Monday, July 16, 2012

A Very Imperfect Messenger

Below are a couple of interesting points from a list, posted today by Washington Post columnist and MSNBC contributor Ezra Klein, of his thoughts on Mitt Romney’s building Bain mess:
7. The best-world version of Mitt Romney is running a campaign that embraces creative destruction and outsourcing and buyouts and all the rest of it because these things help our economy become more dynamic. That’s where his business experience at Bain might actually help him understand the economy--he has seen the costs of firm-level sclerosis and stagnation firsthand. Think something along the lines of this essay by Reihan Salam. The problem is that the candidate running that campaign needs to have a real answer for the workers who are hurt by that dynamism. Part of that answer would need to be a larger safety net--something akin to Denmark’s “flexicurity” system. But the modern GOP won’t permit Romney to run a campaign that embraces a larger safety net. And so he can’t embrace his own economic experience without appearing cruel.

8. The irony is that the candidate who could have squared this circle is ... Mitt Romney. He would have been perfect, in fact. As the former CEO of Bain Capital, he would have been credible on the economic argument in a way most politicians simply aren’t. As the first governor to successfully pass and implement a universal health care program in the United States, he would have been credible on the safety net in a way most Republicans simply aren’t. But rather than merging Bain and Massachusetts into one campaign, he’s running from both.
You will find more of Ezra Klein’s thoughts here.

READ MORE:On the Swiss-Yachting of Mitt Romney,” by Alec MacGillis (The New Republic); “Republicans Advise Mitt: Attack! Defend!,” by Jonathan Chait (New York); “Mitt Romney’s Painfully Bad Week,” by David Frum (CNN); “Did Romney Commit Perjury?” (Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire); “PolitiFact: Mitt Romney’s Companies Sent Jobs Overseas,” by Greg Sargent (The Washington Post); “Obama Campaign Ramps Up Attacks Against Romney as Jobs Outsourcer,” by Jonathan Easley (The Hill); “Is Obama Using FDR’s Playbook in Attacking Mitt Romney with Bain Capital?,” by David Woolner (Next New Deal); “Bain Ads Hit Home in Swing States,” by Justin Sink (The Hill).

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