Campaign Outsider Trademark News Trifecta™:
The hardreading staff has recently stumbled upon three noteworthy reports about the business background of Mitt Romney (R-GOP Hair Apparent).
#1: The Atlantic’s December piece headlined “Romney’s Business: The Republican Contender Touts His Business Experience – But Does It Really Matter?”
Some of Romney’s . . . ideas sound like the grand rhetoric of someone who doesn’t plan to be around when the chickens come home to roost. “Day One,” he promises, he’ll direct the Treasury Department to list China as a “currency manipulator” in its bi annual report—never mind that Day One, he won’t even have a secretary of the Treasury, and that doing this would risk a fearsome backlash from the country that holds about $1.1 trillion of our debt. “Repeal Obama Care” and “Repeal Dodd- Frank” account for two consecutive bullet points, which is like adding “Stamp out Ebola” and “Achieve world peace” to your weekend to-do list.
#2: WBUR’s report tagged “Romney’s Bain Years: Turnaround Specialist-In-Chief.”
Romney’s operation at Bain Capital employed different strategies to make its acquisitions more profitable. It would sell peripheral business units and concentrate on the cash cows. It would close down operations that were losing money. Sometimes, that meant bringing in a new CEO to get things in order. Sometimes, it meant laying off people.
What was pragmatic in the business world hurt Romney’s political world. Workers pink-slipped at an Indiana paper plant came back to cost him his 1994 bid to be U.S. senator from Massachusetts.
#3: New York magazine’s feature headlined “The Romney Economy.”
[W]hat separates Romney’s [health care] plan from Obama’s—and gives some clues about his potential presidency—is its almost-accidental origin. Romney did not begin with a philosophical quest to improve American health care. He began with the idea of himself as a problem solver and asked those around him for a problem that he might usefully solve. I remembered, when I was told this story, an anecdote I’d heard from a former political staffer of Romney’s. On even basic philosophical questions like abortion, the staffer said, Romney did not try to resolve the question in the abstract, as a matter of principle, and would consider instead various hypothetical cases—for instance, a late-term abortion—and build from them a politics. The line that Romney is a flip-flopper may vastly understate the depth of the condition.