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Posted by on Jan 9, 2012 in At TMV, Politics | 10 comments

This Should Be the End of Mitt Romney

But is it? Are most voters still tolerant of the greed machine?

Even the Wall Street Journal is probing the history of Bain Capital. While it persists in claiming Romney was an “excellent CEO” of Bain, it showcases the failures…

… A researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said the rate at which Bain’s target companies ran into trouble at some stage “seems large.”

He said it could be explained by the preponderance, among Bain investments, of small companies, which tend to fail at a higher rate.

Marc Wolpow, a former Bain Capital executive, said the frequency of trouble did indeed stem largely from the firm’s strategy early on of investing in smaller, troubled firms it hoped to turn around.

“I don’t think you can hold Mitt out as a great investor per se,” Mr. Wolpow said, “but he was an excellent CEO of an investment firm, and the results speak for themselves.” …WSJ

But they weren’t failures for Mitt Romney. He scooted off 15 years later with a nice little package of between $190 and $250 million.

Think Progress has these comments.

Adding insult to injury, Bain would hide its profits in tax havens, not even paying the rate it was supposed to on the profits it made laying off workers.

Romney has tried to spin his firm’s record of destruction as simply the way “free enterprise” works, claiming that Bain, overall, created 100,000 jobs. However, the campaign recently admitted that the 100,000 statistic is bogus, cherry-picked from a few successful ventures. One of Romney’s former partners at Bain has even said, “I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation…The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.” …Think Progress

Maybe that candid explanation on Romney’s part is attractive to some. And certainly if you’re an investor of any sort, you want your broker or “wealth manager” to make a profit. But, assuming you’re a decent person, you don’t want your profits to come at the expense of others or your country’s economy. Investment doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game in order for investors to take away some healthy profits.

If you were to “invest” your vote in Romney next November, what is the likelihood that scores of hard-working people — including you — would lose their companies, their jobs, their financial security? Pretty good, if zero-sum Romney’s track record is anything to go by.


Sheesh! The anti-Romney stuff is cropping up all over…

Mitt Romney, who’s under attack for his business record, said Monday that he likes to have the option of firing people.

“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me,” he told business executives from the Nashua Greater Chamber of Commerce, adding if he isn’t getting a “good service, I want to say, I’m going to get someone else.”

He made the observation while answering a question about what kind of healthcare system he would implement as president. The former governor of Massachusetts did not talk about that state’s system — and its individual mandate that infuriates conservatives — but outlined how he’d like to let people buy their own insurance instead of having to go through their companies.

That, he said, would give people the option of firing companies that didn’t meet their needs. …The Hill

Aha! Firing companies! Booting a dirty bank! Know what this smells of? Sound bites. For the rightwing libertarian Republicans we have “I like being able to fire people…” This appeals to people who think they’re “self-made” and did it the hard way and reserve the right to boot others off the gravy train.

The other sound bite is in reserve, waiting to be used on the disaffected left. “The option of firing companies.” Great! Maybe Mitt will boot Wall Street the way Obama didn’t!

But get into the specifics of firing and Romney runs for cover.

After his speech, he took questions from the crowd.

But he was interrupted by Julie Kushner, a member of the United Auto Workers, who tried to ask Romney about his comments that Obama should have let automakers go into bankruptcy instead of bailing them out.

Kushner wasn’t given a microphone — unlike the other questioners — which made it difficult to hear what she was saying.

She rambled a bit, prompting Romney to say: “Do you have a question?” and “Let’s get to the question, OK?”

Romney did start to explain why he supported the bankruptcy option, but when she tried to talk again, he said: “Excuse me, it’s my turn to talk and if you want to talk afterwards, we can talk.”

The audience started applauding and shouting their support for Romney, and organizers ended the event. Afterward, Kushner told reporters she didn’t get a chance to talk to the former governor. …The Hill

Thing is, given Santorum’s stark reception in New Hampshire, I think there’s a change even on the right with respect to Bush/Palin/Rove crap. A growing skepticism appears to extend to Romney and probably to the party leadership. The voter on the right may be several years ahead of the Republican party.

By the way, I’d like to fire Verizon. But how do you fire the only company that provides service in your area?


Matt Bai has some interesting tips on bringing Romney down, pointing to the devastating — and successful — attacks on John Kerry as hero.

…Conservative attacks on John Kerry’s war record were devastating, precisely because they went directly to the core of his argument. Not only did the “swift-boating” of Mr. Kerry cast doubt on his heroism in Vietnam, but it also added to lingering doubts about his constancy, suggesting that he would change his story when the circumstances demanded it. ...The Caucus, NYT

Bai thinks the latest attacks on Romney have legs.

…Romney voters like him because they think he’s the guy who knows how to create jobs, and because supposedly he can win over enough independent voters to unseat President Obama. …

…The attack could prove sticky, for three reasons. First, it takes Mr. Romney’s central rationale as a candidate and turns it into a bludgeoning tool. Mr. Romney, after all, is the guy who knows all about turnarounds, which is why we’re supposed to hire him as our c.e.o. Every day he is forced to defend his business record, as opposed to his stance on abortion or gun control, is a bad day for Mitt Romney.

Second, it casts doubt on Mr. Romney’s aura of electability. Most independent voters may not be ready to take up signs and occupy the local park, but neither are they feeling especially warmly toward Wall Street speculators and bonus-gobbling chief executives at the moment, and the Bain narrative casts Mr. Romney in exactly this light.

And third, the Bain line of attack, more than anything else brandished against Mr. Romney to this point, might bring to the surface an instinctive concern that he’s emotively challenged. …NYT

Cross posted from Prairie Weather.