It was a Mitts-krieg!

Mittens is in a long-term bind of his own long-term making. I have been saying — for a long time now — that Mitt Romney is the absolutely ideal candidate to run against in the prop wash of a worldwide recession driven by … the self-serving casino-like gaming of guys exactly like Mitt Romney.  Romney and Bain Capital’s form and style of business may befuddle the mythical Average American, but Joe and Sally Venti Latte know a few things for sure, among them that they could never benefit from the byzantine tax dodges, shelters and debt-leveraging strategies Romney used, and that Bain in some cases lobbied into law.

As a media hand I was greatly amused by last Friday’s end-of-the-week “Mitts-krieg”, wherein the notorious bubble candidate, Romney, appeared in a quick succession of satellite interviews with five networks, (although not with those impudent knaves at MSNBC). Everyone in the news game is familiar with the Friday afternoon data/news dump, wherein something that is going to cause problems or play badly is thrown out at the very moment most reporters are heading to Happy Hour. The strategy being that by Monday, chances are, whatever had to be said will be flattened by a new story and quickly forgotten.

Good luck on that with your financial history, Mittens.

Even more amusing, for anyone who knows the TV news game is the choice of the satellite format, with each network dropping in for a tightly allotted slice of time, rather than a press conference — with reporters from the same networks who are most likely within walking distance of wherever Romney is in a given moment.

The satellite-interview shtick pretty much guaranteed that each network would ask exactly the same question — every candidate can rely on journalistic group-think to ease the dike patching in an emergency. With each asking that same question, Romney could, and did provide each with exactly the same answer. He could stay on script, bloviating away most of the allotted time.  In an open press conference he would have risked some scurrilous bastard, perhaps a pot-smoking Lutheran or atheist hedonist from something like Mother Jones who snuck in under the velvet ropes, to blurt out a follow-up or pursue a more specific facet on the standard line of questioning.

While Average Americans like you and me try to define exactly what “retired retroactively” means, we can be assured that Romney’s troubles explaining both how and when he made his fortune are not going to go away, probably ever.

Team Obama had to have kept a supply of fresh napkins close by to deal with all the drool conjured up by the thought of running against Mitt Romney. I mean, think about it. After a job-crushing, debt-inflating financial sector meltdown caused by the casino culture of a highly insulated financial class that put “shareholder value” and their own lavish bonuses before actually making stuff — that required middle-class workers — the GOP couldn’t stop itself from nominating a … financial “services” guy. A guy whose business was creating fantastic profits for himself and his closest associates, often with the collateral damage of shutting down functioning American industries … in the interests of productivity and efficiency, you understand.

(And the GOP couldn’t help itself because despite the noisy babble of the Tea Party lunkheads, it is big money, dependent on “worker productivity” — more work, less pay — and the shift of taxation from them to the middle class that sustains  the party.)

Running against sex-obsessed Rick Santorum wouldn’t have been half as much fun.

Team Obama’s real problem will be pacing themselves through the rest of campaign, doling out the right quality of “attack” (i.e revelation of Mittens’ career work) at precisely the right moment, each one fresher than the last yet oddly familiar

The business of Romney’s taxes alone will be gold for weeks to come, at least. Again, ask yourself why he hasn’t simply released them, “taken the hit”, as George Will suggests, and moved on? We all know he’s rich. We already know that he’s only paying a 13%-15% tax rate — thanks to the lobbying of Bain Capital to drive those rates that low — and that he/Bain has over 100 off-shore accounts in the Grand Cayman alone. How much worse could it be?

I’m guessing,”quite a bit”. And in ways that Team Romney can’t calculate, given the microscopic analysis those returns will go under once out in the open. If ten years worth of returns (and his 2010 return alone was 500 pages) produces only 10 uncomfortable questions for Romney, a guy who embodies sweaty discomfort in the face of impudent questioning, that’s almost one a week until election day.


But until then Mittens has other critical decisions. Like, for example, how to get Sarah Palin up in front of his convention, with him, in a photo-op that satisfies the Teabaggers, without torching himself with the persuadables, folks who may not be happy with Obama’s inability to work an economic miracle, but think the modern Republican party is a ship of toxic fools.






