged for anything.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:42 PM on July 13, 2012


Ardiril, polls for the last couple weeks have pretty universally shown that the attacks on Mitt's conduct during the Bain years have been effective. In a campaign this close and this static, anything that the polls show as working is going to get hammered right into the ground. Obama's supporters are going to continue to grind away until Romney finds an effective response or changes the channel. Mitt's responses today have been so ham-fisted and tin-eared, they might as well have been scripted and paid for by David Plouffe.
posted by newdaddy at 7:43 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can someone tell me if it's more than a pipe dream of mine that Romney could be dumped at the convention? (I would ask my husband who would certainly know- but bringing up politics to him particularly in an election year would be about as enjoyable as my bringing up Palin on Metafilter would be. )

0% chance.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:46 PM on July 13, 2012


Yeah, polls, yawn. Of course, Obama's supporters will grind away, and Mitt's responses today? Today being Friday? Yup, put things on hold over the weekend and see what develops. The game plays on.
posted by Ardiril at 7:48 PM on July 13, 2012


I will eat exactly three hats if Romney gets charged for anything.

Right, the point is a goalpost shift: " I'll only believe this is true if Obama does something unprecedented and self-evidently suicidal like arrest his political opponent first."

0% chance.

Well, it's not IMPOSSIBLE. 0.1%.
posted by gerryblog at 7:51 PM on July 13, 2012


Basically I think any day Team Obama gets Mitt to talk extemporaneously on camera is a win for them.
posted by newdaddy at 7:52 PM on July 13, 2012 [24 favorites]


As bad at campaigning as the Dems can be, "release the tax returns" is catchy and easy. They only have to keep it going for 1/10 as long as the GOP chanted "where's the birth certificate?" to make it to election day.
posted by Alexander Hatchell at 7:56 PM on July 13, 2012


For the campaign committee of an incumbent President to orchestrate a series of accusations culminating in the arrest and/or prosecution by federal law enforcement of that incumbent's challenger a few months before the general election would be, hands down, the most scandalous, outrageous exercise of executive power by a President in the history of the U.S.

Obama's one of the smartest men ever to reside in the White House. Those of you hoping that Obama's latest campaign move will end up with Romney being charged with anything are not giving Obama any credit for being intelligent.

Right, the point is a goalpost shift: " I'll only believe this is true if Obama does something unprecedented and self-evidently suicidal like arrest his political opponent first."

Exactly.
posted by The World Famous at 7:57 PM on July 13, 2012


I've become a bit less exuberant about this.

I'm thinking this might be a win for Romney if he manages to make is sound like he outsmarted the government somehow. Like he is some sort of scrappy business man who through smarts and ingenuity pulled the wool over the eyes of a bloated grasping government body, who's main mandate seems to be to stifle innovation and growth. Like he used the SEC's rules against it.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:58 PM on July 13, 2012


Yawn polls?

Yeah, Mitt did all the news shows because of yawn polls.
posted by dig_duggler at 7:58 PM on July 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


When Newt's polls were soaring during the primaries, I read an article describing how his success was putting Obama's team in a total tizzy. They'd spent so much time building a playbook against Romney, and they hadn't even considered the possibility of running against Newt. They were basically starting from scratch on him.
I don't think this really would have been a big deal. The playbook on Newt is "My fellow Americans, I would like to point out that my opponent is Newt Gingrich. Thank you, and God bless America."
posted by Flunkie at 8:16 PM on July 13, 2012 [29 favorites]


WJLA-TV?

The Justice League has their own TV channel?

I guess they already have a satellite...
posted by wittgenstein at 8:23 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Who will be on the Sunday News Shows
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a potential Romney vice presidential choice, is on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” along with Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter and senior Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden.

On ABC, “This Week” has Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former Democratic congressman who was Obama’s first White House chief of staff, and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), another possible Romney running mate.

On NBC, “Meet the Press” hosts Romney campaign senior adviser Ed Gillespie and the two Senate whips – Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois and Republican Jon Kyl of Arizona.

Its political roundtable also features anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, and NAACP President Ben Jealous.

I think I'll watch Face the Nation, but I also want to see what the NAACP President says.
posted by cashman at 8:28 PM on July 13, 2012


Prosecution of Mitt? Of course not. The President is easily smart enough to do the opposite.

If Mitt did commit a crime and it's beyond any shadow of doubt that he perjured himself with these filings or in another legal document which hasn't come to light yet, all the President has to do, to cut his opponent's throat and let the blood flow out as a sacred offering before the gods, is give Mitt a full pardon.

That would be the end of Mitt in a rather spectacular way.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:29 PM on July 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2012, 8:19 p.m. ET: "Mr. Romney can't afford to have voters, many struggling In a weak economy, see his business background as a troubling part of his resume."
Polling suggests the Bain attacks are paying dividends. In swing states, where Obama campaign advertising has been heaviest, people are more likely to be critical of Mr. Romney's Bain years than those who live elsewhere, according to a Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll.
posted by cashman at 8:35 PM on July 13, 2012


If Mitt did commit a crime and it's beyond any shadow of doubt that he perjured himself with these filings or in another legal document which hasn't come to light yet, all the President has to do, to cut his opponent's throat and let the blood flow out as a sacred offering before the gods, is give Mitt a full pardon.

That would be the end of Mitt in a rather spectacular way.


Is this what it's like when College Democrats get high and sit around in the dorm talking about what would be sooo aaaweesomeee?
posted by The World Famous at 8:38 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just to snark on my own post, while this unlikely thing would be awesome enough for another bong hit, it's more likely this sort of event is from an early draft of a third season West Wing script. So its more like Sorkin mutters "this would be totally awesome", types some more, and then snorts up another line while Gilbert and Sullivan play in the background.

I still think, if the scandal came to an obviously criminal head, that this would be a brilliant move and, if elections were Japanese fighting games, Obama would get 1000x points for this finishing combo.
posted by honestcoyote at 8:52 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If we're playing "let's get stoned and wouldn't this be awesome," Mitt sues for slander before Election Day and loses.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:03 PM on July 13, 2012


Mitt could still retroactively resign from being Governor of Massachusetts. That way his previous testimony doesn't matter, Romney-care never happened under his governorship, and he still makes all that money from Bain.
posted by ifandonlyif at 9:16 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like your script, honestcoyote, but it says something that even in our fantasies rich white bankers can't be punished.
posted by gerryblog at 9:17 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"He retroactively resign from Bain... he retroactively resigned from Romney-care, don't think for a moment once he gets what he wants he won't quit on you too."
posted by ifandonlyif at 9:19 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


M.I.A. Mitt
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:34 PM on July 13, 2012


Its like he doesn't even know he's telling lies. Its pathological. Its uncontrollable.

Lyin' ass liars got to lie lie lie.

Yeah, it is pathological. If this bugger didn't have so much money and status, he'd be in jail by now.

America, if somehow you elect this piece of scum, you'll get exactly what you deserve.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:43 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


From up here in Canada your elections look like all or nothing affairs; if someone finds a nuclear option, they use it and if they can't find a weakness, they invent one.

Except that Steve-O has imported this to Canada. They successfully pinned the sponsorship scandal on Paul Martin, and repeated "not a leader!" and "just visiting!" as much as necessary. They have a good chance of staying in power if they just keep repeating "Tom Mulcair...dangerous ideas...Tom Mulcair...dangerous ideas..." until 2015.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:44 PM on July 13, 2012


M.I.A. Mitt

Mitting in Action (Mitting Inaction?)
posted by jason_steakums at 9:50 PM on July 13, 2012


Mittens' inaction?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:54 PM on July 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


POW! Mittens' Inaction is a headline I dearly want to see.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:57 PM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I prefer to live in my rich fantasy life: This story spirals out of control, Romney is disgraced and has to drop his candidacy. When the brokered convention comes around, who gets nominated? Santorum? Jeb? Gingrich? Pawlenty? Paul? Cheney? Oh the mind reels.
TRUMP/TAITZ 2012
posted by Flunkie at 10:14 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Let me point out that Romney wanted to talk about the economy. For the last 3 weeks the narrative is on his actions a dozen years ago. That's three weeks lost, that he can't get back.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:19 PM on July 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The most fascinating aspect of the 2012 GOP fail parade has been watching how undisciplined and useless the party apparatus has become. As mentioned above, Steve Schmidt knows where the bodies are buried in Mitt Romney's tax returns. I find it hard to believe that the rest of the GOP power structure hasn't seen them. They had to know this was coming, because it came up in Romney's previous races. So, how the fuck does this happen?

The GOP of old would have gotten the Grand Council together, put all the billionaire money behind one of the other candidates (instead of each billionaire backing their own personal vanity candidate as they did) and offered Romney a promise of an ambassadorship to The Cayman Islands in exchange for him suddenly deciding his heart wasn't in the race for the White House. If he declined the offer, he and Ann would have woken up with Rafalca's head in their bed the next morning. That's how the GOP rolled from the 1980s straight through the 2004 election. How did they lose their edge?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:24 PM on July 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Josh Marshall on the situation after today's interview-palooza:
This is 'bitch slap' politics played with a gusto and coldness seldom seen from Democrats, at least since the Bill Clinton days. Asking for an apology is losing. Saying you want something you clearly have no power to get is losing.
...
Romney had absolutely nothing to do with Bain after 1999, no responsibility for anything it did, barely even knew what it did. Only he was the owner, the Chairman of the Board and the CEO. At least according to all the official documents. Only he wasn't any of those things, says Romney.

Partisans can be walked through the arguments of how this might be true, just as you could explain what John Kerry meant by saying he was for a bill before he voted against it. But it still makes no sense. And doubling down on nonsense makes you look silly and trapped. That’s especially dangerous for someone already saddled with a reputation for shifting his stories and positions to suit the moment.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:35 PM on July 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


[The Obama Camp] would like to see more of Romney’s tax returns as well as minutes from Bain Capital meetings, reports NBC’s White House correspondent Kristen Welker.

Oh, that is good stuff.


Oh absolutely! I actually wanted to thump my desk and cry, hear hear when I read that [*]. That's such a legit, devastating move that I don't even know where to start.
posted by the cydonian at 1:10 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bet he's also for education and against crime.

I've heard he's for change and if you can't understand why he's doing something he said he wouldn't do its really because he's playing 256 dimensional chess.

Tis a shame that rather than giving you a reason to vote FOR him, it boils down to 'the other guy sucks more'.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:42 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


AdMitting Inaction.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:01 AM on July 14, 2012


What does he have left to run on

Bout the same as Bush the Lesser. There were 8 years of him, no?

And if one believes Black Box Voting - does who you vote for matter?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:13 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Tis a shame that rather than giving you a reason to vote FOR him, it boils down to 'the other guy sucks more'."

When has this not been a fact of American politics since Nixon?
posted by bardic at 3:01 AM on July 14, 2012


Romney reminds me of every rich asshole boss I've ever had the misfortune to work for.

Reagan had Hollywood Star
Bush Snr had CIA Gravitas
Bush Jnr had Regular Joe
Heck, McCain had War Hero and Palin had Soccer Mom

What prestige class does Romney have?

The GOP branding apparatus is floundering.
posted by jet_manifesto at 3:17 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Obama camp must be extremely confident that there is nothing in Obama's past that could be dredged up or demanded by the Romney campaign to hurt Obama, even by insinuation.


You are kidding right? Like the "gentleman" of the GOP have played all along by Marquess of Queensbury rules and now it's Obama who is hitting below the belt?

WTF? Remember "he pals around with terrorists?". How about Bill Ayres, Jeremiah Wright, birth certificates, "real Americans," Kenyan anti-colonialist ..... ? Has there been any lie, calumny, racist insult, or insinuation of otherness that has been too rich for Republicans' blood? Any libel or slander they have gingerly kept at arm's length?

And have you forgotten who INVENTED "swift boating," or what it meant?


No, you assholes, this is what it is like to get hit, only this time it is above the belt and true.


Those of you who think this will blow over by November are politically delusional. The narrative is being set now, and unless Rmoney releases his taxes soon, and disproves the charge that these outright contradictions in the record are purposefully deceptive, it is gonna stick to Richie Rich, but good. Hell, it already has.

Willard didn't come out for those interviews because it was a good moment for a Friday news dump, or he would have dumped something. He came out of his hole because the storm was raging by Friday and he had to do something or look weak.

In those tv interviews, to me, he looks downright scared, not like everything is going according to plan.

Chicago rules, buddy. You guys took playing dirty to new heights over the last few decades, so eat it.
posted by spitbull at 4:47 AM on July 14, 2012 [38 favorites]


And sorry, but what modern election in any major democracy has not looked like this? This is not an American thing. It's dirty business. Canada and the UK have no reason to be smug.
posted by spitbull at 4:54 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney says he has no recollection of attending meetings between 1999 and 2002, contradicting Romney who swore in front of some MA judge thingy that he did. Whom are we to believe, Romney or Romney?
posted by the cydonian at 6:01 AM on July 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


That's how the GOP rolled from the 1980s straight through the 2004 election. How did they lose their edge?

My theory? Bush/Cheney. Tweedledum/TweedleDeath's head showed that any unpolished turd could get elected to the presidency and now all the rich boys want to play, but they don't want to play on the team.

I also think the releasing the total tithing amounts will have more of an impact than people are realizing. First with the Mormons. Don't forget this is his family, this is his church. He could lose a lot of respect in their eyes-- not a political blow but a personal one.

More importantly this could hurt Romney with his voting base. His religion is in name only at this point-- we have been told he is a Mormon but there isn't any concrete evidence of his faith-- no photographs of him in his sacred underwear or video of him rhapsodizing about becoming God of his own planet. However, if there is an actual tithing amount, say $25 million over the last 5 years, that could be a large lump for regular folk to swallow, "He gave HOW much to the Mormon church?!"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:05 AM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Surely the "no recall" thing is supposed to happen at the end of a presidency?
posted by Artw at 6:11 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


A new ad out from the Obama Campaign continues to slam Romney on his outsourcing and overseas accounts.
posted by Mick at 6:13 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Surely the "no recall" thing is supposed to happen at the end of a presidency?

It worked for Reagan, right? It must be a winning strategy! It can't fail!

Maybe he can promise to outsource the federal government to China if actually elected.
posted by nangar at 6:22 AM on July 14, 2012


As entertaining as all the When-Did-Willard-Leave-Bain-And-How-Thoroughly-Did-He-Leave-It? whoop-de-doo is, doesn't fighting over the subject imply that you're accepting the notion that Bain only went all predatory and pirate-ish as a result of Thoroughly Moral Mitt's departure? And isn't that really the wrong question to be asking, and doesn't that really make you sort of a sap? Discuss.
posted by newdaddy at 6:32 AM on July 14, 2012


I asked some of my Bain Consulting friends what they thought about this. They universally said "That's Bain Capital, we didn't have anything to do with that," even the ones that consulted for them in the past. I think we're getting traction when even the Bainies don't want to be associated with it anymore.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:45 AM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whom are we to believe, Flip or Flop?
posted by ericb at 6:49 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


As entertaining as all the When-Did-Willard-Leave-Bain-And-How-Thoroughly-Did-He-Leave-It? whoop-de-doo is, doesn't fighting over the subject imply that you're accepting the notion that Bain only went all predatory and pirate-ish as a result of Thoroughly Moral Mitt's departure? And isn't that really the wrong question to be asking, and doesn't that really make you sort of a sap? Discuss.
What?

That genuinely makes no sense to me. How does asking whether or not he was in charge of Bain when Bain did those things imply that you believe he was not in charge of Bain when Bain did those things?
posted by Flunkie at 6:52 AM on July 14, 2012


A new ad out from the Obama Campaign ...

I love it! And, guess what? We've only just begun! Mitt, fasten your seat belt. It's gonna be a bumpy ride.
posted by ericb at 6:53 AM on July 14, 2012


Mitt Romney, American Parasite -- "His years at Bain represent everything you hate about capitalism."
posted by ericb at 6:56 AM on July 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


A new ad out from the Obama Campaign continues to slam Romney on his outsourcing and overseas accounts.
posted by Mick at 6:13 AM on July 14 [+] [!]


For some reason I didn't manage to view it. Is this one it? Holy crap they're going into nightmare territory here.
posted by Anything at 7:02 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The actual outsourcing issue might hurt Romney some, but Romney's fumbling of the issue and his 'I wasn't really in charge' defense raise questions about leadership ability and that will really hurt him if he this keeps up. (The outsourcing thing kind of sticks, since it's an issue for Republicans anyway.)

Romney's fumbled this pretty badly, and he's dealing with really skillful opponents. If this reflects the level of competence of his campaign, he's going to get clobbered.
posted by nangar at 7:11 AM on July 14, 2012


It looks like that Obama ad is a direct response to this ad from Romeny's campaign, which is an incredibly defensive ad citing WaPo. They'll probably be running back to back on the same commercial break in many swing state TV markets. Try watching them both, it makes Romney look incredibly weak and defensive.

(Whoever makes his ads is also crap, and watching them both one after another makes it especially clear, the text for Romney's ad isn't that legible, it's white on grey. The content is also ridiculously defensive and whiny.)
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:16 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney is trapped hard here. At best, he comes out looking weak, inept, and secretive. At worst, the (correct) description of him as a real-life Gordon Gecko becomes the only topic of discussion for the next four months.

The true-believers and Obama-haters aren't going to be swayed, of course - but they are mostly a lost cause, anyway. This will lose him the middle ground that is crucial to any chance he may have. My feeling is he's toast, but nothing's a sure thing in American politics.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:23 AM on July 14, 2012


As entertaining as all the When-Did-Willard-Leave-Bain-And-How-Thoroughly-Did-He-Leave-It? whoop-de-doo is, doesn't fighting over the subject imply that you're accepting the notion that Bain only went all predatory and pirate-ish as a result of Thoroughly Moral Mitt's departure?

I'm not sure I follow here. The specific question here is about laying off and causing destruction of some specific firms; this happened as a result of a Bain Capital jujitsu in 2001 or so. Which essentially brings us to the question of who took decisions at Bain Capital in that period (or indeed, a better question being what led to the decisions being taken there, in terms of corporate cultures and paradigms, which is a much more interesting question for me)

That Romney is running away from defending those specific decisions suggests to me that American polity has decided that this whole predatory behaviour is not kosher, politically speaking at least.

And isn't that really the wrong question to be asking, and doesn't that really make you sort of a sap? Discuss.

May be. (what's a 'sap'? I know the term only from botany)
posted by the cydonian at 7:25 AM on July 14, 2012


"Obama aides are following a jujitsu strategy they put in place months ago: Take a candidate's apparent strength—here, Mr. Romney's business acumen—and make it a liability. Team Romney, of course, had wanted the race to be a referendum on the president's jobs record.

... The next line of attack from the Obama campaign will center on Mr. Romney's early efforts to raise capital at Bain, one aide said."*
posted by ericb at 7:26 AM on July 14, 2012


Also, I noticed a typo about 22 seconds into the Obama ad. Check the date on the Vanity Fair quote.
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:26 AM on July 14, 2012


Also, I noticed a typo about 22 seconds into the Obama ad. Check the date on the Vanity Fair quote.

I'm pretty sure the quote is from the August issue of Vanity Fair.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:35 AM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Tis a shame that rather than giving you a reason to vote FOR him, it boils down to 'the other guy sucks more'.

Obama fufilled his promises. Congress stopped him on two. Stimulus, HCR, Financial Reform, DADT repeal, executive move to implement amnesty for undocumented workers who came here as kids, killing bin Laden, pulling out of Iraq on exactly the timetable he promised, restoring millions of jobs, doubling the value of the stock market, saving the US Auto Industry and its jobs and keeping the recession short despite the titanic blows it took during Bush's folly.

Guy has done what he said he'd do--despite the shit sandwich he was handed.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:35 AM on July 14, 2012 [20 favorites]


Benny Andajetz: Oooohhhhh that makes sense.
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:37 AM on July 14, 2012


That isnt a typo, it is from this August 2012 Vanity Fair article.
posted by cashman at 7:38 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


(calling it "August issue" instead of just "August" would work better for dense people like me)
posted by amuseDetachment at 7:38 AM on July 14, 2012


I encourage folks to read that Vanity Fair article. Gives you a sense of who Mitt is, and how he operates.
posted by ericb at 7:44 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Mitt Romney were running a “post-truth” campaign, would the political press report it?

That's why Politifact and Factchecker are often part of the problem. Even if Mitt Romney is responsible for 90% of the lies and distortions in this campaign, a mainstream news media can't say that without appearing biased and arousing the wrath of the entire Republican Fox News noise machine. That's why you get sites like Politifact and Factchecker splitting hairs so much with Democratic claims, because that's the only way you can get the lies to "even out" on a partisan basis.
posted by jonp72 at 7:53 AM on July 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


From today's Boston Globe:
On the day after Romney took over the Winter Olympics, the Boston Herald reported that “Romney said he will stay on as a part-timer with Bain, providing input on investment and key personnel decisions.”

On July 19, 1999, a news release about the resignation of two Bain Capital managing directors describes Romney as CEO and “currently on a part-time leave of absence to head the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee.”

Romney is quoted in the release from Regan Communications of Boston as saying, “While we will miss them, we wish them well and look forward to working with them as they build their firm,” language that suggests he was still involved in Bain personnel matters.

A Harvard Business School bulletin from October 1999 reported that “Romney is currently on leave as CEO of Bain Capital” and not that he had “retired” from Bain. In a November 2000 interview with the Globe, Romney’s wife, Ann, said he had been forced to lessen, but not end entirely, his involvement with Bain Capital.

... Romney’s lawyer at the [Ballot Law Commission on June 17, 2002] hearing said that Romney’s work in the private sector continued unbroken while he ran the Olympics.

“He succeeded in that three-year period in restoring confidence in the Olympic Games, closing that disastrous deficit and staging one of the most successful Olympic Games ever to occur on US soil,” said Peter L. Ebb from Ropes & Gray.

“Now while all that was going on, very much in the public eye, what happened to his private and public ties to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? And the answer is they continued unabated just as they had.”
Poor Mitt. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth!
posted by ericb at 8:08 AM on July 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


That's why Politifact and Factchecker are often part of the problem. Even if Mitt Romney is responsible for 90% of the lies and distortions in this campaign, a mainstream news media can't say that without appearing biased and arousing the wrath of the entire Republican Fox News noise machine. That's why you get sites like Politifact and Factchecker splitting hairs so much with Democratic claims, because that's the only way you can get the lies to "even out" on a partisan basis.

NPR's look at current events EJ Dionne and David Brooks' replacement is a perfect example of this. Brooks' replacement (sorry, can't remember the name. she was a speech writer for Reagan and it was not Peggy Noonan) pointed to the Kessler articles and the Factchecker stuff to try and put away this Bain kerfuffle. It was pathetic and even more so because no one called her on the bullshit.
posted by NoMich at 8:14 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


As entertaining as all the When-Did-Willard-Leave-Bain-And-How-Thoroughly-Did-He-Leave-It? whoop-de-doo is, doesn't fighting over the subject imply that you're accepting the notion that Bain only went all predatory and pirate-ish as a result of Thoroughly Moral Mitt's departure? And isn't that really the wrong question to be asking, and doesn't that really make you sort of a sap? Discuss.
Nope.

The facts are these: We know that Romney ran Bain and created its corporate culture for the better part of two decades. This has been confirmed by pretty much everyone in and out of Bain. At some point, Bain was responsible for layoffs and offshoring even in the midst of one of the most robust periods of US economic growth in decades. And finally, even the single year of tax returns we've seen show that Romney show that he's made a killing off his time at Bain, and that through the tax loopholes that are available to him essentially for being rich, he pays an effective tax rate equivalent to or below wide swaths of the working class. For the moment, the legal matter is exclusively over the period of layoffs and offshoring, and whether Romney was involved in anything other than sitting around collecting millions in paychecks and dividends.

If he's lying, it's at best a massive black eye and at worst a criminal matter, and barring the US or world economy collapsing before November, the show's over and Pierce's question above is moot. So what would I do if I was the Obama campaign, or for that matter, a responsible member of the media? If he's telling the truth (which I actually think is the case), then the next step is easy: ask Romney if he thinks the executives who were actually running the company were doing something wrong by laying off people from generally healthy companies while simultaneously offshoring jobs. If he says yes, then ask him why he let it happen and why he never denounced it or distanced himself from a company that was being so horrible. If he says no, then it's almost certain that the caricature of him as an amoral, predatory, Gordon Gekko-type leaves the liberal bubble and becomes mainstream.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:15 AM on July 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Anyone link to this hilarious ad yet?

I'm not really paying much attention to the campaign, I think Obama getting re-elected is pretty much a given, frankly. But it's kind of hilarious to see Romney getting destroyed like this anyway.

Also hilarious to see Romney complaining about being "swift-boated" which isn't even true at all, as far as I can tell the attacks are basically true (also I love the term "swift yachting").

Mittens also doesn't seem to understand how negative campaigning actually works. The purpose of these ads isn't "Well, someone who would say he's the CEO on a SEC form but not really be the CEO is a huge crime that should disqualify you for being president" - they are like dog whistles. The point is to remind voters that he's a super-shady near billionare CEO bankster type.

The Obama campaign can't go after him directly for being a banker, because they need bankers and other rich people to fund their campaign, or at least the campaigns of other democrats (see Cory Booker, and even Bill Clinton's criticisms). But what they are doing is going after him for doing the kinds of things that rich bankers do.

The fact that he's responding with this whole shrodinger's CEO duality thing where he was both the CEO and not the CEO depending on how you observe it isn't making him look strong and decisive either. So just like Kerry failing to respond to the actual swift boaters

The attacks might not make much sense to the rich banker types as direct attacks, but they'll make people who don't like them associate Romney with those types.
That's why Politifact and Factchecker are often part of the problem. Even if Mitt Romney is responsible for 90%
Indeed. In fact, didn't they claim in the past that Obama was lying when he said Romney was responsible for job losses - the basis of that judgement was the fact that Romney wasn't in charge of Bain. But now we know he was in charge of bain (even if he didn't do anything) and he was the sole owner and thus the one benefiting from it.

(Also the stericycle thing is a pretty idiotic attack, IMO. Democrats are pro choice, which means pro disposing of aborted fetuses. Attacking him over it just makes you look hypocritical. It could have been an issue in the republican primary, but wasn't.)
posted by delmoi at 8:19 AM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


(Also the stericycle thing is a pretty idiotic attack, IMO. Democrats are pro choice, which means pro disposing of aborted fetuses. Attacking him over it just makes you look hypocritical. It could have been an issue in the republican primary, but wasn't.)

I don't think that the Stericycle thing is aimed towards liberals. I'm pretty sure it's directed straight at the Evangelicals.
posted by NoMich at 8:23 AM on July 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh I came up with this analogy:

Mittens saying he's not responsible for what Bain did after he left is like if Obama were to go on vacation and have Joe Biden start a war with Iran - Would anyone accept it if he came back and was all "Hey guys, I was on vacation! I totally have no responsibility for what happens when I'm not around!"
I don't think that the Stericycle thing is aimed towards liberals. I'm pretty sure it's directed straight at the Evangelicals.
Why? They're not going to vote for Obama. They're not idiots, they know Romney is going to appoint pro-life supreme court judges, who will uphold state laws making it difficult to or even impossible to operate abortion clinics. The fact that he made money disposing of fetuses might squick them out but it's not going to make them vote for someone pro-choice.

And again, if you're a liberal pushing that line, all it does is make you look like a hypocrite willing to say anything rather then someone who takes a principled stand that abortion is moral.

(In fact, it could be counterproductive, because it pushes the abortion angle to the forefront of their minds, if they happen to be thinking about other things like Bain, the economy, or whatever)
posted by delmoi at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2012


It's still pretty stupid, or more accurately, useless. As with the Mormonism, evangelicals will either ignore it or justify in their heads that a little bit of fetus disposal is nothing compared to a godless Muslim.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:29 AM on July 14, 2012


Romney has announced that "he will not rest until the real Bain CEO is caught."
posted by JackFlash at 8:40 AM on July 14, 2012 [26 favorites]


The Obama camp must be extremely confident that there is nothing in Obama's past that could be dredged up or demanded by the Romney campaign to hurt Obama, even by insinuation.
You are kidding right? Like the "gentleman" of the GOP have played all along by Marquess of Queensbury rules and now it's Obama who is hitting below the belt?

WTF? Remember "he pals around with terrorists?". How about Bill Ayres, Jeremiah Wright, birth certificates, "real Americans," Kenyan anti-colonialist ..... ? Has there been any lie, calumny, racist insult, or insinuation of otherness that has been too rich for Republicans' blood? Any libel or slander they have gingerly kept at arm's length?
Hahahaha. Yeah no kidding. It isn't like there's nothing that can be twisted to make Obama look bad, it's that the republicans have used all of it already. Maybe they can go after him for being a teenage pot smoker (they haven't really used that yet) other then that, what's left?

He's the most "vetted" person in history.
doubling the value of the stock market,
Lol. Obama personally doubled the value of the stock market by hand?! Why didn't he quadruple it?! It's funny to see Obama's fanboys both claim that he has no power over the economy or the unemployment rate and then on the other hand claim he doubled the value of the DJI or whatever. (And also, the stock market isn't double of what it was when Obama took office, rather, it's close to double the lowest point which came after he took office. The reality is Obama's economic stewardship has not been very good at all - he did a stimulus that was way too small to fix the problems, and then focused mostly on deficit reduction by trying fruitlessly to negotiate with the republicans - stuff like the bowles-simpson b.s. and so on.)
posted by delmoi at 8:44 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did anyone post yet the The Mitt Map of Money Havens courtesy the Obama campaign.

But to echo what jonp72 and NoMich said about news coverage, look at a Google page of headlines. The typical post-80s journalism. Reported as simply a back-and-forth, like a PBP of a tennis match. Obama campaign said this, Mitt said that. Blech.

Poor Mitt. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth!

I miss Ann.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:45 AM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


You mean Egg?
posted by zombieflanders at 8:46 AM on July 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


Maybe they can go after him for being a teenage pot smoker (they haven't really used that yet) other then that, what's left?

Unfortunately the Barry Obama stories and the cool 'fro make him seem kind of awesome. Choom wagon!
posted by Artw at 8:47 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why? They're not going to vote for Obama...

I think in politics you are constantly trying to do three things: Keep a hold of your base, sway the middle, and disgust your opposition's base. You are not really going to convince the opposition's base to vote for you no matter what, but you can influence how they feel about their own candidate. Most of them are going to vote anyways, but if you affect even 2% to either not vote, or to vote 3rd party that easily is the difference between a win and a loss.
Plenty of campaigns on both sides have been fought thusly, the last successful one I know of was Reid's 2010 Senatorial campaign. He really was in serious trouble up to election day, but his campaign managed to turn off enough GOP voters that he prevailed.

Evangelicals already have a few reasons to distrust Romney. He was officially pro-choice in the past, and he is a Mormon. Much more of this is going to cause them serious pause. Again, yes most of them, overwhelmingly most of them will vote Romney, but disaffecting 5% may be a reasonable target, and everything (except the Mormonism) really are issues they care about, so seems to me fair game to say "hey this guy, was pro-choice and did benefit financially from abortions, is this who you want to vote for?" Personally I wouldn't call either of those things really bad, (my fundamental beef with Romney is no one know what the fuck he really stands for, he is head and shoulders the worst liar I have seen run for president... ever. It is hard to say you disagree with his positions because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY REALLY ARE) and I don't think you have to. Just state the facts and let people decide.
posted by edgeways at 8:49 AM on July 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Abortion is a hot-button issue in ways that don't easily map onto the two party system. Having Romney's fairly stunning hypocrisy on abortion exposed will be useful to Democrats even if not a single evangelical vote is in play (and there are plenty of left-leaning evangelicals, by the way.) It's not the point of the attack but it's a definite bonus.
posted by gerryblog at 8:50 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also what edgeways said.
posted by gerryblog at 8:51 AM on July 14, 2012


It is hard to say you disagree with his positions because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY REALLY ARE

Sell the populace of the United States to the aliens from Battlefeold Earth, show record profits.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on July 14, 2012


Has Stericycle actually been mentioned in any Obama campaign ads? Did I miss something?

I thought it was just something mentioned a Mother Jones article the previous Bain FPP linked to that hasn't otherwise been discussed much.
posted by nangar at 8:55 AM on July 14, 2012


Sell the populace of the United States to the aliens from Battlefeold Earth, show record profits.

Romney: Yes! :)
Romney: No! :(
Romney: I can't remember! :P

Ann Romney: I'M A MOM TOOOOOOOOO
posted by edgeways at 8:55 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama Super PAC: Bashing Bain Works
Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting President Obama, has released a polling memo finding that ads targeting Romney’s business record are having an impact in five key states.

Internal polling from Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia suggests that Romney’s tenure at the private venture firm is more of a liability than an asset.

Thirty-seven percent of voters in those swing states are less likely to vote for Romney because of his work running Bain Capital, according to the memo. Twenty-seven percent say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Fifty-eight percent of voters said Romney was in business to make money for himself and his investors, regardless of the impact on jobs or business.

“We’ve firmly established that Romney’s tenure was not about creating jobs,” pollster Geoff Garin told the Plum Line. “This sets the stage for what we’ll be doing later on.”

The group also polled markets where the Priorities ads had aired against similar markets where the ads had not. In areas where the ads aired, Obama leads Romney by eight points; in areas without ads he leads by only three.
posted by ericb at 8:58 AM on July 14, 2012


Has Stericycle actually been mentioned in any Obama campaign ads? Did I miss something?

The candidate doesn't touch something like that. Bush never mentioned Kerry's Vietnam service. It's for surrogates.
posted by gerryblog at 8:59 AM on July 14, 2012


Poll Suggests Obama Swing State Attacks Working
A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out Wednesday suggests that in key swing states, President Obama’s ad campaigns against former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are working.

While nationally the two rivals are locked in a dead heat, in 12 expected battleground states — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin — Obama leads by eight points in the survey.

So, what gives?

“The obvious conclusion here is that the negative TV ads pummeling Romney in the battleground states...are having an impact,” conclude NBC’s political unit in their “First Read” morning briefing.
The data in the NBC-WSJ poll certainly backs up that sentiment. A month ago in those same 12 swing states, Romney averaged a 36 percent favorable and 36 percent unfavorable rating. Now, he is at 30 percent favorable and 41 percent unfavorable. Attitudes about Romney’s business background, a target of numerous ads run by the pro-Obama Priorities USA Action super PAC, are more negative in swing states.
posted by ericb at 9:02 AM on July 14, 2012


The little people are just not getting it about the benefits of serfdom.
posted by Artw at 9:07 AM on July 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


It is hard to say you disagree with his positions because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY REALLY ARE

Mitt Romney Flip-Flops: 17 Things He Probably Stands For.
posted by ericb at 9:09 AM on July 14, 2012


ArtW, that's so true, and so disappointing. I'd expect more from people educated by our public education system.
posted by OmieWise at 9:13 AM on July 14, 2012


Romney: My Precious!
posted by ericb at 9:14 AM on July 14, 2012


Poll Suggests Obama Swing State Attacks Working
...and he will need every advantage in those states to counter the voter suppression, which could have a significant impact.

Despite the power of these ads and this line of attack, I am not so sanguine about Obama being a shoo in. The Republican big bucks have not been unleashed yet.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:17 AM on July 14, 2012


The candidate doesn't touch something like that. Bush never mentioned Kerry's Vietnam service. It's for surrogates.

BTW, we haven't seen hardly any of the combined $1.5billion that Romney and the SuperPACs are going to throw at the race between now and November. This year tests whether that's workable as a rebuttal to stuff like this.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:18 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jinx!
posted by zombieflanders at 9:18 AM on July 14, 2012


madamjujujive -- I agree.
posted by ericb at 9:20 AM on July 14, 2012


I agree it isn't over by a long shot, though I give a slight edge to Obama. Both of then seem like shockingly vulnerable candidates who'd be creamed by a stronger candidate (2008 Obama, say, or a Jeb Bush who had a different last name).

Remember, though, that the Republican big money men are for the most part rational actors who want to win, not lose heroically. If Romney seems like a lost cause they might throw their money at Congressional races or the state level instead.
posted by gerryblog at 9:33 AM on July 14, 2012


"Remember, though, that the Republican big money men are for the most part rational actors who want to win, not lose heroically. If Romney seems like a lost cause they might throw their money at Congressional races or the state level instead."
If the Republicans keep congress, which they will, and pick up a handful of gubernatorial races the cycle should be seen as a big win for them.

Thing is, they already have enough money to follow an "all of the above" strategy. There's no reason to think that they need to divert money from the presidential effort in order to outspend the Democrats at the state level.
posted by striatic at 9:41 AM on July 14, 2012


I'm assuming anywhere where they have a chance of picking up a seat is being bombed with iraq-style pallets of money.
posted by Artw at 9:43 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


If the Republicans keep congress, which they will, and pick up a handful of gubernatorial races the cycle should be seen as a big win for them.

Well, yes and no. It'd be bad to lose any ground anywhere, obviously, but all the same the presidency is still the most crucial chokepoint for bad government America has. Losing almost anywhere else would be, I think, worth the tradeoff if Obama stays in for four more years (especially if Hillary Clinton rides the wave of eventual economic recovery in for a four-year term herself, and the Democrats thereby regain control the Supreme Court for a generation).
posted by gerryblog at 9:58 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If the Republicans keep congress, which they will, and pick up a handful of gubernatorial races the cycle should be seen as a big win for them.

Assuming Obama wins, then not really. Either the federal government remains at status quo (i.e. obstruct obstruct obstruct) or the GOP in Congress give a little because there's no "mandate," although I wouldn't put money on that. They will have lost the ability to create a majority in SCOTUS, among other things, and will have a much harder time passing the truly awful stuff like the Ryan Budget or DOMA reauthorization.

As for governors and other statewide races, they've already won the important election for governors and state legislatures in 2010, which gave them a ton of power over redistricting thanks to the census. Note that this was not by accident. If they haven't already publicly admitted it, there's very little doubt Rove et al would be begrudgingly happy in letting the 2006 and 2008 (both federal and state) elections end up how they did in order to stoke the fires in 2010. IIRC they won big in state races in 1990 and 2000 as well, which is how they've managed to roll back abortion, GLBT, and voter rights so far over the last twenty years.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:00 AM on July 14, 2012


they might throw their money at Congressional races or the state level

That is exactly what they are doing.
"After the 2010 elections, what was interesting, we moved to what I call Tea Party 2.0," said Clyde Fabretti, a conservative activist affiliated with tea party groups in Florida such as the West Orlando Tea Party and the Central Florida Tea Party Council. "2.0 allows for ... our ability to accomplish legislative initiatives, supporting various tea party candidates that adhere to the principles and values. And we have been hugely active."

"But it isn't the kind of activity that makes the press," Fabretti continued. "I mean, when you put 5,000 people at an event, you know, everybody shows up with their cameras. You have 10 meetings with different legislators on [Capitol] Hill -- nobody knows about it."

With many activists still lukewarm to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, many in the movement say they will focus intensely on flipping the Senate into Republican hands.
posted by cashman at 10:01 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can someone tell me if it's more than a pipe dream of mine that Romney could be dumped at the convention?

If Nebraska goes to the non-Romney on the 14th then the 'rules' say the non-Romney can be brought up as a choice right away.

But ponder the wisdom of (nsfw) Tim about non-Romney's nightmare.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:03 AM on July 14, 2012


[Evangelicals are] not going to vote for Obama. They're not idiots, they know Romney is going to...

As with a lot of campaign strategy in this country, the point is not to get them to vote for Obama. It's to reduce their engagement. Making Romney less palatable to the republican base means they're less likely to donate to his campaign, they're less likely to promote him to their friends, family, and coworkers, they're less likely to show up on election day.

It's not going to get Obama many more votes, but it's functionally similar. Better, in some ways, because reducing core republican turnout arguably has more of a "coattail effect" than increasing turnout of pro-Obama voters (who may or may not be democrats).
posted by Riki tiki at 10:04 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama fufilled his promises.

This game has been done before - all one has to do is move the date of when the promises were to mean something.

A fine example is what was dubed "VooDoo Economics" back in the 1980's. 3 days before the actual vote a press release went out saying that due to the economic situation the elimination of the federal debt won't happen. Thusly "everyone knew" on election day that the economic policy was not going to work, so what debt reduction promise was broken.



"No political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration," - Yup. evil Congress forcing him to accept lobbying from ex-government staffers.

"We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government." - hows that working out for the whistleblowers? I'm sure that anyone involved with Fast and furious has no fear about stepping forward 'blowing the whistle' on those events in the executive, right?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:28 AM on July 14, 2012


That's why Politifact and Factchecker are often part of the problem. Even if Mitt Romney is responsible for 90% of the lies and distortions in this campaign, a mainstream news media can't say that without appearing biased and arousing the wrath of the entire Republican Fox News noise machine. That's why you get sites like Politifact and Factchecker splitting hairs so much with Democratic claims, because that's the only way you can get the lies to "even out" on a partisan basis.

Which was exactly the reason why they were invented in the first place. Pathetic, really.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:47 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm sure that anyone involved with Fast and furious has no fear about stepping forward 'blowing the whistle' on those events in the executive, right?

My experience as a federal employee lawyer, with multiple cases before the Office of Special Counsel is that now the Office opens investigations and cracks the whip on the agencies. I've had far, far more success there than I did during Bush. What's your personal experience with it?


Also the US Attorney's offices are going gangbusters on Qui Tam actions, from my personal experience, from talking to qui tam practiontioners and from the first major overhaul of the False Claims Act in a quarter of a century.

My experience is that some people are calling persons who engage in mass-disemination of classified material that represents a general disagreement with US policy "whistleblowers." Not only have persons in such positions never, ever been classified as 'whistleblowers' and have never received protections under the law, but much of what was released has nothing to do with any misconduct whatsoever, but was designed solely to embarass and hinder US policy, not to report any waste, fraud or abuse.

As for the persons in Fast and Furious, two independent investigations into potential retaliation for whistleblowing are currently open, one at the OSC, the other at DOJ IG. That's the system working, despite the fact that F&F is the most bogus "scandal" ever manufactured.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:00 AM on July 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


It's funny to see Obama's fanboys both claim that he has no power over the economy or the unemployment rate and then on the other hand claim he doubled the value of the DJI or whatever.

Name one person who made such claims.

On the contrary, the stimulus and managed auto industry bailouts brought the economy and the unemployment rate back from a cliff of much worse proportions.

More importantly, this is a choice, not a referendum. Do you seriously think a return to stock-market and banking deregulation, spending without revenue, increasing taxes on the middle class, replacing defined-benefit medicare with a voucher and increasing defense spending, all while ramping up against Putin is a better way to deal with the economy?

I don't.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:10 AM on July 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


Abortion is a hot-button issue in ways that don't easily map onto the two party system. Having Romney's fairly stunning hypocrisy on abortion exposed will be useful to Democrats even if not a single evangelical vote is in play (and there are plenty of left-leaning evangelicals, by the way.) It's not the point of the attack but it's a definite bonus.
Not really. In fact, it's not even that hypocritical because he changed his position on abortion near the end of his term as governor . At the time he was pro-choice. The only people it makes look hypocritical is you: by criticizing him for doing something you don't claim to think is wrong, it makes you appear to have no morals at all, where right and wrong only depend on what party you belong too.
Most of them are going to vote anyways, but if you affect even 2% to either not vote, or to vote 3rd party that easily is the difference between a win and a loss.
Yes, and reminding people about the abortion issue and firing them up about it is not a good way to keep them from the polls. They might not like Romney, but reminding them about abortion as an issue is likely to get them to get out and vote for him, in hopes he'll appoint anti-choice supreme court judges, which is all that matters.
Has Stericycle actually been mentioned in any Obama campaign ads? Did I miss something?
No, because unlike some of the commentators in this thread, as well as bloggers and whatnot who just want to bash Romney regardless of how bad it makes them look, they're not idiots. Thankfully the Obama campaign isn't that stupid.
I agree it isn't over by a long shot, though I give a slight edge to Obama. Both of them seem like shockingly vulnerable candidates who'd be creamed by a stronger candidate (2008 Obama, say, or a Jeb Bush who had a different last name).
Obama would be vulnerable of the republicans had nominated a candidate more in-tune with everyday Americans, but the nomination process was hijacked by the teaparty nutjobs drunk on their own power. The fox news bubble has so seemed to prevent him from realizing what's actually going on (Although mitt seems vastly smarter on this issue then most of the other republican primary campaign people, save maybe Huntsman or some of the other bit players)

But just look at the polling, the current EC vote estimates show Obama close to having the nomination sewn up. Romney would basically have to sweep all of the swing states in order to win.

If you want to know what's going to happen, don't pay attention to the "narrative" -- that's really just for entertainment, something intended to get people to tune into cable news. As long as you have basic competence (unlike, say, Sarah Palin or Rick Perry) it's not going to have much of an impact. Basically a handful of votes from people who don't pay much attention to politics at all are up for grabs, and I don't think that this time (or 2008) they even play a large role.

