The contrast between George Romney and his son Mitt — a contrast both in their business careers and in their willingness to come clean about their financial affairs — dramatically illustrates how America has changed…
First, however, let’s talk about what it meant to get rich in George Romney’s America, and how it compares with the situation today.
What did George Romney do for a living? The answer was straightforward: he ran an auto company, American Motors. And he ran it very well indeed: at a time when the Big Three were still fixated on big cars and ignoring the rising tide of imports, Romney shifted to a highly successful focus on compacts that restored the company’s fortunes, not to mention that it saved the jobs of many American workers…
Now fast-forward to Romney the Younger, who made even more money during his business career at Bain Capital. Unlike his father, however, Mr. Romney didn’t get rich by producing things people wanted to buy; he made his fortune through financial engineering that seems in many cases to have left workers worse off, and in some cases driven companies into bankruptcy.
— Mitt’s Gray Areas
"What Gov. Romney and his advisers don’t seem to understand is this: If you’re a worker whose job went overseas, you don’t need somebody trying to explain to you the difference between outsourcing and offshoring, you need someone who’s going to wake up every day and fight for American jobs and investment here in the United States."
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that everything is getting better as fast as anybody was hoping for, but let’s be honest about something. The President was right on this one.
You don’t win elections by correcting people after they’ve just been told they don’t have a job. Let them call it what they want while you, as the President, focus on the economy. The general idea is for people not to need to know the difference between unemployment situations.
"You win by giving people a choice. You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future"
— Rick Santorum, telling an audience in Texas that the United States would be better off with four more years of President Obama than with Mitt Romney in the White House.
All in all, the results were within a few percentage points of virtually every projection. But the variations—giving Santorum two wins where he wasn’t supposed to excel, Gingrich two losses in his “base,” and Romney a pair of third-place finishes—provided a big feast for spinmeisters, particularly those hungering and thirsting for an extended contest.
The path ahead includes caucuses in Missouri next Saturday, where Santorum built high expectations with his virtually unopposed win in a non-binding “beauty contest” primary on Feb. 7, and in Puerto Rico on Sunday, where Romney should clean up. But the big high-publicity contest will be next Tuesday in the Illinois primary, where the argument that Romney is weak in Midwestern “Rust Belt” states will be put to one more test. If he survives until then, Louisiana on March 24 could provide Santorum with another belt of Southern comfort.
But the parallel battle, which has been raging since Romney’s victories in Florida and Nevada back in January (if not earlier), will be among Republican elites. By this point, GOP opinion leaders are either frantic to bring the contest to a close to let the “inevitable” and “electable” Romney marshal resources for November—or want to give Santorum one last chance to prove that the palpable anti-Romney sentiment of conservative activists can lift him to an unlikely nomination or convention bid.
— The Two-Candidate Race Has Finally Arrived
"I’m not here to talk about President Obama. I think he is great. I’m here to talk about my dad and what he would bring to the country."
— Matt Romney, son of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, during an interview with Hawaii’s KITV.
One reason for GOP indifference may be, ironically, Romney’s strength: He’s a fighter. But he fights with negatives. While he succeeds in soiling his opponents, he also sullies himself. He has a very high unfavorable rating among independents, and even among Republicans he doesn’t match where John McCain was at this point four years ago. When Romney’s not negative, he appears unfocused and becomes like a gaffe machine on steroids: “Cadillacs,” “Blunt amendment,” “firing people,” “not worried about the poor,” etc.
So what’s ahead? A desperate race and a war of attrition. Santorum, Paul and Gingrich have no incentive to exit the race, because they’re being paid to stay in and they’re getting just enough delegates. Therefore, what we’ve seen is what we’ll get — a negative arc; shrill attacks against other candidates; hysterical hyperventilation against Obama; the language of fear, war and doublespeak; and a social issue feeding frenzy, with fainting spells when women’s health is mentioned and panic over immigration. And the media lapping it up.
— Super Tuesday won’t end the GOP race
The whole idea seems pretty ridiculous to me but, considering the last time I was certain about the outcome of a political scandal was the Anthony Weiner debacle, I think I’m going to hedge my bets and go with an “I don’t know” on this one.
Full Disclosure: I kind of want it to be true, only to watch the Paulites come completely un-hinged. The day they realize that he’s just as human as the rest of us will be a great one.