35 thoughts on “It was a Mitts-krieg!

  1. PM says:

    Yeah, i think that Romney is exactly the wrong person to run against Obama. Just as i thought that Kerry was the wrong person to run against W (choose your wealthy Yalie). But it was his turn…..

  2. Joe Loveland says:

    “I was CEO and sole shareholder, but wasn’t involved in any way shape or form” is a tough line to sell. As a sole proprietor, I’ve tried that a few times, and it doesn’t go over real well.

  3. Joe Loveland says:

    The other thing this chapter has brought us is one of the few memorable ads of the season. Simple and sticky.

  4. Which will it be? Enormous salary and bonus for no work? Or salary and bonus for work you said under oath you didn’t do, for job outsourcing and predatory finance you claim you had nothing to do with?

  5. Mike Thomas says:

    Remember when New York’s own Al Franekn refused (and still to this day) to release his tax records? Difference between Al and Mitt, was that Mitt paid his taxes.

    1. PM says:

      Hmmm, and i thought it was that they were running for different offices.

      Well, we will see if Mitt can get away with it or not. After all, the real ultimate judges will be the voters.

      1. Mike Thomas says:

        Yes they are running for different offices but it is the same principle. When your favorite carpet bagger runs again in 2014 I assume you will demand his tax documents.

      2. PM says:

        Carpet bagger? Wasn’t he born in St. Louis Park? didn’t he grow up there and go to school at Blake?

        I dunno, but from my experience (as someone who moved to MN in my 20’s for work), the key to being a Minnesotan is having gone to highschool here. By that criteria, Franken certainly qualifies.

  6. Mike Thomas says:

    Nope he was not born here, he was born in New York City, lived in St.Louis Park for about 13 years went to a private preppy school then left for Harvard never to return until he burned all his bridges in entertianment.
    I am not sure how old you are PM but from my experience (I was born here) you can consider yourself a Minnesotan if you were born and raised here (Franken was not born here moved here in grade school) or chose to live here and have lived over half your adult working life here.

    I have a feeling Franken could have lived in France and he would have passed your criteria.

    1. Erik says:

      I believe we are to understand PM is a baby boomer with adult children. IE, plenty old.

      You’re all wet. Minnesotans will claim as their own celebrities of even the most tenuous affiliation or residency. Suffice it to say, Franken ain’t even close to being a carpet bagger.

      1. PM says:

        baby boomer, guilty, with a 23 yr old, a 21 yr old, and an 18 yr old. Been here since 1986

        Oh, and i was also born in NYC, so maybe that is why i like Franken (only lived there for about 3 months, however).

      2. Joe Loveland says:

        PM is a FOREIGNER! I bet PM stands for “purify Minnesota,” and he intends to brainwash us with his NEW YORK LIBERAL ways. Quick, someone call Michele!

      3. PM says:

        Yup, and i am on a mission to get all of you addicted to soggy pizza folded in half! i am the reason for the food truck invasion! I am the reason that the Twinkies are so pathetic against the Yankees!

        (but really, I hate the Yankees)

    2. Jim Leinfelder says:

      So, Mike, like any garden-variety nativist, it seems you’ve turned accident of birth and inertia into shining virtues. As Sinatra said, “…whatever gets you through the night.” Congratulations, Mike, on staying put.

      1. Mike Thomas says:

        Ah Leinfelder! I knew my comment would wake you from your sleep. I’ve missed your culturally irrelevant quotes. Anyways for what it’s worth I encourage people to come live productive lives here a enjoy this great state, your hero Al Franken did that cynically to get into Washington, any other election year it wouldn’t have worked. And for what it’s worth I have visited places on the globe you have only seen in your old National Geographic magazines.

      2. Erik says:

        I’d have to agree Mike. I don’t think you’re very good at this.

        Anyway… I thought whatever gets your through the night was John Lennon. But my frame of reference is shorter…I’m not a geezer like the rest of you fellas.