I think I heard on CNN or something, that all things holding steady, Romney needs 40% of the Hispanic vote to win. He endorsed SB1070, and said it should be a template for the rest of the country. How is he going to get 40% of the Hispanic vote?
"After the 2010 elections, what was interesting, we moved to what I call Tea Party 2.0," said Clyde Fabretti, a conservative activist affiliated with tea party groups in Florida such as the West Orlando Tea Party and the Central Florida Tea Party Council. "2.0 allows for ... our ability to accomplish legislative initiatives, supporting various tea party candidates that adhere to the principles and values. And we have been hugely active."
Please. The "Tea Party" was ginned up by lobbyists as a marketing ploy. The legislative crap is just lobbyists being lobbyists while using that brand name – Anyone can call themselves a "tea partier"
Name one person who made such claims.
Uh, you did. You said Obama 'fulfilled his campaign promise' by doubling the stock market. Anyway, you can't really seem to remember what you say from one comment to the next so I'm not really going to bother arguing with you about it.
posted by delmoi at 11:20 AM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not really. In fact, it's not even that hypocritical because he changed his position on abortion near the end of his term as governor . At the time he was pro-choice. The only people it makes look hypocritical is you: by criticizing him for doing something you don't claim to think is wrong, it makes you appear to have no morals at all, where right and wrong only depend on what party you belong too.

My understanding is that Romney's position on abortion has actually been flip-flop-flip -- he was stridently pro-life until he ran for Senate in 1994, when suddenly he was pro-choice, and now he's pro-life again. But look: my criticism is that he has behaved in a completely inconsistent way for a person who claims to have a strong, deeply felt religio-moral objection to abortion and who claims to want to make abortion illegal. That's not special pleading, not partisan Calvinball, and not hypocrisy on my part by any stretch.
posted by gerryblog at 11:29 AM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Speaking of the actual stats, 538 shows Obama with a 62% chance of winning 32% chance of losing, but that's with the possibility of unexpected events. If you switched to the "now cast" you get an 80.1% probability of Obama winning, and a 19.9% chance of Romney winning. So if things stay as they are, I think you can expect Obama to cruse to re-election.

Talking points memo is predicting 281 ec votes for Obama, 191 for Romney, with 66 in the tossup category. Remember, you need 270 to win.

real clear politics is a conservative learning site, but their estimate puts obama at 220 ec votes to Romney's 181, with a lot more labeled as "tossups", and their polling summaries show Obama ahead in the popular vote.

That doesn't mean he doesn't need to campaign, and he's obviously not taking anything for granted.
But look: my criticism is that he has behaved in a completely inconsistent way for a person who claims to have a strong, deeply felt religio-moral objection to abortion and who claims to want to make abortion illegal.
Which pro-life voters don't give a shit about. Why would they? They want someone who will nominate pro-life supreme court judges. That's the only way presidents can influence the abortion issue anyway. Keep in mind, if Obama did try to attack Romney on this issue, it wouldn't just be evangelicals who would hear about it, everyone else would too. And it would also turn off people who are pro-choice because Obama would be in effect calling abortion immoral. You're making the assumption that pro-choice voters would somehow be immune from the same dejection effect. Obama needs to keep his base together just like Romney does, the immigration thing no doubt fired up Romney's Mexican hating base, but it did more to keep hispanics enthused about Obama.

Additionally, it would make Obama look craven and hypocritical to people who don't have strong feelings on the issue, because it would be.

It's a dumb argument, and Obama isn't using it because he's not stupid. It would have been useful for Gingrich, Santorum, etc in the primaries, but it didn't work out for them then.
posted by delmoi at 11:42 AM on July 14, 2012


The spectacle of Romney demanding an apology for these attacks without providing any evidence that the attacks are off-base is particularly brazen considering how the Romney campaign willfully edited a 2008 clip of Obama quoting John McCain to make it look like Obama, not McCain, was the one saying "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." When called on this, Romney responded with "what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander."

In other words, misleading video editing designed to attribute an embarrassing quote to your opponent is fair game, but highlighting a discrepancy between official SEC filings and your testimony about your role as a CEO is simply beyond the pale.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:02 PM on July 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I've never liked the argument that I can't call out hypocrisy without condemning the position I happen to agree with. It just doesn't make any sense.

Romney is a hypocrite, plain and simple. He was pro-choice when it was politically convenient to be a pro-Choice republican, and pro-life when it was convenient to be a pro-life Republican. Pointing this out does not mean I'm condemning abortion. The fact that Romney was (possibly) involved with investing in a firm associated with abortion is just confirmation that he's a political flip-flopper. That doesn't mean I disagree with his previous position.

Furthermore, pointing out that pro-life organizations would be hypocritical in supporting Romney, does not mean I support the kind of political quarantining they engage in. But if they're going to engage in it, they should do so consistently.
posted by muddgirl at 12:03 PM on July 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


Brad DeLong: Adam Ozimek Give Three Cheers For Outsourcing, I Give Minus Three Cheers For Bain Capital Style LBOS
Thus if I were running the Obama campaign, I would be talking about not outsourcing but how the Bain Capital LBO business model is yet more socially-destructive financial engineering. I would be arguing that we certainly don't need to be making it an even bigger part of the economy. We certainly don't need to be giving people more incentives to undertake it. And the big problem with Romney is that his experience at Bain Capital has led him to think that what America really, really needs is to transfer more resources into what made him rich: into financial engineering

But what is good for Bain Capital is definitely not good for America.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:07 PM on July 14, 2012


I would be talking about not outsourcing but how the Bain Capital LBO business model is yet more socially-destructive financial engineering.

I suspect that will be a oft-repeated 'talking point' between now and the election.
posted by ericb at 12:37 PM on July 14, 2012


But what is good for Bain Capital is definitely not good for America.

Paul Krugman: What was good for Bain, isn't good for America.
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on July 14, 2012


In my years of watching politics, I've found that negative accusations don't need to be true to be damaging, they just need to seem true. And to the extent that people will either accept a scandal or refuse to believe it based not on evidence but based on how well the accusation jibes with what they feel comfortable believing about that politician - how well the scandal fits in with their narrative or public persona - well, based on that, Mitt Romney is fucked. Whether or not the majority of Americans ever understand the nuts and bolts of all this, whether or not any of it's true, this scandal manages to simultaneously prove all the negative things that all the groups that don't trust Mitt Romney fear about Mitt Romney.

1. The Christian right has never believed that Mitt Romney was a true believer, and whether or not he had a hand in running a company that provided services to abortion clinics or profited off of such a company, the fact that he could've is the proof of their suspicions.

2. The bourgeoisie of the right - i.e. the Rupert Murdochs, Wall Street, etc. - is worried that Mitt Romney is a craven opportunist who is a) unelectable because he's so obviously unlikeable as a person and b) the sort of person who they can't support with any sort of intellectual integrity. (I.E. someone who fought to impeach Clinton for perjury can't stand up and say "oh, the fact that Romney clearly perjured himself doesn't matter".) And while a lot of modern Republicans are fine throwing their intellectual integrity under the bus, they also have to see a connection between a and b. Asking the public to have enough cognitive dissonance to believe that CEOs should run things because they have the know-how to succeed while trying to ignore that most of Mitt's achievements seem like they should not have been rewarded by a just and loving God with success because of their clear moral failings is going to be a problem narrative-wise. The more information that comes out about how exactly Mitt made his money, the more people who want to promote the "wealthy = job creator" idea are going to be sweating because it is patently untrue in his case and also so patently untrue that they probably can't doublespeak their way out of it.

3. The political middle distrusts Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper and possibly also as a Gordon Gekko type who is out to fleece them. There is no possible way for the evidence in this case to be summed up in a way that both of those things aren't absolutely true; all of the things he said cannot be simultaneously true and there's no way he can honestly account for all of that money. This is the accusation that touches the most groups demographic wise and is the hardest to disprove.

4. People on the left are worried that Mitt Romney is a massive selfish dick who doesn't care about 98% of the people, and that's pretty much written all over this. It's hard to say that taxes are too high on rich people, so high we can't help out the poor, when you're making six figures for doing nothing or gaming the system towards the haves and away from the have-nots; whatever they are now, the taxes on money you got for free should be a lot higher than they are, especially if you're trying the sort of dick whose trying to kick other people out of the boat.

So, to sum up, I'm stymied trying to think of a way this could be worse for Mitt Romney. If he'd had a gay lover, sure, a lot of the right would have been mad, but it would have warmed a certain type of liberal to him. If he'd killed a man, that would have proven to the hawks that he was sufficiently violent to run our foreign policy. I suppose there's no coming back from being a pedophile... But outside of that, simultaneously proving all the worst fears of the far right, the middle right, the middle and the left in such a way that the actual facts of the case don't matter is pretty damn bad, and the fact that this is a Swift-Boat style attack - ie one that goes after his biggest strength and renders that powerless - means that he doesn't have the option of trying to change the subject, as Bill Clinton used to do when his affairs came up. I just don't see how he recovers from this.
posted by Kiablokirk at 12:45 PM on July 14, 2012 [18 favorites]


New Obama ad with musical soundtrack supplied by Mitt Romney.
posted by octothorpe at 2:02 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ladies and gentlemen, your 60 seconds of nervous grinning and flop sweat.
posted by maudlin at 2:17 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney: Asking for Apologies While Launching Attacks

In unrelated news, I just got the Rmoney faux typo. Nice.
posted by cashman at 2:24 PM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Five Delusions About Our Broken Politics:

'1)The American Political System Will Correct Itself
2)Third Party to the Rescue
3)A Constitutional Amendment to Balance the Budget
4)Term Limits
5)Full Public Financing of Elections'

History News Network (from George Mason University): Is Mitt Romney Going to Go the Way of Thomas Dewey in '48?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:28 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yu oh.

"If you have things to hide, then maybe you're doing things wrong. I think you ought to be willing to release everything to the American people."

-- Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R), quoted by the AP, calling on Mitt Romney to release his tax returns.

posted by dig_duggler at 2:51 PM on July 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Three posts worth of beanplating about the audio techniques in Obama's latest Bain attack ad.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:11 PM on July 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


History News Network (from George Mason University): Is Mitt Romney Going to Go the Way of Thomas Dewey in '48?

What's especially funny about this article's insight is that Romney didn't have to have it this way. I'm not a Republican at all, but it seems so clear that the Republicans could have played their hand so much better.

Imagine a Romney campaign where, instead of trying to be all things to all people, Romney just straight-up admitted that he wasn't a "normal" Republican. What if he simply admitted that he was mostly a centrist who worked across the aisle and "got things done", albeit with conservative leanings? What if he explained away his contradictions by saying, "the Republican party is a big tent nowadays because we're just a huge group of people too smart to be Democrats - we can either work together to govern, or we can squabble among ourselves over who's the most pure?" What if he painted himself as a well-organized grown-up, in contrast to Obama's failed idealist? What if he dodged questions about social issues by saying, "to be perfectly honest, almost everything I'm working on has to do with the economy, let's please stick to real issues?"

Yes, the hard-right of the Republican Party would be less than impressed with that, but they'd have no other candidates to choose from, and most importantly, Romney would have a much better chance at gobbling up some moderate and independent votes as a result. He could pick a socially conservative VP pick and let that be that. He could still various blow dog whistles as far as conservatism and hawkishness go, but the main campaign narrative would be less "NOBAMA" and more "Let's Make This Work."

Romney would look reasonable. He would look honest. He could get support from both Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats. He could get young voters. He could snap up independents by constantly referencing himself as a penny-pincher and a turnaround artist. He would seem like an actual candidate, and not merely an anyone-but-Obama placeholder.

Again, I'm not at all a Republican or a Romney supporter, but it seems like he could have been a much easier sell to the American populace.

As it stands, it seems like the Republicans are intent on having Romney be the John Kerry of 2012, which is just an asinine way to run things.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:15 PM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


5)Full Public Financing of Elections'
They don't really have an adequate answer for why that won't work other then basically saying "it's too difficult to do" I agree it's difficult in light of citizens united, but you could probably do something like ban any political activity from any corporation with any foreign ownership - that would essentially exclude any publicly traded corporation in one shot.

Realistically, it would require a constitutional amendment. The authors don't consider that possibility and most of their complaints go away if you were able to do that.

The also say that campaign finance isn't the only problem, and bring up the revolving door. But duh, the solution there is to also get rid of the revolving door.

The other things they criticize are mostly ridiculous.
posted by delmoi at 3:17 PM on July 14, 2012


Mother Jones: What We Know About Romney and Bain, Explained
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:18 PM on July 14, 2012


Three posts worth of beanplating about the audio techniques in Obama's latest Bain attack ad.
Heh, I noticed the audio tweaks right away (the transitions are especially obvious) I thought it was so obvious it wasn't even really worth remarking on, but reading the TPM things it seems like they actually put a lot of thought into it.

But I think the spot is also pretty humorous - the superficial message is that he's not a very good singer and it's kind of funny.
posted by delmoi at 3:21 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sticherbeast: "Imagine a Romney campaign where, instead of trying to be all things to all people, Romney just straight-up admitted that he wasn't a "normal" Republican."

Romney might be rich, but he still needs money from the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess, Karl Rove, and the other big money GOP boys to run his campaign. He's not going to pour his entire fortune into it, for Pete's sake!

For your approach to have worked, I think you need to name names of moderate Republican billionaires who would have financed moderate Republican Super PACs that would align with this moderate version of RomneyBot. I don't think those guys exist, because if they want to support a moderate Republican, they can get the next closest thing by supporting Obama.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:22 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


What if he simply admitted that he was mostly a centrist who worked across the aisle and "got things done", albeit with conservative leanings? What if he explained away his contradictions by saying, "the Republican party is a big tent nowadays because we're just a huge group of people too smart to be Democrats - we can either work together to govern, or we can squabble among ourselves over who's the most pure?"

This is basically the opposite of what the Tea Party, the most organized and vocal wing of the Republican Party, has been doing for the past three years. They would refuse to vote for Romney, and he would absolutely lose. There's a reason one of the blogs I follow titles a section 'Robama vs. Obamney.'

The GOP is chasing the rightmost wing, and have painted themselves into a corner.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:22 PM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah Romney would never have one the primary doing that. That's what John Huntsman was trying to.

So the problem now is that Romney is trying to say that, to a certain extent but the 1) it's hard to shed the primary baggage (the press isn't going to want to let him 'etch-a-sketch' his image) and 2) the Obama campaign is keeping him on the ropes for now.

Anyway, like I said, doesn't really matter what he does because he's not going to win.
posted by delmoi at 3:24 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney might be rich, but he still needs money from the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Foster Friess, Karl Rove, and the other big money GOP boys to run his campaign. He's not going to pour his entire fortune into it, for Pete's sake!

I agree with you to an extent, but there's a key discrepancy here: I'm not saying anything about how differently Romney would actually govern. I'm just talking about how he markets himself.

If the Koch Brothers can't see the value of marketing "their guy" as a reasonable moderate, then they deserve to lose.

The GOP is chasing the rightmost wing, and have painted themselves into a corner.

I agree with this to an extent as well, but I also think it would be fatalistic (and foolish) for the GOP to think that it would be more worthwhile to keep those Tea Party votes than to lose those independent/moderate votes. The Tea Party is only one wing of the party. Besides, people can and will hold their nose and vote for people who are less than ideal. A coordinated Republican Party would work with Tea Party(-esque) candidates to ensure that Tea Party voters turn out for their own guys, and also that their own guys stress the importance of having a Republican in the White House.

It'd be sort of the mirror image of how the Obama campaign had networked with progressives, even though Obama isn't a progressive. Progressives understand that Obama isn't one of their own, but the sweeping majority of them would rather deal with Obama than Romney. What's more, I have the funny feeling that Tea Party types are much more reliable voters than progressives.

I dunno. I'm just spitballing here.

I guess what I'm really trying to say is, Mitt Romney, I will agree to be your campaign manager. Well, maybe. If and only if he pays me lots of money. Plus, he also has to grow a Burt Reynolds mustache. When questioned about it, he has to say, "what are you talking about? I've always had this," and then the camera cuts away to the confused interviewer, and then back to him, and then the mustache is gone, and then he winks.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:39 PM on July 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sticherbeast: " If the Koch Brothers can't see the value of marketing "their guy" as a reasonable moderate, then they deserve to lose. "

Yeah, but you have to remember that in most cases, those guys are already settling for Romney as their sixth or seventh choice precisely because he has exhibited moderate tendencies in the past. If a genuine right-wing Republican like Rick Perry or Herman Cain had won the primary, maybe the big donors would try to make their guy appear more moderate during the campaign, but the problem with packaging Romney as a moderate is that there's no indication that he'll govern as the wingnut they want, and even if he does, he'll be vulnerable to criticism when he sheds the moderate disguise. (We've seen with Obama that breaking campaign promises does have a non-zero political cost.)
posted by tonycpsu at 3:50 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marcy Wheeler: Where Is this Killer Instinct in Governance?
posted by tonycpsu at 4:07 PM on July 14, 2012


If the Koch Brothers can't see the value of marketing "their guy" as a reasonable moderate, then they deserve to lose.
The Koch Brothers deserve to lose, but they reason they don't see that they need to appeal to people beyond the fox news bubble is that they're in the bubble too. Just because they're rich doesn't make them somehow smarter or more strategic then the average 'bagger on the street. Just look at Donald Trump. Clearly an idiot.

They believe all this bullshit they're paying to feed everyone else. If they were just in it for the money they'd be donating to both republicans and democrats, staying behind the scenes and not making themselves obvious targets.
posted by delmoi at 5:02 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


tonycpsu: "Three posts worth of beanplating about the audio techniques in Obama's latest Bain attack ad."

That is really interesting, and IMO deserves wider exposure. The last link which goes more into the narrative aspects of the ad instead of the technical ones is especially enlightening.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:10 PM on July 14, 2012


Kiablokirk -- So well put. Great insights/analysis.
posted by ericb at 5:25 PM on July 14, 2012


...and the fact that this is a Swift-Boat style attack.

This a'int a Swift-Boat attack.

It's a 'Swiss Account-Boat" attack.

Also, a "Cayman Island" attack. Not to mention a "Bermuda Tax Haven Account" attack.

Romney: AMERICA ME, MY FAMILY and MY MORMON TITHING come first.

Woo--hoo!
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyway, like I said, doesn't really matter what he does because he's not going to win.

More like, he's not going to win if the general equilibrium of the US stays more or less constant through November. There's a number of pretty likely events . I'm thinking here of Q2 and/or Q3 negative economic growth, a terrorist attack (although Obama's done a good job of staking out his territory here, at the expense of modern civil liberties), the EU or other large trading organization such as China taking a nosedive, or a poor response to a Katrina-like natural disaster. Not that those would automatically sink his chances (well, maybe the first one would), but they would make them a lot less safe.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:45 PM on July 14, 2012


Krugman: The truth is that the Obama campaign would be doing the American people a disservice if it didn’t make the most of Bain.

Also, the real distinction in stated economic policy so far.
posted by the cydonian at 5:52 PM on July 14, 2012


They don't really have an adequate answer for why that won't work other then basically saying "it's too difficult to do" I agree it's difficult in light of citizens united, but you could probably do something like ban any political activity from any corporation with any foreign ownership - that would essentially exclude any publicly traded corporation in one shot.

That is facially unconstitutional.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:47 PM on July 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That is facially unconstitutional.

Yeah, no, it's not. See, I can make completely unsupported statements too!

Oh, but since I'm not completely lazy I will provide a citation
Political Action Committees connected to foreign corporations have already raised over $5 million for the 2012 elections, continuing a trend of increasing contributions from U.S. subsidiaries of foreign interests.

... This is perfectly legal so long as it’s American employees running the PAC and contributing the money, and so long as the PAC remains unfinanced by the foreign parent corporation.
So in other words, foreign corporations aren't legally allowed to donate to PACs, super-PACs, and so on under current law. This would just expand the definition of "foreign" to include any foreign ownership at all. (The article is discussing US employees of foreign companies using their own money to donate to PACs, and how that is legal, if sketchy. But that was also legal before citizens united)

Also, the government can impose restrictions on speech as a requirement of being a publicly traded corporations. CEOs can't lie, there is a quiet period before an IPO, and so on.

The first amendment does not protect the rights of foreign owned companies to finance political campaigns in the US. Where in the constitution do you think it defines a what a foreign owned company is?
posted by delmoi at 8:35 PM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh dear. A foreign corporation is one chartered in another country, or whose ownership is entirely foreign. But what you were talking about was a corporation with any foreign ownership. Not the same thing. Let's take an example.

Say Bank of America wants to support one candidate. That's political activity. Well, BofA is an American corporation, so no problem right? But suppose I own some shares of BofA - and as it happens, I'm foreign and not a US citizen. Does that mean that BofA is prohibited from engaging in political activity? Hardly, and yet, here is a situation involving foreign ownership - hypothetical as I own no shares in that company, but I'm sure there are many non-citizens who own some stock in BofA.

Also, the government can impose restrictions on speech as a requirement of being a publicly traded corporations. CEOs can't lie, there is a quiet period before an IPO, and so on.

Commercial speech =/= political speech, as any fule kno.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:02 PM on July 14, 2012


I'm going to mention here that these campaigns are kind of like boxing matches, and Romney just had a pretty strong blow to the head. That won't knock him out. But the next punch should come from a different direction and aim right to the gut. Within a week or so.

And I'm only mentioning this so later I can say "I told you so."
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:02 PM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


More to the point, the Roberts majority on the Supreme Court has made it very clear how they feel about these questions -- so it's not constitutional because they say so until you either amend the Constitution or change the composition of the Court. No other end run around their Citizens United edict is going to work.
posted by gerryblog at 9:12 PM on July 14, 2012


Say Bank of America wants to support one candidate. That's political activity. Well, BofA is an American corporation, so no problem right? But suppose I own some shares of BofA - and as it happens, I'm foreign and not a US citizen. Does that mean that BofA is prohibited from engaging in political activity? Hardly
Are you even paying attention? The question is whether or not it should be illegal and whether or not it would be constitutional to make it illegal. Your comment has nothing to do with anything I wrote.

It seems like it should be constitutional to make it illegal, given the fact that prior to Citizens United it was thought to be constitutional to ban all corporations foreign owned or not from engaging in campaigning directly.

Allowing foreign owned companies to engage in the campaign process is obviously a bad idea. What's to prevent a company like Sinopec or Saudi Aramco from buying a controlling interest in some US company and using it to funnel campaign funds to some superpac? What if they were to buy a 30% share? Where do you draw the cutoff line?

Ironmouth seems to think setting it anywhere other then 100% would be unconstitutional, without providing any evidence whatsoever that that's the case. You seem to be talking about current law (which does indeed allow companies with significant foreign investment to donate to political parties, Newscorp would be a good example, as the second largest stockholder is a saudi prince)

But current law is not what's being discussed.
posted by delmoi at 9:53 PM on July 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Newscorp would be a good example

There was a rumor that Newscorp wasn't actually born in the U.S., but rather in Australia. Until I see the birth certificate, I'm wary about Fox News presiding over the American people.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:11 PM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Let's see his worth certificates.
posted by rhizome at 11:31 PM on July 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


That is really interesting, and IMO deserves wider exposure. The last link which goes more into the narrative aspects of the ad instead of the technical ones is especially enlightening

Too bad the analysis of the actual sound design techniques is so amateur.
posted by spitbull at 5:26 AM on July 15, 2012


That is facially unconstitutional.

Yeah, no, it's not. See, I can make completely unsupported statements too!


Yes it is. You cite a regulation regarding foreign corporations, not what you propose, which is that any foreign investment in any corporation would disallow it contributing to non-camapign electioneering. Not the same thing at all. Much as Citizens United sucks, your provision would prohibit non-campaign electioneering for nearly every corporation in the US. Since it has long been held, see U.S. V New York Times Co.

Let's get our terms straight too. Every corporation and union is barred from contributing directly to a poltical campaign or party commitee. That's the law. Foreign or not. Citizen's United was about whether corporations could be barred from contributing to ads which mentioned a candidate by name within 60 days of a primary election or 90 days of a general election. These ads are not ads paid for by a campaign or a party, they are independent expenditures.

The idea that you could set up a system where anyone who is a foreign owner of any size (down to one share) would trigger the ability to ban corporate payments for independent campaign expenditures flies directly in the face of Citizens United, because it would ban US corporations from running those ads. The justices surely know that nearly every publically-traded US corporation has non-US shareholders. To prevent one class of corporations majority owned by US persons from contributing while allowing another class of such corporations contribute violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which the Supreme Cour has long held is also incorporated into the Fifth Amendment's due process guarantee.

posted by Ironmouth at 7:55 AM on July 15, 2012


Mitt Romney Bain Capital Document Lists Him As 'Managing Member' In 2002.
posted by ericb at 8:00 AM on July 15, 2012


Drip. Drip. Drip ...
posted by ericb at 8:00 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


New Excuse: Gillespie says Romney ‘retired retroactively’ from Bain Capital.

Their machinations and explanations are now bordering on bizarre!
posted by ericb at 8:09 AM on July 15, 2012


Here's what I think Romney is Hiding By Refusing To Release His Tax Returns
n short, by not releasing his returns, I think Romney is trying to avoid calling more attention to the fact that he is a card-carrying member of the 0.01%, a group of Americans who deserve to be proud of their success but who are also understandably viewed with suspicion and frustration by most other Americans right now, especially when they argue that they're still paying too much in taxes.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:11 AM on July 15, 2012


New Obama campaign ad mocks Romney’s call for an apology.
posted by ericb at 8:11 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


> [Evangelicals are] not going to vote for Obama. They're not idiots, they know Romney is going to appoint pro-life supreme court judges, ...

> Again, yes most of them, overwhelmingly most of them will vote Romney, but disaffecting 5% may be a reasonable target,

> As with a lot of campaign strategy in this country, the point is not to get them to vote for Obama. It's to reduce their engagement ... It's not going to get Obama many more votes, but it's functionally similar.

> there are plenty of left-leaning evangelicals, by the way.

According exit polls, about 26% of white evangelicals voted for Barak Obama in 2008, about one in four. Trying not to lose too many of them seems like a reasonable goal.
posted by nangar at 8:12 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


New Excuse: Gillespie says Romney ‘retired retroactively’ from Bain Capital.

That settles it. If I were American, I'd definitely be voting for Romney—the dude's a Time Lord! (A Time Lord who would probably make both bow ties and fezzes deeply uncool, but you can't have everything.)
posted by maudlin at 8:14 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Forgot the citation for my last comment, Pew Research Center.
posted by nangar at 8:21 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy balls, has the GOP PR machine melted down, or what? "Retired retroactively?" That sounds more ridiculous than "I was for it before I was against it." The fact that Ed Gillespie thinks that dog's going to hunt makes me think they're really sitting on a time bomb with either the details of Romney's Bain relationship or the unreleased tax returns.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:29 AM on July 15, 2012


Durbin says Romney running from Bain 'like a scalded cat'.
posted by ericb at 8:52 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bill Kristol: Mitt Romney 'Should Release The Tax Returns Tomorrow'‎.
posted by ericb at 8:54 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Karl Rove thinks these attacks on Romney's time at Bain are bad.
posted by jeffen at 8:57 AM on July 15, 2012


Josh Marshall had the best line on that: "Rove thinks 'felony' comment cld lose election 4 Obama & desperately trying to get Obama Team to stop saying it #sportsmanship #generous"
posted by gerryblog at 9:17 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


jeffen: "Karl Rove thinks these attacks on Romney's time at Bain are bad."

Hey Karl, John McCain's "illegitimate black child" called, and she says "go fuck yourself."
posted by tonycpsu at 9:19 AM on July 15, 2012 [13 favorites]


"Retired retroactively?" That sounds more ridiculous than "I was for it before I was against it."


That means he gave the $100k+/year back, right?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:48 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lot of "concerned" GOP-ers out there. "Oh you Democrats are so silly it won't work and it will cost you the election...trust meeeeee" Rove, Branstad, Rick Scott. Didn't realize the GOP wanted the Democrats to win so much.
posted by edgeways at 9:51 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Karl Rove thinks these attacks on Romney's time at Bain are bad.

This is my SURPRISED face!
posted by ericb at 9:58 AM on July 15, 2012


Rahm Emanuel to Mitt Romney: 'Stop Whining'.
posted by ericb at 10:00 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Politics 101: Define Your Opponent Before He Can Define Himself.
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM on July 15, 2012


ericb: "New Excuse: Gillespie says Romney ‘retired retroactively’ from Bain Capital."

RETROACTIVELY
posted by tonycpsu at 10:02 AM on July 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


“[Romney] said ‘CEO, sole shareholder, president.’ You can’t — as president of the United States you can’t have a sign on your desk that says, gone fishing.’ You can’t put that on that desk. It’s basically the buck stops there,” said [Rahm] Emanuel. “You can’t say to the SEC, ‘I was the CEO, chairman and president, but I’m not responsible. I’m not accountable.’”
posted by ericb at 10:02 AM on July 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


RETROACTIVELY

Perfect!
posted by ericb at 10:03 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


George Will: Romney Is 'Losing' Argument On Bain Capital
“The Republicans have now nominated someone from the financial sector at a time when the financial sector is an extremely bad odor. Hardly a day goes by, the LIBOR scandal, TARP… all of this conditions the atmosphere in which this is appearing.”
posted by ericb at 10:05 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Democratic aide on Bain: If Romney wasn't in charge, who was?
posted by ericb at 10:06 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt Romney Ad Attacks Obama For Negative Ads.

Poor Mitt. Boo-hoo-hoo. We're off-and-running. You a'int seen nothing, yet!
posted by ericb at 10:07 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Despite concerted attempts by the Media and its "factcheckers" to dismiss the Bain story, Mitt Romney has blown it so badly that it is now the Media issue of the campaign. While Romney is clearly suffering badly under the Obama onslaught on Bain (mostly I submit, due to his own political incompetence -- how in blazes does he expect to distance himself from Bain - the company he founded, owned and ran for 25 years? The very company that is basically his "economic" credential? Incredible political incompetence), so too are the "factcheckers", who have become subjects of ridicule and lampooning at this point.


... A somewhat surprising casualty of the Bain story is the "factcheckers", who look like complete fools (or worse.) In particular, Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, who has been bombarded with ridicule for his assertion that the Bain SEC filings describing Romney as CEO, Chairman of the Board and sole stockholder as not being relevant to whether Romney was involved with Bain. It's gotten so bad that Kessler wrote a personal defense of his writings on the subject:
It’s not often that one of my columns gets more than 5,000 comments, many of them angry. I tried responding via Twitter and various e-mail exchanges but eventually gave up because I was overwhelmed. My analysis was also roasted on the web by various people I often admire, and the Huffington Post rewrote my column to highlight exclusive material that they thought I had played down. My best friend from third grade even sent me a message on Facebook saying I “was carrying the Republicans’ water.”

It was that kind of day!

I always value informed critiques. Given the many comments, I will try to make a general response.
The most amusing part of his "general response" is this:
For some readers, this may not be important. He is listed as chief executive in SEC documents, he hired the people at Bain, and so they might believe he bears responsibility for these deals. End of story. But that’s really an opinion, not a fact. (Emphasis supplied.) *
posted by ericb at 10:14 AM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Politics 101: Define Your Opponent Before He Can Define Himself.


yeah. Also any given day/week that the opposition is squirming and spending money trying to justify itself is a day/week they are not attacking or winning votes


I am still shocked at the lack of preparation on this issue. Above and beyond the legalities of did he or didn't he, it just makes Romney look unable to learn from past campaigns. Did they accidentally delete that sub-folder when they upgraded Rom-E's kernal? Is it so bad they have no effective defense? And what they hell are they going to do about the tax returns?

Christ, Romney doesn't want to run on his political experience and doesn't want to talk about his business experience what the hell kind of hollow shell did the Republicans nominate anyways? During the primaries I thought Romney was going to be the most difficult candidate to beat... but as messed up as Santorum's politics and beliefs are, at least he seemed to believe them and had political experience he didn't run away from. I really dislike Santorum, but truth is that is who they should have nominated. Not necessarily for electability reasons, but because he was/is what the Republican base is and what they deserve. When Romney loses this fall it will just be more "we didn't nominate a true conservative..." Which I guess is the ultimate problem of two party systems, there is going to be a large % of either base that is unhappy with the nominee.
posted by edgeways at 10:17 AM on July 15, 2012 [5 favorites]


On the Sunday, July 15th edition of Up with Chris Hayes, Ed Conard, former Bain Capital Partner, explains the discrepancy in SEC filings that show Mitt Romney was CEO of Bain up until 2002, contrary to Romney's reports that he left the company in 1999.
Despite Romney's statements that he left in 1999, Conard's new remarks suggest that, in fact, Romney's continued ownership of the firm enabled him to negotiate a better exit deal. "We had to negotiate with Mitt because he was an owner of the firm," Conard said.

The legal transfer of ownership dragged on for three years after Romney’s informal departure to run the Olympics in Salt Lake City, Conard said, because Romney was aggressively negotiating his retirement package and compensation with executives and lawyers at the company.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:24 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


This just in, Romney thinks of John Kerry as a role model.
posted by jeffen at 10:26 AM on July 15, 2012


I am still shocked at the lack of preparation on this issue

Yea, me too. He's been running for president for ever but doesn't seem to have mastered the basics of campaigning. If there is something really damning in the tax returns, he should have released them a year ago and everyone would be bored of the subject by now.
posted by octothorpe at 10:46 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think the Bain thing or the tax returns are unplanned. There is going to be something to talk about with Mitt, so they probably feel like these are things he can wiggle out from under.

What I'm surprised about is his poor communication skills. He just comes off as a smarmy, out of touch rich jackass.

jet_manifesto is exactly right. Who is Mitt, at the core. When he's blurry and in the distance, who is he? All the rest of the people have clear identities that are relatable in some way or other.

And again I agree, Mitt just comes off as the rich jackass boss who wants to treat you like a peasant and flaunt the power he has over you when he walks in the door. The type of person who would cut your job in a heartbeat and head out on vacation that night. You are a cog to that person, a dirty penny with gum stuck on it that their low paid employees clean out of the gutter. Probably for free because they came in 5 minutes late and got docked pay for that.

And maybe sooner or later, someone will come out and explicitly say it. And in the light of the "what they did vs what they are", it is the person's actions that are demeaning and not the actions of the person we want to be our president. Or at least I know I certainly don't want that person as president.
posted by cashman at 10:59 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Dick boss millionaire" seems a particularly odd model for a candidate in the years of Occupy and the Tea Party.
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Romney ‘Fact-Checking’ Scandal
Indeed, the behavior of these “fact-checkers” is rapidly becoming the journalism scandal of Campaign 2012 as the likes of Brooks Jackson at Annenberg’s FactCheck.org and the Post’s Glenn Kessler act more as querulous lawyers protecting Romney than as journalists seeking the actual facts surrounding Romney’s curious business narrative.
I first remember seeing the title "fact checker" during the 2004 elections. At the time, it seemed odd to me that we had to invent a new title for "journalism", but, whatever, FactCheck.org at least seemed to stick to refereeing claims based on empirical evidence, and they seemed to do an okay job at it for a while.

Lately, though, it seems like every news outlet is creating some sort of "fact checker" or "keeping them honest" unit where they imply that their analysis is extra-super-duper fact-based. Yet, as this piece shows, these "fact checkers" have their own agenda, and have gotten far away from the mission of adjudicating factual disputes and into interpreting what the principals in the debate actually "meant" when they said something, or applying their own charitable interpretations of very black-and–white questions like "were you the CEO or not?" to arrive at a predetermined verdict.

Does anyone who doesn't already follow politics closely enough to do their own adjudication of the facts actually follow PolitiFact, FactCheck, etc. these days to figure out who's lying?
posted by tonycpsu at 11:15 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe after the Palin spike, they are going to pick a VP candidate that will change the conversation. But I still think that no matter what, he needs to get better at speaking and interviewing. Even if there was a republican in office right now, Romney still seems to me to be someone running to shift things to help the wealthy, cut off any and every social program possible, and just help the powerful in the country to get a better, firmer grip on their positions. I think Mitt's mindset is that everyone should do what he does, which is play with the lower class, make a game of moving money around to boost your own income while avoiding anything that could help anyone else, and just go for delf in general. So, he'd make a great rapper, but a horrible president.
posted by cashman at 11:20 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yet, as this piece shows, these "fact checkers" have their own agenda, and have gotten far away from the mission of adjudicating factual disputes and into interpreting what the principals in the debate actually "meant" when they said something, or applying their own charitable interpretations of very black-and–white questions like "were you the CEO or not?" to arrive at a predetermined verdict.

Reminds me of that xkcd snopes comic.
posted by cashman at 11:23 AM on July 15, 2012


Forbes: 35 Questions Mitt Romney Must Answer About Bain Capital Before The Issue Can Go Away
Specifically, Romney is going to have to answer the following 35 questions before this issue subsides:

1. Are you contending that an individual can simultaneously be the CEO, president, managing director of a company, and its sole stockholder and somehow be “disassociated” from the company or accurately classified as someone not having “any” formal involvement with a company?

2. You have stated that in “Feb. 1999 I left Bain capital and all management responsibility” and “I had no ongoing activity or involvement.” It depends on what the definition of “involvement” is, doesn’t it? Clearly you were involved with Bain to the extent that you owned it. Are you defining “involvement” in a uniquely specific way that only means “full-time, active, 60-hours-a-week, hands-on manager?”

3. How exactly are you defining “involvement?”

4. Surely someone from Bain occasionally called you up and asked your opinion about something work related from 1999 to 2002. Wouldn’t that qualify as “involvement,” if only on a minor level?

5. You earned at least $100,000 as an executive from Bain in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings according to filings with State of Massachusetts. Can you give an example of anyone else you personally know getting a six figure income, not dividend or investment return, but actual income, from a company they had nothing to do with? [more ...]
posted by ericb at 11:44 AM on July 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


Rahm Emanuel: John McCain Looked At Romney’s Tax Returns And Decided Palin Would Be A Better VP.
posted by ericb at 11:48 AM on July 15, 2012 [4 favorites]


Former Romney Partner At Bain Makes Case For Outsourcing.
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clear As Day: Mitt Romney in CBS Interview Contradicted His 2002 Sworn Testimony.
posted by ericb at 11:54 AM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


David Frum: Romney: Too Weak?
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Republican friends of mine are wondering aloud if Romney will be dumped at the convention, and if Democrats might be smarter to keep him barely alive now instead of going for the kill.

Interesting scenario. Who would be the alternative? Santorum? Chris Christie or Jeb Bush?
posted by msalt at 12:02 PM on July 15, 2012


Clear As Day: Mitt Romney in CBS Interview Contradicted His 2002 Sworn Testimony.

I've seen this a couple of different times. Isn't he talking about board meetings for the subsidiary or whatever ("Staples Corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike Corporation"), that he was running?
posted by cashman at 12:02 PM on July 15, 2012


Republican friends of mine are wondering aloud if Romney will be dumped at the convention...

I don't think they really CAN, barring a massive rewrite of their rules. If Romney resigned then there would be a free-for-all, but he has the numbers to force the issue. Right now he has 1,462 hard count delegates (just over 50%), those that are required to vote for him even if they don't support him.
posted by edgeways at 12:13 PM on July 15, 2012


It would definitely be Jeb, I think, if he'd take the job -- but they'd never dump their nominee at the convention no matter what happened. That nomination would be so compromised as to be totally radioactive; who, with any genuine shot of winning in 2016 or 2020, would want it?

Instead, they'd do what I said above: simply treat Romney as a lost cause and direct their efforts (and spare millions) down-ballot.
posted by gerryblog at 12:13 PM on July 15, 2012


Isn't he talking about board meetings for the subsidiary or whatever ("Staples Corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike Corporation"), that he was running?

There have been various attempts to spin that testimony away, but that one won't fly; those were Bain investments. More to the point, Bain's own documents filed with the state list Romney as a managing member in 2002. Romney's current statements plainly don't square with the contemporaneous record.
posted by gerryblog at 12:18 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Going to backtrack just a iota. If there was a rule rewrite which unbound the delegates I think Paul (of all people) may be in the best initial position, but think there would be a massive scramble to prevent him from prevailing in the end. i still would not be shocked if much of Ron Paul's behind the scene maneuverings is to try and strong arm Romney into tapping Rand Paul for VP. But that is just idle speculation.
posted by edgeways at 12:18 PM on July 15, 2012


Jeb has repeatedly insisted he is not going to run for president. But has he also ruled out being VP? I don't see him as a VP candidate, and all the money is behind Mitt, there is no way anybody else is going to come in at this point. And that seemed to be set last December, although I did think 7 months ago that the way the Republicans were going, they would wait until the last minute and throw somebody new into the race and limit debates and information. I just can't see it happening now.
posted by cashman at 12:19 PM on July 15, 2012


George Will: Romney Must Think Costs Of Releasing Tax Returns Outweigh Not Releasing Them.
posted by ericb at 12:23 PM on July 15, 2012


Interesting scenario. Who would be the alternative? Santorum? Chris Christie or Jeb Bush?

Didn't the Republicans just spend a year desperately trying to find a not-Romney who was willing to run and not completely crazy? And they ended up with Romney anyway.
posted by octothorpe at 12:25 PM on July 15, 2012 [8 favorites]


When George Will joins the gratuitous pile-on, you've got problems.
posted by rhizome at 12:48 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


That "35 questions" document that ericb linked to is pretty devastating (though I would have made it 20 and trimmed some fat.)

Romney made over $100,000 (in salary, not investment income) in 2001 and 2002, when he says he did no work for them? That's going to be a lot harder for Joe Sixpack to accept than the title CEO on some form.

And even if it is true, it's so patently corrupt and unfair that it hurts Romney anyway.
posted by msalt at 1:04 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Republican strategist Matthew Dowd:
"There’s obviously something there [regarding his tax records], because if there was nothing there, [Romney] would say, ‘Have at it.’ So there’s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something. Many of these politicians think, ‘I can do this. I can get away with this. I don’t need to do this, because I’m going to say something and I don’t have to do this.’ If he had 20 years of ‘great, clean, everything’s fine,’ it’d all be out there, but it’s arrogance.”
posted by ericb at 1:07 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why are the Republicans suddenly attacking Romney? What's their goal here?
posted by amuseDetachment at 1:24 PM on July 15, 2012


These are guys whose tenure long predates Romney's candidacy and will outlive him. They have some requirement to appear reasonable and fair or they'll lose what passes for credibility.

I think they also probably think they're helping: they must figure that no matter what it is the tax documents it can't be worse than this.
posted by gerryblog at 1:26 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


There is abundant arrogance on display, to be sure.

I really, really believe that Romney's biggest problem, however, is that he's truly out of touch. He's lived the silver-spoon life for so long that he actually can't relate with normal people. I mean, c'mon. He doesn't follow NASCAR but he's friends with several team OWNERS. His wife drives SEVERAL Cadillacs. No sane person with any empathy would say things like that, even if he really believed he was God's gift to the country.

That said, I think Obama's approach here is a brilliant strategy. He's hit Romney's credibility HARD and fast. That's the best way to blunt the big money messaging that the Republicans will unleash closer to November. It doesn't matter how many ads Romney releases if the public is already wary of Romney's veracity.

If I were running Obama's campaign I would go from here to demonstrating Romney's experience and expertise in vulture capitalism and how that approach is devastating to the economy and the job market. Then I would parlay that into attacking how Romney's attitude and the do-nothing congress have much in common. And from now until November, I would have President Obama unceasingly attack congress on jobs, jobs, jobs.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:28 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think hammering Romney on all the taxpayer welfare he's received on his way to uberrichville would be a bad idea, either.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:32 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


The Obama campaign's strategy, as it seems to be shaping up so far, is interesting. They're going after Romney's class, something Democrats haven't done in a national election in my lifetime in my recollection, and they're doing so in a way that resonates with the rhetoric of OWS, and they're trying to split the Republican base.

This makes sense because Romney's an old-school economic conservative and the social conservatives already hate him, and most social conservatives are poor or lower middle class.

You know that Republicans "always" accuse Democrats of being elitists, and Democrats always accuse lower class people of "voting against their economic interests"? Well, this campaign strategy reverses that and hits Republicans where they are really, really weak.

There are some problems with this. It would help a lot if Obama had put more effort into pushing for economic recovery programs, or at least done so more publicly, and could point to the Republicans blocking them as a reason for their lack of success. As it is, he just hasn't seemed to care that much until recently. It would help a lot if he had pushed for regulation of the financial industry. If any of these of these things had ever mattered to Obama, he wouldn't need to engage in the negative advertising he's engaging in now.

Nevertheless, the rhetoric of this campaign might possibly push regulation of the financial industry over into the 'we have to do this' category for lawmakers. It probably won't happen, but it's interesting to hear this.
posted by nangar at 2:07 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


"While he was in Utah getting the luge runs in shape, Romney was also still getting a six-figure salary for being a Bain “executive.” Perhaps for Mitt, that was just the going-away equivalent of a monogrammed briefcase. Although it does sort of take the steam out of his principled refusal to accept any money from the Olympics until his turnaround was successfully completed. So to summarize: Romney was at Bain after 1999, but not necessarily in the sense of occupying physical space. He was employed by folks in Utah, but not in the sense of the people who made out his paycheck. If we ever manage to really get our heads around Higgs boson, perhaps we will also be able to understand the Mitt Romney Olympics period."

