WASHINGTON – To give you an idea of just how freaked team Obama is about Pres. Clinton’s “this is good work” comments complimenting Mitt Romney on his Bain tenure, instead of letting the whole thing pass, they felt they had to prove Clinton wasn’t actually endorsing Mitt Romney. Talk about awkward. Mitt’s thrilled.
“I think Bain Capital has a good and solid record,” Romney said in a CNBC interview. “I was happy to see President Clinton made a similar statement today and called my record superb.” [Romney smiles at Clinton compliment, CNN]
I’ve been waiting for this stiletto to drop.
“The man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.” – Pres. Bill Clinton on CNN
The Clintonites complimentary corporate wing of the Democratic Party melded well with the Obamam’s Goldman Sachs section. But since team Obama started pummeling Mitt Romney on his Bain Capital record, the continued sound bites that started with Obama’s own car czar Steve Rattner, followed by Cory Booker, Harold Ford, then Lanny Davis, have challenged the strategy openly and very directly.
Now the economic gold seal of approval from William Jefferson Clinton has solidified the Wall Street wing against what was always an opportunistic political move by the Obamans to blow away Mitt Romney’s main case for his presidency. It’s not like Democrats don’t have a mirror wing to Romney’s private equity GOP wing. What I wrote back in January:
The caterwauling over Mitt Romney tapping the core of American capitalism for his own benefit is rooted in partisanship and doesn’t address the wider reality, which is that there are hundreds of Mitt Romneys in this country, many of whom got the Bush tax cut extensions, which Pres. Obama gladly gave and never really mounted a nationwide fight against. [...] Using Steve Rattner’s defense of Mr. Romney and Bain Capital as an example, what are Democratic venture capitalists and heads of holding companies and investment bankers supposed to do in the shadow of this damning video that reveals the sausage making that is our economic system? As Rattner reveals, Democrats in his class can feel his pain and you can bet they’re just glad it’s Romney and not them. That Obama reelect will trumpet the video and all of its parts in the general election season, freaking out their own Democratic version of the Mitt Romney class, is wrought with irony.
Democratic feelings about private equity are now out in the open, that is if people hadn’t gotten the message from the people inside Obama’s economic team already. Now that the economic grand poobah of Democratic politics has set it in cement, it sinks any prospect of Bain being determinative against Mitt Romney in November.
When you consider what’s unraveling in Syria, as well as the euro, with Greece’s exit possible, outside events are proving volatility may turn prognosticators into dart throwers.
Another problem for Pres. Obama is that up against former Pres. Bill Clinton’s economic chops, which are seen as a gold standard, Obama can compete when looking at saving the U.S. auto industry, but he hasn’t come close to the jobs record, which was driven home on Friday.
So far, this isn’t the slick Obama campaign of 2008. Assumptions were made on their anti-Bain roll out that blew up in their face. These people may believe the facts and odds are with them to win in November, which they are, but they’re flailing on execution so far and that’s not smart. Romney may lose in the end, but he’s not going down pretty.
Taylor Marsh, a veteran political analyst and former Huffington Post contributor, is the author of The Hillary Effect, available at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon. Her new-media blog www.taylormarsh.com covers national politics, women and power.