Some hours after I posted the Friday Night Multimedia Extravaganza! there were interesting new developments in the 2012 Presidential race that can be appreciated best visually.
It began with this advertisement from the Obama campaign that had everyone all a-twitter:
Locally, The Stranger‘s Paul Constant expressed some enthusiasm for the ad (his emphasis, not mine):
Holy fucking shit. This is the most brutal attack ad I’ve seen in a long, long time. It minces the hell out of Romney’s offshore fortunes and his record as a jobs exporter (in the private and public sectors). And it makes fun of Romney’s singing voice, turning his version of “America, the Beautiful” into a symbol of his warped view of patriotism
The Romney campaign hit back with an ad that can only be described as pathetic:
The thesis is that by hitting Mitt Romeny hard on the Bain thing, it somehow negates Obama’s “Hope and Change” message of the last campaign. The writers obviously try to confuse Obama, the President, and Obama, the candidate.
For over three years, Republicans have been warning about how President Obama was “changing America into something unrecognizable.” Now, the Romney camp is “warning” America that Obama is just like other candidates.
It is conceivable that this ad actually helps Obama, by defusing the “changing America into something unrecognizable” argument for folks who don’t recognize that campaigns are not the same thing as policy.
The weekend has brought out a plethora of politicos making the rounds on the talk shows, including bulldogs like Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Karl Rove—who has the naked audacity to “warn” Obama about negative campaigning. That’s hilarious!
But of all the interviews, the ones with Romney campaign senior adviser Ed Gillespie are the most interesting.
In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, Gillespie stated (my emphasis):
“He is going to release them [2 years of tax returns], Candy, we’ve made that clear, and that’s the standard that Senator McCain, Republican nominee in the last election said was the relevant standard. It’s the standard that Senator John Kerry as the Democratic nominee said was the standard.”
First…he really ought to rethink citing the losers of the past two elections as the model. Just sayin’.
Another problem is that John Kerry did not say that was the standard. Gillespie was off by an order of magnitude. Kerry released 20 years of tax returns. So, about that “standard”….
And on NBC’s Meet the Press we get this gem when David Gregory asked about Mitt benefiting financially from Bain even while on leave:
He actually retired retroactively…
Watch the 00:01:57 clip:
The Twitterosphere has gone bananas with the hash tag #retroactively.
I’ll close by pointing out two things.
First, when the Romney campaign has to “explain” the subtly of Romney’s position during the “bad” Bain years by using a five syllable adverb, they’re not just losing the campaign battle, they’re fucking losing their base!
Secondly, I’ll point out again what a precarious position Romney is now in. We know he was drawing a six-figure salary for, apparently, being on leave; for being completely detached from decisions at Bain. But the media smells blood in that—they will relentlessly attempt to unearth evidence that Romney did make some big decisions. And they’ll probably find something.
But even if they don’t, Romney still has the (relatively unexamined) implications found in Gregory’s question: As the owner of and sole shareholder in Bain and other spin-off companies, Romney was at a minimum receiving salary and investment profit from outsourcing, layoffs, liquidations, the offshore tax havens and, apparently, disposal of fetuses.
That he solely owned Bain through 2001 is undisputed fact. It just makes him look like a weasel to absolve himself of all responsibility, while earning millions, because he was on leave. Or retired.&