Gail Collins
posted by cashman at 2:08 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Doesn't everyone already expect Republican businessmen to do their damnest to avoid taxes? Not all of them however have made their career specifically out of making people lose their jobs and getting rid of their benefits. That seems like a bigger story, and I'm not surprised that Republican strategists would rather the news be about his taxes.
posted by Anything at 2:29 PM on July 15, 2012


Nobody expects Romney to pay $1 more than he legally has to, but it's rare that the public gets a direct look at all the tricks that are available to avoid taxes, and the low tax rate that accompanies well-structured financial success. When combined with the lack of sympathy that the public has for outsourcers, it's going to further undermine Romney's and the Republicans' already unpopular tax policies.

Even without legal malfeasance in the tax returns, Romney is in the position where he must undermine either his integrity or his policies. How much does Romney value low taxes on the rich? If, in a quixotic bid for the presidency, Romney ends up erasing 30 years of hard work on tax breaks for the rich, will he have any friends left? What is this worth to him?
posted by Llama-Lime at 3:26 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


MeTa.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:50 PM on July 15, 2012


jeffen: "Karl Rove thinks these attacks on Romney's time at Bain are bad."

From that link:

He called Obama a “cheap Chicago pol,” accusing him of engaging in “gutter politics of the worst Chicago sort.”

So I must be slow on my dog-whistle translation, does Chicago == Black now?
posted by octothorpe at 5:08 PM on July 15, 2012


Chicago == corrupt, typically.
posted by restless_nomad at 5:12 PM on July 15, 2012


Oh they have been throwing that Chicago shit around since day one. Chicago has had a problem with corrupt politicians. Obama has never been found guilty of corruption. It's just an attempt to link him to bad thing by proximity. I'd say anyone who works in DC could be linked to bad thing by proximity.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:15 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, Rove does know about the worst sort of politics.
Rove's Science of Dirty Tricks

Granted, we're pretty far off from whisper campaigns and outright lies.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 5:21 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


At this point it's less about what happened at Bain and more about how Romney handles it, and he's handling this very, very badly. Appearing on five networks on the same day looked desperate, and you should't make a splashy move like that unless it's going to provide an answer that would end the story. Instead he took a position--he had no involvement with Bain after 1999--which doesn't square with plenty of evidence that says he was involved, which guarantees the story will continue.

Who knows what's in the tax returns? Maybe nothing, but it sure looks like he's got something to hide. The longer he doesn't release them the worse he looks. If he doesn't release them he'll get slammed about them over and over agin. He'll probably eventually have to release them, and then he'll look like a wimp.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:21 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney demands apology over Bain claims

1) And this from a guy whose campaign book is No Apology.

2) First he criticizes Obama for his alleged "apology tour" (which is a lie), now he demands an apology. Dude even flip-flops on apologies. If I were Obama I'd respond to Romney's demand by holding up a copy of his book (extended middle finger optional).
posted by kirkaracha at 5:29 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Stericycle was targeted by pro-life groups in 2009 as part of the ongoing campaign to restrict womens health services by going after suppliers and landlords. Bain capital sold its investment in Stericycle in 2004. Romney's campaign argues that he was uninvolved in the investment as he had left an active role in Bain in 1999.

That's nice. Here's a 1999 SEC document regarding the acquisition that features the word "Romney" 18 times and has his signature on it.


(xvii) W. Mitt Romney ("Mr. Romney"), a citizen of the United States, as the
sole shareholder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of BCI,
BCP VI Inc., Brookside Inc. and Sankaty Ltd.;


The Bain Investors, BCP VI, BCI VI Inc., BCI, Brookside Investors,
Brookside Inc., Sankaty LLC, Sankaty Ltd., and Mr. Romney are collectively
referred herein as the "Bain Reporting Persons."

posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:30 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama's not the only cloud on Mitt Romney's horizon; Tea Partier's wonder why Sarah Palin hasn't been invited to the GOP convention yet.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:31 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Said Obama: "No. We will not apologize. Mr Romney claims he's Mr. fix-it for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience."

"And as the head of a private equity firm his job was to maximize profits and help investors. There is nothing wrong with that. On the other hand that company also was investing in companies that were called by the Washington Post 'the pioneers of out sourcing.' Mr. Romney is now claiming he wasn't there at the time except his filings with the SEC listing says he was the CEO, Chairman, and President of the company. As President of the United States, I've learned and we just talked about it, anything that happens on my watch is my responsibility. Harry Truman said 'the buck stops with me' and I think understandably people are going to be interested in are you in fact responsible for this company you say is one of your primary calling cards for your wanting to be President."
posted by dig_duggler at 6:32 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


The real problem with Romney, the thing that's going to cost him the election, is much more subtle than all of this.

Romney has never been drunk. He's never been stoned. And, if he has stuck to his faith, has never cursed or masturbated [citation]. He has never really let himself go, never really merged with the great unknown that is the Cosmos and our tiny bit of consciousness within it.

He makes plans and carries them out. He runs the numbers in Excel. Based on what the numbers tell him, he makes a decision. If you run a data-driven equity firm this might be a good way to proceed, but politics requires some other skill sets as well.

It shows. People call him "a robot". First impressions are formed within a second of meeting someone and Romney has a way of turning off people who have actually seen him talk. If you aren't a Republican, you probably didn't go out of your way to attend a Romney stump speech, but he's absolutely terrible at this. Have a look at Romney's full speech to the NAACP (not just the booing part) and you can see how terrible he is at this. He rattles off facts and figures when he should be looking people in the eye and making the point that deep down we are all in this Great Mystery of Life together.

Actual hardcore Republicans earlier in the primary actually went to his speeches and came away thinking "I'd rather have Herman Cain. Or Rick Santorum. Or anybody else, really." And pundits try to explain this by referencing particular details of policy or whatever, but it's not that. It's way more subtle; too subtle to easily explain to everybody.

The only reason Romney is still polling close to Obama is that many Americans don't pay much attention to the election until October or so. But once they take a look, they'll see the same thing that hardcore Republicans already saw. Romney is not a man of the people.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:06 PM on July 15, 2012 [14 favorites]


I wonder who he is going to pick for VP? By that I mean this might be yet another year where the Republicans would be more excited about the second banana than the main guy.


(In my view that bar is not set very high, to put it mildly.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:15 PM on July 15, 2012


I'm beginning to think Newsnight is more accurate than I initially though. What in the name of the FSM has happened to the Republican party?
posted by lazaruslong at 7:45 PM on July 15, 2012


Only 38% of Romney's supporters actually like him, which apparently has GOP strategists rather worried.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:59 PM on July 15, 2012


Just a data point...my boss yells at me for not being at work ten minutes early but gives me a disapproving stare if I make it in early on *any* Tuesday that voting is going on. He's not a rabid Republican - even burned his NRA card ten years ago "because those guys went nuts" - but can't bring himself to vote for a Democrat. We generally don't discuss politics in in the office because the owner is a Teabagger, and before that a big supporter of the Minutemen, and has a framed portrait of Glenn Beck in his office.

Anyway, my boss said straight up, he can't vote for Obama, but he sure as shit ain't voting for Romney, who bet against American workers and sheltered his "earnings" offshore. So for the first time in his adult life he's abstaining from the Presidential election.
posted by notsnot at 8:06 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


What in the name of the FSM has happened to the Republican party?

Someone brought money to a knife fight.
posted by Talez at 8:13 PM on July 15, 2012 [10 favorites]


Here's the situation back in March when the primary season was heating up.
Romney campaign: $4.37 per vote received so far.
Romney and the pro-Romney Super PAC “Restore Our Future:” $12.40 per vote received so far.

Santorum campaign: $1.65 per vote received so far.
Santorum and the pro-Santorum Super PAC “The Red, White and Blue Fund”: $3.01 per vote received so far.

Gingrich campaign: $1.38 per vote received so far.
Gingrich and the pro-Gingrich Super PAC “Winning Our Future”: $4.76 per vote received so far.

Paul campaign: $6.15 per vote received so far.
Paul and the pro-Paul Super PAC “Endorse Liberty”: $6.32 per vote received so far.
He was effectively paying $12.40 per vote on the biggest shares of the vote.

The amount of money he was pouring into states during the primaries was absolutely mind boggling. Welcome to your post-Citizens United political world.
posted by Talez at 8:22 PM on July 15, 2012


You get the feeling that something huge is going to happen this week.
posted by cashman at 8:24 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Last week, Obama's suggestions that Romney, at Bain, was outsourcing jobs turned into Romney going on every major network and proclaiming "I was paid for three years for being a CEO and not doing anything." That is fucking hilarious.
posted by one_bean at 8:25 PM on July 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


Dude is acting so guilty.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:38 PM on July 15, 2012


MoJo: Mitt Romney Should Stop Running From Bain
If Conard is right, Romney not only wasn't involved in Bain's business during this period, he was up to his neck in so many alligators that he could barely spare the time to negotiate his own retirement package. I have to say, that doesn't sound like a person who was keeping himself aware of what was happening at Bain, let alone taking even a modest hand in making management decisions.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:44 PM on July 15, 2012


And then he said , "I demand an apology!" (via)
posted by tonycpsu at 8:56 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


your via is borked
posted by Anything at 8:57 PM on July 15, 2012


... has a framed portrait of Glenn Beck in his office.

Holy fuck!
posted by juiceCake at 9:13 PM on July 15, 2012


Why does it always Bain on me?
Is it because I lied when I was fifty-three?

posted by smithsmith at 9:13 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is the MoJo link. tonyspsu's seems to be on the linked picture.

Only 38% of Romney's supporters actually like him

The link says:
A Washington Post/ABC News poll this past week found that just 38% of Romney supporters said their vote would primarily be for him, as opposed to 57% who said their support was actually a vote against Mr. Obama.
And thinking about it, they seem pretty forthcoming with that. Maybe that's the strategy. Leave Mitt as blank as possible, and just go for trying to convince people to just vote against Obama. That way Romney's faults or strengths or vaguely put policies don't matter, because people are focused on just voting against Obama. So that's the game, isn't it. Yeah - at that NAACP talk, people in the thread were wondering why he brought up his dad, but not his own record or policy ideas or thoughts.

No tax returns because things become even more about Mitt. A refusal to open up about Bain and not run from it, because things become even more about Mitt. So the 38%/57% are actually GOOD looking numbers to republicans. I get it now. So they will probably do all they can to hide anything about Mitt, and try to get the 38% lower, and the 57% higher. Don't worry about Mitt, just vote against Obama. Mm hmm.
posted by cashman at 9:18 PM on July 15, 2012


one element i just luvluvluv about all of this is the utterly delicious symmetry of the Ds harping on the Rs about releasing documents (tax records) after all that birther nonsense. it's like - so you guys can dish it out, but can you take it? (ditto the swift-boat ads.)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:57 PM on July 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Maybe that's the strategy. Leave Mitt as blank as possible, and just go for trying to convince people to just vote against Obama.

That didn't work for the Democrats in 2004, though, and I would be surprised if Kerry's numbers were worse than Romney's.

Romney doesn't inspire a lot of enthusiasm, as shown throughout the Republican primaries. He didn't break 30% from February 2011 to January 2012, and almost every other nut job candidate--Perry, Cain, Gingrich, and Santorum--was more popular at one point during the primaries.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:05 PM on July 15, 2012


If I were Obama I'd respond to Romney's demand by holding up a copy of his book

My wish came true.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:10 PM on July 15, 2012 [12 favorites]


Anything: "your via is borked"

Whoops. Proper via.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:13 PM on July 15, 2012


No tax returns because things become even more about Mitt. A refusal to open up about Bain and not run from it, because things become even more about Mitt. So the 38%/57% are actually GOOD looking numbers to republicans. I get it now. So they will probably do all they can to hide anything about Mitt, and try to get the 38% lower, and the 57% higher. Don't worry about Mitt, just vote against Obama. Mm hmm.

That may have been the strategy, but the thrust of the WSJ story is that it's not working out that well. Besides the fact that favorability matters (...post-boozy dinner, too lazy to link studies), the other problem is that the Tea Partiers hate Romney so much that he can't really count on their votes against Obama - sure, he'll get lots, but will he get enough? This is shaping up to be a problem in states like Virginia, where Romney faces his own Nader in the form of Democrat turned conservative Virgil Goode ...who, while a fringe candidate in most of the country, polls 9% in Virgina where he was a 25-year state politician and a 6-term Congressman.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:51 PM on July 15, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obviously I'm hoping that his tax returns show that he's given millions to NAMBLA over the years. But even in a best case scenario, they'll show Americans a simple truth -- their Randian betters pay a much smaller percentage of taxes than they do using financial tricks that are unavailable to the working and middle class, and this is kind of shitty and unfair. And these same 1%-ers are actively working to have their taxes lowered even further, which is even shittier and unfairer.

Refusing to release your shitty and unfair tax returns is looking like just enough leverage for Obama come November, and that's OK too.

Still, I'm just going to borrow a page from Rove's playbook and suggest that if we can't be positive Romeny hasn't given millions to NAMLA, then we must assume that Romney has given millions to NAMBLA.
posted by bardic at 10:55 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe that's the strategy. Leave Mitt as blank as possible, and just go for trying to convince people to just vote against Obama.

That might be the strategy, but it's not very smart. People don't really think that way unless things are way more horrible than they are now. "I'm going to marry Mary Lou because Betty Sue is such a bitch" doesn't make for a good courtship.

I'm all for knocking this bozo off the bus in July. Leave him limping toward the finish line, battered and bruised, but effectively end his candidacy now. That way we can go after the horse he rode in on. The real fight isn't about Romney, it's about defeating a decade of dumbass narrow-minded greedy stupid selfish filibustering obstructionist Republican policy and actually making things better.

"It's our turn" said Ann Romney, not realizing that on this playground we play by better rules.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:24 PM on July 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


My wish came true.

Oh god that's funny.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:05 AM on July 16, 2012


With the extremism of the repubs over the last few years, the possible way these loons treat their children always comes back to my mind. Do they teach them not to share? Do they pit one kid off against another to teach them about the survival of the fittest? Do they teach them how to not care about other kids at their school and how to exploit and undermine them so that they come out on top in tests or in class votes and debates? Do they teach them that black and brown people are all drug addicts and thieves and that they should never be trusted? Do they teach them that being first and making the most money and friends matters more than anything? Are they taught that if they ever get unemployed that they will be 2nd class citizens? Do they scare them into behaving by making up lies an innuendo about their siblings and their classmates? Do they teach their kids that their teachers are communists and that they should remember everything they hear and tell mum and dad so that the wrong things can be removed from their heads? Do they teach them that poor people are inferior and should not even be pitied, but should be blamed for not succeeding on their own? How do they square away the bible's insistence on charity with the conservative philosophy of kicking all those layabouts off foodstamps: do they teach their kids that the bible only comes first unless capitalism is under attack? Man they must be some really twisted children is all I can think.
posted by peacay at 12:23 AM on July 16, 2012


With the extremism of the repubs over the last few years, the possible way these loons treat their children always comes back to my mind.

There are two different mindsets. Republicans tend to prefer a strict father model, with its many consequences, including a sense that there is an actual absolute Right and Wrong and the idea that you should just "man up". Democrats gravitate toward their youthful experience with their mothers, who embraced them and accepted their faults.

Myself, I'm an orphan, having given my parents up for adoption when I was eight years old. So I vote Independent.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:39 AM on July 16, 2012


"It's our turn" said Ann Romney, ....

Y'know, if you can't even fake the humility that it's all in service to the country .....
posted by benito.strauss at 12:52 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


People who vote Republican are mostly pretty normal people who see their economic interests as being different from yours. (Some of those interests are real, some of them are illusory.)

This kind of rhetoric just as true as the bits about how Democrats hate America, support terrorism, want to destroy families, attack businesses because they hate people making money and want everybody to be poor, oppose standards in education because they hate literacy ...

What have you done today to destroy a family or end civilization, peacay? (Nothing? You must not be like the liberals in overheated Republican imaginations. You need to try harder or something.)

I think people who believe rhetoric like this need to get to know people who aren't part of their normal social circle and don't come from the same background.

(I'm not claiming that there are no differences. There are. But it's never true that the other people are evil just because they're evil and they love evil because, 'yay, evil!' Even people you disagree with very sharply about important things are human, and they think and feel like you. 'Just evil' doesn't get you any closer to understanding how they think.)
posted by nangar at 1:59 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was expecting the "mum" spelling would underline the fact that I'm not in or from America.

nangar, you seem to be echoing the false balance doctrine that media organisations are apt to adopt lest they either show or tend to show any bias in their reporting. You'll note that my comment was prefaced with the "last few years" and so I wasn't aiming my (admitted) rhetorical musings at THE republican party, per se.

Rather, the thoughts I jotted down relate directly to things like Arizona's immigration stance, the calls for taking a lot of people off foodstamps and removing free lunches for kids and the outrageous Ryan budget that tries to hide the elephant of poor people disenfranchisement behind a slim pole of "voucherising" in relation to medicare. So my musings are easily identifiable as consequences of CURRENT policy and legislation by extremists. The democrats don't hate people making money and they haven't really changed their political positions over the last decade; it's the republicans who have moved far, far, far to the right and even nuns have been out protesting at the disgraceful intentions of the congressional young guns.

I don't need to sit down with some conservatives and get some perspective mate. But if they vote for that party and make it known to their kids, it's going to take some philosophical jujitsu to rationalise why they agree that keeping 30million without health care is a good thing. That's the actual reality and consequence of their leaning.
posted by peacay at 2:31 AM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Stericycle was targeted by pro-life groups in 2009 as part of the ongoing campaign to restrict womens health services by going after suppliers and landlords. Bain capital sold its investment in Stericycle in 2004. Romney's campaign argues that he was uninvolved in the investment as he had left an active role in Bain in 1999.

That's nice. Here's a 1999 SEC document regarding the acquisition that features the word "Romney" 18 times and has his signature on it.


Furiousxgeorge's post above seems like the most important link in this thread, by a country mile. Why isn't this all over the news by now?
posted by newdaddy at 4:03 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


newdaddy: "Why isn't this all over the news by now?"

Because the press is doing its best to internalize the Romney narrative that it's okay to make a bunch of false statements in SEC filings as long as you're going to run for President some day.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:07 AM on July 16, 2012


Obama's not the only cloud on Mitt Romney's horizon; Tea Partier's wonder why Sarah Palin hasn't been invited to the GOP convention yet.

Oh dear God. Are they going to dig up Joe the Plumber as well?

With the extremism of the repubs over the last few years, the possible way these loons treat their children always comes back to my mind. Do they teach them not to share? Do they pit one kid off against another to teach them about the survival of the fittest?

Nah. They just send them to private school where the kids can pick up their elitist attitudes from other kids.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:28 AM on July 16, 2012


Secret Life of Gravy: " Oh dear God. Are they going to dig up Joe the Plumber as well?"

But that would take "Joe" away from his own campaign...
posted by tonycpsu at 5:51 AM on July 16, 2012


So, word is apparently Romney's announcing his VP this week, and it's going to be Pawlenty. If it's true, then they're going with a Boring White Dude with relatively small and easily-explained apostasies (voted for cap-and-trade and cigarette taxes) who can excite some of the evangelicals. Probably the best he can do for now, but not the kind of guy who's going to make headlines. Which, as Dave Weigel pointed out, is probably not helped by the fact that they're timing the announcement to be the same week that the year's biggest movie is coming out, which just so happens to have a villain named Bane and reportedly has an extremely strong anti-financial sector message.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:56 AM on July 16, 2012


One Republican official familiar with the campaign’s thinking said it will be designed to produce a pick who is safe and, by design, unexciting — a deliberate anti-Palin. The prized pick, said this official: an "incredibly boring white guy."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:03 AM on July 16, 2012


zombieflanders: "So, word is apparently Romney's announcing his VP this week, and it's going to be Pawlenty. "

I can't even see the logic of floating Pawlenty as a trial balloon, much less actually picking him. Portman at least puts Ohio in play, and Rubio gives you help in Florida and a non-zero number of latino votes, but Minnesota wouldn't go for Romney if he picked the ghost of Paul Wellstone as his running mate.

Everyone knows the VP pick has nothing to do with the merits of who would be a good VP, and everything to do with who's going to make an impression in constituencies you want to mobilize in November. A Pawlenty pick would be the clearest sign yet that Romney's campaign apparatus is totally out to lunch.

Until further notice, I'm going to just assume this is another trial balloon put out to quiet the anti-choicers who shit their pants when Condi Rice was floated as a possible VP last week.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:14 AM on July 16, 2012


Pawlenty? KICK ASS. Seeing Pawlenty suffer politically is one of my favorite things (it was the bright side of Sarah Palin, for instance), and I'd love to see him climb up into the copilot seat on the Hindenberg. If this turns out to be true, this is the election that keeps on giving.
posted by COBRA! at 6:19 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney fights like a third-grader: since the Obama campaign did an ad with Romney singing, Romney strikes back with an ad with Obama singing. Except that Romney's singing in the Obama ad actually provides context and the Romney ad might as well be titled "I'm rubber, you're glue."

"They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way!"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:19 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Except in this case Obama pulls a gun and Romney, retroactively, pulls that knife.
posted by Anything at 6:34 AM on July 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Ohpleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease, I live in Mn and I'd love to see Pawlenty finally get the VP nod he has so desperately wanted. Talk about the *snort* dynamic duo.

Pawlenty in all honestly would be one of the most inane choice Romney could make, tonycpsu covers most of it. It brings literally nothing to the ticket. But I guess it fulfills one of the things Mittens probably wants, someone unable to upstage him in the charisma department. I would just about wet my pants if it really does end up being T-Paw.

T-Paw and Mittens: glad-handing the country for YOU!

Oh random fluctuation of the universe, please.
posted by edgeways at 6:50 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


If Pawlenty is the pick, then this is officially the worst-run Presidential campaign that I have ever seen in my life. A boring white male northerner? They already HAVE one of those.

Mr. Romney, if you're reading this post, or, more likely, if a terrified eunuch is singing this post to you in a trembling but powerful castrato, then remember this: the whole point of a VP pick is to balance out the ticket.

If you're a white male center-right Yankee Mormon businessman, then you need to reach to either the more conservative wing of the party or to people even further from the typical Republican mold than yourself. You can't just twin yourself and call it a day, because two-thirds of your own voters don't even like you.

Rick Perry or Bobby Jindal would have played well to the social conservative wing. Michelle Bachmann or Herman Cain would have enraptured the Tea Partiers. Even John Huntsman would have at least struck an independent, thoughtful tone.

Even if you go into this race knowing you're going to lose, it makes sense to cast your net wide. If you're in a losing position already, make it look like you aimed for the big money, but you only lost because your running mate was nutty and nobody yet knew how awesome you were. Define yourself in opposition to your running mate, if need be. Craft a narrative beginning now. Play the long game.

As it stands, picking Pawlenty just looks small-minded.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:51 AM on July 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


You know, I can't help but object to this constant right-wing identification of big cities as being inherently evil. For years it's been NYC, and DC, and now suddenly it's (what a coincidence) Chicago. This is identity politics pure and simple, and entirely irrelevant. If I stood up in a crowded room and said "Everyone from Toledo is a total jerk", well, that would be wrong. But it's always open season on Chicago and New York.

The truth is, people reach for this when they don't have any kind of a valid argument on point. If same arguments about Bain, taxes, the SEC were made by some guy in Duluth, of a journalist in Tucson, they'd be equally valid and Romney would have just as little to say in response. "I deserve an apology" is not a real answer to the questions asked of him.
posted by newdaddy at 6:56 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Real Americans don't live in cities. I don't know what about that you don't understand, but it seems wrong to blame the GOP for that fact.
posted by OmieWise at 7:02 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Another thing about the dueling singing ads: the Romney campaign put out an ad that invites a comparison between the candidates' singing, which Obama is better at than Romney.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:04 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Politico article's headlines says Romney wants to avoid McCain's mistakes (irt picking Palin). I think if that is the case Romney is missing exactly what McCain's mistake was. It was not picking a vibrant, telegenic woman. That was the wise part of McCain's pick. It was the follow on: who was kind of dumb as a post and stuck her foot in her mouth three times a day that sunk his campaign. Hell, even so McCain prob garnered more votes from the Palin pick then he lost. Picking Pawlenty gets you ... 0 ..... more votes and zero amount of energy injected into the campaign and -1 more interest.

Pawlenty didn't deliver Mn during the primary. Neither the pop vote, nor the delegate count.

Frankly I gotta think it's a head fake, they can't be serious about picking Pawlenty... can they?
posted by edgeways at 7:06 AM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't know that NYC has been identified as Sodom and/or Gomorrah as of late. Whether it's the Giuliani Effect or a halo effect from 9/11, but NYC seems to have a more positive image nowadays than it used to.

What's funny about (some) smaller cities is that corruption is often so much worse and so much harder to shake. Just from my own frame of reference, I remember a few years ago when the mayor of Schenectady, NY openly contemplated martial law in response to the rampant, overt corruption of the police force.

"I deserve an apology" is not a real answer to the questions asked of him.

Even if it was a real answer, it's a terrible strategy. Nobody likes a whiner in office. Even if Obama had gone completely beyond the pale, the right tack would be to treat him like an object of pity, like a rabid dog, and if a refutation is necessary, to engage the electorate, not the attacker. Asking for an apology and not delivering a concise refutation just makes him look weak and flummoxed.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:07 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Re: Romney's new ad

Do you really want to go there, Mittens? You are the saviour for the middle class? You've been in politics for 20 years, and you still haven't articulated any kind of plan to help anyone but "job creators". But go ahead. Tee it up and watch Obama drive it into the next county.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:18 AM on July 16, 2012


My wish came true.

Ha! That's awesome!

But is it cynical of me to think that the section header over the President's shoulder is intentional? A positive dog whistle to, frankly, people like me? The presence of the book cover pictured here is the closest Willard has ever been to the Women's Studies section in a bookstore.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:21 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


When the phone rings at 3AM is Mitt Romney going to demand an apology for waking him up?
posted by Mick at 7:21 AM on July 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


The funny thing is, the ad attacks Obama's "donor class," but a lot of Obama's money is coming from small individual contributions, as opposed to Romney getting almost nothing but large contributions and "bundled" money. And when Romney's own donor class sound like this, that opens him up to further lines of criticism. And while the Obama campaign is also getting money from bundlers, they're actually releasing their names voluntarily, whereas Romney's team is now publicly refusing, using the same "we're doing what's legal" excuse as they are his for tax returns.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:31 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


"The most mysterious of the unexplained mysteries about Mitt Romney's considerable wealth is how he was able to amass between $21 million and $102 million in his individual retirement account during the 15 years he was at Bain Capital LLC. How did he do it, given the relatively small amounts that the law permits to be contributed to such a plan on an annual basis?"
posted by dig_duggler at 7:34 AM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Will Bain Actually Matter for November?
posted by zombieflanders at 7:34 AM on July 16, 2012


OmieWise: Real Americans don't live in cities. I don't know what about that you don't understand, but it seems wrong to blame the GOP for that fact.
The part where you believe you have the right to decide what a "real" American is.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:46 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pawlenty makes sense if you're intentionally going for bland. Going for vote against Obama, not vote for Romney/Pawlenty.
posted by cashman at 7:48 AM on July 16, 2012


The part where you believe you have the right to decide what a "real" American is.

Uh...
posted by OmieWise at 7:51 AM on July 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


I don't know that NYC has been identified as Sodom and/or Gomorrah as of late. Whether it's the Giuliani Effect or a halo effect from 9/11, but NYC seems to have a more positive image nowadays than it used to.

Just speaking from personal experience (though somewhat off-topic). If I mention to me predominantly righty co-workers that I'm taking the kids up to New York to see their aunt, I get some of them suddenly red-in-the-face, spluttering "there isn't a single thing I want to see or do in that city. I'll never go there again so long as I live."

It's like some kind of dog whistle.
posted by newdaddy at 8:01 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


IAmBroom: I'm pretty sure that was a joke, not an actual sentiment.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:05 AM on July 16, 2012


"The most mysterious of the unexplained mysteries about Mitt Romney's considerable wealth is how he was able to amass between $21 million and $102 million in his individual retirement account during the 15 years he was at Bain Capital LLC. How did he do it, given the relatively small amounts that the law permits to be contributed to such a plan on an annual basis?"

Jesus, this guy is just.. I ... my god.
posted by odinsdream at 8:09 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Realistically, it would require a constitutional amendment. The authors don't consider that possibility and most of their complaints go away if you were able to do that.

Ya all might wanna start thinking along these lines because on many issues like the environment or womens' rights used to be on a Constitutional path and had the steam taken out with things like the ERA and EPA.

I think Paul (of all people) may be in the best initial position, but think there would be a massive scramble to prevent him from prevailing in the end.

If nuclear weapons are used before the convention - Paul has a "war by the Constitution" position/get the military out.

Would convention goers double down or embrace Paul (as anti-war) if nukes are used? (and would Paul go down the Paul Harvey use nukes in an actual declared-by-Congress war?)

Selecting Paul is dangerous to the MICC. If his path was followed, the Dollar would suffer the same fate as the British Pound.

Didn't the Republicans just spend a year desperately trying to find a not-Romney who was willing to run and not completely crazy? And they ended up with Romney anyway.

Depends on who you ask.
Rachel Maddow reported on voting irregularity. There is some attempts to sue over the election results also.

Or is the Republican Convention process beyond voter manipulation as Black Box Voting or even parts of the Blue like to mention WRT Gore/Bush.

Documented crooked elections in the past - why should this one be considered beyond reproach?

Oh they have been throwing that Chicago shit around since day one.

Hell, there was a short lived TV series that was build about that very theme. I'll leave it to the blue to figure out what network it was on.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:17 AM on July 16, 2012


Similar to Forbe's 35 questions posed to Romney a three-page memo from Obama campaign press secretary Ben LaBolt lists eight “unanswered questions” for Romney about when exactly he left Bain Capital.
posted by ericb at 8:23 AM on July 16, 2012


juiceCake: "Holy fuck"

Know what, I misspoke. He has a couple of inkjets of Beck on his walls. The framed picture is an overdone HDR of a tea party rally. One of my cow-orkers has this on his office wall. A BIG print. (there are also BUILD IT - i.e. the Mexican wall - and other Minuteman stickers on company vehicles. I'm *so * in the wrong place.
posted by notsnot at 8:36 AM on July 16, 2012


FOX News: Mitt Romney only has himself to blame for Team Obama's Bain trap.
posted by ericb at 8:40 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney's Account of His Departure From Bain Undercut By...Romney Testimony, David Corn, Mother Jones, Jul. 16, 2012
Romney's mention of a "transition" period for his "work in Boston" is another contradiction for him to explain. Did he testify inaccurately during that hearing—after swearing to tell the truth? Or is he now trying to create a bright line—to distance himself from Bain-related layoffs and outsourcing—that didn't exist? Any transition time for Romney at Bain would undermine his central claim about his last days at the firm.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:41 AM on July 16, 2012


"Romney has also called for greater tax transparency in the past when it served his political purposes."
posted by ericb at 8:44 AM on July 16, 2012


5 Questions for the Fact-Checkers on Romney and Bain, Nick Baumann, Mother Jones, Jul. 16, 2012
posted by ob1quixote at 8:46 AM on July 16, 2012


Oh oh... I get to link to here again. Scroll trough, there are a handful of Pawlenty book cover mods that are funny.

and a nice quote from back when Tim endorsed Mit


“Tim Pawlenty endorsing Mitt Romney for president is akin to Miracle Whip endorsing mayonnaise.” ~Paul Constant (The Stranger, Seattle, WA)
posted by edgeways at 9:26 AM on July 16, 2012


Politifact: Mitt Romney’s companies sent jobs overseas

(or to be more accurate to the actual body of the post, whether or not he did it directly is besides the point)
posted by zombieflanders at 9:40 AM on July 16, 2012


Mitt: I'm not releasing tax returns because John Kerry's wife, that's why

Words fail.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:46 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Newsroom seems to sum it all up.
posted by Talez at 9:52 AM on July 16, 2012


It gets better, tonycpsu. Romney and his team have claimed repeatedly that they're following the same standard as John Kerry, who released two years of tax records when he ran for President. The problem with that is that Kerry had already released returns for the 18 years prior to that during his other campaigns. I'm not sure whether I'm ready to call it an outright lie or just sinning by omission, but either way it's incredibly weaselly (and whiny).

But hey, who am I to stop them from bringing up his tax returns in the news every 24 hours?
posted by zombieflanders at 9:57 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Has any presidential nominee ever voluntarily retired from the race before the convention after already having gathered enough delegates to take the primary? I hope not, because I suppose Romney's ego wouldn't allow him to be the first, and I wonder how much longer there's anything else left keeping him in the race.
posted by Anything at 9:57 AM on July 16, 2012


It gets better, tonycpsu. Romney and his team have claimed repeatedly that they're following the same standard as John Kerry, who released two years of tax records when he ran for President. The problem with that is that Kerry had already released returns for the 18 years prior to that during his other campaigns. I'm not sure whether I'm ready to call it an outright lie or just sinning by omission, but either way it's incredibly weaselly (and whiny).

I wonder if Romney noticed that, um, Kerry lost.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:06 AM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt: I'm not releasing tax returns because John Kerry's wife, that's why


Are you serious? This guy is a nut. I dont think he will ever release them either. If he does any non-fox interviews and tries to use this, he is going to get roasted.
posted by cashman at 10:07 AM on July 16, 2012


He's totally painted himself into a corner now, I don't get it as a strategy at all. I see three outcomes and all of them make him look bad:

1. He never releases them, everyone assumes the worst and Obama hammers him about it until November.
2. He does release them and there's bad stuff that damages his campaign.
3. He releases them and there's nothing bad at all which would just make him look weird and controlling for not releasing them earlier.
posted by octothorpe at 10:12 AM on July 16, 2012


The fourth scenario, the one where none of this will matter and he wins, is that something bad happens (or has already happened and will show up in reports) to the US or world economies. Sadly, that scenario is actually pretty likely to happen. In any normal economy, he'd be toast, so he has to unofficially root for things to get bad.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:16 AM on July 16, 2012


Mitt: I'm not releasing tax returns because John Kerry's wife, that's why

What the hell? Is Romney saying that he'd like to emulate John Kerry? And what does he mean when he says no one cared? That is exactly one hundred percent false. Kerry's opponents painted him as a wobbly, soft-handed elitist who went wind-surfing on ketchup money. Likewise, Romney is being derided as a two-faced android with foreign bank accounts, a Heisenbergian relationship to his own resume, and a tax deduction on a dancing horse.

If Romney wants to win, he needs to wrestle out of this narrative. He needs to "own" his wealth and frame it as success. He needs to emphasize the legality and legitimacy of the money he has earned and of the taxes he does pay. He needs to play to the "temporarily embarrassed millionaire" type described by John Steinbeck. He needs to say, more or less, "yep, you got me, I'm rich. I'm richer than Obama, even. Last I checked, that wasn't a crime. Wouldn't we all like to be rich? I earned my money fair and square, and if you stick with me, I'll give everyone the same opportunities that I've had to earn what I've got. And if people want to mock me for minimizing my tax liability, let me remind you that everything I did was perfectly legal. You'd do the same exact thing if you were in my position. Stick with me, and I'll address the tax issue by pulling a Reagan: I'll cut spending, while also shifting the tax burden in a way that won't be so easily gamed."

He should also craft a narrative where he shows how his business experience has actually generated economic activity in the US, in a way better than taxes ever would. Play to those who privilege private enterprise over the government. Play to those who want Romney to seem assertive, masculine, decisive, logical, and capitalistic. It would be interesting if he were to say, "yes, sometimes outsourcing was a solution with regard to business problems. American workers are expensive and consumers like inexpensive goods and services. Liberals may look down on men like me while they wear shirts made for a dollar an hour, but I'm fully aware of the realities of business and I wasn't afraid to make the hard decisions. Rather than simply appealing to people's good nature to keep jobs in America, I'll come up with a business plan that will allow us to balance American standards with the need to be competitive in the global market."

Yes, liberals will be horrified, as will some independents, but liberals weren't going to vote for Romney in the first place.

After all, Romney can't win on the not-Obama vote. He has to make the battle larger than that. It has to be a conflict between heroic and evil ideals. If he wants to make this about capitalism versus socialism, the protestant work ethic versus urban European cosmopolitanism, effectiveness versus fecklessness, then he needs to actually make that case.

The fourth scenario, the one where none of this will matter and he wins, is that something bad happens (or has already happened and will show up in reports) to the US or world economies. Sadly, that scenario is actually pretty likely to happen. In any normal economy, he'd be toast, so he has to unofficially root for things to get bad.

Obama could make even a catastrophe work for him. It's not guaranteed, but it's far from outside the realm of possibility. After all, W was able to make the Iraq War work for him. If Romney seems dull and unprepared in response to the crisis, then people will still want to keep Obama, if only because Obama is the devil they know.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:25 AM on July 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


"a Heisenbergian relationship to his own resume" will certainly be the best phrase I'll read all day.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:28 AM on July 16, 2012 [6 favorites]



What the hell? Is Romney saying that he'd like to emulate John Kerry?


I so want someone to say "Governor, I served with John Kerry, I knew John Kerry, John Kerry was a friend of mine. Governor, you just might be John Kerry."
posted by jeffen at 10:29 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


IMHO, Obama's best strategy, in the event of a financial crisis - "Mitt isn't the solution, he's part of the problem" - exhibit A - tax records (or lack thereof, as the case may be), exhibit b - no-show CEO, exhibit C - outsourcing. I'd also like to see him say something to the effect of "if you're so bloody patriotic why do you work so stridently to avoid contributing your fair share to America via taxes", but I suppose that'd not be the best way to win the middle.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:31 AM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


He releases them and there's nothing bad at all which would just make him look weird and controlling for not releasing them earlier.

And he releases them because Obama told him to. Which would make Romney Obama's bitch the Commandee-in-Chief.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:32 AM on July 16, 2012


He's totally painted himself into a corner now, I don't get it as a strategy at all. I see three outcomes and all of them make him look bad:

1. He never releases them, everyone assumes the worst and Obama hammers him about it until November.
2. He does release them and there's bad stuff that damages his campaign.
3. He releases them and there's nothing bad at all which would just make him look weird and controlling for not releasing them earlier.


Maybe he'll release them at the last minute so there's less chance of anyone finding whatever it is he's trying to hide, fact checking it, and publicizing it, before the election is over.
posted by Golden Eternity at 10:38 AM on July 16, 2012


1. He never releases them, everyone assumes the worst and Obama hammers him about it until November.
2. He does release them and there's bad stuff that damages his campaign.
3. He releases them and there's nothing bad at all which would just make him look weird and controlling for not releasing them earlier.


4. He releases them and there's nothing bad at all so, considering how long it took him to release them, rumblings begin about "sanitized" returns.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:50 AM on July 16, 2012


David Gergen, Part Of The Bain Clique
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on July 16, 2012


Maybe he'll release them at the last minute so there's less chance of anyone finding whatever it is he's trying to hide, fact checking it, and publicizing it, before the election is over.

At a certain point it won't really matter if he releases them or not. The damage he's taking now for not releasing them will be hard to undo at a certain point, even with returns that show him secretly rebuilding Haiti and the 9th Ward with his own money.
posted by OmieWise at 10:54 AM on July 16, 2012


Maybe he'll release them at the last minute so there's less chance of anyone finding whatever it is he's trying to hide, fact checking it, and publicizing it, before the election is over.

in which case there is 3 months of hammering him on secrecy, being not like his dad (he keeps referencing his dad in various speeches), wanting to run on his economic credentials without disclosing what his credentials are....

This is a millstone around his neck and seriously undermines the one clear avenue of attack the GOP might have had, the economy. Romney can not now boldly assert his experience at Bain makes him the best leader without people saying "prove it, lets see those tax forms".


and hey:

Romney retroactively quits Bain/Pawlenty retroactively quits the primaries.

RoPa: retroactive for America!
posted by edgeways at 10:55 AM on July 16, 2012


As with shitty mudslinging, it's not like Republicans could do more to sabotage the economy than they already do.
posted by Artw at 10:55 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


If Romney wants to win, he needs to wrestle out of this narrative. He needs to "own" his wealth and frame it as success. He needs to emphasize the legality and legitimacy of the money he has earned and of the taxes he does pay. He needs to play to the "temporarily embarrassed millionaire" type described by John Steinbeck. He needs to say, more or less, "yep, you got me, I'm rich. I'm richer than Obama, even. Last I checked, that wasn't a crime. Wouldn't we all like to be rich? I earned my money fair and square, and if you stick with me, I'll give everyone the same opportunities that I've had to earn what I've got.

The problem is that he'd have to weave that narrative out of whole cloth.
posted by Talez at 11:10 AM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't we all like to be rich? I earned my money fair and square, and if you stick with me, I'll give everyone the same opportunities that I've had to earn what I've got.

STEP #1: Be born rich.

(yeah, that'll work)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:13 AM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


The problem is that he'd have to weave that narrative out of whole cloth.

Don't imagine that Romney could ever possibly make that argument work for *you*.

Instead, imagine a voter who shares the notion, common in the US, that the wealthy deserve to have their wealth, just as the poor deserve to have their poverty. That person could easily look at Romney and see a successful businessman, just as that person could easily buy Romney's narrative, borrowed from Reagan, of getting government "out of the way" of capitalism. This narrative is deeply-rooted in American culture, and it's not going away any time soon.

STEP #1: Be born rich.

(yeah, that'll work)


It works for millions of people. W was born rich, and he was seen as a relatable everyman. It would actually be quite easy to make enough people not care that Romney was born into wealth. If pressed on the topic, Romney could easily talk about all of his own personal business accomplishments and about all of the losers out there with wealthy parents, who help their families go shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.

If Romney were a cannier politician with a more professional group around him, he could make the argument work for enough people. Not for you, not for me, but for many other people.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:23 AM on July 16, 2012


If Romney were a cannier politician with a more professional group around him, he could make the argument work for enough people. Not for you, not for me, but for many other people.

I understand the argument, and I actually agree with you. I just think it would be a discussion that President Obama could hijack pretty easily. He could point out that Romney has been successful in going from rich to uberrich, while Michelle and he (and many others) have gone from much humbler beginnings to doing okay for themselves - a much more common, realistic and attainable goal for the average citizen.

(IMO, this is all about class. It's always been about class. People, regardless of what the media opines, understand class. The fact that the politicians and chattering class keep treating class discussions as some kind of third rail - or below our "dignity" - are part of what's holding this nation back.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:59 AM on July 16, 2012


'Wind-Surfing On Ketchup Money.'

Love it!
posted by ericb at 12:19 PM on July 16, 2012


Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Romney Standard
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:19 PM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


IMO, this is all about class. It's always been about class. People, regardless of what the media opines, understand class. The fact that the politicians and chattering class keep treating class discussions as some kind of third rail - or below our "dignity" - are part of what's holding this nation back.

Mitt Romney | January 11, 2012:
"I think it's about envy. I think it's about class warfare. I think when you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on 99 percent vs. 1 percent, and those people who've been most successful will be in the 1 percent, you've opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God.

You know I think it's fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms. But the president has made this part of his campaign rally. Everywhere he goes we hear him talking about millionaires and billionaires and executives and Wall Street. It's a very envy-oriented, attack-oriented approach."
Um, Mitt. People aren't envious. They're ANGRY!
posted by ericb at 12:35 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Esquire politics blog: What Are the Gobshites Saying These Days?
Yes, I'm going to go waaaayyyyyy out on a limb here and say that the phrase "retroactive retirement" is going to get itself a workout over the next couple of weeks, and I'm also going to declare it Worst. Talking. Point. Ever. and declare the competition closed sine die. Thanks to our old pal, Enron Ed Gillespie, for introducing an easily mocked phrase, and one that readily jumps to mind, into our political parlance. If his old bosses, Kenny Boy Lay and Jeff Skilling had "retroactively retired" back in the early Aughts, a lot of old people would still have their pensions.
Robert Reich: The Selling of American Democracy: The Perfect Storm
But make no mistake. Compared to what the GOP is doing this year, Democrats are conducting a high-school bake sale. The mega-selling of American democracy is a Republican invention, and Romney and the GOP are its major beneficiaries.
Mother Jones: Democratic Super-PACs Bank $25 Million—But Lag Karl Rove and Co.

The Economist, Free Exchange: Trade show
The campaign has really evolved into a strange dynamic. Two men who are by all appearances well versed in and supportive of the case for economic liberalisation and international trade are trying their hardest to portray themselves as the more economically nationalistic. Barack Obama, of course, is making great hay out of Mr Romney's experience as an outsourcing private equity guy. Rather than defend his tenure, Mr Romney has responded by turning the attack on the president, calling him the "outsourcer-in-chief". He has also promised to take a much harder line with China than Mr Obama has been willing to do
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:38 PM on July 16, 2012


Inside the Investigation of Leading Republican Money Man Sheldon Adelson
posted by homunculus at 1:16 PM on July 16, 2012


Worst. Talking. Point. Ever. .

Twitter trends with #retroactively following Romney advisor's gaffe.