  7. Jim Leinfelder says:

    Lennon wrote a song by that name. My Dad used to paraphrase Sinatra, though, on the things people rely upon to get them through the cold dark night of the soul. Anyways, for what it’s worth:

    “I’m not unmindful of a man’s seeming need for faith; I’m for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniels. But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle.”
    Also quoted in Frank Sinatra, My Father (1986) by Nancy Sinatra, p. 201

    1. Mike Thomas says:

      For some people to get throught the day they need to pull out irrelevent quotes or words from their thesaurus to give some sense of pseudo intellect, when really they have mastered cutting and pasting youtube videos, news articles by other journalists, and commenting within minutes on every blog in town.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        Good grief fellas, jokes, quotes, monosyllabic words, videos and other references just serve to spice and lighten the heavy commentary here. I’m all for them. (Bless you, Festus, wherever you are.)

        My joke-free, quote-free, big word-free, video-free opinion: The minute you declare yourself a Minnesotan, you’re a Minnesotan. For some, that takes minutes, and for some that takes decades.

        For the record, I’m not native born either.

      2. PM says:

        and here I thought we were arguing about whatever gets us thru the night…which is generally more interesting than what gets us thru the day (IMHO)

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      Fair enough. I thought the carpetbagger thing would have sunk him too. But it didn’t, and polls now show him leading by 10 points over his former opponent Norm Coleman. So, I was wrong.

      The U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack thing is an interesting variation on this theme – a Minnesotan who moved to New Hampshire mid-term to be with his family, who moved to NH because of a spouse’s transfer. I wonder how Minnesotans will process that.

      While I admire him doing what he thought was right for his family, I do wonder how well he can represent Minnesota well when he is spending so much time with his family in another state instead of being at MN town hall meetings getting yelled at.

      1. PM says:

        Of course, doesn’t seem like Norm is spending a lot of time around these parts any more, either.

      2. Mike Thomas says:

        Any other election Al would have been defeated by 3-5 points, I also think if we had voter ID or some sort of State issued Voter ID Norm would have won – you will disagree with me on that, but that is not the point of this thread.
        I think it was wrong of Chip Cravaack to move the family as a freshman congressman considering one of the reasons Obestar was defeated was the charge that he was out of touch and living in Maryland (which he was). To Cravaack’s credit he is in the state frequently during congressional breaks and has been accessible to the people he represents, no less than many others (including Al). A common comment is that he hand selects people for his town meetings, or is only accessible to his supporters. Is this any different than our current US Senators?
        To the point of Al Franken beating Norm Coleman today, was not that poll done by the Public Policy Insititute that typcially favors liberal candidates? The election for Franken is not this year, had it been in 2010 he would have lost by 5 points, and who knows where we will be in two years. I would not get too comfortable with Al, we can only hope he kept up his payments on his New York City condo.
        Do you really think that guy would have stuck around here had he lost that election in 2008? I wonder how many hours it would have been before his barley lived in condo in Minneapolis was on the market.

      3. Joe Loveland says:

        Cravaack reports he is visiting about 3 times every 2 months. When I worked for a Member of Congress, he was in the district doing meetings with non-screened audiences ~90% of the weekends, and that was the norm among Members. Cravaack may pull it off, but he is playing a dangerous game with the NH move.

  8. Mike Thomas says:


    Where is Norm? Do you have his travel schedule? I am intersted to know how you have this insight?

    1. PM says:

      I have spotters at MSP International who tell me all of his arrivals and departures….

      Mostly, Norm is in DC and/or travelling around the country raising cash for his 501(c)4, in his attempt to become the next Karl Rove and purchase the upcoming election.

  9. Jed Leyland says:

    It would be useful to recall something George Romney said. While serving as President Richard Nixon’s first secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Romney became frustrated by Nixon’s duplicity and ultimate lack of support for initiatives he favored. Confiding in a friend with words that decades later could accurately be applied to his own son, Romney said, “I don’t know what [he] believes in. Maybe he doesn’t believe in anything.”

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