Friday, November 16, 2012

Sometimes The Truth Will Surface

I thought about titling this post "Keep Digging, Mitt" but I decided that since his political career as a candidate is effectively over, that wasn't necessary.  Still, however, Mitt Romney isn't quite ready to exit, even though he's made several brave exit speeches, the latest of which was to his real supporters, the ones he really cared about.

James Rainey captured the tone and intention of that speech (which was actually apparently a conference call) quite well with his post/column in the Los Angeles Times.

 The onetime private equity magnate would have an “optics” problem if he wanted  to run for office ever again. But since he’s done with politics, his latest moment of unintended public candor goes down, instead, as testament to how little Romney understood politics and the American people.

“The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people,” Romney told hundreds of donors during a telephone town hall. “In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups.” ...

Romney couldn’t be expected to acknowledge that he offered up “gifts” of his own: extended tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, a shredding of the regulations that would keep big investors from running amok, unfettered access for big energy companies to America’s wildlands.   [Emphasis added]

The problem is that more than those groups voted overwhelmingly for Obama; the rest of the 47% decried by Mitt as "takers" did as well, primarily because they believed that Obama represented them more than the rich, entitled, white boy who made his living flipping companies and raiding their pension plans.  They trusted Obama more than the guy who kept changing his spiel, depending on the audience.  They wanted more than a guy who used his etch-a-sketch rather than his brain and his heart.  They rejected his cold and uncaring dismissal of them as useless.

Rainey nailed it in his conclusion as to why Romney lost and lost so decisively:

Romney’s best self—the one that gave tirelessly and deeply to his fellow parishoners in the Mormon church and who worked with opponents to make progress in Massachusetts—made an appearance now and then. But that Mitt Romney didn't seem, often enough, like the one who was running for president.

So in what may be one of his final words on campaign 2012, the candidate explained how he understood the price of everything. And ended up looking like he knew the value of very little.

Rainey is much kinder than I am.

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