Results for #retroactively.
posted by ericb at 1:18 PM on July 16, 2012


How Mitt Romney's Father Would Have Left Bain Capital
When one Romney considered leaving his successful business for public service, he made sure to relinquish pay, set up a new management team and officially step down as CEO. He left no gray area in terms of his corporate responsibilities overlapping other duties, as he told the press, because doing so would violate his principles. That was former Michigan Governor George Romney[...]On February 10, 1962, at a press conference with Mitt in downtown Detroit, George Romney announced his intention to run for Michigan governor as a Republican. Widely respected by both parties, George, even with minimum political experience, was seen at the time as a potential challenger to President John Kennedy. The GOP cheered a new leader—Governor Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY) celebrated the news as “a real contribution to the strength and vitality of the Republican Party”; shareholders lamented the loss of a successful businessman to the world of politics.

In fact, when George initially informed the board of his intention to resign and run, he was asked to take a leave of absence instead. Richard E. Cross, the American Motors Corporation legal counsel, told the Los Angeles Times that he was “obviously reluctant” to see George go, especially since company profits were surging with record sales of the AMC Rambler. George had been referred to back then as the “prophet of the compact car” for introducing the Rambler in 1950 as an executive at a company that later merged with AMC.

The Wall Street Journal, on Monday, February 12, reported that at 9:00 am, George planned to attend a company board meeting so that he could officially request a leave of absence as chairman and president of American Motors Corporation. It was “inconsistent with my principles that I become a candidate for public office and maintain my business responsibilities,” said George, as he explained why he planned to forgo his salary and bonus.

George, however, changed his mind and decided it would be prudent to officially resign as CEO. Before the end of the day, George had set up a management transition team. Roy Abernethy, the company’s executive vice president, would be promoted as president and chief operating officer, along with Cross, who would serve as AMC’s chairman.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:31 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


bainofmittsexistence.com
My favorite reason "why Mitt stayed at Bain retroactively" so far: The employee handling resignations had their job outsourced to India."
posted by madamjujujive at 1:36 PM on July 16, 2012


He could point out that Romney has been successful in going from rich to uberrich, while Michelle and he (and many others) have gone from much humbler beginnings to doing okay for themselves - a much more common, realistic and attainable goal for the average citizen.

True, but the average citizen has passed the age when they could have been accepted to Columbia or Harvard, and the average citizen has no hope at all of being named editor or President of the Harvard Law Review or getting a job at Sidley Austin. And the average citizen knows that. The average citizen also understands that, when Obama started making millions of dollars a year, that was from sales of his book and from speaking engagements, both of which were the result of his successful political career - elements that are unattainable to the average citizen. The average citizen simply does not have access to the sort of career elements that brought material wealth to the Obamas or to Mitt Romney.

At least Obama can say "I'm like you because I listen to cool music and I play basketball and I don't talk like a robot." That seems to have been enough, so far, to make people ignore the fact that Obama is, in every material respect, a bookworm constitutional law nerd who wears bad Dad jeans and who excelled academically by studying and working hard. Romney certainly has worked very hard, and I don't think anyone can say with any measure of accuracy that Romney did not work at least as hard as Obama at actually excelling academically or in business. But Romney is 100% rich nerd in Dad jeans, with 0% basketball-playing, normal-music-listening, non-robot-talking guy.
posted by The World Famous at 1:36 PM on July 16, 2012


But Romney is 100% rich nerd in Dad jeans, with 0% basketball-playing, normal-music-listening, non-robot-talking guy.

He -- who also makes his wife drive him about Lake Winnipesaukee on a wave runner/jet ski, hailing from their Wolfeboro lakeside estate?

What's next? Requiring her to be an attendant in his new $55,000 car elevator in their La Jolla seaside estate?
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on July 16, 2012


Mitt Romney is an Olympic dressage horse.
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on July 16, 2012


I don't understand the Ann Romney Drives The Jetski thing. It seems a creepily misogynistic criticism.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:47 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


He -- who also makes his wife drive him about Lake Winnipesaukee on a wave runner/jet ski, hailing from their Wolfeboro lakeside estate?

What's next? Requiring her to be an attendant in his new $55,000 car elevator in their La Jolla seaside estate?


So, because there's a picture of him and his wife on a waverunner where she is driving it instead of him, we're spinning that as that he "makes his wife drive him about?" If he were the one driving the waverunner in the picture, you'd be crowing about how he's such a sexist that he won't even let his wife drive. What a load of political horseshit.
posted by The World Famous at 1:50 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


On preview, what shakespeherian said, but nicer than I did.
posted by The World Famous at 1:51 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the Ann Romney Drives The Jetski thing. It seems a creepily misogynistic criticism.

It is.

I was taken by how many talking head pundits made an issue of it. I can't help but think that there may be some underlying anti-Mormon sentiment (i.e. wives are to procreate and serve their husbands and families). Hence, my absurdist extension to the elevator.

While I have my own questions/issues regarding Mormonism, a candidate's religion really should be 'out-of-bounds.'

I wonder, though, how much impact his religiosity will have on some voters.
posted by ericb at 1:52 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


And -- what The World Famous said.
posted by ericb at 1:53 PM on July 16, 2012


I recall this 'Letter from Washington' in the NYT's earlier this year: Romney and the Mormon Factor.
posted by ericb at 1:56 PM on July 16, 2012


Also -- earlier today ...

ABC News/Washington Post Poll: Race, Religion and Politics: A Look at the Election Impacts.
posted by ericb at 2:00 PM on July 16, 2012


I wonder who American voters hate more - Mormons or rich people. I'm guessing that defining himself as a super rich businessman with a complicated financial history is a more effective strategy than letting the Mormon thing continue to define who he is.

It's interesting to see the latest ads from Obama taking a tack that I figured would have been used a long time ago - that Romney personifies the sort of bad guy of investment and business who ruined the economy in the first place - that he's the problem, not the solution. I had a conversation a couple years ago with some fairly high-level political folks about exactly that issue, and about how that was Romney's true kryptonite. I wonder if Obama has started playing that card too early, as opposed to waiting until the debates to use it on Romney for the first time in person.
posted by The World Famous at 2:06 PM on July 16, 2012


I think Obama is laying the groundwork, defining Romney and how he practices capitalism -- destructive capitalism. Vulture Capital. Optimizing returns-on-investment for wealthy shareholders/Bain Partners, etc. while destroying working class jobs, cutting pensions, out-sourcing manufacturing and service jobs to China and India.

One need only look at how this approach was employed by Ted Kennedy early on when Romney was challenging him for his Senate seat.

Not to mention Romney's gratuitous (pandering?) 'flip-flops' on social issues here in Massachusetts at the time (e.g. Mitt Romney 1994: ‘I’ll Be Better Than Ted For Gay Rights!’).

Seeds are being sown. Impressions are being made. There are no longer 'Dog Days of Politics in July and August.' The narratives are no longer started after Labor Day (nor should you wear white after such!).

At the Fall debates: "Okay class, let's review what we have learned this past semester before the final exam."
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on July 16, 2012


Reddit has posted a link to the McCain's campiagin 2008 file on Romney. No idea if it is genuine but there is a mine of great quotes in there, e.g.

Romney: “I thought becoming rich and famous would make me happy. Boy was I right.” (Tape 78)

Romney has no foreign policy experience.
posted by vac2003 at 2:30 PM on July 16, 2012


I wonder if Obama has started playing that card too early,

There is always that possibility, I think though the current attacks have two purposes, they prevent a huge bounce when Romney does his VP pick (hell they may cause him to rush the process just so he has something else to talk about) and it is something they can keep returning to as long as Mittens remains evasive. The tax returns and tax havens are going to be a never-ending gift, and a multipronged Bain attack (all legitimate since that is what Romney wants to run on) is just not going to stop. Start with 2002 and work back, before you know it Romney is going to disavow ever have worked there at all.
posted by edgeways at 2:33 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Bain attacks feel like they're meant to put Romney on the defensive, to stop any potential attacks against Obama. Once he starts to recover a little/announces his VP, a second, stronger blow will hit.

Then it's death from a thousand cuts for a month or two, to prevent him from ever regaining momentum, and a final onslaught in October to counter all the SPAC money. (In theory, if the campaign planners think as I do, etc., etc.)
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:46 PM on July 16, 2012


Bloomberg: Romney’s Bain Yielded Private Gains, Socialized Losses.

Or, as Mitt would call it: winning!
posted by tonycpsu at 3:20 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Twitter trends with #retroactively following Romney advisor's gaffe.

It was *the* top trend yesterday afternoon/evening, after the Gillespie appearance on Meet the Press, and literally burning up the Twitter like a Bain Capital shredded docs bonfire.

I'm curious as to if, Twitter may have gotten some outside pressure to tamp it down...somewhat...
posted by Skygazer at 3:29 PM on July 16, 2012


I'm curious as to if, Twitter may have gotten some outside pressure to tamp it down...somewhat...

I'd be very surprised if this was the case. Twitter trends does tend to emphasize newer popular keywords and phrases though (ie a sudden increase in volume will trigger a topic to be trending), so while a particular word or phrase may be getting as many or more tweets than other trending topics the lack of novelty means it'll show lower in the trending topics list.
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:36 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


(Of course that's based on an explanation I read that was provided by a twitter spokesperson previously when they were being accused of suppressing trending topics/censorship)
posted by TwoWordReview at 3:39 PM on July 16, 2012


madamjujujive:bainofmittsexistence.com
My favorite reason "why Mitt stayed at Bain retroactively" so far: The employee handling resignations had their job outsourced to India."

That site is pretty freaking funny.
posted by OmieWise at 3:45 PM on July 16, 2012


Reddit has posted a link to the McCain's campiagin 2008 file on Romney. No idea if it is genuine but there is a mine of great quotes in there, e.g.

I've been reading just the section on Bain (starts page 135, goes on for 32 pages) for the last 10 minutes. If this is legit - and it certainly appears to be - it's catastrophic for his campaign.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:55 PM on July 16, 2012


If this is legit - and it certainly appears to be - it's catastrophic for his campaign.

Why? What's in that section?
posted by cashman at 3:58 PM on July 16, 2012


Why? What's in that section?

Information about Mitt Romney.

/rimshot
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:05 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Re: Romney's Mormonism

I'd find it repellent for Romney to be judged on his religion, but seeing how tone-deaf and inept the response has been to the Bain SEC filings, and the general wooden, bizarre, almost other-worldly spazziness Romney displays, I've become more curious as to how and why he speaks to the American public as if they're slow and dull, and without understanding how transparent his condescension is and how, ultimately irritating, and I'm coming to the conclusion that at least some of that is an extension of his standing in the LDS church as a Bishop, and the actual religion itself which seems (I may be wrong here...) secretive and insularized from the general public.

Also, I've learned that while the LDS "Bible" takes much from the Christian Bible, it picks and chooses from it and adds it's own stories and prophets, and "reality" or "myths" as it were...

To me it seems Romney's relationship to the truth and reality, especially in business dealings and his political statements seems to display a similar particular, a la cart approach to who he decides he needs to show to the electorate, and what they need to know about him policy-wise.

In other words his troubling relationship with being truthful seems very much the strategy almost of a foreigner who understands the words of a language, but doesn't understand anything about it's connatations or deeper meanings or subtext.

And that is the way he uses his "political language" without full understanding of the more full meanings...

He's a hard nut to crack. I don't want to believe he's as dumb and disrespectful as he comes across. Maybe somewhat, but there's more here than meets the eye.

It is also troubling that perhaps non-mormons don't register in Romney's reality as fully capable human beings deserving full respect and acknowledgment. As opposed to lesser individuals whose vote he desperately needs and who are too dumb to parse his bullshit.
posted by Skygazer at 4:08 PM on July 16, 2012


Brad DeLong: Counterfactuals We Can Believe In: The Economic Stakes of November.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:10 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reading the McCain oppo file on Romney, it is definitely rough for him, but in my opinion nothing even close to catastrophic. If you could imagine someplace it could get read page by page for at least 4 or 5 pages, then there would be real problems. But when the pattern is the damning part, and there is really nowhere except for the internet where you can get the information uninterrupted, I don't think it will sink his campaign. Any time this issue comes up in a public arena, only one or two points will emerge before there are interruptions and denying and minimizing.

The good thing is that all of it is sourced. I swear I remember seeing something like this a few years ago. But someone already mentioned it had been leaked previously.

If this gets into the press cycle, it'll carry over into the weekend again, and it'll become a serious issue unless Mitt does something new with it. That or announce his VP pick Blanklenty.

But I know one thing, we can look forward to Mitt saying "why you bringin up old shit?" a lot. Tax Returns? "why you bringin up old shit?" When'd you leave Bain? "why you bringin up old shit?" Layoffs? Firing workers and offering to bring them back at much lower salaries? "why you bringin up old shit?"
posted by cashman at 4:18 PM on July 16, 2012


There's too much - Junk bonds, medicare fraud, damning quotes from ex-colleagues...all kinds of shit. Just browse it here.

From this guy. Incidentally, turns out this tax return thing isn't the first time Romney has been through this.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:20 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


"No idea if it is genuine but there is a mine of great quotes in there, e.g.

Romney: “I thought becoming rich and famous would make me happy. Boy was I right.”


• Romney describes himself as a “business legend” in his campaign ads and once said of himself: “I’m basically in the investor’s Hall of Fame.”

From this point forward I will be reading all of Mitt Romeny's quotes in Sterling Archer's voice.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:25 PM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm coming to the conclusion that at least some of that is an extension of his standing in the LDS church as a Bishop, and the actual religion itself which seems (I may be wrong here...) secretive and insularized from the general public.

There are many examples of well-known public figures who are Mormons are who do not share Romney's mannerisms, personality, etc. To point to his religion as the source of his awkward personal style runs directly contrary to the abundant evidence of non-awkward Mormons, both famous and non-famous. He even had an opponent in the primaries who is just as Mormon, just as famous in terms of politics, and just as rich as Romney, and that guy was nothing like Romney.

I have met Romney on several occasions, each of which was long before he was a Bishop or a politician. He had the same mannerisms then that he has now. Interestingly, his father, who served in various leadership roles in the Mormon church more senior than that of Bishop, did not have Mitt's mannerisms and general awkwardness. He was, in my experience, a far more gregarious and imposing figure. But that may have been a function of his age and experience when I knew him.

I know a lot of Mormons. I also know a lot of non-Mormons. And I know a lot of very rich people, most of whom are not Mormons. Mitt Romney reminds me more of the very rich non-Mormons I know than he does of most Mormons I know.

Also, I've learned that while the LDS "Bible" takes much from the Christian Bible, it picks and chooses from it and adds it's own stories and prophets, and "reality" or "myths" as it were...

The LDS "Bible" is the King James Version of the Bible. The Mormon church also uses three other volumes of canonized scripture. The first of those three is the Book of Mormon, which purports to be a volume of ancient scripture completely separate from the Bible, written by a different set of prophets. It contains some parts where the alleged authors state that they are reproducing portions of what Christianity now refers to as the Old Testament, expressly referencing the fact that those parts are lifted straight out of Isaiah, for example, in order to emphasize the importance of those passages. The other two volumes of LDS canon are 1) a collection of revelations recorded by Joseph Smith and a few of his successors, and 2) a small volume of alleged ancient writings of Moses and Abraham, allegedly revealed to Joseph Smith and dictated by God.
posted by The World Famous at 4:26 PM on July 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


It's all in the timing. If they release it out in one lump sum no one will put the pieces together, sure.

But if they release a company or two every week or so? The pattern becomes pretty clear. Hell, the section on Stream is seven pages long, and goes into detail how they slashed jobs left right and centre. My bet is that's the Obama campaign's next talking point: Romney directly led to the layoff of 3k American workers, while hiring something like 10k in foreign countries.

That, or the $100M Medicare fraud.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 4:27 PM on July 16, 2012


But I know one thing, we can look forward to Mitt saying "why you bringin up old shit?" a lot. Tax Returns? "why you bringin up old shit?" When'd you leave Bain? "why you bringin up old shit?" Layoffs? Firing workers and offering to bring them back at much lower salaries? "why you bringin up old shit?"

This puts him in a real bind, though... Or, at least, it can, if Obama uses it right.

Romney doesn't want to talk about 'old shit'? Fine, but then that means Romney can't keep talking on and on about his business experience. Let's talk about new shit, like Romney's performance as governor... Oh, but wait a minute, the moment we start talking about that, we're right in the middle of a conversation about Romneycare.

This is Romney's tightrope. Either the old shit doesn't matter or it does. If it does, then he's open to all these attacks and can't just rush them under a rug. If it doesn't, then all he has left to run on is his experience enacting a policy his constituents seriously, dearly hate. Either way, not good news for Romney.
posted by meese at 4:32 PM on July 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Bain Capital delivered returns more than 5 times the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the entire period 1984-1999. I submit that that's impossible without some seriously one-sided table stacking in your own favor. His business strategy all along has been "I win, you lose, guaranteed." He's a vulture capitalist. He's been bad for jobs and the economy, and that needs to be shouted from the rooftops at every opportunity.

(I'm not saying what he's done is illegal. Simply immoral and sleazy.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:43 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sometimes, saving a company means letting people go or outsourcing. Sometimes, the alternative is that the company just dies and everyone loses their job.

Does Romney think the United States is in a position where the only alternatives are to cut it down or let it die? Conservatives certainly do believe that the only way to save the U.S. is to cut the government down, lay off government programs and employees, and thereby save the republic from certain death. That's exactly what Romney's more conservative primary opponents argued over and over again.

So can Romney come out and say yes, I was cutting jobs and outsourcing, and I was doing it because that's how you save a dying company and make it profitable again? If he does it just right, I think he can. But he won't do it just right.
posted by The World Famous at 5:02 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cashman, I see your point, but back in 2002 (when running for Governor), it was a very different environment. Sure, there had been a big recession, he was a rich guy, and so on, but it was also a post-911, nation-at-war atmosphere, and you could sort of buy into the concept of 'made my money, now I feel called back to public service.'

And in other circumstances, I think he could just hammer Obama on the weak economy, defend the past more aggressively, and resurrect the idea that 'the business of America is business.' But IMHO the LIBOR scandal is going to deepen ruing the fall; the financial industry's failure to clean up its act is seeing a rash of new firm-level awfulness (like the PCG Best Scandal and the JPM 'whale' trader), and the SEC is running upa gainst the deadline to file civil actions in a bunch of cases (partly because the House has kept it on starvation rations). There is going to be a lot of litigation (and some prosecution) against the financial industry in the very near future. And Romney's eager embrace of junk bonds, apparent indifference to massive medicare fraud and so on is not going to sit well with the electorate.

The other thing to bear in mind is that this was opposition research for a rival conservative campaign. It's full of stuff that I find perfectly reasonable as a liberal but which is guaranteed to infuriate Tea Party types, from abortion to gay rights to climate change to healthcare. It popped up last November and then received some heated discussion on conservative blogs/forums in January, but despair seems to have set in thanks to the extreme fragmentation of the GOP field this time around and the failure of any other candidate besides Santorum to make a decent showing. I've never seen such a demoralized base in a presidential election.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:14 PM on July 16, 2012


Once money has sufficient rights the apparatus of the state will whither away.
posted by Artw at 6:40 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Obama has started playing that card too early,

When your opponent drops his arm, swing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:41 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


When your opponent drops his arm, swing.

Are you saying this is the only swing available to Obama at the moment?
posted by The World Famous at 6:44 PM on July 16, 2012


Are you saying this is the only swing available to Obama at the moment?

No.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:50 PM on July 16, 2012


What do you think he's keeping in reserve for later, and do you think those issues will hit Romney harder than this one?
posted by The World Famous at 7:04 PM on July 16, 2012


I have no idea. But this seems to be working in Obama's favor pretty well right now. Why wait when all the cards have fallen into place, starting with the WaPo article, then Romney's camp stepping into it with the 1999-2002 disparity?

Romney was gearing up for a veep pick media blitz, and Obama totally sunk that battleship. I think the timing was impeccable in that sense, and I don't think the issue is going to go away before the fall -- it's too deep of a mine.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:16 PM on July 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


That swing is low cost and infinitely replenishable - seems like a solid choice for now.
posted by Artw at 7:18 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also during the oncoming swing state moneyageddon when Obama gets outspent whatever-to-one it might have seemed like whining to pull this out - now is the perfect time.
posted by Artw at 7:20 PM on July 16, 2012


As I understand it, Romney isn't able to put all of his funds to work just yet because he is still technically in the primary. If Obama wants to lay the groundwork for the overall message of the campaign, now is the time and he is doing a very good job.

One of the reasons his team is so good at this is the long term, big picture thinking. They win the war, not the battle. This strategy drives me nuts in some cases when applied to governing for reasons outside of the subject of this thread, but in a campaign it can be very valuable.

McCain and Palin were obsessed with winning the media each day, it killed them and constantly made them look like fools. The Romney camp is far more disciplined but they just don't have a product the swing states are going to want to buy.

There aren't really any knockouts in this, you just keep punching as hard as you can until the decision is in.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:51 PM on July 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


In time there will be media buys the like of which god has not seen before...
posted by Artw at 7:53 PM on July 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thinking on it, the worst thing about Mitt Romney's tax return position is how much it reminds us of his father, George Romney, who was a decent human being back in the day when Republicans could be decent, public-spirited, forward looking people.

If I could say one thing to Mitt Romney, it would be this: you have forgotten the face of your father.
posted by SPrintF at 7:57 PM on July 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


If I could say one thing to Mitt Romney, it would be this: you have forgotten the face of your father.

"Tea Party Lobstrosities" would be a great username.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:09 PM on July 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


In time there will be media buys the like of which god has not seen before...
posted by Artw at 10:53 PM on July 16


The Obama campaign said a few weeks ago that it needed to put buy up big blocks of ad time soon or they'll no longer be available in time. Seems reasonable to me and seems like soon those media buy numbers should be released...

I hope all that ad-buy money stimulates the economies in those swing states a bit..
posted by Skygazer at 8:33 PM on July 16, 2012


Stewart got Mitt good on the Daily Show tonight. There are a few different shots that are powerful, but my favorite part was where he goes at Mitt's defense of his having all these offshore tax havens. It starts at 4:55 into the video. A few days ago on Friday's media blitz, Romney's said that his money is handled by a blind trust he established, to avoid conflicts of interest as he ran for public office.

John said "that's fine, as long as it isn't a ruse..."

And then they bring up a clip of Mitt Romney in 1994 saying
"The blind trust is an age old ruse if you will, which is to say you can always tell a blind trust what it can and cannot do. You give a blind trust rules."
posted by cashman at 9:25 PM on July 16, 2012 [10 favorites]


That was a brutal segment.
posted by gerryblog at 9:33 PM on July 16, 2012


Holy cats, that was the take down of all take downs. Jeez. Go Stewart.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:10 PM on July 16, 2012


That was a brutal segment.

Oh yes! That was brutalful!

Someone link this in when Comedy Central puts up a permalink.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:12 PM on July 16, 2012


"Horse prom is black tie, motherfucker."

God, I love Stewart so very much.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:18 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


From thedailyshow.com

Democalypse 2012 - Bain Damage

Democalypse 2012 - Bain Damage - Romney's Blind Trust

Full Episode

Colbert: Mitt Romney's Retroactive Retirement from Bain Capital
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 5:29 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


From thedailyshow.com

One of the saddest things about being Canadian in this day and age is that all Stewart/Colbert links dead end and then you have to try and find the relevant link at the Comedy Channel.

Small beer, I know...
posted by jeffen at 5:47 AM on July 17, 2012


Another New Ad from Obama: Makes your wonder

Also, Romeny's ad that contained a clip of Obama singing has been bulled at the request of BMG for copyright infringement. It's amateur hour over there.
posted by Mick at 6:03 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


jeffen, just install the firefox addon modify headers.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 6:17 AM on July 17, 2012


Is Romney Overreacting to Bain Attacks?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:44 AM on July 17, 2012


What would really be good about all this is if people (ordinary people, not wingy lefties like me) started asking, "A $77,000 deduction for your horse?? For your hobby?? That's legal?? That's on the freaking books??"
posted by Trochanter at 6:56 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


What would really be good about all this is if people (ordinary people, not wingy lefties like me) started asking...

Just wait until you see the rest of the returns, if they're ever released. I guarantee you that 77k horse bullshit is a drop in the bucket.
posted by odinsdream at 7:03 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney Ad Taken Down Over Copyright Claim
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 AM on July 17, 2012


One of the saddest things about being Canadian in this day and age is that all Stewart/Colbert links dead end and then you have to try and find the relevant link at the Comedy Channel.

Small beer, I know...


In addition to modify headers, you can also subscribe to Unblock Us to view content outside of Canada, including Netflix content from the States on all your devices that refer to your router.
posted by juiceCake at 7:20 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


What do you think he's keeping in reserve for later, and do you think those issues will hit Romney harder than this one?

I don't know, but apparently Mark Halperin either thinks or knows that there's something the Obama campaign is sitting on:
Maybe Romney’s foreign trip, VP selection, and convention will organically turn the page for him in time. But there are a lot of nervous Republicans outside the campaign who don’t think that’s true. And most of those nervous Republicans would be even more nervous if they knew what Chicago was still, patiently, sitting on.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:20 AM on July 17, 2012


The Obama team has another video out about the tax returns, which strongly suggests he's hiding his tax returns because there may be years he didn't pay any taxes, and includes a clip from one of Romney's interviews on Friday saying he's released what he thinks is required of him.

On a related note, the Romney campaign had to take down his "cronyism"/singing Obama response ad because they didn't pre-clear the rights to the Al Green song. Brilliant prep there, guys.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:40 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


On a related note, the Romney campaign had to take down his "cronyism"/singing Obama response ad because they didn't pre-clear the rights to the Al Green song. Brilliant prep there, guys.


Did Obama clear it before singing it at a public event that he knew would be televised?
posted by The World Famous at 9:18 AM on July 17, 2012


Mick and kirkaracha said that already.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:21 AM on July 17, 2012


$77,000 in one year?

Mitt, I want to be your horse.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:31 AM on July 17, 2012


I would think Obama's original performance would be covered by the blanket licenses of both the venue, and the TV channels carrying the live broadcast so no clearance would be necessary. I could be wrong about that though.
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:33 AM on July 17, 2012


Note to self: When running for President, always sing every interview and debate answer to the tune of a copyrighted song so that the opposition cannot use it an an ad.
posted by The World Famous at 9:36 AM on July 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


(Yes, I know that's not how copyright works. But UMG apparently doesn't, and that's what matters.)
posted by The World Famous at 9:44 AM on July 17, 2012


Mitt Romney's tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain's decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a "better candidate."

There's an endorsement: Romney, not quite as good as Palin.
posted by octothorpe at 10:46 AM on July 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Heh, yeah. Longer McCain: "I wasn't scared off by his tax returns. It was some other stuff."
posted by rhizome at 10:48 AM on July 17, 2012


Some enterprising website should just host a contest or pool to let people guess what's in Romney's tax returns. That would be a lot of fun, I bet!
posted by newdaddy at 11:05 AM on July 17, 2012


Some enterprising website should just host a contest or pool to let people guess what's in Romney's tax returns. That would be a lot of fun, I bet!

Get Las Vegas oddsmakers into the mix and you've got yourself a party.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:08 AM on July 17, 2012


I sure hope an ad is made featuring John McCain explaining that he didn't pick Romney for VP because Sarah Palin was a better candidate.
posted by Flunkie at 11:19 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a supplement to that, a prize or promo could be a deck of playing cards portraying Mitt's accumulated wealth. You'd play them in the manner of Go Fish, but they'd need a snappier, more contempo title, like, Go Downsize!

"Do you have a ballet horse?"
"Yep. Darn, go again."
"Do you have a west-coast Cadillac?"
"Nope! Go downsize!"
posted by newdaddy at 11:20 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney's tax returns had nothing to do with Sen. John McCain's decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, according to the Arizona Republican, saying he chose the former Alaska governor because she was a "better candidate."

McCain chose Palin - a candidate that his people had not vetted - because his people knew that the same could be said of Palin's knowledge of McCain. They had to find someone who didn't know John McCain well enough to hate his guts, because that hatred that everyone in DC has for McCain has been earned over decades of dedicated backstabbing and nincompoopery on McCain's part and it would certainly come out in the campaign, either through someone just going back through the congressional record to find his running mate saying nasty things about McCain and vice versa or just by people noticing that his running mate clearly hated his guts. And the only way he could find someone who didn't have a long history of hating McCain's guts was to find someone who was such a novice that she had no history with him, so politically isolated that she hadn't heard the stories yet, and such an ignorant moron that she would not be familiar with the last twenty years of news stories about him.

He chose Palin because Romney and every other viable Republican knew him, hated him, and would be angling to make themself look good for the next election and to use McCain as a handy buffon to make them look good by contrast. What he didn't count on is that Palin was so self-centered herself that she would do the same thing, not because she had a clue about just who McCain was, but because she was a clueless self-promotion machine no matter what the context. But McCain didn't know that, because he intentionally did not put her through the vetting process that would have clued her in as to just how terrible McCain was.

Would Romney have been a better McCain running mate? Nah. He would have killed the McCain campaign, too.
posted by The World Famous at 11:21 AM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


We could hand them out to homeless people, and not-able-to-be-bankrupt college grads! With a free Medicare voucher inside the pack!
posted by newdaddy at 11:26 AM on July 17, 2012


As a supplement to that, a prize or promo could be a deck of playing cards portraying Mitt's accumulated wealth.

Or maybe a Romney Private Equity monopoly game. Instead of properties there are companies to be taken over, leveraged, outsourced, gutted, and bankrupted. You could have corrupt bankers that assist in ripping off investors and accountants to assist in tax avoidance, but if you're really unlucky an SEC investigation or an IRS audit.
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:34 AM on July 17, 2012


There's an endorsement: Romney, not quite as good as Palin.

Talk about praising with faint damns.
posted by winna at 11:38 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


We could hand them out to homeless people, and not-able-to-be-bankrupt college grads! With a free Medicaid voucher inside the pack!

The wonk part of me felt the urge to correct this.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:39 AM on July 17, 2012


The World Famous: "McCain chose Palin - a candidate that his people had not vetted - because his people knew that the same could be said of Palin's knowledge of McCain. They had to find someone who didn't know John McCain well enough to hate his guts"

Or maybe it's just that Palin brought media attention and the Tea Party vote with her. Just a theory...
posted by mkultra at 11:39 AM on July 17, 2012


Re: the tax returns, and for what it's worth, Steve Schmidt says he never saw them, but that "there was no indication that there were any problems" with them. He did name the names of the campaign operatives that did see them, but they're probably not the kind of campaign operatives that appear in front of cameras or microphones very often.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:41 AM on July 17, 2012


Or maybe it's just that Palin brought media attention and the Tea Party vote with her. Just a theory...

I don't know. I've had John McCain scream obscenities at me at close range and I got the impression at the time that they had to get Palin because she was the only person in government who had never had that lovely experience.
posted by The World Famous at 11:43 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


(by "at the time," I mean at the time that Palin was chosen. At the time that McCain was screaming at me, the only impression I got was that I should watch out for flying chairs.)
posted by The World Famous at 11:47 AM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bain offshoring victims ask Romney for help: Bain Capital is still outsourcing jobs -- and some of its victims are asking Mitt Romney for a hand
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM on July 17, 2012


I've had John McCain scream obscenities at me at close range

You don't get to drop a line like that without us asking for details.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:55 AM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Round these parts It think that's called pulling a Coldchef.
posted by TwoWordReview at 11:59 AM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


winna: "Talk about praising with faint damns."

I read this as "praising with faint dames", which I suppose is appropriate in its own way.
posted by Phire at 12:03 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't get to drop a line like that without us asking for details.

Come to an L.A. meetup sometime and I'll tell you all about it.
posted by The World Famous at 12:10 PM on July 17, 2012


Ron Paul to Mitt Romney: Release tax returns

With the attacks mounting, a number of prominent conservatives voices — including Bill Kristol and George Will — have urged Romney to hand over his tax returns and put an end to the controversy.

Paul on Tuesday agreed with that advice, saying Romney’s tax returns have become too much of a distraction.

“It’s a shame. The important issue is [what] the two candidates seem to agree on. They don’t really disagree with militarism overseas, they don’t disagree with the Federal Reserve system and the bailouts, and they don’t disagree on basically whether the role of federal government is wealth redistribution through welfare. So instead, they’re talking about tax returns and that to me is so disappointing,” he said. “It’s all a charade, I think it’s all contrived to not have a debate.”

Asked to speculate on why Romney has so far refused to hand over more returns, Paul replied, “I have no idea.”

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:22 PM on July 17, 2012


Mormons’ First Families Rally Behind Romney

Marriotts, Rollinses, Gardners and others — have formed a financial bulwark and support network for Mr. Romney at every important point in his political career. Starting with his 1994 Senate race, moving into the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics effort that became his political springboard and continuing through his first foray into presidential politics, they have been there to open doors, provide seed money and rally support.

Mr. Romney’s candidacy has produced great pride among many Mormons, known officially as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But for this core group of the religion’s most prominent families, the ties to Mr. Romney go deeper. They share with him not only a faith, but also a dramatic history in which they have scaled the ladder of American society, starting as vilified outsiders and, after helping to settle the American West, rising to the heights of wealth and success within four generations.

To take one concrete measure of their support, records show that roughly two dozen members of Mormon families provided nearly $8 million of the financing for the “super PAC” working to elect Mr. Romney, Restore Our Future, putting them in league with its Wall Street, real estate and energy donors. Prominent Mormons including the JetBlue founder David G. Neeleman and the Credit Suisse chief executive Eric Varvel are on his finance team.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:25 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Birther Trump: Romney Should Demand Obama's College Records
posted by homunculus at 12:32 PM on July 17, 2012


What do the Birthers think is in Obama's college records, you ask?

"But in Obama's case, the primary reason to see his college applications is to learn whether the president applied for college in the U.S. as a foreign student."
posted by chrchr at 1:04 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder where this ends. Perhaps the Republicans will want proof Obama was actually born, that sort of thing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:07 PM on July 17, 2012


I've heard several fairly prominent Republican political folks say in private that they think the reason Obama won't release his academic records is that they will show that he didn't do particularly well academically and that he, therefore, must have achieved things like becoming President of Harvard Law Review based on attributes other than academic merit. They think he is a very charismatic person who, because of his background and race, has been handed opportunities that he didn't really earn and that he wasn't really ready for. The storyline they seem to believe is one where Obama is a mediocre President because, like everything else in his life, he attained the Presidency through charisma and the good graces of others, rather than through preparation and merit.

There's certainly an element of racism there, but not the "proof of where he was actually born" sort.
posted by The World Famous at 1:13 PM on July 17, 2012


I'm always so befuddled by an understanding of Affirmative Action that thinks it means that unqualified minorities get jobs while qualified WASPy dudes don't. It always seems to truck in this unspoken implication that all minorities are unqualified.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:22 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


That may be part of it, The World Famous, but notice that Trump was yammering about his college application. This is a Birther thing.
posted by chrchr at 1:22 PM on July 17, 2012


Yeah, Trump is a special brand of crazy.
posted by The World Famous at 1:26 PM on July 17, 2012


They think he is a very charismatic person who, because of his background and race, has been handed opportunities that he didn't really earn and that he wasn't really ready for.

Completely different from Romney, in that case, who isn't terribly charismatic.
posted by Grangousier at 1:32 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Completely different from Romney, in that case, who isn't terribly charismatic.

How charismatic do you have to be when you're born into the aristocracy?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:36 PM on July 17, 2012


Yeah, I'm not sure it occurs to them that their candidate's financial and family background opened just as many doors as Obama's race did.
posted by The World Famous at 1:39 PM on July 17, 2012


"Obama graduated from Harvard Magna Cum Laude, a honor only bestowed upon the top 10%.
posted by Mick at 1:40 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well the likelihood (imo) they want transcripts is to see what whacky classes he took. Hey look underwater basket weaving for Marxists!!!!

And this because, well Obama has already gone trough the op research process and how many times are you gonna go Wright when yer own religion is view askance by segments of your base.

Sununu today was just completely whacked. Talk about dog whistle politics covered with a plastic veneer.
posted by edgeways at 1:48 PM on July 17, 2012


Yeah, I'm not sure it occurs to them that their candidate's financial and family background opened just as many doors as Obama's race did.

Because you being part of a wealthy and upper class business owning family will almost afford you the same privileges as black males get.

I know what you were trying to say, that they really have no right complaining about any help Obama got because he was black, when their whole family benefits from their class. It just was funny to even think the two things are even in the same ballpark.
posted by cashman at 2:28 PM on July 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


It just was funny to even think the two things are even in the same ballpark.

You're absolutely right.
posted by The World Famous at 2:36 PM on July 17, 2012


Rush Limbaugh is being pretty reasonable and intelligent about Bain Capital and Bane the Bat-villain.
posted by COBRA! at 2:36 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


...they really have no right complaining about any help Obama got because he was black, when their whole family benefits from their class.

Yes... but they deserve those benefits because they worked hard to get wealthy. Obama didn't earn being black. It's so not fair!
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:41 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


That One Where Mitt Romney Treats Poor People Worse Than His Dressage Horse. [via Mitt, Venn and Now] They serve up Venn Diagrams since Mitt's team's famous venn diagram fail.
posted by cashman at 4:48 PM on July 17, 2012


Rush Limbaugh is being pretty reasonable and intelligent about Bain Capital and Bane the Bat-villain.

Rush Limbaugh is being pretty reasonable and intelligent about Obama too.
posted by homunculus at 4:49 PM on July 17, 2012


Limbaugh's use of passive voice, 'weasel words,' unsourced 'discussion,' and the ever-threatening 'they' is much more annoying in the written form than I had anticipated.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:51 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh is being pretty reasonable and intelligent about Bain Capital and Bane the Bat-villain.

Okay, that mashup picture of Mitt Romney/Bane at that link is simultaneously hilarious and scary.

I have to say, they must be right. Because the 2008 election proved that when a name heavily associated with your campaign is one letter off of a famous villain's name it spells doom for any chances you had of becoming president.
posted by cashman at 4:57 PM on July 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Come to think of it, Palin is sorta close to Stalin.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:59 PM on July 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well yeah, Russia is right next door...
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:06 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The storyline they seem to believe is one where Obama is a mediocre President because, like everything else in his life, he attained the Presidency through charisma and the good graces of others, rather than through preparation and merit.

Have you ever gauged their opinions of George W. Bush? I wonder if that would be awkward.
posted by indubitable at 5:06 PM on July 17, 2012


Why Isn’t Rush Limbaugh Talking About the Real Batman Conspiracy?
posted by homunculus at 5:28 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Isn’t Rush Limbaugh Talking About the Real Batman Conspiracy?

Some things aren't meant to be gawkered.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:46 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to say, they must be right. Because the 2008 election proved that when a name heavily associated with your campaign is one letter off of a famous villain's name it spells doom for any chances you had of becoming president.

Poor John McBeesFromMyGirl
posted by jason_steakums at 5:48 PM on July 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Rush Limbaugh is being pretty reasonable and intelligent about Obama too.

In fairness, Obama's saying "If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that" was a terrible gaffe. By 'that' he means economic infrastructure, of course, but it was dreadful phrasing because it does sound like he's dismissing the hard work that goes into starting and running a business.

You're going to hear it over and over again in election adverts and much as I despise Limbaugh I can't blame him for jumping on it. Obama ought to clarify that soon; it really was an unecessary free gift to the GOP.
posted by anigbrowl at 6:02 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't characterize it as a gaffe anymore than an opponent maliciously editing you is a gaffe. The context is absolutely clear from the speech; it's only when you remove the rest of the words that the referrent of "that" becomes ambiguous. But that'd be true of any pronoun. Thats how the language works. At some point the media has to hold campaigns accountable for lies and distortions like this.

What's funny is this is only the second-most outrageous editing of the campaign. Cutting a clip of Obama quoting McCain to make it look like Obama's own words still takes the cake.
posted by gerryblog at 6:23 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


An Awful Moniker: 'We’re the party of people who want to get rich.'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:31 PM on July 17, 2012


IIRC The last Batman movie was hailed as some kind of ideological masterpiece by conservatives.
posted by Artw at 6:49 PM on July 17, 2012


In fairness, Obama's saying "If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that" was a terrible gaffe.

It is not a gaffe to make a statement that when removed from context appears nefarious.
posted by smithsmith at 6:53 PM on July 17, 2012


In politics, ambiguity is ripe for exploitation, and this was ambiguous. It's far less egregious than the distortion of the McCain quote from 2008, but if the sort of thing that is obviously a good quote for your opponents, then it's a gaffe. We think it's hilarious when a Republican says something like that and the Daily Show makes fun of it.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:05 PM on July 17, 2012


Other than money, what actual product did Mitt Romney ever make?
posted by humanfont at 7:14 PM on July 17, 2012


"Obama should never have started that sentence with 'unfortunately.' Cut off the 'un' and it says 'fortunately!' Total gift to the Romney campaign. Major gaffe."
posted by gerryblog at 7:27 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


IIRC The last Batman movie was hailed as some kind of ideological masterpiece by conservatives.

It did make a lot of money at the box office.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:49 PM on July 17, 2012


I do analysis, not cheerleading. Just look upthread for some amusing Mitt Romney quotes taken out of context.
posted by anigbrowl at 7:49 PM on July 17, 2012


I do analysis, not cheerleading. Just look upthread for some amusing Mitt Romney quotes taken out of context.

Which ones?
posted by cashman at 8:39 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Other than money, what actual product did Mitt Romney ever make?

Are you asking about products manufactured by Mitt Romney himself in some manufacturing job, or are you asking what products were made by entities overseen or directed by Romney?
posted by The World Famous at 9:06 PM on July 17, 2012


Are you asking about products manufactured by Mitt Romney himself in some manufacturing job

Is that a serious question or do you really think there are people on this planet dumb enough to think that Willard Mitt Romney ever worked in a manufacturing plant?
posted by smithsmith at 9:08 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is that a serious question or do you really think there are people on this planet dumb enough to think that Willard Mitt Romney ever worked in a manufacturing plant?

Was humanfont's question serious?
posted by The World Famous at 9:10 PM on July 17, 2012


Other than money, what actual product did Mitt Romney ever make?

A windshield-equipped roof-top dog carrier.

posted by Golden Eternity at 9:10 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


John McCain: I Didn’t Pick Romney Because ‘Sarah Palin Was The Better Candidate’
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:13 PM on July 17, 2012


McCain: I Didn’t Mean Palin Was Better Than Romney
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:14 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Ripe for exploitation" is a pretty low standard to set for oneself or accept in others. Do you think John McCain made a mistake by adopting a Bangladeshi girl who wasn't unambiguously white enough, so Lee Atwater was able to spread the rumor that he fathered a black baby out of wedlock? Would that be your analysis?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:46 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Other than money, what actual product did Mitt Romney ever make?

A windshield-equipped roof-top dog carrier.


Along with a nice addition to the English language.
posted by homunculus at 9:51 PM on July 17, 2012


A windshield-equipped roof-top dog carrier.

I was wondering, too, if Mitt Romney had ever gotten his hands dirty his entire life. But I guess cleaning a terrified dog's shit off his car could be theoretically considered work, in its own way.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:04 PM on July 17, 2012


FiveThirtyEight: Is Romney Overreacting To Bain Attacks?

CNN, David Frum :Mitt Romney's painfully bad week
Romney's core problem is this: He heads a party that must win two-thirds of the white working-class vote in presidential elections to compensate for its weakness in almost every demographic category. The white working class is the most pessimistic and alienated group in the electorate, and it especially fears and dislikes the kind of financial methods that gained Romney his fortune.
Slate: Obama Winning Ugly

Mother Jones has an overview for those just joining: Romney at Bain, How The Story Broke
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:06 PM on July 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The good old days of the Nixon campaign. A look back at a 1968 classic shows just how inaccessible candidates have become
-
A contemporary reporter probably has a better shot at following David Petraeus around the CIA than penetrating the Obama or Romney campaigns as they concoct ads.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:08 PM on July 17, 2012


True, but the President's not going to whip his penis out and urinate on a reporter now like Lyndon Johnson did. So there are upsides.
posted by The World Famous at 10:25 PM on July 17, 2012


Which ones

Like this, and the various quotes at the end of the oppo file, for example. There's probably a few more in the NAACP thread.

"Ripe for exploitation" is a pretty low standard to set for oneself or accept in others. Do you think John McCain made a mistake by adopting a Bangladeshi girl who wasn't unambiguously white enough, so Lee Atwater was able to spread the rumor that he fathered a black baby out of wedlock? Would that be your analysis?

No, that's an absurd comparison. It was a misstep from Obama, better to own it than to whine about the (inevitable) use of it in election commercials, as Romney is doing with the Obama campaigns dubious insinuations of felony (unless they know something not in public yet).
posted by anigbrowl at 10:33 PM on July 17, 2012


Like this

"There's no question but that some of those companies weren't successful. I wish I could bat 1000. I can't. But I'm basically in...I'm basically in the investors hall of fame."
posted by Room 641-A at 11:42 PM on July 17, 2012


Explain how you think those quoted were taken, and how in context they are perfectly fine and not at all to be taken how they were. Just so there is no ambiguity in what you are saying..
posted by cashman at 11:43 PM on July 17, 2012


I was wondering, too, if Mitt Romney had ever gotten his hands dirty his entire life. But I guess cleaning a terrified dog's shit off his car could be theoretically considered work, in its own way.

