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Friday, July 13, 2012

My tinfoil hat is tingling
Posted by Jill | 7:01 AM
It's difficult to watch Willard Rmoney's ghastly performance at the NAACP conference this week without cringing. The man is so obviously trying to twist himself into a pretzel to try to appeal to enough people outside the batshit crazy Republican base -- and it shows. There's something vaguely deranged about the man as he stomps around the country in the quadriennial ritual of kissing babies and pretending that you care about every individual that you meet. Romney isn't like the country fair attendees in the flyover states. He knows it, and on a deep level, they know it too. And he's certainly not like the rank-and-file members of the NAACP, and he knows that too. That's why he had to bus in plants to applaud him.

Now there are people sniffing around not just Romney's offshore accounts (just the thing every patriotic American who "believes in America" does, right?), but his very tenure at Bain Capital.

And now it turns out that Willard Rmoney may very well have lied about the tenure of his time at Bain Capital:
Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.

Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”

Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.

Romney's financial disclosure report has him claiming that he left Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 and that "Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way."

There's just one problem -- those pesky SEC documents, which conflict with Rmoney's financial disclosures. So which one is true? If Rmoney lied on either one of them, that's what's called a felony.

All of which makes me wonder -- at what time do we stap talking about "misstatements" and "dissembling" and start calling Rmoney a liar?

All of which brings us to tinfoil and Rmoney at the NAACP.

This week saw an Ipsos poll showing President Obama with a six-point lead over Willard Rmoney. Obama has been going around the country pointing out the dichotomy of a presidential candidate talking about job creators and believing in America -- and then storing his money in accounts in the Cayman Islands, as if he were a Saudi king or shady underworld operative. And it's working, because people are starting to look more closely at the GOP candidate who wants to take power so he can enact policies that will screw over the middle class even more and stuff his offshore accounts with more money. Not to know Willard Rmoney might be to love him, but to know him is to realize that this is just another greedy, power-mad GOP sociopath who can't even be said to serve his multimillionaire masters, because he is one.

In order to win, the GOP must field candidates who can convincingly pretend that they care about regular people. This is why Chris Christie is so popular among the pundit class. He's every bit the corporatist scumbag that Willard is, but when angry white guys see Christie's sizable frame clutching an ice cream cone on a Jersey Shore boardwalk and emulating Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver, all that is forgotten and the reptilian brain thinks, "He's just like me." GOP voters love this sort of thing.

But I digress again.

Rmoney just isn't wearing well. The GOP can disenfranchise millions of people, and stiff minority districts on voting machines. They can even try to throw the election to the House. But that still may be too risky. Rmoney may be a reliable partner for moneyed interests, but some kind of a sham charade election still has to happen. And if Romney's unpopularity continues to grow, then the GOP has a problem.

So that's where my tinfoil comes in. I'm not at all convinced that this sudden attention to Rmoney's financial disclosures is coming from the Democrats. The party that turned the other cheek while their 2004 candidate, a decorated war hero, was branded as a traitor and coward while their guy, who spent the Vietnam era in a cushy National Guard gig for which he didn't even bother to show up, was painted as a macho Rambo tough guy, is just not smart enough to come up with something like this.

So here's my prediction: By the time of the convention, the offshore accounts and financial disclosures will become such a huge issue that Rmoney will have to withdraw. This will leave the field clear for the oligarchs to select the candidate they wanted all along. Even he has said "This was probably my time."

And it yet may still be.

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Anonymous The WP said...
Excellent thought. I was wandering down similar roads, but didn't go nearly as far. Frankly, you might be on to something.

But who goes up in his place?

Blogger Kordo said...
God doesn't love me enough to put Bush The Third up against President Obama. I've done too many bad things for a gift from heaven like that. I do agree the Tampa convention is looking a lot more interesting. Rmoney is dying on the vine; to know him is to distrust him, and the bad news just keeps coming. Most of the base has been holding it's nose up until now, but that's gonna get harder and harder.
I bet the Republicans sure are glad they nominated the "electable" one..

Blogger BadTux said...
Thing is, you follow the money far enough, and your conspiracy theory doesn't make sense. The oligarchs aren't putting nickles and dimes behind Rmoney. They're putting big money, the kind they used to buy Bush the Presidency in 2000, the kind of money that John McCain only wished he'd had access to in 2008. And you simply don't put that kind of money behind someone you don't intend to be on the ballot in November, not now, not at this point after he's already sewed up the Republican nomination.

As for Jeb, I think he's going to make a run for it in 2016. He saw the writing on the wall in 2012 and stayed out of the goat rodeo. He couldn't win against Obama and he knows it, but the Democratic field in 2016 is going to be considerably weaker. Hillary is going to be too old to run, and most of the Democratic new blood is really going to be too young to run, plus I haven't seen any of them that have Obama's campaign skills (and yes, Obama has some mad skilz in that department, the way he outmaneuvered Hilary in 2008 was a thing of beauty if you appreciate Machiavellian manipulation of both the electorate and the process itself). It will be a considerably weaker Democratic field in 2016, and while he'd likely face folks like Paul Ryan and Chris Christie, they'd be easier to vanquish than a sitting president with mad campaign skilz. At least, that's the calculation I think he's making... we'll see though, I guess.

- Badtux the Prognosticating Penguin