As the man prepares to draw the closing curtain on one of most disgraceful campaigns of the modern era, rather than summoning some reservoir of moral courage and leaving the stage with a semblance of self respect, Romney has gone out of his way to remind everyone who despises him, alleged political allies and half the voting public, that he really is someone incapable of the common decency of personal dignity.
Four years ago, John McCain ran a campaign that was, put simply, inept. The fundamental factor between him and Barack Obama was judgment, and McCain blew his feet off with the choice of Sarah Palin. He then traumatized the stumps with his confused, tremulous response to the financial collapse. But McCain at least had a reservoir of good will to draw down. For a time, on the Straight Talk Express, he was confident enough in his own thinking and brave enough to take flak to say what he was actually thinking.
Romney, on the other hand, isn’t a man anyone other than his own family appears to like, and he doesn’t have the confidence or courage to go on Bill O’Reilly’s show much less allow himself to take questions from an actual reporter. And now …
… after the truly painful-to-behold ads about Chrysler moving “all” Jeep production to China, (an assertion more flagrant for its desperation than its dishonesty)
… after getting slapped down by top executives from both Chrysler and GM,
… after his repeated non-response to his current thinking on FEMA, (which he said should be privatized),
… after that pathetic, bogus “storm relief” rally in Ohio
… and now after weekend full of talk about Obama seeking “revenge”, Romney has only 72 hours to promise everyone a pony, accuse Obama of conspiring with Mullah Omar to impose Sharia law, or take a bungee dive off Trump Tower in his magic underwear.
At this point he’s done and said everything else dishonest and absurd.
I’m not one of those who sees Chris Christie going over-the-top effusive in compliments for Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg specifically mentioning Romney’s indifference to science and George W. Bush suddenly popping up at an investors conference in the Cayman Islands as happenstance.
Guys like that always calculate.
Christie needs federal help bad to save his career in New Jersey. But he didn’t have to go on … and on … like he did to keep FEMA focused. He knows Romney is a lost cause, and, I (very) strongly suspect he isn’t all that broken up about it. Sure 2016 looks like a cleaner shot with no Romney incumbency. But Christie, the uber Springsteen fan, prides himself in having a moral core, being loyal to the place he grew up and saying what he thinks. How much of ethical vacuum like Mitt Romney can a guy like that take before saying, “I’ve done enough for this team”?
Likewise, it may be years before we know what Bloomberg, the quintessential high finance politician, thinks of a guy who you and I imagine as a kind of peer-in-arms. But Bloomberg made a fat chunk of his dough in the news/media business, where reporting and interpreting reality is an essential virtue, not something to be ignored and distorted at will.
And then there was the business with Bain Capital and Delphi, the big auto parts supplier. A vulture move if there ever was one, but one that really begins to curdle in the wake of Romney’s revolving campaign duplicities.
As for George W., aka The Man Who No Republican Dares Ever Mention , several pundits thought it exceedingly curious that he would leave whatever gilded bunker he’s been in and show up … in The Cayman freakin’ Islands … practically dragging a banner behind his Gulfstream reminding voters that Mitt Romney’s entire fortune is based on slippery-to-sleazy and defiantly opaque tax manipulations.
Will anyone in the Bush family be all that sorry to see Romney defeated? Jeb’s options, such as they are considering intense, lingering Bush fatigue, are certainly brighter with no Romney to deal with.
The post-mortem on the Romney campaign will be far more interesting, and potentially illuminating, than McCain’s. Romney, a product of a highly insular “prosperity”-driven religious sect, with primary loyalties to its own kind, and an implicit discursiveness, bordering on misanthropic disdain for “others”, embodied almost nothing most Americans could relate to or admire… except of course that he wasn’t Barack Obama.