Actually, the creepiest part of the story (to me) is that Romney literally hosed the dog off at a gas station, at a distance, and left him up there for the rest of the trip. So, no, didn't get his hands dirty even then.
posted by msalt at 11:43 PM on July 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


John McCain: I Didn’t Pick Romney Because ‘Sarah Palin Was The Better Candidate’
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:13 AM on July 18 [+] [!]


McCain: I Didn’t Mean Palin Was Better Than Romney
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:14 AM on July 18 [1 favorite +] [!]


Too bad there wasn't a third link that went like this:
McCain: Oh shit, I'll just sit over there and shut my fucking mouth now.
posted by NoMich at 4:18 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


McCain has a visceral aversion into keeping his mouth shut even if it makes him look like a transparently hypocritical wingnut opposing his own views. See also: campaign finance reform, health care reform, cap-and-trade, judicial nominations, etc.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:31 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do analysis, not cheerleading. Just look upthread for some amusing Mitt Romney quotes taken out of context.
Let's try some real analysis then, rather than casting unsupported aspersion on a thread. Here's how you take a quote out of context. Let me start with a small amount of context around Obama's quote:
Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.
Ok, not ambiguous at all. Lets take out a bit more of context, down to just two sentences.
Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.
Ok, not quite out of context yet, the meaning is still clear.
If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.
Aha! That's how you take a quote out of context. You find a bit of text where a pronoun is used, remove the referent, so that you can put some entirely different meaning into them. This is not ambiguity, this is an out-and-out lie that falls apart under the smallest amount of investigation.

If there are quotes anywhere in this thread or anywhere in the NAACP thread that rise to that level of deception, please do share, because one of the great things about MetaFilter is that it is more honest than that, and jump on whomever would try to use that level of deception.
posted by Llama-Lime at 6:23 AM on July 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


The 'gaffe' is that he said 'that', not 'them' in referring to the "roads and bridges". Even in context the 'that' appears to refer to the (singular) "business."
posted by Flashman at 7:45 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"That" refers to the system that was built, not the roads and bridges specifically.
posted by Big_B at 8:18 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I must say, there is no gaffe here. It's not even a reach, it is just a complete creation. The "that" is in reference to what he said and is referring to - the American System:
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
Some people are seriously delusional. This is the same thing the president has been saying for freaking years, back even to when he was running for president. That you can put a lot of people back to work building up the infrastructure of America. It is sick that people would just create out of thin air some excuse to try to get mad.

For me, this reads as headline! "MAN SUGGESTS GIRL BE THROWN ACROSS ROOM!!".

on preview, what Big_B said.
posted by cashman at 8:20 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not even necessarily a grammatical gaffe, Flashman. "That" may refer to "this unbelievable American system". In no way is the meaning of the quote ambiguous if you read the context, and there's no techncality that makes it ambiguous unless you ignore some of the context (which, if you're going to do that, you might as well just pick the one sentence out of context).
posted by Riki tiki at 8:31 AM on July 18, 2012


Maybe not a gaffe, but it's a muddled statement and I can certainly see why it's being picked on. Even in the broader context it seems as if he's lumping the business in with the rest of the infrastructure. Far clearer would have been to say, "If you were successful, if you’ve got a business, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere..." and then rattle off the support network of the American system that made this success possible.
posted by Flashman at 8:32 AM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Look, fundamentally, whether we argue it was used slight incorrectly, or wholly correctly, the meaning is well understood. And Romney's use is completely disingenuous, and straight from the conservative blogosphere.

But, frankly given the steady stream of bullshit (Kerry released 2 years of taxes, retroactively retired, Kerry's wife didn't release her taxes...) out of the Romney camp I would expect nothing less.
posted by edgeways at 8:37 AM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe not a gaffe, but it's a muddled statement and I can certainly see why it's being picked on.

So that's why the Republicans are saying that he's not a real American--after all, he can't even put together a coherent sentence in our language.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:39 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not a muddled statement. He's been saying this same stuff for years. Why on earth would republicans, who clearly know everything he's been saying, because they pore through it looking for things to criticize, suddenly act like they don't know what he is talking about or it is unclear?

the meaning is well understood

Thank you. Really this issue is done. There is no error here. It is a complete farce, a creation, to take the heat off Mitt for Bain and the pressure for him to release his income tax returns, which Mitt still hasn't done.
posted by cashman at 8:45 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


On another note, I don't understand this: Romney stated that even though he didn't work at Bain and had no responsibilities there after 1999, yet he still collected a six-figure paycheck. But he's the also the one who says that if you want "free stuff" that you should vote for the other guy.

Free stuff like basic health care and food stamps is bad while free stuff like a six-figure income for doing nothing is good, apparently.

So what is this "crony capitalism" that he keeps preaching against???
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:46 AM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


The whole thing with Obama's interview sounds like a desperate attempt to change the subject from Bain. If he'd stopped to tie his shoes the current Republican talking point would be that real Americans wear velcro.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:21 AM on July 18, 2012


leftcoastbob: Maybe not a gaffe, but it's a muddled statement and I can certainly see why it's being picked on.

So that's why the Republicans are saying that he's not a real American--after all, he can't even put together a coherent sentence in our language.
There are reading comprehension programs available in your city.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:39 AM on July 18, 2012


I thought muddled statements meant down-home folksy charm, you know, like someone I could have a beer with. That used to be the hallmark of a GOOD president.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:55 AM on July 18, 2012


real Americans wear velcro.

Can you name a real American who does not wear velcro? I rest my case.
posted by The World Famous at 10:00 AM on July 18, 2012


Finally, we get to the "No True Scotsman" point of the discussion.
posted by achrise at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Few realize that John Wayne's hat was velcroed to his skull.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:36 AM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


As is Mitt Romney's hair.
posted by The World Famous at 10:37 AM on July 18, 2012


Mitt Romney's hair is velcroed to John Wayne's skull?
posted by OmieWise at 10:39 AM on July 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Yep. Mitt Romney had the top of John Wayne's skull implanted on top of his own skull, just in case.
posted by The World Famous at 10:42 AM on July 18, 2012


Two Skulls for Sister Sara
posted by shakespeherian at 10:43 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rush Limbaugh: Bane’s Creator Weighs In
posted by homunculus at 10:46 AM on July 18, 2012


"if there ever was a Bruce Wayne running for the White House it would have to be Romney.”

Batcaves and Tumblers are tax deductible!
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on July 18, 2012


Everything you need to know about Bane - possibly worth forwarding to the conservative talk show host in your life.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on July 18, 2012


Now with link!
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dark side of a Bain success: A for-profit health company bought by Bain -- that Romney profits from -- has exploded in size and tales of neglect
posted by homunculus at 11:04 AM on July 18, 2012


Free stuff like basic health care and food stamps is bad while free stuff like a six-figure income for doing nothing is good, apparently.

Yeah I really think this is what the Obama folks should focus on, not the "felony" stuff. It's not hard for me to believe that Romney legally maintained his CEO title on the paperwork for a couple years while not making management/investment decisions, but it's pretty repugnant that the company was still throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary at someone who was just a figurehead.
posted by torticat at 11:06 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Would you be willing to sign a major investment firm's SEC filings and assume all of the liabilities that come with that, in exchange for nothing? $100,000 wouldn't be nearly enough to get me to do that.
posted by The World Famous at 11:09 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I might be enough of a patsy to do it for 100k, but you're right, Romney isn't. (That's why he's rich and I'm not rich.)
posted by OmieWise at 11:15 AM on July 18, 2012


The World Famous: Would you be willing to sign a major investment firm's SEC filings and assume all of the liabilities that come with that, in exchange for nothing? $100,000 wouldn't be nearly enough to get me to do that.

Do I also get tens of millions of dollars in profits for a decade after retiring, as Romney did? heck, I'd donate the (more than) $100K to charity and do it in a second.

Also, remind me how many investment firm CEOs have lost personal wealth since 2008? How many are now poor?
posted by msalt at 11:25 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Do I also get tens of millions of dollars in profits for a decade after retiring, as Romney did?

If you do all the stuff he did for Bain before 1999, yes, you absolutely do.

heck, I'd donate the (more than) $100K to charity and do it in a second.

Then why aren't you doing it right now? Get your ass to business school, man.
posted by The World Famous at 11:29 AM on July 18, 2012


I take a different tack. If he's the sole shareholder until 2002, he's the one which is ultimately responsible. It doesn't matter whether he has anyone else running the day to day operations. Board of directors meets usually monthly to set policy/strategy decisions (quarterly if it's a lazy firm that doesn't make any decisions, Bain likely isn't one of these). These decisions flow down into the larger organizations, to claim that someone else is responsible when he is the sole shareholder is ridiculous in its face.

The Obama campaign's mistake is a failure to use the best word for Romney's role up until 2002: "Owner".
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:31 AM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Would you be willing to sign a major investment firm's SEC filings and assume all of the liabilities that come with that, in exchange for nothing? $100,000 wouldn't be nearly enough to get me to do that.

That's the beauty of what Mitt is trying to do--assume none of the liabilities since he can just retroactively retire when things look bad.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:32 AM on July 18, 2012


This piece of art by David Brooks is something to think about. He honestly thinks that selling America on the model of capitalism pioneered by (turns on reverb) CAPTAIN OF INDUSTRY (unstated, the order to "fall-in-line-peasants!") Romney is what is going to save this country and win Romney the presidency.
posted by stratastar at 11:41 AM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


This piece of art by David Brooks is something to think about.

So, if you don't like outsourcing, it's because you hate Capitalism. Which means... you're a godless communist, and you you hate America. It is art. It's like a ballet move.... what's that move called again?

Where the hell are Americans supposed to work if outsourcing all our jobs is the desirable outcome of our economic system?
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:05 PM on July 18, 2012


For Romney, the Gloves Are Off, and That's the Problem
posted by homunculus at 12:09 PM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama turned Romney's strength into a weakness when he zeroed in on Bain. Not only did he impeach Romney's credibility as a person, but he also made it so that a good portion of the electorate will wince whenever they hear about Romney's business experience. Whenever Romney brings up anything about his business experience, anyone can interject with a question about whether we're talking about Romney's actual tenure or during his "retroactive retirement."

Romney, on the other hand, is not responding in kind. Obama's drug use in college is a topic for losers. This "dirt" neither new nor shocking. The majority of voters already don't care that Obama has used recreational drugs. Besides, the source for this information is none other than Barack Obama himself, who discusses the issue in his own best-selling autobiography. Perhaps worst of all, the only way to bring up Obama's drug use is to change the subject from the present tense and the task at hand: talking about Obama's college days gives Obama a chance to wearily sigh and "get back to the issues."

...

Romney has another serious problem with his campaign: he appeals to Obama hatred and to crisis, but there's no sense of hope or recovery.

It is literally Campaign Strategy 101 that when you challenge an incumbent, it is key to emphasize optimism for the future. Finger-waggery alone will get you nowhere, especially if you sound like a Cassandra; just ask Walter Mondale or Barry Goldwater. You have to harness the positive energy of a Reagan or a Clinton in order to snag a win. Yes, you should attack the incumbent's record, and referring to current crises helps create a sense of urgency, but without an undercurrent of optimism, you seem more like a critic than a serious alternative.

I'm not seeing this optimism from Romney. In his marketing, there's no sense that Romney will bring sunshine to the States. His cheeriness never seems sincere on the campaign, which lends him a hollow corporate training video aesthetic. I'd find this awfully disappointing if I were a Republican, especially since candid photos of him just relaxing with his family show that he's actually capable of expressing human warmth.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:07 PM on July 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Joe Arpaio Proves Beyond Reasonable Doubt: Barack Obama Was Never Born
posted by homunculus at 1:12 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


His cheeriness never seems sincere on the campaign, which lends him a hollow corporate training video aesthetic.

What you're describing is the uncanny valley effect.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:14 PM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have mixed views on the cocaine stuff. First off, it's not a good or effective attack. Anything that was known about Obama in 2008 is not going to sink him now when people know him so much better and have formed their own views.

However, I think it's a perfectly legitimate to point out that Barack Obama is an un-arrested and un-convicted felon if groups like MoveOn are going to call Romney a potential felon in their ads. What's the excuse, it's not a real crime? Well it is to the people in fucking prison for it. Continued support for the drug war is a massive black eye for Obama as far as I am personally concerned, but again this attack will not fly with the electorate. The drug war hypocrisy of nearly every politician is just accepted background noise for most people.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:19 PM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


What Romney should do is push an optimistic "Hugs, Not Drugs" policy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 PM on July 18, 2012


However, I think it's a perfectly legitimate to point out that Barack Obama is an un-arrested and un-convicted felon if groups like MoveOn are going to call Romney a potential felon in their ads.

Fair point, but I genuinely don't know that his cocaine usage would have risen to a felony level.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:37 PM on July 18, 2012


That's a good point. It does depend heavily on the state laws and the amounts involved in possession, criminal record, etc. But generally very small amounts of coke are taken very seriously. If he had been charged even as a misdemeanor he would never have been President.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:54 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, definitely. Your broader point stands, whether or not Obama literally committed a felony.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:57 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Would you be willing to sign a major investment firm's SEC filings and assume all of the liabilities that come with that, in exchange for nothing?

Would you be willing to sign a major investment firm's SEC filings and assume all of the liabilities that come with that, and really not exercise your authority over its decisions?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:19 PM on July 18, 2012


That would depend on what it's decisions we're. But as I said above, I wouldn't do it for a hundred grand, either.
posted by The World Famous at 2:21 PM on July 18, 2012


Jesus what is in those returns:
Mitt Romney has been determined to resist releasing his tax returns at least since his bid for Massachusetts governor in 2002 and has been confident that he will never be forced to do so, several current and former Bain executives tell The Huffington Post. Had he thought otherwise, say the sources based on their longtime understanding of Romney, he never would have gone forward with his run for president.
Huffington Post
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:37 PM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


It seems that what really happened is Mitt decided to leave to head the olympic comitte (who knows what shady dealings might have gone on there), and wasn't sure if he would come back to Baine or not so was basically on leave. Then after the olympics decided not to come back for whatever reason and thus retired "retroactively." Maybe he already had too much money and the whole PE routine and evading taxes, opening foreign bank accounts, buying horses and yachts, etc, was becoming old and tired. Decided to try his hand in politics.

The outsourcing/off-shoring is a non-issue. It is a reality of the global economy that has been done everywhere. Mitt's attempts to claim he had absolutely nothing to do with it are ridiculous, he should be claiming that as a Captain of Industry he knows what jobs must be offshored, and how they have been and can be replaced with new jobs here. He hasn't articulated that at all, probably because he has no better idea than the next guy how true this actually is. So it calls into question his competence as a politician. How the heck did Mitt get elected governor of Massachusetts?
posted by Golden Eternity at 2:42 PM on July 18, 2012


Is it possible that long ago Mitt made a deal with his accountants never to reveal his returns? Maybe what was done there was so great as to be considered proprietary or trade secrets?
posted by newdaddy at 2:48 PM on July 18, 2012


Then he should continue to Captain of Industry away. But those are lousy reasons to make him the President.

How the heck did Mitt get elected governor of Massachusetts?

We have a legislature is almost monopolized by the Democrats, and they're pretty corrupt. The temptation to throw a Republican in the governor's office to keep them a little bit honest strikes even the most socialist Massachusettsan from time to time.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:51 PM on July 18, 2012


George W Bush also reportedly had a history with cocaine, and at least one biographer claims Bush had actually been arrested for possession in 1972 with his dad pulling strings to get him off.

It's all couched in plausible deniability, but Bush's do-se-do in answering questions regarding this at least gives one pause.

If, and it is an *if* this is the case, all it does is highlight the difference between rich white boys and... well... everyone else.
posted by edgeways at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is it possible that long ago Mitt made a deal with his accountants never to reveal his returns? Maybe what was done there was so great as to be considered proprietary or trade secrets?

I like this theory even though I think it is unlikely. Some 'wealth management' strategies may actually be patentable. It's a really sticky situation. (PDF)
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:00 PM on July 18, 2012


A comic book vreator actually making money out of a movie! Clearly capitalism has fallen.
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on July 18, 2012


...never to reveal his returns.

I guess that didn't apply to showing them to John McCain then.
posted by edgeways at 3:30 PM on July 18, 2012


Obama Truth Team Ad: What does "Retroactively Retired" mean?
posted by cashman at 4:16 PM on July 18, 2012


That Time Mitt Romney Didn’t Know What He Was Signing. (Mitt, Venn and Now)
posted by cashman at 4:18 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Turns out he hasn't even released his complete 2010 Tax Returns:

[P]eople who own foreign bank accounts are required to file a separate document with the IRS that provides additional details on such overseas bank holdings, and Romney has not released that form to the public.
posted by Mick at 4:26 PM on July 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


McCain has a visceral aversion into keeping his mouth shut even if it makes him look like a transparently hypocritical wingnut opposing his own views. See also: campaign finance reform, health care reform, cap-and-trade, judicial nominations, etc.

He gets credit for this, though: John McCain defends Huma Abedin from attacks by Michele Bachmann - McCain calls 'specious and degrading' Bachmann's questioning of state department aide's security credentials and family
posted by homunculus at 4:33 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think that Mitt doesn't want to release his tax returns because he's concerned about what the public will think if they find out about his medical expense deduction for oil, springs, and sprockets.
posted by Flunkie at 4:39 PM on July 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


The what, now?
posted by The World Famous at 4:43 PM on July 18, 2012


[P]eople who own foreign bank accounts are required to file a separate document with the IRS that provides additional details on such overseas bank holdings, and Romney has not released that form to the public.

Wait does that mean we can start demanding his long-form tax returns?
posted by indubitable at 4:53 PM on July 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


The what, now?

R0B0HUM0R
posted by cashman at 5:07 PM on July 18, 2012


Did Mitt Romney pay any federal taxes in 2009?
posted by R. Mutt at 5:11 PM on July 18, 2012


Obama just went there in info-graphic form!
posted by TwoWordReview at 5:29 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama just went there in info-graphic form!
They should also do a similar one comparing and contrasting birth certificates released.
posted by Flunkie at 5:36 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another Romney video from the Obama campaign: Mitt Romney: Chairman, CEO, and Sole Shareholder—But Not Responsible?

They seem to going again with the theme of random people's on-camera reactions.
posted by Anything at 5:37 PM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Anything: "Another Romney video from the Obama campaign: Mitt Romney: Chairman, CEO, and Sole Shareholder—But Not Responsible? "

Wow, that's hilarious. Jon Stewart is secretly really running the Obama campaign, right? Love the music.
posted by octothorpe at 5:46 PM on July 18, 2012


R0B0HUM0R

Dude, don't be robophobic.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:55 PM on July 18, 2012


Obama just went there in info-graphic form!
posted by TwoWordReview 24 minutes ago [+]


Comedy-graphic more like it.

They're beginning to have some fun with this.

It's infectious though..all I wanna do is riff on The Artist Retroactively Known as Mitts, as well.
posted by Skygazer at 6:05 PM on July 18, 2012


One of my relatives posted a whole thing about how, in Hebrew, the word "Barak" means curse unless it is paired with the word "God" and how this is proof he shouldn't be president.

I responded:

"The name Willard means "Strong Desire." The name "Mitt" means "glove." The kind of person who has a strong desire for gloves is either somebody who is very cold or somebody who is engaged in criminal activity and doesn't want to leave fingerprints. Willard Mitt Romney doesn't look very cold to me."
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:54 PM on July 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


That is awesome. You really do get the sense that they are just having some fun. I can totally here Biden yelling "BURN!"
posted by oddman at 6:57 PM on July 18, 2012


Mitt Romney has spent much of the last week arguing that, despite some public records, he was effectively gone from Bain Capital in February 1999. But in February 2000, Romney was introduced as the “founder and CEO of Capital” at the National Press Club during an appearance about the Olympics, and Romney's biography on the Olympic's website listed him as Bain Capital “founder and CEO.”
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:26 PM on July 18, 2012


Notwithstanding the word "but" at the beginning of that second sentence, it does not contradict the assertion referenced in the first.
posted by The World Famous at 7:38 PM on July 18, 2012


Romney fails moral test, aims foreign label at Obama.

(As is customary with Maddow's opening segments, there's a bit of table-setting prior to Romney's actual comments. The impatient might want to skip to the 11:00 mark or so.)

I'm imagining the next Obama ad will involve Romney using the word "foreign" in a discussion about all of those foreign bank accounts.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:04 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whoops, correct link
posted by tonycpsu at 8:06 PM on July 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of my relatives posted a whole thing about how, in Hebrew, the word "Barak" means curse unless it is paired with the word "God" ...

I doubt if anybody really cares, and I'm sure your relative doesn't, but the name comes from the Arabic word for blessing. The really similar-sounding Hebrew name means "lightning".

Similar-sounding roots mean "lightning" and "knee", "kneel", "be blessed" in both languages, but with different k sounds that are spelled and pronounced differently. In Hebrew, barak (ברק) means "lightning" and barakh (ברך), with a soft k, means "knee" or "kneel". See also Arabic baraka and Buraq.

Your relative's thing sounds like a muddled version of the bilingual lightning–blessing pun.

I'd be really tempted respond with crack about Romney getting struck by lightning.
posted by nangar at 9:03 PM on July 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh God, I hope they play that "But not Responsible?" ad until everybody's ears bleed. That's ten times righteous.
posted by newdaddy at 9:21 PM on July 18, 2012


Most members of Congress keep their tax returns secret
posted by homunculus at 10:08 PM on July 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


In Chinese, mitt romney means* "privileged asshole."


* Possibly; someone should check into it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:15 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I doubt if anybody really cares, and I'm sure your relative doesn't, but the name comes from the Arabic word for blessing. The really similar-sounding Hebrew name means "lightning".

While what you've written is factually true, the Hebrew analog to the Arabic word Barak is Baruch, which also means blessing. (I mean, if we're gonna be pedantic...)
posted by OmieWise at 4:55 AM on July 19, 2012


Most members of Congress keep their tax returns secret

Well of course they do. They wouldn't want to reveal the exact extent to which they profit from their own legislative decisions:
Though they may argue it is a coincidence, Senators’ financial gains exceed the market average by 10%.
posted by odinsdream at 6:29 AM on July 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ann Romney On Tax Returns: ‘We’ve Given All You People Need To Know’
posted by zombieflanders at 9:51 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, bless her heart.
posted by maudlin at 9:53 AM on July 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


"You people" is a phrase that is a dead giveaway for uncontrollable contempt in many situations, including, I think, this one.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:55 AM on July 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


The mods were called "you people" just the other day for deleting previous versions of this thread.
posted by OmieWise at 10:02 AM on July 19, 2012


"You people" is a phrase that is a dead giveaway for uncontrollable contempt in many situations, including, I think, this one.

I don't think any dead giveaways are necessary for us to correctly assume that both candidates hate their opponent's guts, and that their contempt goes at least double for their opponent's strategists and surrogates.
posted by The World Famous at 10:10 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ross Perot repeatedly used the words 'you people' in a 1992 speech to the NAACP.
posted by box at 10:12 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


But Obama is not the only recipient of those theoretical documents. The general public is ostensibly the main one, and either Ann Romney has completely discounted them (likely, also problematic) or she feels just as contemptuous towards the unwashed masses (also likely, even more problematic.) It's not phrasing that makes me happy either way.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:12 AM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


"What's a weekend?"
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on July 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Romney’s London fundraisers will take him to heart of scandal-plagued banking industry
posted by homunculus at 10:29 AM on July 19, 2012


Poll: American people want to know what’s in Romney’s tax returns
posted by zombieflanders at 11:10 AM on July 19, 2012


"Us people" now know all we need to know about Ann Romney, the person.

The contempt's mutual, lady.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:16 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


OmieWise: "The mods were called "you people" just the other day for deleting previous versions of this thread."

I will not be satisfied with the deletion until I see a long-form IRC log.
posted by mkultra at 11:29 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The World Famous: "You people" is a phrase that is a dead giveaway for uncontrollable contempt in many situations, including, I think, this one.

I don't think any dead giveaways are necessary for us to correctly assume that both candidates hate their opponent's guts, and that their contempt goes at least double for their opponent's strategists and surrogates.
She was speaking to the Press and the American public, not an individual from the Obama campaign.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:31 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


She was talking to People Without Olympic Dressage Horses, who simply Do Not Understand.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


‘We’ve Given All You People Need To Know’

I was sure that was going to be some blog title, summarizing her words and putting a negative twist on them. Nope, it's what she said.

Now, in the context it was said I'd bet Mrs. Romney was actually referring to the members of the press. She was talking to a reporter who was pushing for the release of more years of tax returns. But it can be easily spun to refer to the american people.

I think this falls into a third type of "gaffe". There are
  1. Classic gaffes - A political figure accidentally says the truth. (I think this is valid.)
  2. Atwater gaffes - A political figure says something that can presented as damaging, by ignoring context, selective quoting, or even blatant editing. (I think these are usually bullshit.)
  3. Revelation gaffes - A political figure says something that reveals the way they view the world, even though their manifest statement is innocuous.
Since my take is that Mitt Romney is a guy who presents himself as very nice, but views himself as exempt from many of the rules that apply to the rest of us, and if you disagree with him or oppose him he's willing to do nasty things to defeat you, I see revelation gaffes coming from him all the time. The difficulty is that the person seeing the revelation gaffe can just be obsessed and paranoid.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Romney also repeated her husband’s justification for not releasing more information. Doing so would only give opponents “more material for attack,” she said.

I'm starting to get this feeling that the Romney's are so used to things going their way that they didn't really prepare themselves for the realities of a modern presidential campaign. I think the next few months will be a very rude awakening.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:36 AM on July 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


If I'm being charitable, I parse that as her meaning to say "we've given you all people need to know", but transposing "you" and "all".

But even my charitable parsing still results in Ann Romney coming across as contemptuous and dismissive of Everyone Not Like Her. So fuck that noise.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 11:51 AM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know why his supporters want his tax returns released?

Because they don't know what's in there.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:23 PM on July 19, 2012


So you're saying there's, like, a joke that will end the world in there?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:27 PM on July 19, 2012


Nah, that was let loose months ago. I'm just predicting some shady math and borderline illicit behavior, apparently enough to justify all the hoopla that comes with refusing the release them. I'll enjoy watching the train wreck either way.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:34 PM on July 19, 2012


I run hot and cold on this tax thing, initially I was all "oh they are obviously hiding something", then I started wondering if the Romney camp is really playing a masterful game, say by holding onto the returns until next month, releasing them and lo there is nothing much in them, thereby undercutting any future claims for transparency.

But, really there is a point where even if there is nothing in them that withholding the tax returns hurts the campaign, and I think that point is rapidly approaching, especially with "you people' rhetoric.

On balance though it seems awfully likely thee is a bunch of rich boy entitlement in there, not paying taxes and such-like.

the whole: "Obama needs to learn to be American" and today "Obama Doesn’t Get What Makes America ‘Unique’" is really silly stuff. A bi-racial son of an African and a Kansas woman, who struggled with identity, loves basketball, smoked a little dope in college who became president doesn't know what it means to be American? As opposed to a privileged rich white boy? An honest Horatio Alger story vs being born on 3rd base with a silver enemia stuck up you ass. Which is "American"? (well, both really)
posted by edgeways at 2:01 PM on July 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


That's the part I don't get. If there is illicit activity in there I would *hope* that the IRS is aware of it. Surely there couldn't be any actual illegal stuff right?
posted by Big_B at 2:02 PM on July 19, 2012


Probably not illegal, but just really fucking politically embarrassing. There has been serious speculation that what it may be is Romney not pay ANY taxes in 2009, during the height of the recession mind you.
posted by edgeways at 2:04 PM on July 19, 2012


I'd like to imagine that "you people" is the Romney campaign's "let them eat cake" moment, but I know that (as a wiser person than I once wrote) the next revolution is going to be the poor and down-trodden rising up in defense of the very rich.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:14 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah yes, the "every American is a temporarily embarrassed rich person" syndrome. Or shorter: "Joe The Plumber disorder" or JPD
posted by edgeways at 2:18 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm often rudely reminded of the obsequiousness with which the press deals with "guests". Ann Romney should have been questioned savagely as soon as she said that, not because of the "you people" comment, but because of the unbelievable display of privilege.

I would have expected: "How dare you decide what is relevant to the voters? How dare you make that judgement for the people you are ostensibly claiming to represent?"

Instead I get milquetoast "Whaaawhaaa whwaaa.. buuuuut"
posted by odinsdream at 2:28 PM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Big_B: "That's the part I don't get. If there is illicit activity in there I would *hope* that the IRS is aware of it. Surely there couldn't be any actual illegal stuff right?"

It's likely that what Romney is afraid to show is that all the machinations and exploited loopholes in his tax forms are technically-legal ways used by the super-rich to avoid paying their fair share.
posted by mkultra at 2:37 PM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Republican party's argument that the rich are already overtaxed or taxed enough and that their taxes should not, therefore, be increased will be severely undercut when it is revealed that Mitt Romney usually pays almost no income tax at all.
posted by The World Famous at 2:45 PM on July 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well, and more than that, it's very likely that the returns show Romney taking advantage of tax shelters that were previously legal but are not any longer. Finding innovative ways for the rich to not pay taxes is big business, changing the rules to make it illegal to use the latest dodge is something the IRS puts a lot of effort into. It's not unlike the relationship between doping athletes and testing agencies. Romney will be in the position of having to provide a complex explanation in response to a simple Obama, "Hey, that's illegal," for something that looks shady anyway.
posted by OmieWise at 3:13 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, and more than that, it's very likely that the returns show Romney taking advantage of tax shelters that were previously legal but are not any longer.

I'm not sure that would matter any more than accusing him of driving 65 mph ten years ago on a highway that used to be 65 but has now been changed to 55.
posted by The World Famous at 3:39 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney will be in the position of having to provide a complex explanation in response to a simple Obama, "Hey, that's illegal," for something that looks shady anyway.

Here's a complex explanation to Obama saying "hey, that's illegal" about something that was not illegal at all:

"No it's not, you idiot. Aren't you supposed to be a University of Chicago law professor? WTF is wrong with you?"

It's not unlike the relationship between doping athletes and testing agencies.

It's not unlike saying that some of Michael Jordan's impressive statistics should be disregarded because some of the rules of basketball have changed in the last 20 years.
posted by The World Famous at 3:50 PM on July 19, 2012


Well, and more than that, it's very likely that the returns show Romney taking advantage of tax shelters that were previously legal but are not any longer.

That's nothing to worry about, in general American's don't have a problem with people legally reducing their taxes.

Now if it's to the point that he drastically reduced his overall rate to 10% or less, that will be a big deal.
posted by Mick at 3:51 PM on July 19, 2012


Really? I think it would matter a lot as part of the overall narrative. "This guy doesn't pay taxes, put his money in foreign accounts, uses illegal methods to avoid paying his fair share."

The issue here is that these are really complex instruments that are all designed to help people avoid paying taxes. They are shelters not available to the average person, so if you can afford to use them it already means you don't really need to use them. As you said, I think we'll see that Romney's tax payments are startingly low. As part of that narrative, my guess is they're worried about that stuff, and I guess I feel like they should be. Maybe you're right, and no one would care, but I think it would shine an unwelcome light and it would not redound to his credit.

I'm surprised you're so sure it wouldn't become part of an unfavorable narrative.
posted by OmieWise at 3:55 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Big_B: That's the part I don't get. If there is illicit activity in there I would *hope* that the IRS is aware of it. Surely there couldn't be any actual illegal stuff right?

I think there's a lot of stuff in there that skirts right on the periphery of legality, and that extrapolated, decoded and had the dots connected by a seriously smart and wise accountant, would indeed add up to illegalities.

So, yes. I think you dig enough in his returns and ask the right questions, there are illegalities.

The other thing is just how shady this Cayman Islands Ugland House connection is, with Ugland himself tied to shady dealings with North Korea that laundered drug money.

What I hope is that a Wikileaks type organization will get their hands on something via a sympathetic someone with access to Romney's returns. What's in there, if it's common practice, could be to this country what the last Wikileaks was to the Arab world in terms of an "Arab Spring."

ONe the truth about the Hedge Fund, Investor class 1% truly and finally comes out...I really hope this country gets a proper "American Spring" when the scaled fall from people's eyes about how truly unfair the system is and conjoined with bllod money.
posted by Skygazer at 3:59 PM on July 19, 2012


Really? I think it would matter a lot as part of the overall narrative. "This guy doesn't pay taxes, put his money in foreign accounts, uses illegal methods to avoid paying his fair share."

Sure, if the accusation that he uses illegal methods is true.
posted by The World Famous at 4:00 PM on July 19, 2012


Some Conservative faux-grassroots organization should adopt a new motto:

WE HAVE BEEN GIVEN ALL WE NEED TO KNOW
posted by Flunkie at 4:11 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's easy to make too much of things like this and their possible effects on elections, but:

I'm not sure that would matter any more than accusing him of driving 65 mph ten years ago on a highway that used to be 65 but has now been changed to 55.

I think the better analogy, PR-wise, might be someone who found arguably technically legal excuses to be able to drive 65 in a zone where the big obvious sign always said SPEED LIMIT 55 on it, and did it so consistently that the legislature had to keep coming in and cleaning up the loopholes.

Especially if it had never been determined whether the excuses he offered were technically legal or actually illegal because they never went to criminal trial. Instead, they just closed the loopholes for sure and moved on.

The idea of someone who has long intended to run for president and didn't have the foresight to start generating utterly boring tax statements years and years ago is a bit mind-boggling.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:25 PM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's nothing to worry about, in general American's don't have a problem with people legally reducing their taxes.

It bugs the crap out of me that Richie UberRich can afford to spend X time more-than-my-entire-salary paying people to find him the tax breaks. And yes, I'm pretty poor. But I don't get why even comfortably middle-class right-wingers aren't also upset at the still-unfair disparity between them and gajillionaires.

I mean, the Republican politicians these days are so blatant in defending the super-rich in public, in the media. And their base doesn't call them on that crud.

I'm not sure that would matter any more than accusing him of driving 65 mph ten years ago on a highway that used to be 65 but has now been changed to 55.

That depends. At what speed was there a pooping dog strapped to the roof?

Also, it occurred to me today - if someone named Willard had to be caught masturbating in a dirty movie theatre, why oh why couldn't it have been Romney?
posted by NorthernLite at 4:26 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


My first thought: Willard... uh... Scott?

My second thought: There are still dirty movie theaters?
posted by Flunkie at 4:47 PM on July 19, 2012


The idea of someone who has long intended to run for president and didn't have the foresight to start generating utterly boring tax statements years and years ago is a bit mind-boggling.

On the one hand, I totally agree.

On the other hand, I'd rather be fabulously wealthy than President of the United States, so I'm not sure I would be willing to part with my vast wealth just because well, maybe I'll get to be President someday. If Romney loses, he gets to hop on a plane the morning after the election and go sulk at his giant mansion on the beach in La Jolla. That's apparently worth more to him than whatever additional electability it would have given him to give millions of dollars a year to the government for a decade just in case.
posted by The World Famous at 4:48 PM on July 19, 2012


if someone named Willard had to be caught masturbating in a dirty movie theatre, why oh why couldn't it have been Romney?

Because Romney isn't anatomically correct.

---

The tax return issue is really going to be the gift that keeps on giving for The Daily Show.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:48 PM on July 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not using loopholes was not gonna put him in the poorhouse TWF.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:03 PM on July 19, 2012


If Romney loses, he gets to hop on a plane the morning after the election and go sulk at his giant mansion on the beach in La Jolla.

And that certainly counts for a lot, but it also will mean dealing with the rejection of millions of people and the waste of years and years of time, with pretty much jack-all influence on the public discourse for the foreseeable future. You gotta have an awfully big ego to make a concerted run at the presidency (especially when you don't want to talk about your prior public service), and yeah being rich will help him, but it still is a kick in the balls when you lose. It's not just the money, but the power.

At least McCain had being Senator to fall back on.
posted by edgeways at 5:08 PM on July 19, 2012


Not using loopholes was not gonna put him in the poorhouse TWF.

Using loopholes was certainly going to buy him at least one more richhouse.
posted by The World Famous at 5:09 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's not just the money, but the power.

and I just thought... given the strict Mormon prohibition on drugs in general, elections are probably the only high Romney ever got in his life.
posted by edgeways at 5:14 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


and I just thought... given the strict Mormon prohibition on drugs in general, elections are probably the only high Romney ever got in his life.

Right, because the only highs in the world are drugs and elections, and Mormons who are not politicians have no idea what it's even like to live, man.
posted by The World Famous at 5:16 PM on July 19, 2012


I bet there are people who would get a high off of laying people off.
posted by Flunkie at 5:18 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Alright The World Famous, I apologize. I realize Mormonism is a touchy subject with you when people generalize. And I acknowledge I was generalizing.

If I may defend myself slightly:

1 - power is addictive
2 - Romney does not strike me as a person who has many emotional outlets, or unwinds all that often. Perhaps I am wrong and perhaps it is hidden away so people won't freak over teh Mormon, but he comes over as pretty... well, repressed, for whatever reason. Personally or because of religion or because he has a stick up his ass, or all three. And I believe people of all stripes can use $_religion to repress themselves so it isn't a Mormon-only slight.
3 - I don't think it is terribly out of line to ponder if one of the reasons for his never ending political quest is it gives him a thrill unavailable to him by other means. I didn't mean it as a Mormon slam, but a potential observation on Romney.

- I know a number of Mormons who are pretty laid back, even a few who seek a rather more traditional method of "relaxing".
.
.
.

man
posted by edgeways at 5:39 PM on July 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's all good. No offense taken.

I get high on life, man.
posted by The World Famous at 5:44 PM on July 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would like Romney to explain why the return he has already disclosed is incomplete. Of course, someone has to ask him about it first.

L.A. Times (10/13/09):
Deadline looms for Americans to disclose accounts in foreign tax havens.

Under an amnesty program, the IRS is allowing taxpayers to avoid prosecution for failing to report those accounts. Tax attorneys have been besieged by wealthy clients who are lining up to apply.
Slate.com (7/17/09):
Failing to apply for the amnesty and then getting charged by the IRS would have been both financially and politically disastrous. So amnesty it was. But even though the amnesty would eliminate any legal or financial liability for past acts, it would hardly eliminate political liability.
Huffington Post (7/18/12):
Romney failed to disclose the documents he filed with the IRS in 2010, the year he has already released, that detail his Swiss Account holdings.
I couldn't find anything that counters the claim that the return is missing those forms; if it's true this seems like the simplest explanation.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:01 PM on July 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney kept reins, bargained hard on severance
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:34 PM on July 19, 2012


That article has a lot of good information. It adds another reason why mitt would be scared to release tax returns going back to 2001 a because yt would show the huge windfall from his severance with Bain Capital.
posted by cashman at 4:47 AM on July 20, 2012


Romney Invested Millions in Firms That Pioneered High-Tech Outsourcing
6 Things Mitt Romney Is Hiding
Bain won’t detail Romney’s post-1999 role
posted by zombieflanders at 6:24 AM on July 20, 2012


Romney kept reins, bargained hard on severance

God, I love this thread.
posted by jeffen at 6:25 AM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


but but.. political thread!!!!
posted by edgeways at 6:29 AM on July 20, 2012


but but.. political thread!!!!

And usually I have to stop reading them early on.
posted by jeffen at 6:41 AM on July 20, 2012


Mobutu Sese Seko (presumably a pseudonym?) rates Romney's VP options.
posted by Flashman at 8:45 AM on July 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


As of last week the bookies where Rob Portman and Pawlenty where the #1 and 2 choices. (word is Pawlenty was going to be the pick in 2008 before McCain went with Palin) which seems like fairly weak choices. But, I assume Bush and Christie and Rubio are biding their time until 2016
posted by edgeways at 9:02 AM on July 20, 2012


My money's on Christie having a stroke during his speech at the RNC. I don't think Jeb is going to want to answer for his brother for quite a while, so I say he's out as well. Why not Nikki Haley?
posted by rhizome at 12:01 PM on July 20, 2012


Why not Nikki Haley?

She would be an exciting choice, especially since she appears to be the first female politician to share the standard male taste for illicit affairs. (She of course denies being unfaithful to her husband.)
posted by msalt at 4:21 PM on July 20, 2012


Rush Limbaugh is being pretty reasonable and intelligent about Bain Capital and Bane the Bat-villain.

"The real joke, as Rush might have learned if he'd crammed his posterior into a theater seat before venting, is that The Dark Knight Rises is one of the most deeply conservative movies to come out of Hollywood in years."
posted by homunculus at 5:43 PM on July 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


In other news: George W. Bush Selflessly Chooses To Let Others Enjoy All of Tampa’s Strippers
posted by homunculus at 10:54 PM on July 20, 2012


America, I’m so in love with you

“It’s the difference between the songs that they’re singing,” Mrs Welch said. “Mitt Romney didn’t exactly do a beautiful job on that song, but think about what he’s singing, OK? I mean it’s that patriotic song and he goes all the way through it. Then you’ve got the very cool Barack Obama singing Al Green. That is the two different Americas. Isn’t it?”

Putting aside the question of what this kind of thinking means for America (I’ll stick to the singular), I think it spells trouble for Mr Romney’s strategic effort because you have to be really old – or, I guess, spend a lot of time with someone really old – to hear “Let’s Stay Together” and think of it as a symbol of a “different America”.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:24 AM on July 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is Mitt Romney buying Twitter followers?
posted by madamjujujive at 1:10 PM on July 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I hope the US media picks this up: $21tn: hoard hidden from taxman by global elite.
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:24 PM on July 21, 2012


Is Mitt Romney buying Twitter followers?

What a brilliant find!
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:25 PM on July 21, 2012


If you could do that with voters too he'd be sorted!
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on July 21, 2012


lol "if"
posted by The World Famous at 3:16 PM on July 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


NailsTheCat, it is probably a bot or something but it is making me laugh. I started watching this at 4:15 pm and he had 781,079 Followers; 4:45 pm - 783,143 followers; not quite 2 hours later he has 789,262 followers.

People are having fun with it:
@TeaPartyCat Mitt Romney: "I am NOT buying followers on Twitter. I just have an agenda that's very popular with spammers and bots." #MoreFakeMitt

@SueWinMA This is hilarious. Here's just 6 of @MittRomney's new Twitter followers. pic.twitter.com/qsrfiskj #MoreFakeMitt
posted by madamjujujive at 3:19 PM on July 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Then you’ve got the very cool Barack Obama singing Al Green.

At the Apollo Theater with Al Green in the audience. Performing a song that's appropriate to the audience and venue? Oh noes! That's another America!

But seriously folks, it is another America. It's an America where people who looked like Barack Obama and Al Green were brought here in chains, who were treated as property, and had their families destroyed. It's an America where black Americans endured 250 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, and decades of struggle for the equality our founding fathers promised.

It's an America where black people were pushed to the sides, only allowed to go into white music halls as kitchen workers or janitors, except for the Cotton Club, where they could appear on stage but couldn't go as customers. It's an America where the Apollo Theater is "the most famous club associated almost exclusively with African-American performers" because black Americans had to build their own culture.

It's an America where Barack Obama can be born to a racially-mixed couple, be raised by a single mom and his grandparents, earn his way into Columbia University and Harvard Law, and become president of the United States because of the content of his character. It's an America where little kids like this one can be told that kids that look like them could grow up and become president and have it finally, finally be true.

It is another America, and goddamn it, it's a better America.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:22 PM on July 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


Romney family vacation 2012
posted by madamjujujive at 4:39 PM on July 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Is Mitt Romney buying Twitter followers?
posted by madamjujujive
That is the two different Americas. Isn’t it?

It sure is two Americas. One is the idealized right-wing past, now in it's death throes, no matter that octogenarian Billionaires are throwing money at it like they think they can stop the march of history and cultural and social change, and the other is the future.

It's not too difficult which is the undead past kept animated even as it rots with it's billions in dollars at its beck and call, and which is the real deal moving forward regardless and billions and billions may hold it back for a bit. Maybe a one or two presidential terms but that's about it.

Of course if the GOTP has their way and Mittsey wins, they're going to fuck the country for a generation or so with more Scalia's and Alito's and Thomas's on the SCOTUS and whatever progressive laws they can can gut and replace with GOTP nonsense.
posted by Skygazer at 4:51 PM on July 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


What the fuck?

Forbes (6/12/2012): Romney Campaign Creates Fake Bill Clinton Twitter Handle, Tweets From It
As BuzzFeed’s Zeke Miller pointed out shortly after the account’s launch, this is not the first time the Romney campaign has done this. Both Joe Biden and Florida representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz also have fake accounts created by the Romney campaign.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:02 AM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Super-Rich Hold Up To $32 Trillion In Offshore Havens: Report.
posted by ericb at 8:28 AM on July 22, 2012


Mitt Romney: Lazy liar. What's most surprising about Republican distortions is how easily they're disproved
posted by homunculus at 11:02 AM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course he's not really going after the kind if voters where disproving things actually matters.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


homunculus: " Mitt Romney: Lazy liar. What's most surprising about Republican distortions is how easily they're disproved"

Not really surprising. The Republicans have realized that the press will repeat anything they say and will never have the courage to point out their bullshit. Do you think that a mainstream reporter would ever actually say, "No Mr. Romney, that's actually not true at all"?
posted by octothorpe at 3:00 PM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it was on "On The Media" last weekend, where a commentator said that the US media, as it currently works, does not know how to handle a politician who just decides to flat-out lie. I agree, and I'm depressed.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:57 PM on July 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


@MittRomney actually appears to be losing followers now.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:59 PM on July 22, 2012


I must say, there is no gaffe here. It's not even a reach, it is just a complete creation. The "that" is in reference to what he said and is referring to - the American System

Barack, Mitt, and Adam Smith
posted by homunculus at 5:24 PM on July 22, 2012


The anti-Obama ad is a failure as an ad. Take away the copy on the screen and what you see and hear is mostly positive. The text on the screen is ignored by the causal viewer. So Romney might as well be running a pro-Obama ad. Meanwhile the audio in the Ameeica
The Beautiful ad and the imagry make Romney appear foreign and awkward. Tropical islands and off key singing combine together to create a multilayered message that leaves the casual viewer with a negative view of Romney.
posted by humanfont at 5:27 PM on July 22, 2012


The America the Beautiful ad is one of the better presidential tv ads I've seen in a while.
posted by box at 6:51 PM on July 22, 2012


Mitt Romney doesn't understand computers, but that's okay, because the people he's pandering to don't, either.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:41 PM on July 22, 2012


Hey, they showed 'America the Beautiful' during 'Breaking Bad'!
posted by box at 7:58 PM on July 22, 2012


Mitt Romney: Lazy liar. What's most surprising about Republican distortions is how easily they're disproved

A republican friend sent me an awful anti Obama video one time. Just found it on YouTube (BqE4-m9l37Y - deliberately no link). It throws spurious negative text at the screen to associate it with Obama e.g. "Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae" -- even though that bail out was in Bush era (Sep 2008).
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:34 PM on July 22, 2012


box: "Hey, they showed 'America the Beautiful' during 'Breaking Bad'!"

I've seen that all over TV in the last week.
posted by octothorpe at 3:39 AM on July 23, 2012


While You Were Distracted, Romney Won the Battle over His Tax Returns
posted by zombieflanders at 1:46 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's news cycles for you.

And TBH it's not like he's used this to dump bad news, its just that he is beneficiary of the media focus moving on from him. And it's hard to see how that media focus can come back without the problem coming back, and it's hard to see how he can run a campaign without the media covering him.

So it's a holiday, really.
posted by Artw at 2:29 PM on July 23, 2012


It'll be interesting to see if they actually have a coherent response next time it comes up (and I am sure it will).

My guess based on past performance is NO.
posted by edgeways at 2:43 PM on July 23, 2012


I am sure it will

I wish I could share your optimism.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:48 PM on July 23, 2012


It was an attack that was gaining some legs, and had no real resolution. Romney is not even the official nominee yet, I think there is room for at least one more go-around. Think of the preceding as simply round one. 2:1 decision.
posted by edgeways at 3:23 PM on July 23, 2012


While You Were Distracted, Romney Won the Battle over His Tax Returns

He thinks he did. But he didn't. No way, no how...I think it's just a reprieve here what with the terrible events in Aurora...

Which BTW he used that distraction to try and pad his twitter follower numbers, until he was caught by a bunch of Twitter observers and the Mittsey camp stopped it. (Romney has about 800k, Obama has 18 million.)
posted by Skygazer at 3:32 PM on July 23, 2012


In fairness, Obama's saying "If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that" was a terrible gaffe.

"You Olympians, however, know you didn't get here solely on your own power,”

SOCIALISM! HARRISON BERGERON!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:16 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tampered

A new Obama ad that again shows the ridiculous distortion Mitt Romney is trying.
posted by cashman at 6:17 PM on July 23, 2012


Sustained attacks by President Barack Obama's campaign on Republican rival Mitt Romney's business history and refusal to release more tax records appear to be working, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:49 PM on July 23, 2012


Star of Romney ‘My Hands Didn’t Build This’ Ad Received Millions in Government Loans and Contracts
posted by amuseDetachment at 3:32 AM on July 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


But amuseDetachment, IOKIYAR.

Reminds me of something I saw in my Twitter feed ... Photo of boy in public housing with an iPad prompts debate over what the poor should have: Jarvis DeBerry - a news story about an issue in a public housing development had a photo of some people from the project sitting on the stoop. It prompted immediate outrage for a detail I did not at first notice - a little boy is using an iPad. So many people were angry - "I work and I can't afford an iPad."

There are apparently the deserving recipients of aid and largesse, which is always disguised by a fancier name, and the undeserving recipients, those damn lucky duckies.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:44 AM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


*sigh*

“I’m not going to turn a blind eye because the money came from the government,” Gilchrest said. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m getting some of my tax money back. I’m not stupid, I’m not going to say ‘no.’ Shame on me if I didn’t use what’s available.”
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:17 AM on July 24, 2012


Yep, the excuse for gaming the system is "The gummint stole that money from me, and I'm just taking it back."

"Plus a little, maybe -- we'll call it interest."

No reasoning with those who don't process reason.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:45 AM on July 24, 2012


Always
posted by cashman at 2:17 PM on July 24, 2012


While You Were Distracted, Romney Won the Battle over His Tax Returns

Sustained attacks by President Barack Obama's campaign on Republican rival Mitt Romney's business history and refusal to release more tax records appear to be working, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

Politico confirms Obama is falling in the polls, where Romney is now ahead. However, Romney is down down on Intrade since last I checked 42%/40%--this number just doesn't seem right.

It doesn't look like the taxes issue has had much impact at all. Romney's campaign is looking more effective lately. His comment about Obama having had one hundred fundraisers and zero meetings of his jobs council in the last few months was particularly good. Considering how the electoral vote is biased towards Republican states, I would think Romney has to be the favorite now. I also suspect Romney will get more of the Hispanic vote than expected as it is far more conservative than is reported. How the debt-default stand-off plays out may still have a big impact. Obama just isn't articulating how his government can be a solution to the economic problems very well.

I guess if Romney does win the election it may not be the end of the world. He would undoubtedly be concerned with his legacy as "leader of the free world" and as a business man might realize that what the free world needs is a sustainable middle class and that the US government has greater potential sources of revenue with which to bring this about than the business world could ever dream of.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:01 PM on July 24, 2012


There is pretty much nothing that Romney's said or done since leaving office that supports that.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:04 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


It looks like Romney is leading in two of dozen or so polls this month, one of which is from Rasmussen. Don't panic.
posted by gerryblog at 3:06 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I also suspect Romney will get more of the Hispanic vote than expected as it is far more conservative than is reported.

They may be conservative, but they're not stupid and they're not masochists either. Romney is going to get killed on the Dream act plan Obama has put out there not to mention on his unabashed immigrant bashing and demonizing during the GOtP primaries (self-deportation??).

There been a break on the Tax Returns for now, but that's going to plague him more and more as time goes...I think Obama and the DNC are more or less keeping their powder dry right now, and Obama's consistently led and there'll be some fluctuation, but there's a lot to come...

Romney is a big fat duck with a target on his back as far as I can see...
posted by Skygazer at 3:28 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope you're right.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:47 PM on July 24, 2012


WSJ: WSJ/NBC Poll: Obama Keeps Lead as Voter Anxiety Rises.
posted by ericb at 5:10 PM on July 24, 2012


Obama leads with 333 votes in most recent Electoral College map projection.
posted by ericb at 5:14 PM on July 24, 2012


Economy May Not Hurt Obama in Some Swing States.
posted by ericb at 5:16 PM on July 24, 2012


It doesn't look like the taxes issue has had much impact at all.

Ummm ... Mitt Romney’s ‘exotic’ tax problem.
posted by ericb at 5:23 PM on July 24, 2012


Reuters: Obama attacks on taxes and Bain hit Romney ratings?
posted by ericb at 5:26 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damn ... the above post should not have a question mark at its close. Typing on an iPad has its own challenges.
posted by ericb at 5:27 PM on July 24, 2012


That's OK, we all know it's really because you'll read whatever gets put on the teleprompter.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:39 PM on July 24, 2012


Romney Adviser Bolton Backs Bachmann’s Anti-Muslim Witch Hunt

Could Michelle Bachmann cost Romney the Presidency?
posted by homunculus at 6:52 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”.

Not racist at all.
posted by octothorpe at 7:05 PM on July 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney would restore 'Anglo-Saxon' relations between Britain and America

Were you ask Britons which president they would prefer, Mr Romney, you would get a nasty shock. It wouldn't be 100% Obama but it would be pretty overwhelming I'm sure.
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:12 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:35 PM on July 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think the British relationship with faintly robotic rich-boys who want to sell off anything of societal worth is probably at an all time low right now, TBH.
posted by Artw at 8:11 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think the British relationship with faintly robotic rich-boys who want to sell off anything of societal worth is probably at an all time low right now, TBH.

I would hope so, but then Cameron and Osbourne are sat in power, terrifyingly. I would have called it 100% for Obama but for when I was visiting my parents in 2008 and my (oh-so-together) father was declaring Obama the antichrist.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:20 PM on July 24, 2012


I knew nothing of Atwater until now. From your wiki link: while he was engineering such cold, robotic racist strategies he "frequently played [guitar] with bluesmen such as B.B. King." How odd!

I think this quote says it all about the man (based on my 3 minute speed read):
Ed Rollins, however, told in the documentary Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story that "[Atwater] was telling this story about how a Living Bible was what was giving him faith and I said to Mary (Matalin), 'I really, sincerely hope that he found peace.' She said, 'Ed, when we were cleaning up his things afterwards, the Bible was still wrapped in the cellophane and had never been taken out of the package,' which just told you everything there was. He was spinning right to the end."
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:21 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Mitt Romney, A Hero In My Mind"
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:15 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's quite a departure from your usual work, flapjax.
posted by chrchr at 10:30 PM on July 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I try to stay open to new and exciting trends in music, chrchr.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:45 PM on July 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,”

You know who else felt his country shared a special Anglo-Saxon heritage with his country?

THAT'S RIGHT!
posted by Skygazer at 4:44 AM on July 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


‘On his own’ Romney ad star took over $1 million in government loans.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:50 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would have called it 100% for Obama but for when I was visiting my parents in 2008 and my (oh-so-together) father was declaring Obama the antichrist.

It's really a concern with me that. I too have come across some folks in the Senior Citizen demographic, who voted for Obama, but now will be really down on him and almost, almost, on the verge of a slightly racially tinged dismissal of sorts (although I know they will definitely vote for him again, they're solid Dems through and through), but the beating Obama has taken since, even before he was sworn in as president, from Fox and Limbaugh, and the other right-wing agitprop apparatus (WSJ, NY POST, all the Murdoch owned outlets), the GOTP blowhards and icons who've essentially built up a mini-industry (McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, the Tea Party officials, Palin etc etc..) relentlessly these last 3 and 1/2 years has led me to believe that racist is like herpes. It has this dormant viral quality to it, that seems to come out under the proper pressurized situations...and I feel even reasonable folks are trying to fight off a bit of that Herpes-like virus of racial illogic (it shuts off thinking, and reason) and becomes slightly like a gut thing for some, and I think it's important that people be made aware of how easy it is to give in to such latent, dormant, zomboid unthinking that pretends to be a "gut-feeling."

It's not, a true gut-feeling or instinct, its an artificial irrational, viral-like emotional infection based on FEAR.

Anyhow, it's important to let people know that it's still not okay to give into irrational BS, even if all the Rupert Murdoch outlets are giving the permission to make it seem okay with their relentlessly despicable narratives to bring out the caveman in everyone...

The Romney camp is doing everything in it's power (and that will ramp up I'm sure), to get that sort of thing raging, as he's doing with this daft notion that he will be closer to London because "we share an Anglo-Saxon" tradition etc...

And of course he's saying that for the people in this country to hear, it doesn't matter what the British think to him (because I think most of them would flip him the British version of the bird (a backhanded V-sign).

Romster's going to say all sorts of claptrap on this trip out in Europe (it's actually funny how much of Europe he's avoiding, because he'd be met with jeers..) meant for American voters that he can't really say here.
posted by Skygazer at 5:09 AM on July 25, 2012


And reading that back, I am obviously not yet fully awake. Pardon the rambling...
posted by Skygazer at 5:12 AM on July 25, 2012


Applying Romney's standard to Obama's record.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:17 AM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Desperately Seeking Mitt (Wells Tower, in GQ, via longreads).
posted by box at 7:20 AM on July 25, 2012


FWIW using the words "Anglo-Saxon" means "I am some variety of Nazi" 9 times out of 10 in the UK.
posted by Artw at 8:18 AM on July 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


(and 10 is most likely some steampunk bullshit)
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


...flip him the British version of the bird (a backhanded V-sign)

Hah! I'm sure most of them will. I really hope he goes out in public and gets seriously heckled. By the way, we flick the Vs at someone, rather than flip. It's all in the wrist.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:21 AM on July 25, 2012


I think the British relationship with faintly robotic rich-boys who want to sell off anything of societal worth is probably at an all time low right now, TBH.

I would hope so, but then Cameron and Osbourne are sat in power, terrifyingly.


Not after being properly elected though. Turns out not having a legitimate third party isn't always as awesome as we thought.

(not that they are at all legitimate or viable after this, pseudo-Tory sellout scumbags)
posted by Artw at 8:36 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney-Bain Capital Contacts Outlasted Exit.
posted by ericb at 12:54 PM on July 25, 2012


Tangentially related, but McConnell just got played by Reid on the Bush tax cut extensions on not just one, but two votes. On the one hand, it has the potential to gain a foothold in the tax narrative (i.e., they've now explicitly rejected raising taxes on the top 2% while cutting them for everyone else when they had the choice of two different bills) with the public, but I've been disappointed on this before.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:44 PM on July 25, 2012


I was wondering why Boehner was tweeting so much about defeating the tax hike on job creators this afternoon. That's a lot of leverage the R's just lost.
posted by TwoWordReview at 4:05 PM on July 25, 2012


I guess that should be "Tax hike on job creators"
posted by TwoWordReview at 4:06 PM on July 25, 2012


Mitt Romney Registered As Lobbyist For Salt Lake City Olympics
posted by zombieflanders at 9:25 AM on July 26, 2012


Mitt Romney Registered As Lobbyist For Salt Lake City Olympics
As a lobbyist and president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Romney didn't just stabilize the balance sheet. He brought in a record $1.3 billion in federal dollars for Salt Lake City's games and more from Utah. In 1996, the Atlanta Summer Olympics cost U.S. taxpayers $609 million.
Great find. So that's how he saved the SLC Olympics. Little evidence of business acumen here.
posted by NailsTheCat at 10:08 AM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'mm mixed in my reaction to Mittens telling the good Anglo-Saxons of Britain that their Ilympics is shit - because, yes, the Olympics are shit, on the other hand Cameron is right that it would have been easier for Mittens since he did it in the middle of nowhere, on the other hand that is because that is where the Olympics should be, not in fucking London. I guess that's something decided before the Cameron-bots time though.
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on July 26, 2012


Not to mention that a Winter Olympics is not on the same scale as a Summer Olympics which has far many more events spread over a great number of sites. And a far greater number of participants and spectators.

I have no evidence to substantiate this but it feels correct, right here in my truthy gut.
posted by NailsTheCat at 10:32 AM on July 26, 2012


Yes, the Summer Games have a lot more events.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:41 AM on July 26, 2012


I could be wrong, but it looks to me like the London summer games are costing the government a little bit more than Salt Lake's "record $1.3 billion in federal dollars."
posted by The World Famous at 10:52 AM on July 26, 2012


Mitt Romney's Olympics blunder stuns No 10 and hands gift to Obama
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:12 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yup, he actually managed to fuck up making a base appeal to racism - oh well, I guess for many folks the important thing will be that at least he tried.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I could be wrong, but it looks to me like the London summer games are costing the government a little bit more than Salt Lake's "record $1.3 billion in federal dollars."

I don't the 'record' is referring to the cost of the Olympics compared with other Olympics (whether winter or summer). At least as I read it, it's referring to the fact that Mitt lobbied successfully for a record sum from the federal government -- nothing to do with other nations.

And yup, the London games is massively more costly, as one would expect for a summer Olympics -- although I believe it's half the cost of the Beijing Olympics. It cost London as much as Salt Lake just to make the Olympic park. Fortunately they came in on budget for things like the opening and closing ceremonies after they, ahem, doubled the budget to make sure that was the case.
posted by NailsTheCat at 11:26 AM on July 26, 2012


Romney intended to explain how he would put an end to Obama's apologizing for America, but after immediately insulting the PM and the conservative mayor of London, is instead spending much of his time in London apologizing for himself and his campaign staff.

'No Apologies' Diplomacy in Action as U.K. Trip Turns to Public Spat
posted by Golden Eternity at 11:48 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is fantastic. From that same Guardian article:
"another blunder" with Romney's comment that he had met with the head of the MI6 spy agency, the existence of which is not supposed to be publicly unacknowledged.
Keep it up, Mittens.
posted by NailsTheCat at 11:53 AM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Guardian also has a live blog on which the gaffes are been monitored in near real time.
posted by NailsTheCat at 11:56 AM on July 26, 2012


The world just doesn't understand: he's very rich, they should be defferinv to him on all things.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm pretty sure the cat has been out of the bag on MI6 existing for going on half a century now. It'll probably be OK.
posted by The World Famous at 11:58 AM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm pretty sure the cat has been out of the bag on MI6 existing for going on half a century now. It'll probably be OK.

Since 1994. I wonder what he'll do next. I can barely watch.
posted by NailsTheCat at 12:01 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


"There's guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!"—London Mayor Boris Johnson to a raucous crowd in London's Hyde Park after the arrival of the Olympic flame.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:30 PM on July 26, 2012


Boris pretends to be an idiot, but Mort Rimney is the real thing.
posted by Grangousier at 1:03 PM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are you impugning the honor of a true Amercian?
posted by zombieflanders at 1:04 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since 1994.

Ian Fleming's James Bond novels were published from 1953 to 1966.

And if it's such a secret, why are they introducing the head of MI6 to a guy who has never even worked for the U.S. government and holds no position of any kind in U.S. government?

If the existence of MI6 is a secret, it's literally the worst kept secret in the universe.
posted by The World Famous at 1:05 PM on July 26, 2012


"There's guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know if we are ready. Are we ready? Yes we are!"

Video.
posted by homunculus at 1:13 PM on July 26, 2012


If the existence of MI6 is a secret, it's literally the worst kept secret in the universe.

I'm afraid that's just how it is--even if you don't agree and in spite of the popularity of 007. It wasn't acknowledged until 1994, it wasn't even required to report to parliament (as you will have read in the link). While it was generally assumed to exist, and the Broccolis made a small fortune from the movies, its existence was always denied.

And if it's such a secret, why are they introducing the head of MI6 to a guy who has never even worked for the U.S. government and holds no position of any kind in U.S. government?

The wisdom of introducing him escapes me. I think the answer to that is most likely because Cameron is a tool.

I like that Anne Romney is playing up her Welsh origins. I wonder if she realizes that that makes her not Anglo-Saxon.
posted by NailsTheCat at 1:24 PM on July 26, 2012


I suspect M16 is like the Israeli nukes, no one in government will acknowledge them but everyone knows they are there and there is no secret, just a weird "don't talk about it". In-of-itself It's not exactly a major league blunder by Mittens, but it has a kind of knock-on effect from his Olympic blunder.\


I'd be amused, and even be willing to pay a small sum, to see Ann Romney try and read Welsh.
posted by edgeways at 1:26 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like that Anne Romney is playing up her Welsh origins. I wonder if she realizes that that makes her not Anglo-Saxon.

I'm sure she doesn't care one way or the other.
posted by The World Famous at 1:27 PM on July 26, 2012


If the existence of MI6 is a secret, it's literally the worst kept secret in the universe.
Spying is weird. Everyone does it, everyone knows about it everyone pretends they don't. It's not a secret because they don't want people to know, it's a secret because it's embarrassing and makes everyone feel a bit silly when they have to talk about it.
posted by fullerine at 1:31 PM on July 26, 2012


Serious dismay in Whitehall at Romney debut. 'Worse than Sarah Palin.' 'Total car crash'. Two of the kinder verdicts #romneyshambles
— @jameschappers


tweet from Tory political editor of the Daily Mail.


heh, and that is from someone I'd expect to be forgiving. Back home both Jindal and Bob McDonnell are going all "Americans-don't-care-about-dem-forginers..."


Oh and what about that Olympic Dressage horse of Ann's?
posted by edgeways at 1:39 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regarding the Romney's dressage horse:
The former Massachusetts governor plans to be in London for Friday’s Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics, where he and his wife, Ann, have a personal stake: They received a $77,000 tax credit in 2010 for their part-ownership of Rafalca, a 15-year-old Oldenberg mare worth a reported $100,000.

... Their connection to dressage goes back more than a decade, when Ann Romney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She has said that riding with Ebeling has been therapeutic.

... “The Romneys’ dancing Olympic horse gets better health care than many Americans, and Mitt Romney is campaigning to take away people’s health care,” MoveOn.org spokesman Nick Berning said. “If he wants wealthy horse owners like himself to get more tax privileges and for teachers and firefighters to be laid off to pay for it, we’re going to point that out.”

Democratic strategist Garry South said the timing for the Romneys’ entry into Olympic dressage couldn’t be worse.

“If windsurfing was an effete and elite sport when (Democratic presidential candidate) John Kerry did it – then what’s a prissy horse prancing sideways with a rider in top hat and tails?” South said. “This just gives more credence to the notion of him being totally out of touch.”

... Jen Psaki, spokeswoman for President Obama’s re-election campaign, declined to get into the riding ring with Republicans over the horse, opting for the carrot rather than the stick in this political competition.

“We are rooting for the Romney horse in London,” she said.
posted by ericb at 1:53 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt's Eurogaffes are prompting some review of his previous writings, and it's not pretty.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:03 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's certainly not pretty, but is there some part of that excerpt that's not true?
posted by The World Famous at 2:11 PM on July 26, 2012


Romney: Foreign trip not the time to detail my foreign policies
posted by zombieflanders at 2:13 PM on July 26, 2012


Honest question: was part of the hush-hush nature of British intelligence even existing due to fallout from the Cambridge Five affair?
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:13 PM on July 26, 2012


What is the deal with the Mitt-bot's trip anyway? I can't recall any other nominees (presumptive or official) making a trip like this. Am I wrong?
posted by entropicamericana at 2:21 PM on July 26, 2012


Sticherbeast - pretty hush-hush since at least the 16th century I'd have thought.
posted by Artw at 2:24 PM on July 26, 2012


is there some part of that excerpt that's not true?

Well England isn't an island for one. But the point isn't its veracity: it's its rudeness and lack of diplomacy. It is this that everyone is taking issue with. While you're in the UK and questioning whether London is actually prepared for the Olympics is mindbogglingly obtuse.

A lack of experience on the international stage is objectively one of Romney's shortcomings as a presidential candidate and instead of quickly taking to the role and putting everyone's mind at ease he has, within a very short space of time, been diplomatically clumsy and demonstrated a lack of sensitivity.
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:30 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well England isn't an island for one. But the point isn't its veracity: it's its rudeness and lack of diplomacy. It is this that everyone is taking issue with. While you're in the UK and questioning whether London is actually prepared for the Olympics is mindbogglingly obtuse.

He was in the UK when he wrote his book? I doubt that.
posted by The World Famous at 2:32 PM on July 26, 2012


Mitt's Eurogaffes are prompting some review of his previous writings, and it's not pretty.

Wow. Fuck that guy forever.
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM on July 26, 2012


He was in the UK when he wrote his book? I doubt that.

He questioned whether London was prepared for the Olympics on his first day in the UK. (If that last sentence is ambiguous and you are interpreting it as implying he was in the UK when he wrote that paragraph about England then I apologise, that is not what I meant.)
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:38 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's certainly not pretty, but is there some part of that excerpt that's not true?

England isn't an island, no more than Massachusetts is an island. You might as well point at Mitt Romney's head and exclaim that he's been decapitated.

Quite a bit more got in Hitler's way than a little water. Hitler's shitty strategy, the UK's disciplined army, and the UK's tenacious citizenry all helped. London survived the Blitz unbowed and unbroken. I don't know that Romney would have lasted a day in those conditions.

The UK does quite fine economically. Almost any broad criticism you could make against the UK's economy, you could also make against the US's economy, viz. "hurr durr they've largely abandoned physical manufacturing in favor of services and intellectual property."
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:50 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Presumably the curse of privilege has prevented him from ever looking at a map or knowing of the existabce of boats or planes or anything like that.
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on July 26, 2012


I can't recall any other nominees (presumptive or official) making a trip like this. Am I wrong?

Pretty sure both Obama and McCain made overseas trips, having trouble remembering if they where to other places besides the war zones and truth be told they could at least pretend that as members of the US government at the time it was not ONLY because of the elections.
posted by edgeways at 2:54 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The excerpt does not say that the only thing that got in Hitler's way was water.

I don't know that Romney would have lasted a day in those conditions.

Relevance?

The UK does quite fine economically.

The excerpt says nothing to the contrary.

Almost any broad criticism you could make against the UK's economy, you could also make against the US's economy, viz. "hurr durr they've largely abandoned physical manufacturing in favor of services and intellectual property."

So what?

It's not what Romney said or wrote, but how he said it and how he's perceived generally. If Obama said to Cameron "So, are you guys sure you're ready for this?" with a big smile and an affable tone, nobody here would be saying he had accused them of not being ready or that he was rude - because Obama is genuinely affable and friendly in a way that Romney simply is not. It's not the words. It's the man.
posted by The World Famous at 2:56 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The excerpt does not say that the only thing that got in Hitler's way was water.

Romney: "And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions. "

According to Romney, the water is indeed what stopped Hitler from taking over. This is really hilarious if you know anything about the UK, Hitler, Germany, WWII, water, boats, or planes.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:59 PM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy.


This would strongly imply that the UK is not doing terribly well economically, TWF. 'Making things so people will give you money' is a pretty fundamental part of any economy.

Not that Romney wasn't being an ass, or that you aren't both right, just in different ways.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 3:02 PM on July 26, 2012


And now Brits on Twitter are comparing him to Prince Philip.

Cultural note: this does not mean "really awesome diplomat"
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on July 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


facepalm
posted by The World Famous at 3:03 PM on July 26, 2012


If Obama said to Cameron "So, are you guys sure you're ready for this?"

...those would be very, very, very different words from what Romney used. Romney said that "It is hard to know just how well it will turn out," and that he was "disconcert[ed]" by the government's efforts.

Romney is less likable as a personality, plus he also uses words in a worse manner.

And now Brits on Twitter are comparing him to Prince Philip.

Prince Philip can be sort of charming, in a way. Romney just comes off as aggressive and clueless.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:05 PM on July 26, 2012


I can absolutely picture him asking about spear-chuckers.
posted by Artw at 3:09 PM on July 26, 2012


Prince Philip-isms, for the uninitiated.
posted by NailsTheCat at 3:13 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


1/4 of what he says seems blunt but reasonable, 3/4 is spoiled white rich boy crap veering into racism.


oh


wait


who am I talking about?
posted by edgeways at 3:25 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


He should totally do Russia next.
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Canada... next on the list of our Allies who has a wanker of a leader. Haaaaarper. Can go around and bash Health Care, hockey and beer(oops scratch the beer)
posted by edgeways at 3:41 PM on July 26, 2012


I don't know - are Canadians ready for the psychic trauma of Harper coming of relatively well, at least in a "better than the alternative" kind of way?
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM on July 26, 2012


From NPR. The first 45 seconds are hilarious in light of the recent events in London.


Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Reno, Nev., on Tuesday. It's a sort of launching pad for a foreign trip that will take Romney to three countries over the next week: the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland.

Romney, a man with a lot of domestic policy experience, is now trying to demonstrate his proficiency with international affairs.

For anyone wondering what the trip is all about, Romney aides left no ambiguity in a recent conference call with reporters, saying repeatedly that it was an opportunity to "listen" and "learn."

posted by futz at 3:49 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd pay, (more than a pittance this time!!), to see Marg: Princess Warrior confront MIttens (gotta last until the 1:10 mark if you click trough)
posted by edgeways at 3:50 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


My heritage of Scottish and Irish peasant anscestors want a word with Mitt about those special Anglo-Saxon blue blue bloods.
posted by humanfont at 4:01 PM on July 26, 2012


"The United States is in danger of becoming a "second-tier" nation like Britain and other European countries if Hillary Clinton wins the White House"

2007
posted by edgeways at 4:04 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Obama is just the luckiest person ever in the candidates that he runs against. Romney is making a fool out of himself on this idiotic trip.
posted by octothorpe at 4:09 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Israel and Poland are pretty safe bets... If he sucks up absolutely in Israel and he'll required plaudits and Poland is run by left over neocons. The UK is less friendly territory and clearly beyond him.
posted by Artw at 4:14 PM on July 26, 2012


...assuming he didn't forget Poland is in Europe and diss the whole continent. Oops.
posted by Artw at 4:15 PM on July 26, 2012


artw: He should totally do Russia next.

I think you mean the Soviet Union.
posted by msalt at 4:23 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt can see Russia from his house because it is in the conservatory.
posted by humanfont at 4:26 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


According to odious Tory blogger Paul Staines, aka Guido Fawkes, prices for Romney's London fundraising dinner tonight have been cut from $25,000 to $1,000 a head ...
posted by Len at 4:33 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


You'd think they might go up, just for the train wreck anticipation. If he agrees to an open Q&A I bet they'll go up again. Ooh! I know -- have parliamentary question time! Price will rise to $100K.
posted by msalt at 4:58 PM on July 26, 2012


The thing is, what Romney said about the Olympics having had a few problems is pretty reasonable and defensible. Why is it a "grave crime" to say anything vaguely non-Pollyannaish about the games?
I don't like the man, but I do like it when a politician actually says what they think instead of just reciting platitudes.
posted by Flashman at 5:03 PM on July 26, 2012


Why is it a "grave crime" to say anything vaguely non-Pollyannaish about the games?
Because it was bloody rude.
posted by fullerine at 5:16 PM on July 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Why is it a "grave crime" to say anything vaguely non-Pollyannaish about the games?

I don't like the man, but I do like it when a politician actually says what they think instead of just reciting platitudes.


If a guest to your home started criticizing the appearance of you dining room, your wife's dress, the car you drive, and the way you raise your children, would you appreciate them actually saying what they think--even if they were ready to defend it?
posted by Golden Eternity at 5:28 PM on July 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


...after previously claiming to be the Best Houseguest Ever unlike other, lest racially pure Housequests.
posted by Artw at 5:33 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh... I HOPE Romney continues to say what he thinks, that would be so...er... refreshing. heh
posted by edgeways at 5:38 PM on July 26, 2012


Why is it a "grave crime" to say anything vaguely non-Pollyannaish about the games?

Being a guest in a foreign country might have something to do with it. Particularly a guest with his own troubled history with the Olympics.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:47 PM on July 26, 2012


Hahaha! "Mitt Romney retroactively cancels visit to London. #RomneyShambles"
posted by Len at 5:53 PM on July 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


Mitt Romney’s Overseas Trip Smacks of Cold War Nostalgia
posted by kirkaracha at 7:33 PM on July 26, 2012


Obama and McCain both did foreign trips while running for the Presidency. This article (on, of all places, the foxnews blog. I know, right?) gives a pretty good description.

Also, Poland? What the fuck? Why Poland? Lovely country, lovely people, but why?
posted by benito.strauss at 7:40 PM on July 26, 2012


Also, Poland? What the fuck? Why Poland? Lovely country, lovely people, but why?

Well, you'd hate to be accused of forgetting it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:42 PM on July 26, 2012


There was this business... And as I say it's run by ex-neocons yearning for the good old days.
posted by Artw at 7:52 PM on July 26, 2012


Oh and:

The trip was meant to make him look presidential. In the apt summation of John Podhoretz, it made him look like Mr. Bean. #RomneyShambles


Ha ha ha ha....ahha-== lolz...giggle...snort...

posted by Skygazer at 8:52 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, Poland? What the fuck? Why Poland? Lovely country, lovely people, but why?

They're appealing to the octogenarians who still think the USSR is a threat to the US; it's all messaging about missile defense against Putin-pandering to know-nothing hawks. But any conservative with a pulse isn't buying it. In fact his tough-guy posturing is pretty tone deaf and can only hurt the improving Polish-Russian relations right now. But his supporters don't know or care about that.

If Romney's handlers manage to keep him from talking to the press, they will have some great photos of happy crowds coming out to see the guy, because people in Poland love Americans and will cheerfully greet the worst of us.
posted by peeedro at 9:08 PM on July 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


When GW Bush was running for election I thought his main defect was that he had never had to clean up any of the messes he had made; some relative or family friend always came in and bailed him out. He never intensely suffered a loss, and discounted the risk that his actions might cause losses for others. Result: Iraq war, crashed economy.

Romney strikes me as deformed by privilege. So what if other people need to do X ( where X = release tax returns, specify budget cuts, reveal bundler names, etc.); that doesn't mean he have to. When faced with a challenge to his authority or competence it should be enough to say "I'm Mitt Romney. I personally guarantee it."

So it seems that "learn about changes in international politics in the last 25 years" is yet another thing that he doesn't have to do.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:38 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Man Without Qualities - Does Anybody Like Mitt Romney? 
Is There Anything to Like? 
Is There Anything There at All?
posted by Artw at 12:07 AM on July 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


So real GDP growth was +1.5% in Q2. Slightly better than the estimates (+1.3%), and still evidence of a recovery, but nowhere near enough to make a real dent. So, assuming this model is viable, the race remains unchanged barring some fantastic (>4%) growth in Q3 and a continuous and noticeable downward trend in unemployment.

The consumer confidence index numbers are presumably on their way today as well, so between the two, the Romney camp will have a legitimate distraction to paper over the UK business with.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:22 AM on July 27, 2012


The Olympics will be a big enough story to push everything else to the side in the short term, consider it a minor victory that Romney gets to have the main story about him be that he is an ass while the entire world watches the opening ceremony. I don't think there is really going to be much that means anything in this race until the conventions and debates get going.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:26 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does Anybody Like Mitt Romney?

Spoiler: no. "They all detest his aloofness, the cloud of entitlement that circles him like a caviar fart, and the weird overcompensation that surrounds everything Romney does."
posted by kirkaracha at 6:53 AM on July 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


“What a car crash. We are speechless.” — An anonymous British official comments on Mitt Romney’s gaffe-filled visit to London.
posted by infini at 9:15 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Incredibly from what I can make out from them online, all the Murdoch tabloids are completely squelching the #RomneyShambles. It so transparently obvious they're in his court....it's repellent, really.

How does that country put up with such utterly ideological horseshit? Murdoch just damages nation's every where his cancerous media properties do business.
posted by Skygazer at 9:33 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney Snubbed By UK Government As Cabinet Minister Tells HuffPost 'Our Heart Is With Obama'.
posted by ericb at 10:13 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt Romney Olympics Gaffe 'Insulted Everybody,' Harry Reid Says.
posted by ericb at 10:14 AM on July 27, 2012


New DNC Web ad mocks Romney's foreign reception.
posted by ericb at 10:18 AM on July 27, 2012


I do not think the Olympics are going to be good for him.

Still, best of luck to the pretty dancing pony.
posted by Artw at 10:20 AM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Having contributed $77,000 towards its upkeep, I now feel like that pretty dancing pony belongs to all of America.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:35 AM on July 27, 2012 [8 favorites]


Today we are all horse dressage....rs.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:43 AM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Prancing around dressage -- The politics of horse ballet.
posted by ericb at 11:48 AM on July 27, 2012


I really hope that horse wins -- how awesome will it be when Mittens owns the Bestest Prancing Pony in the Whole Wide World?
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:59 AM on July 27, 2012 [5 favorites]


And the jokes...they simply write themselves...
posted by Skygazer at 12:02 PM on July 27, 2012


Everyone deserves a therapy pony that wins the Olympics. Everyone. Ponies for all!
posted by Artw at 12:06 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Presidential Candidate Vermin Supreme Promises 'Ponies For Everyone'
posted by homunculus at 12:42 PM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am now picturing a remake of the famous dance marathon film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, except starring all dancing horses. Roll end credits to "Bring On The Dancing Horses" by Echo and the Bunnymen.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:45 PM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Somebody PLEASE explain all this pony stuff to me... (not a USian)
posted by infini at 1:19 PM on July 27, 2012


Romney owns a dressage horse that will be competing in the Olympics. Dressage horses are definitely dancing ponies.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:22 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


infini: a little article about it. They used it to get a 77K write off on their taxes in 2010. One of the few things people actually DO know about Romney's taxes.
posted by edgeways at 1:25 PM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, the Romneys claimed a $77,000 tax deduction on Rafalca the Dancing Horse. So, not only is it very much an rich person's hobby, but it gave him tax benefits.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:25 PM on July 27, 2012


He also gets massive tax breaks on it.
posted by Artw at 1:26 PM on July 27, 2012


Well, apparently it is not just a hobby, apparently it helps with his wife's MS.
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on July 27, 2012


Jeremy Clarkson's finest hour.
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also Rafalca may be his VP running mate.
posted by Skygazer at 1:47 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jeremy Clarkson's finest hour.

Concision is the true sign of a real poet.
posted by Skygazer at 1:48 PM on July 27, 2012


Heroes in their own minds.

That Valentine's pin... I just... wow.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:49 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also Rafalca may be his VP running mate.

It's been done-ish before-ish.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:51 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I absolutely, totally get how horses may help with disabilities, including MS, I have worked around people with disabilities interacting with horses and as far as I'm concerned it is a real and viable form of therapy.


But an Olympic Dressage horse as a service animal/palliative care is a few orders removed from my understanding.

Hey! perhaps we should ask the Romney's if health insurance should cover Dressage horse ownership?
posted by edgeways at 1:54 PM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


FWIW my friend with MS in the UK never got a horse off of the NHS, so the superiority of American healthcare is demonstrated here.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on July 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


That Valentine's pin... I just... wow.

That can't be real, can it? Surely that's an Etsy prankster's piece of parody, right?

posted by msalt at 2:02 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


National pride is rare for me, and I've had nothing but bad things to say about the Olympics, but boy does it sound like the opening ceremony is:

A) fucking awesome, way more awesome than anything Romney could be involved in.
B) In part a refutation of everything he stands in.

Way to go!
posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on July 27, 2012


...stands for, even. I would speculate that whatever he is standing in right now isn't good.
posted by Artw at 2:19 PM on July 27, 2012


Ah, thanks.
posted by infini at 2:26 PM on July 27, 2012


I hate to say it, but we have to give credit to Romney. He changed the narrative for Londoners -- they were all complaining about the Olympics and talking about how it will be a disaster... until Mitt Romney showed up. His comments pissed everyone off enough to the point where the Olympics are a point of pride and a moment to defend their own lovely city, you get the impression that politicians (Cameron/Johnson) really want the Olympics to work out perfectly as a big fat "Fuck You" to Romney.

Being a colossal jackass ensures everyone will rally against that jackass.
posted by amuseDetachment at 2:28 PM on July 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


So we'll hate him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent protector, a watchful guardian. A dark knight.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:35 PM on July 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Jay Smooth: We're On Awkward Tour With Mitt Romney My Man
posted by chrchr at 2:40 PM on July 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


Can't wait to see how Romney fucks-up in Israel.
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on July 27, 2012


God, I love Jay Smooth.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:46 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sure he will receive a much friendlier welcome especially from Likud, who would love to have their old friends back in charge at Langley and the Pentagon, and aren't exactly friends with Europe.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:02 PM on July 27, 2012


Apparently Britain just got the first ever gay kiss onto television in Saudi Arabia. What are Mitt Romney's acheivements in this area?
posted by Artw at 3:13 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jay Smooth's title is, of course, a reference to Mefi hip-hop-favorites A Tribe Called Quest.
posted by box at 3:14 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can't wait to see how Romney fucks-up in Israel.

Well, his campaign is signaling that they're ready to potentially cause an international incident.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:27 PM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a small concession to Romney U2 are now playing - ther don't like to pay taxes either.
posted by Artw at 3:49 PM on July 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh... I HOPE Romney continues to say what he thinks, that would be so...er... refreshing. heh
Sorry, you're going to have to wait until the polls on what he should think come out.
posted by Flunkie at 4:49 PM on July 27, 2012


Lord. Regarding the Israeli thing, I'm not quite sure Romney is that completely tone deaf to mid-East politics... but then again, I'm not that sure he IS NOT that tone deaf to mid-East politics. And given his wankerific performance in London I'm also thinking he is a little bit of a loose canon.
posted by edgeways at 5:16 PM on July 27, 2012


The part of me that wonders whether a lot of this stuff is a GOTV dog whistle to his base (e.g., 'Anglo-Saxon') (I know, I know, but in some ways it's the less-crazy possibility--I mean, there aren't a lot of undecided voters) is very curious to see what the Israel stop will bring.
posted by box at 6:58 PM on July 27, 2012


The Olympics opening ceremony celebrated the NHS? Socialized medicine! No wonder Mitt was so uncomfortable.
posted by homunculus at 8:51 PM on July 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also gay people and NON-ANGLO SAXONS. because that is what Britain is about, not some days of yore nazi bullshit that Mitt was waving around for the Neanderthals back home.
posted by Artw at 8:55 PM on July 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Not since WWII has London seen a bombing as thorough as Mitt Romney's."

Not sure what the source on that is (found here, so it's probably on of the Brit daily papers), but, oh my. I thought this country was having fun with the funny endless variations on the funny name and the attendant robot stiff Mitt-idiocy, but the English are no slouchers when it comes to puns and wit (and devastating takedowns), and I think Mitt's unleashed the whole country of Willie Shakes... upon his soon to be very sore backside for the foreseeable future...

One can barely contain ones delight and glee, at the comedy being prepared by the various practitioners of Monty Python and Benny Hill inspired BBC commedians.
posted by Skygazer at 9:02 AM on July 28, 2012


I think as a president he may actually manage to end up more hated abroad than Bush, which is astonishing.
posted by Artw at 9:05 AM on July 28, 2012


I don't know if "hate" is the right word...I think he's on his way to being the world's exemplar of a wealthy American idiot...which is probably worse. Bush was at least feared, Romney is more like impossible to take seriously...

Even worse for him, and the GOP/TP he's now become the number one ambassdor for how ridiculously full of itself, tonedeaf,incompetent, silly and left behind, and worthy of ridicule American Capitalist plutocracy has become.

Even by conservatives in other countries.

I may be overstating this (I do that sometimes it's true) but I think this isn't just bad for Romney's chances of getting elected, I think this is a watershed moment where the whole of the Republican party is in danger of becoming obsolescent in the eyes of the West and the G8 and the G20.
posted by Skygazer at 9:27 AM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bush was an awful idiot and despised by all - notable exceptions Poland and Israel - when in power that didn't make him irrelivant, it meant he got to fuck up the world for 8 years.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bush made the United States into a joke around the world, albeit a joke with weaponry, and Rimney would be likely to redouble that with gusto. However, his supporters (or the people who seem to be supporting him in the absence of anything better, which is a cutting critique of the man in itself) are content to live in a fantasy bubble of American Greatness, and aren't likely to be able to acknowledge that the rest of the world think little of them, let alone care.
posted by Grangousier at 9:41 AM on July 28, 2012


robot stiff Mitt-idiocy ...

Yeah, Flips' body language and movements are definitely strange. He walks quickly in small steps. He stands ramrod straight with his arms flat at his sides. Maybe there's too much starch in his 'magic underwear.' I don't think he can turn his head. When he wants to look aside he shifts his entire body just a smidgen. Very weird.
posted by ericb at 9:42 AM on July 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe there's too much starch in his 'magic underwear.'

Heh heh. That's as good an explaination as I've heard.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:57 AM on July 28, 2012


Top five racist Republican dog-whistles - Sometimes, there's more to a "gaffe" than meets the eye.
posted by Artw at 11:49 AM on July 28, 2012


Mitt Romney and the horse he rode in on...
posted by Skygazer at 12:40 PM on July 28, 2012


I can't remember wqhere I saw this linked originally, but apparently there's more to the concept "#Romneyshambles" than most of us non-Brits are aware of.
The term comes from another one which was used earlier this year to describe the terribly-designed UK government budget which then completely fell apart, caused the government to plunge 6 points in the polls, was mostly reversed on and was shredded by Left and Right alike and all major media as a total mess. That term, originating in a comedy program called 'The Thick Of It', was 'Omni-Shambles' as in, all-consuming disaster.
"The Thick of It" excerpt. (Note: sweary.)
posted by maudlin at 1:13 PM on July 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Give a barrista a tip and he'll feed his belly; but give him your cocoa remnant, and he'll attain chocolaty bliss
posted by homunculus at 5:02 PM on July 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Bush made the United States into a joke around the world, albeit a joke with weaponry, and Rimney would be likely to redouble that with gusto

"Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. "
posted by kirkaracha at 8:16 AM on July 29, 2012


Mitt Romney would support Israeli military strike against Iran, says aide: US presidential candidate to say in speech in Israel that stopping Iran's nuclear arms capability must be 'highest priority'
posted by homunculus at 9:45 AM on July 29, 2012


Can the RoTW (tm) vote him off the planet now?
posted by infini at 9:52 AM on July 29, 2012


Romney: The Wimp Factor. Is he just too insecure to be President?
posted by msalt at 10:00 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney: The Wimp Factor. Is he just too insecure to be President?

Not having read the article, I don't know if it that's the conclusion, but this strikes me as the liberal equivalent of believing stuff like Obama can't speak without a teleprompter.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:24 AM on July 29, 2012


I can see ducking any and all responsibilities ever as a legitimate negative in someone the buck is supposed to stop with.
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on July 29, 2012


Still, he's doing well in the "sucking up to Israel" test. "I will give you 100% of what you want, without complaint, not like this guy who gives you 99.9999% and grumbles a bit!"

This aspect of American politics has got to be humiliating for everyone.
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on July 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm sure speaking of the Arabs, as vermin unworthy of an "Arab Spring" probably made Sheldon Adelson, whip out the ole Citizens United checkbook and plant another $50 mil on R-money's kisser, I'm sure...
posted by Skygazer at 10:39 AM on July 29, 2012


This is a replay of Newsweek's George H. W. Bush cover story (October 19, 1987): George Bush Fighting The Wimp Factor.
posted by ericb at 10:50 AM on July 29, 2012


There's a couple of possible takes on how that worked out...
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on July 29, 2012


Mitt Romney Laughs Off Newsweek Article That Calls Him A 'Wimp'.
posted by ericb at 2:07 PM on July 29, 2012


“What a car crash. We are speechless.” — An anonymous British official comments on Mitt Romney’s gaffe-filled visit to London.
"We" are, huh? Nice try at anonymity, Liz!
posted by Flunkie at 4:39 PM on July 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt Romney at the West/Wailing Wall -- another place to hide his money offshore!
posted by ericb at 5:52 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe there's too much starch in his 'magic underwear.'

Ick.

The more I learn about the diversity of Mormon voices the more uncomfortable I get with Mormon-based attacks on Mitt Romney — and I loathe the guy with a pretty visceral loathing. I'm certainly no saint in this; you can probably find comments I've made myself on MeFi that are much worse. But next time, if you can, just think about who else you're hitting when you slap something like this on ol' Mittens.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:14 PM on July 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Cartoon Blog Romney At The Olympics
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:36 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fallout from Romney's 'culture' remarks in Israel continues

At a fundraising breakfast Monday morning in Jerusalem with some of his largest donors, including casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Romney remarked that he saw the "power" of "culture" at work in the large disparity between living standards in Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.
posted by Golden Eternity at 12:47 PM on July 30, 2012


Yup, he's a fuckwit. I very much doubt being racist and ignorant as regards Palestinians is going to hurt him in the slightest though, vague attempt to drape a fig leaf on it after the fact or not.

He really DOES have to go back and forth on everything though, doesn't he? "oops, I was a bit too nakedly racist there, here, let me dress it up a little." - he doesn't even have to do that, and it's completly pointless, and yet he does...
posted by Artw at 12:57 PM on July 30, 2012


McCain: Israeli-Palestinian differences have 'nothing to do with cultures'.
posted by ericb at 1:01 PM on July 30, 2012


Top CEOs donate to Romney over Obama by 4-1 margin.
posted by ericb at 1:02 PM on July 30, 2012


Romney Praises Israel’s Universal Health Care System, Which Includes Individual Mandate
posted by Artw at 2:50 PM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oops. Looks like he forgot Poland...'s Solidarity movement is a union which is a thing he's actually against.
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on July 30, 2012


"Regretfully, we were informed by our friends from the American headquarters of (trade union federation) AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12 million employees ... that Mitt Romney supported attacks on trade unions and employees' rights," Solidarity said in a statement.
Excellent.
posted by Skygazer at 3:36 PM on July 30, 2012


Still, apparently wanting to start the Cold War again is a crowd pleaser.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney Aide Curses at the Press in Poland.

Is that flopsweat I'm beginning to smell?
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:33 AM on July 31, 2012


Is that flopsweat I'm beginning to smell?

People swear all the time and it goes unreported. This is more like the the press sensing weakness and attacking. Bloom County had it right; they're like a pack of slavering dogs.

I happen to oppose the current victims, and I remember when they did the same thing to Al Gore, so I'm not complaining that much. But the media comes off almost as bad as the politicos.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:46 AM on July 31, 2012


I'm not sure anyone Romney might hire could match up to Rahm Emanuel for cussing, anyway.
posted by restless_nomad at 8:58 AM on July 31, 2012


Well, the traveling press corp is frustrated in that Romney has only taken 3 questions (at 10 Downing Street) during his international trip. It was poor form for his advisor to try and cut them off with foul language for their attempt to ask questions. Not cool.
posted by ericb at 9:16 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mitt Romney Denies Criticizing Palestinian Culture.
posted by ericb at 9:18 AM on July 31, 2012


Mitt Romney: Richer Means Superior.
posted by ericb at 9:21 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Charles Pierce: Romney, a Gaffe-Proof Candidate for Our Cynical Times
"a positive gavotte of dick-stepping both here and abroad"
...
"The memory hole in this election is located in Sheldon Adelson's wallet."
posted by tonycpsu at 9:22 AM on July 31, 2012


If You Liked the Iraq War, You'll Love Romney's Foreign Policy.
posted by ericb at 9:23 AM on July 31, 2012


Jesus, that list of neocon names... It's like a horrifying nightmare reborn.
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


From Bain record to tax returns, Romney eager to put summer behind him.
posted by ericb at 11:28 AM on July 31, 2012


I think of neoconservatism as an ideology that espoused war crimes and whose believers and proponents: The American Enterprise Institute Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz/Rumsfeld/Perle/Feith/Addison/Bolton

/Kristol/Krauthammer/Fukuyama/Leveen...belong behind bars at the Hague for war crimes.

It is beyond me how the AEI continues to exist and why it's fellows and "scholars" aren't shamed and haven't been hounded into dishonorable retirement.

It makes me ill to think they might still have any say over the country's economic or foreign policies.

I think next time, under a Romney, the country will be degraded beyond recognition...we can't afford a war with Iran that could lead to a conflagration and the middle class won't survive another round of Wall Street/Plutocratic plundering of the treasury.
posted by Skygazer at 11:40 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know what? It seemed excessive at the time but displacing these fucks was absolutely worth a Nobel Peace Prize. If Obama does it again they should give him another one.
posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ha ha...that would be pretty funny.

I think this country is seriously situated between being shot out into the future and better things, and really a whole new paradigm of understanding that's not necessarily going to be all progressivism, but at the very least will be a better place....or heading back into another neocon dark ages...that's going to codify as much of itself into the country as possible for the next coupla generations.

It's what Rove cames so so very close to doing last time with the wind at it's back the neocons had from a country cowering and trying to be united in the face of this huge abstract and unknowable thing that AQ and the GOP put out on the nation for control.
posted by Skygazer at 12:01 PM on July 31, 2012


More trivially, that special App to receive the VP message is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM on July 31, 2012


Well, I guess they need to build on all that "excitement and momentum" Romney built up on his European trip...

Someone needs to make a Romney-Gaffe App.
posted by Skygazer at 12:11 PM on July 31, 2012


You could possibly heat North Dakota with all the heat, from constant use, that app would produce.
posted by edgeways at 12:14 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


FACT CHECK: Romney on Polish Economy, Gov't Role

Maybe his economic plan is to apply for EU subsidies?
posted by Artw at 12:17 PM on July 31, 2012


Romney aide apologizes for rude remark (w/ video of the original incident).
posted by ericb at 12:20 PM on July 31, 2012


So mock him, if it makes you feel better. Hell, I do, pretty much every day. He's a very big fish in a very small barrel, Willard Romney is. But do so full in the knowledge that, in his cynicism, and in the almost gleeful way he parades his least attractive qualities, and his most monumental lies, through the public square, Willard Romney is more in tune with the political zeitgeist than Barack Obama has been since the fall of 2008. And know that this election is still tied.

Those are some really really sobering words from the estimable Mr. Pierce, who I happen to think is one of the keenest and sharpest knives in the whole of politico-pundit land.
/shudder


But, I also think, that Romney is the Titanic of Republican presidential candidates and the collection of icebergs that're going to make his ridiculous shit-show of an obscene oligarchic campaign financed by senile octogenarian billionaires, deep six like a overloaded ugly sumnabitch, is being carefully fashioned and put in place, even now...
posted by Skygazer at 12:34 PM on July 31, 2012


Also the debates...

Ain't no amount of senile billionaire money going to save the Rom-N-EE_2012_Gaffe-0-Mitt-ic Unit there...

He may explode.


*Fingers crossed*
posted by Skygazer at 12:53 PM on July 31, 2012


Breaking:

Harry Reid: Bain Investor Told Me That Mitt Romney 'Didn't Pay Any Taxes For 10 Years'
posted by Skygazer at 1:15 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh shiiiiii...

PRIVE 'IM WRONG, MITTENS!
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on July 31, 2012


Reid lays it on thick...lolz:
"[The day after the election...] They are going to assemble 17 angry old white men for breakfast, some of them will slobber in their food, some will have scrambled eggs, some will have oatmeal, their teeth are gone. But these 17 angry old white men will say, 'Hey, we just bought America. Wasn't so bad. We still have a whole lot of money left.'"
posted by Skygazer at 1:27 PM on July 31, 2012


madamjujujive: "Is Mitt Romney buying Twitter followers?"

Yes.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:28 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]



And know that this election is still tied.


I'm not sure where people get this idea that the election is tied. The president holds a small but consistent lead in the popular vote and a substantial lead in the electoral college. We're a long way from the finish, and it looks nothing like a landslide, but if the election is held today, Obama wins and Mitt concedes at about 11:30 pm Eastern time.
posted by chrchr at 3:12 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Very true, chrchr. But Christ-almighty given Mitten's very public displays of assitude it makes one wonder why even this close. I am reasonably confident that Obama will win, but after Bush Jr. I just can't be bothered to actually trust the American electorate.

I wish Romney would go ahead and get the VP nod out of the way, and hope like hell he goes for someone like Pawlenty (the political bounce from that would be a flat-line), but still think Rubio and or Ayotte would actually make better sense. .. I wonder just how much Palin has poisoned the well.
posted by edgeways at 3:28 PM on July 31, 2012


Breaking: Harry Reid: Bain Investor Told Me That Mitt Romney 'Didn't Pay Any Taxes For 10 Years'

From the article:
A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.

"Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years," Reid recounted the person as saying.

"He didn't pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain," said Reid.
So, an unidentified source who is not alleged to have firsthand knowledge of the matter allegedly told Reid - without elaboration as to his own source of information - that Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years?

And we're taking this at least triple hearsay as factual? Come on.
posted by The World Famous at 3:49 PM on July 31, 2012


I fully encourage the Mitt-bot to sue.
posted by Artw at 3:55 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt could easily disprove this if he wanted to.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:57 PM on July 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


To sue whom, for what?
posted by The World Famous at 3:57 PM on July 31, 2012


Reid is clearly disparaging his standing as a patriotic tax-paying citizen! To the courts!
posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on July 31, 2012


And we're taking this at least triple hearsay as factual? Come on.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm taking this triple-hearsay as bait. See also: LBJ, pig, deny.
posted by maudlin at 4:15 PM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


While You Were Distracted, Romney Won the Battle over His Tax Returns

Heh. So much for that one.
posted by Artw at 4:19 PM on July 31, 2012


I don't know what I'm more surprised about, how bad a politician and campaigner Romney is or how little effect it seems to be having on the polls.
posted by octothorpe at 5:16 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Mitt could easily disprove this if he wanted to.

Let him stand up and deny being a pigfucker.

I'm glad to see the Dems playing a little hardball for once.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:35 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


There can be little doubt that after 4 years of daily, hourly outrageous demonization, it has to be accepted that there's simply a sizable segment of the U.S.population who's completely and utterly 100% fucked in the head...
posted by Skygazer at 5:39 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nervous Rich People and a Bad Moon Rising
There's a kind of paranoid meanness in the air — and, in keeping with today's theme, that's another reason not to underestimate the power that is Willard Romney, by the way — and one of the ways you know it is that it's beginning to filter down from the rarefied air of the plutocracy down through the courtier press.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:47 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I kinda think Reid is setting bait. He can't lose with that one. Either they deny it, and don't release the taxes which makes Romney look guilty, or they say "no LOOK, he paid taxes" and Reid says "oh, my bad... but why did you pay at 10% over the last 8 years (or whatever is squirreled away in the forms)?"

I think the point about Romney being worth MUCH more then he claims is quite likely true though.
posted by edgeways at 7:12 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's never talked about, but how much of his wealth and eye-raising business interests are in his wife's name? And he's got what 4 sons??

He is easily worth much more than 250 Million....and he is easily a bigger rat bastard lying piece of shit sociopath vapid self-important dickhead than most would dare to think...

It's gonna come out...information in this age, that's what it does...it looks for daylight and eyeballs. It's just a matter of time, and the sound of the GOtP collective jaw drop is going to be fabulous.
posted by Skygazer at 7:26 PM on July 31, 2012


Mannnn. Romney is spinning so hard they should just go ahead and hook a dynamo up to that bastard.

1- Palestinian culture causes poverty - Sunday

2 - (I) “did not speak about the Palestinian culture or the decisions made in their economy” Tuesday am interview

3 - “During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it,” Tuesday pm Op Ed


Perhaps he had someone else write the op ed and didn't bother to read it before it ran?
posted by edgeways at 7:42 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, it reads like Romney conned a not very bright seventh grader to write it for him:
I have just returned from a trip abroad. I visited three lands — Israel, Poland, and Great Britain — which are defined by their respective struggles for freedom. I met with some of the greatest heroes of those struggles. I am always glad to return to American soil. On this occasion, I am only strengthened in my conviction that the pursuit of happiness is not an American right alone. Israelis, Palestinians, Poles, Russians, Iranians, Americans, all human beings deserve to enjoy the blessings of a culture of freedom and opportunity.
posted by Skygazer at 7:57 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great Britain put their National Health Service in Olympics opening ceremony. Israel is pretty damn socialist. I think you missed some things, Mitt.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:55 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Britain is defined by its struggles for freedom? Sure, they've had some (See Hitler) but defined? A 500-year empire? Who writes his crap?
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:52 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Great Britain put their National Health Service in Olympics opening ceremony. Israel is pretty damn socialist. I think you missed some things, Mitt.

Not just those two, either...

"Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney hailed Poland's economy Tuesday as something akin to a Republican dream: a place of small government, individual empowerment and free enterprise.

While it's true that Poland is one of Europe's fastest-growing economies and boasts dynamic entrepreneurs, Romney's depiction of Poland as a place of small government is debatable. Even 23 years after throwing off a communist command economy, the Polish government continues to have a strong presence in people's lives: it gives women $300 for each baby they have, doubling that sum for poor families; it fully funds state university educations; and it guarantees health care to all its 38 million citizens."

-NPR: FACT CHECK: Romney On Polish Economy, Gov't Role
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:56 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know that finding a business that never benefited from a government program is impossible, but did they have to pick one with ties to the dreaded Obamacare? No, they did not, but Mitt Romney is determined to let no rake go un-stepped upon.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:31 AM on August 1, 2012


Romney: the wealth of the Bush the idiocy of the Quayle
posted by edgeways at 8:59 AM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


New Obama campaign ad keeps the Romney tax return issue alive.
posted by ericb at 9:00 AM on August 1, 2012


Andrew Sullivan notes that Harry Reid's claim about hearing the Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years is most likely BS, but politically-savvy BS, pointing to analysis from finance expert Don Primack:
[Reid's rumor] sounds like something out of a junior-high cafeteria, but then again there’s also an easy way for Romney to knock it down. Which again raises the question: What can possibly be in the returns to make them so dicey to release?
posted by ericb at 9:05 AM on August 1, 2012


Oh, and the EC prediction took a fairly big jump today. Obama is in the 310 territory right now with strong, likely and leans. Looks to be comfortable at 270 with strong and likely.

All the appropriate caveats about long time till election and don't take things for granted. Gotta say though Romney is definitely in a hole that'll take a lot of climbing to get out of.


and hey, I can do Andrew Sullivan's job, what what?

heh
posted by edgeways at 9:07 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


New Obama campaign ad keeps the Romney tax return issue alive.

Um, no, that link goes to Chaz The Intolerant Chick-fil-A Chicken (a Conan O'Brian sketch).
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:09 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


DAVID ROTHKOPF: Too much baggage, not ready for prime time and should fire a bunch of people on his team.
posted by edgeways at 9:14 AM on August 1, 2012


Oops ... Wrong tab and link. Here's the new Obama ad.
posted by ericb at 9:19 AM on August 1, 2012


There's a lot of dislikes on that video, more than the other recent Obama stuff by a pretty wide margin (and two 'liked' negative comments at the top). Coordinated response?
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:30 AM on August 1, 2012


guess his twitter "followers" found something to do.
posted by edgeways at 9:38 AM on August 1, 2012


Coordinated response?

If coordinated responses are being organized on freaking YouTube threads, you gotta take that as an encouraging sign that these people don't have a gaddam clue.

Then again, for all I know, YouTube comments can make or break an American election now. Everything's gotten so batshit insane, I guess that wouldn't be so unlikely...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:39 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Britain is defined by its struggles for freedom?

Was one of those struggles the American Revolution?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:40 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Britain is defined by its struggles for freedom?

Absolutely. Oh, but, there was a word left out:

Britain is defined by its colonies' struggles for freedom.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:46 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oops ... Wrong tab and link. Here's the new Obama ad.

That was pretty masterful, and the music was great. These don't seem like actual TV ads, though. Is there any analysis of their effects?
posted by OmieWise at 9:48 AM on August 1, 2012


Skygazer: "I have just returned from a trip abroad. I visited three lands — Israel, Poland, and Great Britain — which are defined by their respective struggles for freedom. I met with some of the greatest heroes of those struggles. I am always glad to return to American soil. On this occasion, I am only strengthened in my conviction that the pursuit of happiness is not an American right alone. Israelis, Palestinians, Poles, Russians, Iranians, Americans, all human beings deserve to enjoy the blessings of a culture of freedom and opportunity."

"And in conclusion, not-America is a land of contrast. Thank you."
posted by Riki tiki at 9:53 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, Flips' body language and movements are definitely strange. He walks quickly in small steps. He stands ramrod straight with his arms flat at his sides.

Maureen Dowd:
Wherever he went [on his overseas trip], whatever situation he was in, he remained frozen in himself. It was reminiscent of the stinging review of an Oscar Wilde lecture by Ambrose Bierce, who wrote that Wilde was a “gawky gowk” who “wanders about posing as a statue of himself.”

... we’re left with a narrow spokesmodel, banally handsome with an empty look; not like President Obama and Bill Clinton, where you always see the brain whirring behind the eyes.

... He’s here, mingling among us, present but absent. A fence wrapped around a wall.

Stuart Stevens is right when he says it’s easy to imagine Romney in the White House. I can visualize him right now, lapidary and frozen, in the Rose Garden. A statue of himself.
posted by ericb at 10:36 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thomas Friedman:
I’ll make this quick. I have one question and one observation about Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel. The question is this: Since the whole trip was not about learning anything but about how to satisfy the political whims of the right-wing, super pro-Bibi Netanyahu, American Jewish casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, why didn’t they just do the whole thing in Las Vegas? I mean, it was all about money anyway — how much Romney would abase himself by saying whatever the Israeli right wanted to hear and how big a jackpot of donations Adelson would shower on the Romney campaign in return. Really, Vegas would have been so much more appropriate than Jerusalem. They could have constructed a plastic Wailing Wall and saved so much on gas.
posted by ericb at 10:38 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe there's too much starch in his 'magic underwear.'

Ick. ... The more I learn about the diversity of Mormon voices the more uncomfortable I get with Mormon-based attacks on Mitt Romney — and I loathe the guy with a pretty visceral loathing. I'm certainly no saint in this; you can probably find comments I've made myself on MeFi that are much worse. But next time, if you can, just think about who else you're hitting when you slap something like this on ol' Mittens.

Chill out. If he were a Pastafarian I still make fun of his religion ... but, not about underwear; about his noodly appendages.
posted by ericb at 10:42 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


*would still*
posted by ericb at 10:43 AM on August 1, 2012


But "noodly appendages" is actually a thing in Pastafarianism, whereas "magic underwear" is not actually a thing in Mormonism. I realize that calling it "symbolic underwear" wouldn't quite have the same comic effect, but the extent to which misconceptions about that particular aspect of Mormonism seem to be accepted as factual by those mocking the religion suggests to me that it is not an intentional misrepresentation for comic effect, but something that people like you genuinely believe in spite of the fact that it is demonstrably not true.

And no, the irony of people mocking Mormonism based on their own belief in something that is demonstrably false is not lost on me.
posted by The World Famous at 11:00 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Put it this way, ericb: When a Jewish candidate runs for office, do you mock his religion by referring to the wearing of a "magic beanie?" I'm guessing you don't.
posted by The World Famous at 11:30 AM on August 1, 2012


The Mormon "magic underwear" gibe creeps me out as well, frankly. I'm all in favor of reasoned criticism about the behavior of the church as an organization, or arguments that specific practices are actually harmful. But making fun of clothing? That's childish, and no different in principle than mocking someone for wearing a yarmulke, or hijab, or sari, or turban.
posted by Riki tiki at 11:38 AM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bill Maher Explains Mormon Magic Underwear To UCLA Students.
posted by ericb at 12:32 PM on August 1, 2012


Bill Maher is literally the stupidest person on the face of the earth and one of the most odious, as is particularly evident whenever he talks about Mormonism. That audiences don't consistently throw things at him and have him ejected from the building every time he opens his mouth on that subject is a testament to just how stupid Americans are and how little hope there is for our society.
posted by The World Famous at 12:46 PM on August 1, 2012


Aside from our differences regarding humor and religion, I would find it interesting if The World Famous, or someone else, made a comprehensive FPP about L.D.S., Mormonism -- history, core precepts, the symbolic meaning of various ordinances, objects, the religions connections and history with Freemasonry, etc.

Many, if not most Americans have very little knowledge or understanding of the religion.

I'd welcome learning more from practicing member of the Church.
posted by ericb at 12:49 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


*religion's* *practicing members*
posted by ericb at 12:50 PM on August 1, 2012


There's already too much Mormonism on Metafilter, in my opinion. I'm not going to make any FPP about it. It seems to me that even a barely-calibrated bullshit detector would go off the scale whenever Bill Maher opens his mouth about it and whenever someone mentions "magic underwear." But apparently people are gullible and not particularly skeptical of claims that are accompanied by a snicker.

Seriously, how does nobody in that UCLA classroom even know the tiny bit of information sufficient to shout down that worthless pile of ignorant garbage for spreading his hateful misinformation as if he were teaching them something true? Does he have his audiences screened ahead of time to make sure nobody will call him on his bullshit? I'm watching that video and seeing the looks on the faces of those students as they accept Bill Maher's assertions as if they were true and they gradually learn to hate me based on those lies.

I would pay serious money to see an episode of The Daily Show where Jon Stewart unleashes the full magnitude of his research and interviewing technique to dress down Bill Maher for his outrageous hateful bullshit about Mormonism. Failing that, I'd settle for Maher going home from work every day and settling down to sleep with the nagging thought in the back of his mind that he's an ignorant, hateful prick who fills the world with hateful, destructive lies that serve only to make the world a worse place by making people believe false, uncharitable things about their fellow humans.
posted by The World Famous at 1:01 PM on August 1, 2012


But does he believe in plate tectonics?
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM on August 1, 2012


Out of curiosity, seriously, what misinformation is Bill Maher conveying in that short video clip?
posted by ericb at 1:10 PM on August 1, 2012


Is it not longer acceptable to make fun of Scientologists believing in space aliens infecting your body?
posted by amuseDetachment at 1:11 PM on August 1, 2012


There's already too much Mormonism on Metafilter ...

Maybe true, but their is a timeliness in that one of our candidates for President is Mormon. Many have misconceptions about the religion. People are beginning to talk about it ... as folks talked about Catholicism in the 60's when J.F.K. was a candidate.

There are non-Mormons who believe that a primary Mormon tenet is that: God comes first, Family second and Country third. Is this accurate, or 'misinformation?'
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on August 1, 2012


*there is a*
posted by ericb at 1:15 PM on August 1, 2012


Out of curiosity, seriously, what misinformation is Bill Maher conveying in that short video clip?

Other than the fact that Glenn Beck is a Mormon, literally every single thing Maher says in that short video is misinformation, starting with his bald-faced lie about having not seen Romney's religion come up in the election so far (Maher himself hosted a special portion of his own show dedicated to giving a forum to one of Romney's political enemies to attack Mormonism) and continuing right through Every. Single. Assertion. he makes about Mormonism.
posted by The World Famous at 1:15 PM on August 1, 2012


The bottom line is that Bill Maher should be considered merely an un-funny comedian, rather than a legitimate source of information about any subject at all. But when it comes to Mormonism, his un-funny comedy and misinformation veers into a particularly hateful area where he clearly intends to incite hatred among people by lying to them about the beliefs and practices of others.

I assume that Bill Maher is a smart enough person to know that these lies he repeats over and over again are both false and hateful. And I take him at his word for his motivation in spreading misinformation: He says he wants people to hate Mormons, and I believe he really does want people to hate Mormons.

As a Mormon, I am convinced - by watching Bill Maher a lot and actually listening to what he says - that he hates me, hates my people, and has a strong enough hatred and desire to harm me and turn society against me that he is willing not only to lie again and again, but also to spend considerable energy and resources to do it. Bill Maher should be seen as the hateful, disgusting liar he is, and it's pathetic that anyone accepts anything he says as anything more than hate speech. That UCLA would allow him to stand in front of a classroom full of its students and spread that hate speech makes me think much less of it as an institution.
posted by The World Famous at 1:36 PM on August 1, 2012


Hmm. Before the underwear remark it seems like any discussion of Mormonism was centered around his mystery tax returns and if he was cheating on his tithes or not.

And let's face it, his real god is money.

Religion would probably get more of a mentio if he was an evangelical Christian, because fuck those guys.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on August 1, 2012


It's weird for me watching the beginning of that Maher clip, because when the student asked about Mitt Romney's religion coming up in the election, I immediately thought "Hell yes. It already has, and Mitt Romney's the one who's raised it. He frequently talks about how we need more religion in government, and as president he'll bring us back to God and Morals." [paraphrasing my memories of thing's he's said].

Then I hear them going on about what the particular kind of Christian he is. Feh.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:57 PM on August 1, 2012


To be fair, I think Maher wants people to hate all regions, and while I am pretty a-religious myself I find his schtick pretty tedious. Mormonism is probably in his cross-hairs right now because of the synchronicity of a political and religious "foe".

FWIW, it looks like it isn't UCLA who invited and hosted Mahr, but a specific (Self-identified) Republican professor. I'm not sure it is fair to hold an entire institution at fault for the actions of one educator.
posted by edgeways at 1:57 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


religion, not region.. sheesh
posted by edgeways at 1:58 PM on August 1, 2012


Artw, I really think you meant to type "Mitt", not "Mormonism", in that first sentence. It may even be worth asking the mods to fix that.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:58 PM on August 1, 2012


No?

Scanning down the thread where religion is mentioned its all about the 10% until this current discussion.
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on August 1, 2012


As mentioned above: Romney and the Mormon Factor.
posted by ericb at 2:05 PM on August 1, 2012


Oh, my misreading. Sorry.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:31 PM on August 1, 2012


Newt is helping!

Gingrich says Romney was right on Palestinians as candidate tries to shift attention to VP pick
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 2:57 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


SURPRISE: Romney's Tax Plan Benefits Super Rich The Most.
posted by ericb at 2:58 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jon Stewart Mocks Romney Campaign Gaffes [video | 04:28].
posted by ericb at 3:00 PM on August 1, 2012


Romney days the study is biased because something something something ECONOMIC BOOM!
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on August 1, 2012


The Romney camp is claiming the study is from a biased group...which they've used to try and support their own points in the past.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:33 PM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I do wonder just a little why it's so important to Romney that he lower taxes for people as rich as he is since he never actually pays any.
posted by Artw at 3:37 PM on August 1, 2012


I do wonder just a little why it's so important to Romney that he lower taxes for people as rich as he is since he never actually pays any.

Is there some evidence that he never actually pays any?
posted by The World Famous at 3:42 PM on August 1, 2012


Which is to say that I think the reason it's important to him is that he does, in fact, both pay taxes and adjust his spending and money management in order to take advantage of the various tax strategies made possible through tax policy designed to encourage those specific types of expenditures and investments, and lowering taxes for people as rich as he is is probably a function of him thinking that he should not have to engage in commerce in the ways prescribed by tax policy in order to reduce the amount of tax he pays directly to the government. He does pay taxes, and he does subsidize the activities that tax policy wants him to subsidized, and he would rather not have to do either of those things.
posted by The World Famous at 3:47 PM on August 1, 2012


That's an awfully long winded way of admiring he doesn't pay taxes.
posted by Artw at 3:53 PM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Which is to say that I think the reason it's important to him is that he does, in fact, both pay taxes and adjust his spending and money management in order to take advantage of the various tax strategies made possible through tax policy...

Then why doesn't he just make his returns public? What is he hiding?

He does pay taxes, and he does subsidize the activities that tax policy wants him to subsidized, and he would rather not have to do either of those things.


Why would he rather not pay taxes? I wish he could explain how he expects the US military, the government, infrastructure, etc. to be paid for. Maybe he feels he has somehow contributed enough just by being Mitt Romney and only others should actually pay taxes. I assume he feels social programs like social security, medicare, welfare, etc, should just not exist at all.
posted by Golden Eternity at 3:55 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maye he didn't pay taxes because he didn't want to subsidise the Winter Olympics.
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's an awfully long winded way of admiring he doesn't pay taxes.

Admiring? Where'd you get that?
posted by The World Famous at 4:00 PM on August 1, 2012


It's one of those situations where the scandal is what it's legal to do, not anything illegal that's been done.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:00 PM on August 1, 2012


Bill Maher is literally the stupidest person on the face of the earth...

Except that I'm certain he actually knows what the word "literally" means, so it seems likely that there's a stupider person.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:02 PM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's one of those situations where the scandal is what it's legal to do, not anything illegal that's been done.

Probably.
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on August 1, 2012


Except that I'm certain he actually knows what the word "literally" means, so it seems likely that there's a stupider person.

I know what it means and I stand by my statement. But thanks for calling me stupid.
posted by The World Famous at 4:06 PM on August 1, 2012


Harry Reid Said Romney Paid 'Basically' No Taxes For 12 Years In Mid-July Speech
posted by Artw at 4:08 PM on August 1, 2012


Maye he didn't pay taxes because he didn't want to subsidise the Winter Olympics.

As per my post in the current Olympic thread:
The U.S. Olympic team receives no funding from the government, nothing from American taxpayers.

U.S. Funding of Olympic Athletes a Private and Community Affair -- "Individual citizens and corporations enable America’s Olympic effort."
posted by ericb at 4:28 PM on August 1, 2012


While we're on the topic of Romney and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics ...
Mitt Romney's Big, Gay Olympics -- "You'd never guess it now, but the GOP candidate threw one of the most gay-friendly games in history."
posted by ericb at 4:30 PM on August 1, 2012


Yes but the Salt Lake City Olympics that Mr. Romney headed received $1.5 billion in federal funding.
posted by chrchr at 4:31 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


That was the Olympics where I got to catch a glimpse of GW Bush when he visited the University of Pittsburgh. There was an algorithm patented that made possible to use healthcare data to check for and provide advance warnings on anthrax attacks. I was part of the negotiating team from the UPitt's Tech Transfer office during that time.
posted by infini at 4:34 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The athletes receive no federal funding.

The Salt Lake Organizing Committee -- another story, after graft and corruption was exposed. Federal international and support from 'small government' was called in to rescue the Winter Olympics.

And, oh, BTW, after Flip Romney took over the reins (quoted from chrchr's link)
What Romney doesn't talk about is how he succeeded in Utah with government help—lots of it—and how millions in assistance that he pried out of the feds ended up bankrolling subsidies, sweetheart deals, and giveaways for land developers and other well-connected Utahns.

... How the Salt Lake Games came to receive more money than any games in American history isn't much of a mystery. The organizers, including Romney, asked for it. In his 2004 book, Turnaround, Romney acknowledges the central role of the federal government in making the Olympics possible. "No matter how well we did cutting costs and raising revenue, we couldn't have Games without the support of the federal government," he wrote.

... The most damning aspect of the Salt Lake tab wasn't the final amount, but how it was being spent. In their exhaustively researched Sports Illustrated accounting, Barlett and Steele explain how many Olympics projects amounted to little more than slush funds for wealthy donors to the games. Wealthy Utahns used the games as an excuse to receive exemptions for projects that would otherwise never meet environmental standards, or to receive generous subsidies for improvements of questionable value to the games—but with serious value to future real estate developments. In one example, a wealthy developer received $3 million to build a three-mile stretch of road through his resort. Where'd he get the money? Federal funds that had been deposited in the Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund. Per the piece.
posted by ericb at 6:39 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


*FEDERAL FUNDS and support from 'small government' ...
posted by ericb at 6:41 PM on August 1, 2012


Sports Illustrated : Snow Job -- "Thanks to Utah politicians and the 2002 Olympics, a blizzard of federal money—a stunning $1.5 billion—has fallen on the state, enriching some already wealthy businessmen."
posted by ericb at 6:45 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are non-Mormons who believe that a primary Mormon tenet is that: God comes first, Family second and Country third. Is this accurate, or 'misinformation?'

Can a practicing Mormon please address this question. Is it off base? Is it a question that can be answered forthright?
posted by ericb at 7:13 PM on August 1, 2012


I do not know of any such tenet.
posted by The World Famous at 7:17 PM on August 1, 2012


It sounds like those "Muslims can never truly be American" emails that were going around and the whole "JFK will hold the interests of the Vatican higher than those of the American people" sentiment before that.
posted by ODiV at 7:45 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tricia Erickson, Former Mormon Bishop’s Daughter and Conservative:
Mitt Romney is a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Mormon Church. As a former Mormon Bishop’s daughter and a former Temple Mormon wife, I can attest to the facts herein.

The most alarming information that the media is not bringing to the American People is the reality that Mitt Romney truly believes that when he dies, if he has kept his symbolic blood oaths and covenants to the Mormon Church, he will become a literal God in his next life. This is extremely important because Mitt Romney absolutely must put the Prophet and the religion of Mormonism first, before his allegiance to our country. His very eternal exaltation to godhood depends on it.

... Mitt Romney has participated in the secret Mormon Temple ceremonies throughout most of his life. In these ceremonies, he has made physical signs of slashing his throat by placing his right thumb to his left ear, dragging it around his neck to the right ear, symbolic of “suffering his life to death” if he reveals the secret blood oaths, covenants and rites he agreed to. He has also made physical signs of holding his right hand up, clasping a symbolic knife and taking the knife down to the left of his abdomen, pulling the knife to the top of his right shoulder, then holding the knife out to his right side, turning his hand downward allowing it to fall to the ground, then holding both of his arms out to the sides and bending his body forward, symbolic of his guts spilling on to the ground if he reveals the secret blood oaths, covenants and rites he agreed to therewith.

... Mitt Romney has sworn in the secret Mormon Temple Ceremonies to the Law of Consecration: “to consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth and for the establishment of Zion". The Mormon Church will rule with Jesus Christ in the millennium and will become the Government Of God on earth.

Furthermore, the Mormon Church teaches that the Kingdom and Government of God will be ruled from the Garden of Eden, located in Jackson County Missouri.

The second prophet of the church, Brigham Young, stated in the Journal of Discourses, "No more or less than the complete overthrow of the nation, and not only of this nation, but the nations of Europe".

... Mormon prophet Bruce McConkie stated, “During the millennium the church will have the rule and the government of the world given to it”.

There is no wiggle room when it comes to Mitt's Mormonism. Mitt has a much longer term end-game goal than just the Office of the Presidency. And as you can see, this is not a Kennedy Catholic situation. There is no comparison.

Mormons believe that they are the only true church and their main objective is to be ready when the time comes for the millennial reign by having their leaders ready to rule, or already in key places of authority and power.
Any "misinformation [which] veers into a particularly hateful area" here?

God and Family before Country? Are we misinformed?
posted by ericb at 8:17 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


When Should Mitt Romney Talk About His Mormon Faith?
posted by ericb at 8:18 PM on August 1, 2012


Furthermore, the Mormon Church teaches that the Kingdom and Government of God will be ruled from the Garden of Eden, located in Jackson County Missouri.

Naturally.
posted by odinsdream at 8:21 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tricia Erickson apparently hasn't been to the temple in at least 20 years. I'm not going to compare credentials or take on her article point by point. But I will say that she's misleading and unnecessarily fear mongering.
posted by The World Famous at 8:23 PM on August 1, 2012


Can yu refute any of her points?
posted by ericb at 8:29 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will also say that it's ridiculous to assume that every Mormon subscribes to every statement made by every leader of the church since its beginning or that we all interpret everything in exactly the most uncharitable possible way. But I'm turning off my iPhone now to watch a movie.
posted by The World Famous at 8:31 PM on August 1, 2012


TWD -- you charge Bill Maher, Tricia Erikson and others as being 'misinformed' or 'misleading.'

Please let us know how and why.
posted by ericb at 8:32 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


ericb quite honestly this is starting to sound like you are on a witch hunt.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:36 PM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


*Can YOU refute...*
posted by ericb at 8:48 PM on August 1, 2012


Joseph Lieberman believes that god uniquely favors his people, and you may have voted for him for V.P. Most Presidents for the last couple of decade think that the shiny man in the sky came down and talked directly to him. GW Bush thought god selected him personally to be president.

Now you may be someone who is consistent in their treatment of religious public figures. Post a link to you ridiculing some Democrats' religions and I'll totally concede your point.

Me, I want every single one of them to keep their religions out of my country's politics and government. Even if I agree with their conclusions, they need to present them and argue for them stripped of religious roots. That's what's best for the country; that's foundational. Mitt wants more religion under his presidency, so I oppose Mitt.

But what people choose to believe for themselves should generally be respected. We maximize our liberty by leaving each other alone as much as possible. That's why your magic underwear remark bugged me. This one wears magic underwear, that one wears a special hat, the other has a shawl. It's really none of our god-damned business. And introducing it to a political discussion degrades the level of argument quickly. Witness this thread.

There's also something that bugs me whenever a group chooses some particular group or person to be the target of their derision. All kinds of things get thrown at the target, just for the fun of othering them: "Did you see the shoes she wore today? Gross.". It's lazy.

"Mitt's uptight because of his magic underwear"? We all know Mitt's uptight, but what's it got to do with his religious vestments? There are Hassids who rap, and Sufis that can shake their ass with the best of them. Mitt's uptight because he's a dork who's never needed to interact with other people. He'd be an uptight Baptist.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:59 PM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


if he has kept his symbolic blood oaths and covenants to the Mormon Church, he will become a literal God in his next life. This is extremely important because Mitt Romney absolutely must put the Prophet and the religion of Mormonism first, before his allegiance to our country. His very eternal exaltation to godhood depends on it.

As a criticism of Mr. Romney, this is stupid, since his opponent professes to be a devout Christian. Christians believe that at their death they will become a literal immortal, heaven-dwelling angel. He absolutely must put Jesus and his Christian church first, before his alliegance to our country. His exaltation to heaven depends on it.

Point is, Romney's profession of putting religion first in his life is not the least bit unusual. It's basically a standard feature of all religions. I think if you talked about it with either of the candidates, you'd find out that they view performing their duties to their country as part of their devotion to God.
posted by chrchr at 9:22 PM on August 1, 2012


Harry Reid's a Mormon and nobody gives a fuck about that. Although I'm an atheist myself, I don't care for the inquisitorial tone this thread has taken.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:35 PM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


Harry Reid Said Romney Paid 'Basically' No Taxes For 12 Years In Mid-July Speech

Jon Stewart: ‘You, Harry Reid, Are Really, Really Terrible’
posted by homunculus at 10:46 PM on August 1, 2012


God and Family before Country?

Why would you find that weird? What faiths do you imagine urge their faithful to ignore the Lord whenever Caesar contradicts Him? Do you think there are lots of Christian denominations who tell you to put Jesus second or third or last?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:06 PM on August 1, 2012


ericb, I'd be more than happy to discuss the vast breadth and variety of Mormon culture and doctrine with you directly sometime - preferably in person - as well as addressing the specific misleading statements in that article you quoted. I've already told you with specificity which of Bill Maher's statements are misleading, and I don't think there's much I can do if you're someone who thinks Bill Maher is a source of reliable information or education on any topic.

I strongly agree with much of what the people above have said on the topic. And I won't be participating in a question and answer session with The World Famous here. I don't like it, the mods don't like it, and I doubt anyone else does, either.

On a far more relevant topic - and the reason for my absence for the last few hours - I am pleased to report that the Arclight Pasadena is all it's cracked up to be, with excellent projection and sound and well-behaved audience members, as well as an appropriately strict "no cell phones ever" policy, and that The Dark Knight Rises is an excellent film as long as you can force yourself not to keep thinking Bane sounds like his voice was dubbed by Jack Black and not to notice that every car chase is just driving around about 4 blocks of downtown Los Angeles over and over again (though that would explain the phalanx of Gotham Police Department cruisers parked by my office a few months back).
posted by The World Famous at 11:57 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


God and Family before Country? Are we misinformed?
You know Rmoney may be literally the spawn of Satan but who the fuck would put their country ahead of their family?
This is some creepy-ass nationalistic bullshit right here.
posted by fullerine at 4:12 AM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney Decides To Get On Top Of This Bain Story
Want to know which campaign is "winning" the debate over how to define Mitt Romney's business career? It's probably the campaign [that] isn't just now hiring a high-profile staffer to relaunch its message.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:49 AM on August 2, 2012


And that 'high profile staffer' is Michele Davis.
posted by ericb at 5:14 AM on August 2, 2012


Washington Post: Romney’s corporate style as Massachusetts governor often irked state’s Democratic lawmakers.
posted by ericb at 5:32 AM on August 2, 2012


Jared Diamond: Romney Mischaracterized My Work
posted by zombieflanders at 6:14 AM on August 2, 2012


...who the fuck would put their country ahead of their family?

Jack Bauer? President All State Commercial Guy? Palmer... that's it.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:02 AM on August 2, 2012


Jared Diamond's full OpEd referenced in zombieflander's TPM link: Romney Hasn't Done His Homework.
posted by ericb at 9:53 AM on August 2, 2012


Obama Extends Electoral College Advantage, with new polls showing the President's lead growing in the key swing states Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.
posted by chrchr at 9:55 AM on August 2, 2012


In related news: Twitter Unveils 'Political Index' To Track How The Internet Feels About Obama And Romney.
posted by ericb at 10:12 AM on August 2, 2012


Mitt Romney's Twitter Nemesis.
posted by ericb at 10:13 AM on August 2, 2012


Jon Stewart Calls Out Harry Reid For 'Bullsh*t Shot' Against Mitt Romney.
posted by ericb at 10:50 AM on August 2, 2012


Ann Romney's horse fails to win dressage but avoids offending British
posted by homunculus at 11:19 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Commiserations to Team Dancing Pony. Maybe of SOMEONE had turned up to support...
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on August 2, 2012


Pew, at least, has this race opening up a fair bit. It's pretty in-line with their monthly tracking so one can perhaps argue that their methodology may be skewed (many other polls have the race a lot tighter), but it is at least internally consistent and not likely an outlier from their own systems.
posted by edgeways at 2:47 PM on August 2, 2012


[Do not bring memail feuds into threads. I am surprised that I have to say this.]
posted by restless_nomad at 3:40 PM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ann Romney's horse fails to win dressage but avoids offending British.

Oh, my. That's the actual headline of The Guardian article! I would have expected that from The Sun or The Daily Mirror.
posted by ericb at 3:42 PM on August 2, 2012


Romney responds to Reid: ‘Put up or shut up’.
posted by ericb at 3:56 PM on August 2, 2012


Oh, my. That's the actual headline of The Guardian article! I would have expected that from The Sun or The Daily Mirror.

Nah, that would be HORSE BEEN - PRESIDENTIAL PONY FOR KNACKERS YARD?
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM on August 2, 2012


Harry Reid's response to Mitt Romney's response is "that's what she said."
posted by humanfont at 5:05 PM on August 2, 2012


Romney responds to Reid: ‘Put up or shut up’.

Such a weird tone deaf challenge from a man who has done neither.
posted by OmieWise at 5:27 PM on August 2, 2012 [3 favorites]


Kind of a weird side thing about the whole Dressage Horse whatnot is Mitten's almost over the top disavowal of caring how the horse does, or when it competes or anything about it. Essentially it's all (paraphrase) "oh it's totally Ann's thing, I hardly know anything about it, and really don't care to know even when it's competing." I'm halfway surprised he is willing to admit he knows it is in the Olympics.

But... you know this is Romney after all
posted by edgeways at 5:32 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Tax Trap Springs Shut on Romney.
posted by ericb at 5:41 PM on August 2, 2012


Romney Tax Promises Mathematically Impossible.
posted by ericb at 5:42 PM on August 2, 2012


Reckless Romney: Mitt’s world tour revealed more than his gaffes. His foreign-policy ideas are actually quite scary.
posted by homunculus at 6:17 PM on August 2, 2012


Looks like Reid's claims may have gotten slightly more credible.
posted by edgeways at 6:32 PM on August 2, 2012


Yes. Harry Reid now claims to have an extremely credible source.
posted by chrchr at 6:35 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


When it comes to answering the legitimate questions the American people have about whether he avoided paying his fair share in taxes or why he opened a Swiss bank account, Romney has shut up. But as a presidential candidate, it’s his obligation to put up, and release several years’ worth of tax returns just like nominees of both parties have done for decades.
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:39 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Harry Reid now claims to have an extremely credible source.

Then he should say who the source is and how the source came to know the information. It would still be hearsay, obviously, but then the source could confirm or deny it.

The Obama camp needs to pick up on and exploit the fact that the reason Romney's taxes are relevant is not because he's rich or because he's a jerk or because he's dishonest (though he is certainly all of those things), but because he and his party have based their tax policy on the unsupportable notion that the very rich already pay enough or, indeed, too much of their income as federal income tax. Romney's personal finances undermine that policy and are a rare window into just how dishonest that policy is.
posted by The World Famous at 6:51 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounds like the Obama campaign is already one step ahead of you on that.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:00 PM on August 2, 2012


I like how Reid's 3rd paragraph contains both "put up" and "shut up."

I now eagerly await the rebuttal, "No, you!"
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 7:03 PM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Of course, if he is already paying no income tax, then further cuts won't change that.
posted by The World Famous at 7:33 PM on August 2, 2012


Mark Hopkins at Moody’s Analytics tells me that it is mostly a set of assertions about outcomes Romney wants, rather than a set of policies on how to achieve them.
That's nicely put and succinctly reflects many a politician.

I don't doubt for a second that Reid is confident in his source. He wouldn't risk being proven wrong I'm sure. But I have two (or more) questions:

1. Why now? The GOP would have a chance of selecting another candidate (no idea who) at this point. Why not wait until later?

2. Who will validate Romney's tax return? The IRS? By which I mean, Romney could falsify a tax return that saw him paying a reasonable amount. Would the IRS check that it matches his actual return? And in which case, there must be hundreds, thousands(?) of government employees with access to computerized IRS records. I'm amazed no one has leaked them yet. (Afterthought: could that be Reid's source.... actual tax returns?)
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:40 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, my. That's the actual headline of The Guardian article! I would have expected that from The Sun or The Daily Mirror.

Maybe the guy that runs the Daily Mail O Matic will put that into his generator...

HAS ANN ROMNEY'S HORSE MADE YOUR HOUSE IMPOTENT?
WILL ANN ROMNEY'S HORSE GIVE THE MEMORY OF DIANA DIABETES?

etc.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:40 PM on August 2, 2012


Was referring more to Dana Bash from CNN saying she has a source that knows to whom Reid is referring to and yes, they would indeed have access to Romney's tax records from Bain.
posted by edgeways at 7:55 PM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why now? The GOP would have a chance of selecting another candidate (no idea who) at this point. Why not wait until later?

They would have to make some serious changes to the rules in order to force Romney out at the convention, which would consequently make a mockery of the whole primary process and really really really piss more people off then selecting a new candidate would be worth. The fight this would spawn would be history-book epic.

Basically, without Romney withdrawing they are stuck with Romney.

As to why now? It sets the narrative. This is still pre-convention time and if Romney can be effectively branded as ultra-rich, out of touch, tax dodging and secretive with a strong history of running away from his record and consistently changing his stances to fit the shifting political wind. Even before 90% of the country starts paying real attention then his hill to climb becomes so much harder.
posted by edgeways at 8:04 PM on August 2, 2012


Basically, without Romney withdrawing they are stuck with Romney.

Yeah, and he'd probably demand a cool couple of hundred million in Koch/Adelson dollars to do that which would actually be a pretty decent haul.

And the work of an evil genius. Bwahahaha...
posted by Skygazer at 8:29 PM on August 2, 2012


1. Why now? The GOP would have a chance of selecting another candidate (no idea who) at this point. Why not wait until later?

This isn't any kind of knock-out blow. Romney might still win, even as the humungously wealthy tax cheat the Obama campaign is painting him as. None of Romney's supporters will be dissuaded from voting for him. This is merely a nagging issue that will dog Romney throughout the campaign and make him unattractive to moderates, unless he can find some clever way to turn it around.
posted by chrchr at 8:40 PM on August 2, 2012


The polls are still very close. All Romney may need is some more bad economic news and a few tricks up his sleeve. Replacing him now would be admitting defeat totally unnecessarily.

Who would they replace him with? They may as well run Huntsman and show they have some sense left. Maybe they could push the ultra-right wing to start their own party.
posted by Golden Eternity at 8:40 PM on August 2, 2012


A vote against Romney is becoming a very satisfying thing for more and more people and if that turns into a big Dem turn out and enough independents who simply cannot stomach the man (and his disapproval ratings are pretty huge), that's all the Obama campaign needs...and they're already tooling away at how empty Romney's promise of jobs is by pointing out how lacking in specifics his economic plan is...

I simply would not underestimate the bottom of how much loathing and dislike, and annoyance Romney is capable of generating. His potential for being an arrogant grotesque snob and a spaz seems limitless.
posted by Skygazer at 8:48 PM on August 2, 2012


They may as well run Huntsman and show they have some sense left.

That's exactly what I'm nervous about and why I was hoping Reid might hold his fire. But I'm sure you and the others are right--Romney will stick it out come what may.

(Please to answer my question number 2, internets' people.)
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:59 PM on August 2, 2012


There's no way he would lie about the returns, if they were released. The chance of being exposed is way too high, and the blowback would be huge (even ignoring the legality of forging tax returns).

The best he can do is selectively release them, which is what he's already doing by omitting the foreign data from his 2010 returns.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:09 PM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


For just a moment, I thought that said "seductively release them", which... no. No, thank you.
posted by palomar at 10:26 PM on August 2, 2012


1. Why now? The GOP would have a chance of selecting another candidate (no idea who) at this point. Why not wait until later?

I think you're confusing technically possible on paper with something that might happen in the real world. There is simply no way for the GOP to replace Romney at this point. A modern presidential campaign is as much about building candidate infrastructure, including raising money, as it is about selling the candidate. You can't start doing that 100 days out. There is some overlap with national and local party infrastructures, but not though to replace the need for time in the ground. The GOP is stuck with Romney, and not for any abstract phikosophical reason, but simply because he's already been running for president, and no one else has.
posted by OmieWise at 12:32 AM on August 3, 2012


Reid Responds.
posted by ericb at 3:24 AM on August 3, 2012


OmieWise: "A modern presidential campaign is as much about building candidate infrastructure, including raising money, as it is about selling the candidate."

I dunno... I can imagine a scenario back in 2008 where if Obama were caught with "a live boy or a dead girl" as the saying goes, Obama volunteers and fundraisers would have had a tough time rallying behind Hillary or whoever else came along, and maybe if the current GOP situation were reversed (Perry, Santorum, Cain, Bachmann, etc. were the nominee and had to bow out due to some unforeseen disaster) it's likely that their volunteers would have a tough time getting behind Romney, but with things the way they are now, I don't see why whoever comes along next (Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, whoever) couldn't just inherit Romney's campaign apparatus and head into the home stretch as the new NotObama. How many of those volunteers are there just for Romney and not the GOP team? Romney's already the second or third choice of many prominent GOP fundraisers -- you think it'd be tough to convince them to support someone with more conservative bona fides?

This seems to be one of those things that's unthinkable until it's not. It really depends on the size of the fuckups, how the public responds to them, etc. And, of course, economic numbers from now until November.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:32 AM on August 3, 2012


I don't see why whoever comes along next (Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, whoever) couldn't just inherit Romney's campaign apparatus and head into the home stretch as the new NotObama. How many of those volunteers are there just for Romney and not the GOP team?

Well, for one thing, you seem to be confusing volunteers and the campaign apparatus. Romney owns his apparatus, and if the GOP were to dump him he'd have very little reason to donate that apparatus to the cause. This is his shot. For another, we are not talking about live boys here, we are talking about a campaign that just isn't doing well. The gaffes here are just that, gaffes, not gigantic errors that the GOP is likely to see disqualifying him. Keep in mind that many of the things that seem like huge errors to those outside the GOP faithful are actually perfectly fine to many members of the GOP. Finally, convincing someone else to run at this point would likely be quite difficult. They would start with a substantial disadvantage, and would very likely lose the race, and no one wants to be a failed presidential candidate.

I find the notion that Romney might get dumped kind of baffling, as so far he had been exactly what was promised. Sure, plenty of folks in the GOP don't like him particularly, but that dislike was already a known quality. Is there mainstream GOP talk about replacing him?
posted by OmieWise at 8:38 AM on August 3, 2012


Is there mainstream GOP talk about replacing him?

I'm pretty sure there is not. There was some talk about it during the primary even when it appeared that Romney was, yes indeed, going to pull it off this time. A few handful of, more of less, prominent Republicans where openly pining for a "dark horse" and some way of staging a coup at the convention, there was also a lot of blog-o-sphere chattering about the need to find a 'real' conservative to take over. But Romney made it crystal clear he was not going to drop out even if some people had serious reservations about him.

And so, at this point given that he has the required number of pledged delegates (or whatever it is that Republicans call them) that HAVE to vote for him at the convention the only path/s to him not being "The Candidate" is serious and catastrophic medical emergency, or being plausibly implicated in a violent or sexual crime (I guess in the sexual realm that would include crime-in-the-minds-of-conservatives-but-not-really-a-crime). Any financial crime would be dragged out and tamped down enough so while it may affect the general election it would be unlikely to affect the Convention.

Now, the rules committee for the RNC has still to meet and formalize "The Rulz" so technically all bound delegates could be thrown open to vote however they want to, but 1) that is NOT going to happen unless Romney starts hitting near 20% before the convention and even then it is highly unlikely. 2) The shitstorm that would ensure would be epic and 3) Lord help us, it would likely result in a Ron Paul nomination as his followers are the most organized and fanatical group that will be present
posted by edgeways at 9:00 AM on August 3, 2012


Yeah, that was the sense I had. I have this feeling that it's people who would never vote for Romney in the first place who are telling themselves a story about how awful he's doing and how his very candidacy is in trouble.
posted by OmieWise at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2012


Yeah, if Romney were dumped or withdrew at any point between now and the actual convention (which, to be clear, I find extremely unlikely), Ron Paul supporters would run roughshod over all competition. They're organized, they have not yet given up all hope, they know the rules, they've actually been planning on how they can best use the rules at the convention, and they have experience in using the rules to do things like put their delegates in place in states that other candidates have ostensibly won.

I mean, there have been multiple things this year like "Mitt Romney has won the primary of the great state of North Tacoma! Incidentally, this primary is completely meaningless as its results are used to choose exactly zero of North Tacoma's electors." Followed several months later by "Ron Paul was the only candidate whose campaign actively tried to get delegates in this weekend's North Tacoma Republican convention." It's weird in two ways - why are there these elections that do nothing? And why do campaigns not pay attention to the elections that actually do something?
posted by Flunkie at 9:16 AM on August 3, 2012


GOOGLE RON PAUL SUPPORTERS + CLINGING TO RELEVANCE.
posted by Artw at 9:19 AM on August 3, 2012


Tell me about it Flunkie, I live in MN and that is one of those states where the pop vote primary winner and the delegate winner where two completely different people (yeah Paul won the delegates), looking at the maps here looks like 5 states and 1 territory flipped their results from pop vote to Delegate count. Paul got three of them (but lost 1 as well)
posted by edgeways at 9:36 AM on August 3, 2012


...how awful he's doing and how his very candidacy is in trouble.

I don't think he is doing particularly good (or good at all), at least partially evidenced that we are in a very weak economy and he still (to-date) can't piece together a cohesive attack strategy, is prone to making unforced errors, is not personable, and is increasingly being painted as secretive. Hell, if you want to know Romney's weaknesses all you have to do is look at what they are saying about Obama and you have it in a nutshell. They are trying to game the system by painting both sides as being equally morally corrupt on the issues Romney fails most dramatically at... (Rove had a tweet the other day right after the idiotic Mitten's overseas tour, swear to god, that said, paraphrase, "why is Obama more prone to gaffes this time?"

Anyways, I do think he is doing pretty poorly. But I don't think his candidacy is in any sort of trouble. And all thoughts about being intentionally horrible for doh whistle purposes is quickly flying out the window. In the past 4 or 5 weeks I can think of perhaps 4 days when they where efficiently on the offensive, everything else seems be be deflection deflection deflection.

If it continues this way, and I hope it does (come on Pawlenty pick), it won't be worth staying up late in November. Things can definably change though.
posted by edgeways at 9:51 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyways, I do think he is doing pretty poorly. But I don't think his candidacy is in any sort of trouble.

Yeah, I basically agree with everything you've said. The key for me is that there's a big big difference between having a poor campaign and having a campaign bad enough that the national party would make some kind of move to dump you, virtually assuring that they would not win. I mean, if you're not going to win in November, there are all kind of reasons for folks in the GOP to want Romney to take the fall. (Which is not to say that he can't win. There is a lot that could go wrong for BO between now and then.)
posted by OmieWise at 10:21 AM on August 3, 2012


there are all kind of reasons for folks in the GOP to want Romney to take the fall.

The implication in that is pretty much why I was hoping Santorum would have gotten the nom (and lost the GE). As it stands when (if) Romney loses it'll be chalked up by the party faithful as another "well he wasn't conservative enough" (a la McCain) rather than being a poor campaigner, or the myriad of other actual reasons. And so next cycle we will continue to get candidates like Santorum and others pushing the party even more to the right in the magic quest to become holy enough to convince the godless heathen American voters to vote for them.

It would have been a dance with the devil, but at some point we are going to have to face (and beat) a real christian(or analogous) right winger. Bush II was a boozy playboy who made the right mouth motions but didn't deliver a heck of a lot in the social conservative side. McCain was an angry loose canon who REALLY wasn't Christian enough and now there is Romney who whatever the faults and merits of Mormonism may be, is not a mainstream Christian and has a broad history of contradicting himself on all sorts of social conservative issues.

At some point a nail has to be driven in the over-zealousness embrace of political social conservatism, which is rooted in conservative Christianity. I think a Santorum nomination would have been an ideal set up for that. To be sure it will never completely go away, but it can be curtailed somewhat.
posted by edgeways at 11:05 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I apologize I am writing too much, one last thing for the day/weekend and I'll desist.

Another prime example of how the Romney campaign is sorta inept is they have now spent multiple days fighting directly with Harry Reid over the tax issue. Not Obama, not talking to the American people about how issue xyz is important, but feuding with someone who isn't even up for election, let alone who you are running against.

I've no idea if Reid is acting directly on behalf of Obama, part of me hopes he is and the Obama campaign is savvy enough to get Romney so distracted, and part of me hopes he is not and that Romney is just that innately distractable.

Everyday counts now, it is just about 100 days until the election and Romney is starting to waste time. Everyday now that he is behind and is fighting with someone else is 1% closer to losing.
posted by edgeways at 12:08 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree with that completely. Getting ino a scrap with Reid, regardless of who is right, is classic punching-down. He should only acknowledge Obama as an opponent.
posted by gerryblog at 12:14 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I apologize I am writing too much

Not in my opinion. Do carry on!
posted by NailsTheCat at 12:20 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


OmieWise: "Is there mainstream GOP talk about replacing him?"

No, and I didn't mean to suggest that I see it as a likely outcome. I'm just saying that this is the first time I can remember where I can see the makings of the "perfect storm" scenario that it would take for either the establishment to throw a Hail Mary pass or the inmates to take control of the asylum.

If Romney were just a gaffe-prone candidate with a history of heterodoxy on many of the most important issues to GOP voters and a long list of items in his bio that undercut his main line of attack against his opponent, I'd consider it an impossibility, but I have to at least upgrade it to a "longshot" at this point. John McCain had many of those qualities, but he was also adored by the media (and still is) whereas Romney's "we'll tell you what we want to tell you when we want to tell you" relationship with reporters is starting to take its toll, as evidenced by the "kiss my ass" moment of reporters screaming out questions after only getting to ask three of them on a week-long trip.

The media doesn't exactly love Obama, but at least he makes himself and his campaign people available for Q&As, and gives them something to write stories about. Some of those stories will be negative, but Romney's not giving them anything. The press abhors a vacuum, and it's easier to fill that vacuum with rumors about Romney's taxes than it is to figure out whether he's telling the truth with his tax policy or not.

I just don't see how he can hide from this until Election Day. Normally, I'd agree with the sentiment that the power brokers would rather just watch Romney walk into near certain death and hope for a massive economic calamity or some other October surprise. Worst case scenario, he loses and they regroup for 2016. But the ideologues in the party made it clear that their most important goal was making Obama a one-term president, and I don't think that was a head-fake. Remember that more of the healthcare law will phase in over the next few years, creating more of a constituency for it. How do they win in 2016 if they spent six straight years railing against something that it turns out people sort of like?

Again, I'm pretty sure Romney is going to be the GOP nominee, and I think he has a better shot at winning than current electoral projections show. But I can certainly imagine the party elders and big money guys going on tilt and trying something different just to avoid four more years of Obama.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:24 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney will pull out and be replaced by Chris Christie.
posted by humanfont at 1:56 PM on August 3, 2012


I would be astonished beyond all belief if that were to happen.
posted by Sticherbeast at 2:02 PM on August 3, 2012


Heh. For a piece of anecdata about the fallout of Obama's "you didn't build that" comment, this just happened in my office:
Dramatis Personae
EC: Economically conservative, doesn't care much about social issues, stock market investor and landlord of several properties in town
BO: Business owner, economically conservative, self-proclaimed social progressive

EC: *storming into the room, literally yelling* IF YOU GOT A BUSINESS, YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT. YOU GOT A BUSINESS? DIDN'T BUILD THAT.
BO: Dude, what the fuck?
Me: He's talking about Obama.
EC: YOUR BUSINESS? DIDN'T BUILD THAT. Fucker.
BO: Was there more context to that?
EC: Oh, you go listen to the context. That IS the context.
Me: Obama is saying that the roads and infrastructure that businesses are built on were paid for by tax dollars.
BO: ...wow, that's pretty abstract.
Me: *thinking* Uh, no, that's literally the point of taxes.
EC: WHAT CAME FIRST? GOVERNMENT? OR BUSINESS?
BO: If we're gonna discuss this, don't get mad.
EC: I'M NOT MAD.
I didn't step in, because it's Friday afternoon and you can't argue with people who aren't interested in fair and balanced. Plus, it's well known in the office that I'm more left than all of them combined, and I didn't want to stir the pot further. This incident is totally bizarre, though, since I've had civil conversations with EC before about Obama's tax policies and the ACA and I felt like there was a reasonable exchange of ideas. Those ads must be working.
posted by Phire at 2:19 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always wondered what it would be like if Eric Clapton argued with Barack Obama. That's about how I imagined it.
posted by The World Famous at 2:28 PM on August 3, 2012 [2 favorites]


So you'd have God arguing with the Messiah?
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:32 PM on August 3, 2012


Romney’s Faith, Silent but Deep.
posted by ericb at 4:47 PM on August 3, 2012


Where is Mitt Romney's faith?
posted by ericb at 4:49 PM on August 3, 2012


2007 Video Clip: Mitt Romney Talks about Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
posted by ericb at 4:51 PM on August 3, 2012


Romney As A Mormon Bishop: What Was He Like?
posted by ericb at 4:52 PM on August 3, 2012


What's with the serial link posts?
posted by The World Famous at 4:54 PM on August 3, 2012


"Romney, as bishop, discouraged her from having an abortion even though her health was at stake."

Romney chastised woman for getting life-saving abortion
posted by homunculus at 5:59 PM on August 3, 2012


ericb, I really like it when you provide us with links to outside material pertaining to the post, but this post is supposedly about Romney's issues with Bain and taxes. You seem to want to make it about his religion. Myself, I don't find it useful.

/Sorry if I sound like I'm appointing myself a mod.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:01 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where the Money Lives
"For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate."
posted by ericb at 6:09 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Plan Like Romney’s Would Tax Rich Less.
posted by ericb at 6:10 PM on August 3, 2012


Yup, Romney’s plan would raise taxes on middle class

"If there’s nothing damaging in his returns, Romney could now, in one stroke, annihilate Harry Reid’s reputation in Washington. So why hasn’t he released them?"
posted by homunculus at 6:25 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


I concur benito.strauss. The constant attempts to make this about Mormonism are creepy.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 6:38 PM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rafalca: Can’t a horse prance in peace? Memo to those making hay out of my human employers: Hay is for horses, and we all do what we need to do

That was the most eloquent statement from a horse I've read since the Enumclaw Horse's letter of apology.
posted by homunculus at 8:29 PM on August 3, 2012


Romney’s culture remark offers peek at worldview.
posted by ericb at 8:44 PM on August 3, 2012


Mitt Romney flunks his foreign-policy tryout.
posted by ericb at 8:46 PM on August 3, 2012


"Mitt Romney has discovered something shocking about himself: He used to be a governor." After only mentioning his record as governor in one of the 25 he gave over the two months before his overseas trip, Romney is now basing his campaign on his gubernatorial record. Somehow this seems like less of a strategy and more like a panicked response to the Obama campaign's discrediting his credentials as a businessman.

(The latest CBS/New York Times poll has 48-51% of voters in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania saying Romney's business experience was too focused on profits; only 41-42% said his experience was right for fixing the national economy.)
posted by kirkaracha at 10:17 PM on August 3, 2012


I read an amazing statistic (on Talking Points Memo, I think) that 27% of CONSERVATIVES were picking Obama over Romney. Now I can't find it. Can anyone verify or dispute? Cause if that's true, game over.
posted by msalt at 10:38 PM on August 3, 2012


Oh this is great. Apparently Mittens demanded Ted Kennedy's tax returns and made a big deal out of John Kerry's wife's tax returns, though of course keeping whether-or-not he pays taxes a secret is entirely reasonable.
posted by Artw at 5:56 AM on August 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Apparently Mittens demanded Ted Kennedy's tax returns..

I hope video evidence of this can be uncovered. I'd like to see it coupled with "we've given you people all you need" (or whatever Anne's phrasing was).
posted by NailsTheCat at 7:34 AM on August 4, 2012


oh...oh it does: Watch through these clips from Rachel Maddow
posted by edgeways at 7:51 AM on August 4, 2012


No, but you see, it's not hypocritical at all. Romney was adamant then, and is adamant now, that other people should release their tax returns. However, Romney's position on his own tax returns has always been that they should remain secret.

See? No contradiction whatsoever.

Thus it is demonstrated that QED.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:57 AM on August 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Democrats On Romney Torchgate: 'We're Gonna Find This Torch'.
posted by ericb at 8:48 AM on August 4, 2012


"It's hard to say which is more insulting to Americans' intelligence, Mitt Romney's tax plan or his refusal to show the American people what's in his tax returns," [Harry] Reid said in a statement. "Romney seems to think he's above the basic level of transparency and openness that every presidential candidate has lived up to since his father set the standard in 1968."

"In short, Romney's message to Nevadans is this: He won't release his taxes, but he wants to raise yours."

Reid signaled Friday that he's not relenting in his attacks. He accused Romney of being "the most secretive presidential candidate since Richard Nixon" and pointed out that even nominees overseen by the Senate Finance Committee have to produce more tax returns that Romney is willing to release.

"Forget about president -- Mitt Romney couldn't get confirmed as a cabinet secretary," Reid said. "The contents of the one year of returns he has released would probably be enough to tank his nomination anyway: secret overseas bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, tax avoidance tricks and a lower tax rate than middle-class families pay."
posted by ericb at 8:52 AM on August 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm biased so it's hard for me to judge how effective the Bain and the tax return attacks are. To me they seem like fairly serious vulnerabilities that the Obama campaign can keep hammering away at for the next three months. The Obama people seem to have mapped the attacks out in advance which isn't too surprising since his Romney's previous opponents have used the same attacks. So why doesn't Romney have a plan to defend against attacks that he must have known were coming?

BTW, the Harry Reid accusations are a thing of beauty. As long as Romney won't release his returns Reid can say anything he likes.
posted by rdr at 8:55 AM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some Republicans believe that Romney's refusal to release more of his tax returns will hurt his chances for the presidency.

"I don't think this will go away," Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) said. "And if we're still talking about this in September, he's in deep trouble.". *
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on August 4, 2012


Harry Reid Romney Tax Tipster 'Is A Credible Person,' New Source Tells CNN (w/ video).
posted by ericb at 9:04 AM on August 4, 2012


Harry Reid just isn't letting go on this is he? The points he's making against Romney are just devastating...

It's strange because Reid is usually so even tempered as to seem milquetoast. But he's just throwing out relentless fire here, it's excellent to see.

And I wonder what the deal is, and if it might have something to do with the fact their both Mormon. I know if I was Mormon, I'd really hate to think Romney had become the public's idea of what Mormon's were like...

At any rate, hoooray for Harry.
posted by Skygazer at 9:59 AM on August 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


And I wonder what the deal is, and if it might have something to do with the fact their both Mormon.

It may just be that because he's Mormon, he's immune to the counter-claim that he's attacking just because he doesn't like Mormons. Makes him a better voice than Joe Random Ranking Democrat.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:06 AM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great point, restless_nomad.

I wonder what else the Obama campaign and the Democrats have 'waiting in the wings' for September and October.
posted by ericb at 10:36 AM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Voight Kampff test.
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on August 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Evidently the Bloomberg news website is blocked in China right now and has been for the last month. This is retribution by the government because Bloomberg wrote a story about the family of Xi Jinping, the man who will succeed Hu Jintao as President, in which they added up all of the assets owned by his relatives as documented in public records.
posted by XMLicious at 12:02 PM on August 4, 2012


It's strange because Reid is usually so even tempered as to seem milquetoast. But he's just throwing out relentless fire here, it's excellent to see.

And I wonder what the deal is


Some people are starting to wonder if he's just fucking around:
This is all pretty weird. In one sense, I suppose Reid isn't really risking much. He's not up for reelection, after all, and it would be pretty hard for anyone to prove that he's lying. And even if he is, so what? Is Mitch McConnell going to start obstructing Senate business even more? How could he?

Still, Reid isn't leaving himself any breathing room at all on this, and if he gets caught out it would still be pretty damn embarrassing. He's taking one for the team in a way that I'm not sure I've ever seen from someone in a leadership position. Is it because he's 72 and doesn't care anymore? Because of some longstanding intra-Mormon feud? Because he's just fed up with Republicans? I dunno.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:21 PM on August 4, 2012


it would be pretty hard for anyone to prove that he's lying. And even if he is, so what? / if he gets caught out it would still be pretty damn embarrassing.

"Embarrassing" is pretty small potatoes when you have years and years until you are up for election. I don't think Reid is using all that much political capitol here. Considering how low Congressional approval rating are Reid may come out looking good no matter what the outcome is. I don't think he is really taking one for the team per se (and I wish he'd act this way more often).
posted by edgeways at 12:31 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Bad July for Romney, Princeton Election Consortium, August 1st, 2012
[Graphs showing a surge in Obama's lead after the Bain argument began] The discrepancy between this and national polls is likely to stem from a combination of (a) biases in national polls and (b) real, focused change in key states such as Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Whatever the campaigns are doing there is working to Obama’s advantage.


A Real Prediction for November, Princeton Election Consortium, August 3rd, 2012
One can also derive a win probability. An average Meta-margin of +3.0% with an SD of 2.2% gives a lead of 3.0/2.2 = 1.36 sigma. Plugged into the Gaussian distribution function (MATLAB: normcdf(1.36,0,1)) this gives a 91% win probability for Obama of 91%, or as I said the other day, 10-1 odds.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:36 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's strange because Reid is usually so even tempered as to seem milquetoast. But he's just throwing out relentless fire here, it's excellent to see.

There is a reason Reid leads the Democrats in the Senate other than seniority. He's very cunning and is not at all above fully exploiting an opening when he sees it and is positive about the outcome, and when he does he's relentless. Since he only does this when he sees a very clear advantage, it's almost always a very effective move politically.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:30 PM on August 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Harry Reid is just reading from the 'Lee Atwater & Karl Rove Playbook.'
posted by ericb at 2:30 PM on August 4, 2012


I agree Krinklyfig, Reid is nothing, if not the embodiment of careful and cautious and thought out.

Folks like that don't "take one for the team." They wait for their moment and they let the pieces on the board work out the pattern of movements they've already worked out in their heads.

And that's why he sounds like he's almost enjoying this. He's nailed Romney.
posted by Skygazer at 2:35 PM on August 4, 2012


... it would be pretty hard for anyone to prove that he's lying.

There's one way, for sure.

Hey Flip Romney: "Put up, or shut up, indeed."

Follow your Daddy's example. After all he was the one started the tradition of having Presidental candidates release multiple years worth of tax returns. Why won't you do the same? Why not honor thy father?
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on August 4, 2012


MarketWatch/Wall Street Journal: Romney tax returns will dog his campaign. Stonewalling only makes it worse.
posted by ericb at 2:43 PM on August 4, 2012


*the one who started*
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on August 4, 2012


I ♥ Harry Reid. A truly admirable American public servant.
posted by ericb at 2:49 PM on August 4, 2012


"Oh this is great. Apparently Mittens demanded Ted Kennedy's tax returns and made a big deal out of John Kerry's wife's tax returns, though of course keeping whether-or-not he pays taxes a secret is entirely reasonable"

I've gotten a bit tangled up in the all the clips and quotes from Rachel Maddow so I'm not sure if this is from the same piece artw is quoting:
Fast forward to 2002, when Romney was running for governor—and singing a different tune. During a gubernatorial debate, a reporter pointed out that all the Democratic candidates in the race—including his eventual opponent Shannon O'Brien—had released their tax returns. The reporter asked Romney if he had something to hide.
Romney replied:

Senator Kennedy, when I was running against him I said, ‘Boy, you gotta release those income tax returns,’ and he said, ‘No, I value my privacy.' And I think he was right and I was wrong. As a result I do share his view on this. I’m not going to release my income tax returns. And, Shannon O’Brien’s husband, with whom I assume they share expenses, likewise hasn’t released his income taxes.
“He’s not releasing his tax returns," Maddow summarized. "He was wrong to ever demand that his opponent Senator Kennedy should release his tax returns. But now that his new opponent Shannon O’Brien released her tax returns, well now how come we’re not seeing her husband’s too? It was a weird spot for Mr. Romney to be caught in.”
posted by Room 641-A at 2:58 PM on August 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


krinklyfig: "There is a reason Reid leads the Democrats in the Senate other than seniority. He's very cunning and is not at all above fully exploiting an opening when he sees it and is positive about the outcome, and when he does he's relentless. Since he only does this when he sees a very clear advantage, it's almost always a very effective move politically"

Agreed.

If Romney did indeed pay taxes, the GOP could do a lot of damage to Reid and the Dems by releasing the returns. To me, this says either what Reid said is true, or that Romney may have paid taxes but the other information that would come out is so damaging it would take Romney down along with Reid.
posted by Room 641-A at 3:14 PM on August 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just a note: Reid specifically said that he had heard that Romney had paid no federal income tax. Romney has been careful to say only that he has paid "taxes," which covers a lot of other stuff. For instance, he's undoubtedly he's paid quite a bit in property taxes and probably state (and municipal, if applicable) taxes as well. It's generic enough to placate and/or confuse a lot of voters, at least for a while. But both of these guys are using their words very carefully. It's all in the hands of public opinion for now, but it may get interesting soon.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:16 PM on August 4, 2012


Harry's Game
Harry Reid is the honey badger; he doesn’t give a shit. He has the advantages of being the Senate Majority Leader which comes with a bully pulpit that can’t be ignored, he’s not some bomb-throwing back bencher, and he is a fellow Mormon who, like Jon Huntsman, seems to harbor a white-hot hatred of all things Mitt. Reid is most likely serving his last term in the senate and he’s is plainly tired of fucking around with Republicans and fully intends to bury their standard bearer which can have down ticket implications if depressed Republicans decide to stay home on election day because their top of the ticket prospects look like they are deader than Bob Dole’s dick.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:31 PM on August 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Harry "honey badger" Reid.

Hope he keep sit up, wish he was like this when the D's had the majority. But, it's not a bad time to go all honey badger on Mittens' ass.
posted by edgeways at 9:36 PM on August 4, 2012


Harry Reid just isn't letting go on this is he? ...And I wonder what the deal is

He's president of the Senate unless Republicans take over the Senate, which is a very real possibility -- especially if Romney wins in November. Romney getting crushed on the other hand might buy him 1-2 seats of insurance.

Even if he hated Obama, this is smart for him just out of self-interest.

posted by msalt at 1:42 AM on August 5, 2012


msalt: "He's president of the Senate"

Reid is Senate Majority Leader, which is de facto the leader of the Senate. The VP actually holds the office of "President of the Senate", a role that's there mostly to induct new Senators and break ties.

/pedant
posted by mkultra at 8:03 AM on August 5, 2012


Reince Priebus: Harry Reid Is A 'Dirty Liar'

Yeah, he just turned Harry Reid into Dirty Harry, and the next headline, really, really, really needs to be:

Dirty Harry to Mitt Romney: Make my day, punk.


This just gets better and better.
posted by Skygazer at 10:17 AM on August 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


edgeways: "Harry "honey badger" Reid.

Hope he keep sit up, wish he was like this when the D's had the majority. But, it's not a bad time to go all honey badger on Mittens' ass.
"

Yeah, it's actually been funny to watch. Reid hasn't exactly been known as the boldest Democratic majority leader in history, so to see him basically losing his shit (by his adorably mild-mannered standards) in recent months has been something to behold. I think several years of GOP obstruction (including unprecedented use of the filibuster to block nominees and legislation) has finally gotten to him, and he's got very little to lose by launching attacks on Romney, so he's just going for it. I don't know if he's freelancing or if he's been given marching orders from Obama HQ, but it's fun to see either way.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:18 AM on August 5, 2012


Lindsey Graham: Harry Reid Is 'Lying' About Romney Not Paying Taxes.
posted by ericb at 10:34 AM on August 5, 2012


That seems like a strange tactic. It reads like just a harsher denial, and Reid doesn't even need to change his approach. He can basically just republish his first rebuttal:

As I said before, I was told by an extremely credible source that Romney has not paid taxes for ten years. [...]It’s clear Romney is hiding something, and the American people deserve to know what it is. Whatever Romney’s hiding probably speaks volumes about how he would approach issues that directly impact middle-class families, like tax reform and the economy. When you are running for president, you should be an open book.
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 11:56 AM on August 5, 2012


Mitt Romney confirms he would end US wind power subsidies

Just go ahead and burn down the world for profit, Mittens.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:04 AM on August 6, 2012


I am wary of leaning too heavily on this Reid Romney-Paid-No-Taxes thing because if it turns out he did, and he releases the records, the bare fact of paying taxes will suddenly be counted as a win for Romney.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:59 AM on August 6, 2012


Maybe the whole thing is an object lesson by the most powerful Mormon is U.S. politics to show people just how easy it is for reasonable, intelligent people to be drawn in by, willingly accept, and defend allegations that are clearly and obviously unreliable and, by all indications, fraudulent.
posted by The World Famous at 8:34 AM on August 6, 2012


By what indications?
posted by Artw at 9:00 AM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


By what indications?

All of them. Particularly the fact that the sort of person alleged to be the at least tertiary source of the information (i.e. a Bain investor) could not conceivably be in a position to actually know the alleged information firsthand, and there's not even an allegation of how that person came to know the unsubstantiated alleged information.

But you're right, Artw. In order to satisfy the elements of common law fraud, we'd have to assume that Reid is smart enough to know that his allegations are obviously false (specifically, the allegation that someone's position as an investor in Bain makes them extremely reliable as to Mitt Romney's personal financial information). Maybe he's not that smart. Fortunately, everyone on MetaFilter is at least smart enough to know that CEOs of investment firms don't just open up their personal tax records to their clients as a matter of course, right?

None of this, obviously, goes to the question of whether or not Romney paid federal income tax. I think he probably didn't - or probably paid very little. No, it just goes to how gullible we all are when we really, really want something to be true.
posted by The World Famous at 9:10 AM on August 6, 2012


I am wary of leaning too heavily on this Reid Romney-Paid-No-Taxes thing because if it turns out he did, and he releases the records, the bare fact of paying taxes will suddenly be counted as a win for Romney.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:59 AM on August 6 [+] [!]


For one news cycle, maybe, but a Mitt-Romney-paid-less-than-5%-in-taxes ad series would be devastating long after most voters had gone ack to forgetting wh Harry Reid is.

Mitt Romney confirms he would end US wind power subsidies

After the last few big wind spills, we've got to do something.
posted by gerryblog at 9:14 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


None of this, obviously, goes to the question of whether or not Romney paid federal income tax. I think he probably didn't - or probably paid very little. No, it just goes to how gullible we all are when we really, really want something to be true.

So you really, really want Reid to be lying?
posted by Artw at 9:18 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Romney himself is commonly described as an investor in Bain Capital. Until Reid names his source, if his source exists, we have no idea if it's credible or not.

I thought Reid was just straight bullshitting but the fact that he said it twice, and so definitively, does make me wonder if he actually has something (or if he has an endgame if he doesn't).
posted by gerryblog at 9:18 AM on August 6, 2012


Well one thing is for Harry is going to keep giving 'em Hell.
posted by jeffen at 9:20 AM on August 6, 2012


So you really, really want Reid to be lying?

How do you get that from me saying "we really, really want something to be true?" In case I wasn't clear, "we" includes me.

Until Reid names his source, if his source exists, we have no idea if it's credible or not.

But, until he names his source, we know exactly how credible Reid is.
posted by The World Famous at 9:21 AM on August 6, 2012


I can think a lot of reasons why he wouldn't want to name his source or his source wouldn't want to be named.

For Romney not revealing his taxes I can think of only one.
posted by Artw at 9:26 AM on August 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


But, until he names his source, we know exactly how credible Reid is.

Eh. The Dana Bash story was confusingly relayed but it sounded like she maybe knew who it was. If there's a real name he should tell some reporter he trusts to keep their mouth shut, and if there's not he should stop lying.
posted by gerryblog at 9:27 AM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


For Romney not revealing his taxes I can think of only one.

Really? I can think of several. Which one is the only one you can think of? That it would undermine the Republican party's entire tax policy platform (the most obvious one), or something else? Are you really that unimaginative?
posted by The World Famous at 9:29 AM on August 6, 2012


Also there seems to be an implication here that if Reid is not lying but also can't reveal his source keeping silent on this would be the moral thing to do - maybe that makes sense in rich people club but for the rest of the world that's bullshit.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on August 6, 2012


Also there seems to be an implication here that if Reid is not lying but also can't reveal his source keeping silent on this would be the moral thing to do - maybe that makes sense in rich people club but for the rest of the world that's bullshit.

It doesn't matter if he's lying. Even if what he's saying is 100%, it's still double or triple hearsay without any indication of what the primary or even secondary sources are.

Also, it doesn't matter who the source is unless we also know how that source came to know the information. It could be the most trustworthy, reliable insider in the world, but if the way they know Romney paid no tax is that Romney told them so one time in a meeting where Romney was trying to get them to invest with Bain, that's not exactly reliable, now, is it?
posted by The World Famous at 9:31 AM on August 6, 2012


blast - it should read "Even if what he's saying is 100% true . . ."
posted by The World Famous at 9:32 AM on August 6, 2012


It doesn't matter if he's lying. Even if what he's saying is 100%, it's still double or triple hearsay without any indication of what the primary or even secondary sources are.

That's not "fraud", you know.

And I fail to see why Reid would be under obligation not to mention it.
posted by Artw at 9:34 AM on August 6, 2012


Also, it doesn't matter who the source is unless we also know how that source came to know the information. It could be the most trustworthy, reliable insider in the world, but if the way they know Romney paid no tax is that Romney told them so one time in a meeting where Romney was trying to get them to invest with Bain, that's not exactly reliable, now, is it?

It could be. "He said we don't pay income taxes here, and here's how we do it, and afterwards I took his advice and didn't pay any tax either."
posted by gerryblog at 9:34 AM on August 6, 2012


Yeah, I would guess that the fuckers brag about it to each other.
posted by Artw at 9:35 AM on August 6, 2012


Would you guess that they always tell the truth when they brag?
posted by The World Famous at 9:37 AM on August 6, 2012


... if the way they know Romney paid no tax is that Romney told them so one time in a meeting where Romney was trying to get them to invest with Bain, that's not exactly reliable, now, is it?

I agree. I don't see how we can trust anything Romney says.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:51 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Indeed. If he ever does release his returns, you can be sure he'll be accused here and elsewhere of falsifying them (as has been hinted at above already).
posted by The World Famous at 10:14 AM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney told them so one time in a meeting where Romney was trying to get them to invest with Bain, that's not exactly reliable, now, is it?

I would hope that claims he makes to potential investors, in an attempt to induce them to invest, are absolutely scrupulously honest. Because {lying to someone to get them to do something to your benefit that they would not do if they knew the truth} is fraudulent, whether or not it rises to the level of civilly or criminally actionable fraud.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:03 AM on August 6, 2012


I would hope a lot of things about a Presidential candidate.
posted by The World Famous at 11:17 AM on August 6, 2012


TWF, you're doing an amazing job of saying but not saying, defending but not defending, and responding to rhetorical tics rather than the main point of people's comments. I'm honestly impressed.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:29 AM on August 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not defending anyone. Romney should release his returns, which I'm sure contain all sorts of nasty stuff that will hurt him and his party. I have no intention of voting for Romney and I think he's a liar. What's driving me up a wall is how willing people here are to pretend Reid's allegations are credible just because they like the allegations.
posted by The World Famous at 11:35 AM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


RNC Chair: 'I'll Triple Down' On Reid 'Dirty Liar' Charge.
posted by ericb at 11:46 AM on August 6, 2012


Nancy Pelosi: 'It Is A Fact' That Somebody Told Harry Reid About Romney Not Paying Taxes.
posted by ericb at 11:48 AM on August 6, 2012


Romney Persona Non Grata In Italy For Bain’s Deal Skirting Taxes.
posted by ericb at 11:50 AM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney: 2002 Winter Olympic Games Were Made Possible By 'Enormous' Federal Spending.
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on August 6, 2012


Romneys, Caught In Housing Bust, Got Tax Cut In La Jolla -- "Reassessment of their $12-million home, one of many reductions in San Diego County, has saved $109,000 over four years."
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on August 6, 2012


I'm glad Nancy Pelosi can confirm that Reid did, in fact, hear someone make an allegation.

Wait, can she actually confirm it?

"She went on to say that Priebus doesn't know what he's talking about since he wasn't part of Reid's conversations."

Ah. So, if she wasn't part of Reid's conversations, she doesn't know what she's talking about, either. Wait, does that mean she's the Bain investor source? Or that she doesn't know what she's talking about?
posted by The World Famous at 11:52 AM on August 6, 2012


Mitt Romney Not Adored In France.
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on August 6, 2012


Stephen Colbert's Dressage Training -- Part 1, Part 2.
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on August 6, 2012


TWF, you sound like an unfrozen caveman who just woke up and discovered that politicians often pass on unsubstantiated rumors to advance their agenda. Democrats don't have nearly the history of playing dirty to win elections that Republicans do, but you had to figure they'd tire of always losing the game with one hand tied behind their backs. I'm not saying it's something to be celebrated, but at some point you get sick of the bully taking your lunch money and you decide to kick him in the nuts before he pulls a knife on you.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:03 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


TWF, you sound like an unfrozen caveman who just woke up and discovered that politicians often pass on unsubstantiated rumors to advance their agenda.

Huh. Sorry about that. I feel more like an unfrozen MeFite who just woke up and discovered that people on MetaFilter can be just as ridiculous and credulous as anyone else when it's people on their political "team" slinging the mud.

Democrats don't have nearly the history of playing dirty to win elections that Republicans do

Nah. Give 'em more credit than that. Come on, now.
posted by The World Famous at 12:06 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The World Famous: " Huh. Sorry about that. I feel more like an unfrozen MeFite who just woke up and discovered that people on MetaFilter can be just as ridiculous and credulous as anyone else when it's people on their political "team" slinging the mud."

There will always be someone slinging the mud. Unilateral disarmament is for suckers. Absent a summit where the Democratic and Republican head honchos swear off dirty campaign tricks, I'm going to settle for winning a little dirty. There are no heroes in this story.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:28 PM on August 6, 2012


TWF, I honestly don't see a lot of people here buying Reid's claim wholesale. There's a lot of discussion about how plausible it is on its face, and the political ramifications for Romney if it's true, and of Reid's motivations and the risks to him if he's proven wrong.

I'll admit that there are some people expressing admiration for Reid's savvy, which would probably turn to disgust if a Republican were to use the same strategy. That's definitely a double standard, and I don't object to you calling it out. But that's not the same as MeFites collectively taking