Barack Obama seems like a pretty nice guy so I have never given too much credence to the entire “Chicago political machine” line. But this latest round of Bain Capital attacks on Romney from the surrogates all the way up to POTUS are beginning to border on the sinister. Sinister, meaning David Axelrod has no intention of actually showing impropriety on Romney’s part, but rather is trying to suggest that he has done something illegal in the hopes that the stench will linger on Romney through November.
The media has heightened the serious-news-o-meter to code red, but this doesn’t come as a surprise. Every election, the media’s favorite GOP candidate suddenly becomes public enemy number one as soon as the General begins (See: the “John McCain is having an affair” propaganda stories).
Here again, we have the media suggesting that Mitt Romney is a felon because a few leftover documents have his name on them after he left. The bigger question is — who cares if he did? He started the business and left to work on the Olympics. If Obama’s associations with men of questionable character is out of bounds, why is Romney’s associations with the company he started out of bounds?
To be clear, no one can connect any dots to any kind of fraud on Romney or Bain’s part. Big corporations can be clumsy and maybe they didn’t properly clean up upon Romney’s departure.
But the fact remains, there is no indication of impropriety. This is simply a line Chicago wants to push. The Boston Globe is pushing it. Politico’s mobile App, had its top eight stories as such last week. Top eight!
Yet POTUS is out there calling him out yesterday.
The entire purpose of this exercise isn’t to find the truth or even probe for it. There isn’t anything there and everyone from The Boston Globe to Stephanie Cutter to Barack Obama knows it. The purpose is to keep the news cycling going long enough that some of the soot sticks to Romney. What Axe and Gibbs want is for the stench of impropriety to be on Romney long enough to handicap him to “independents” flipping through the television advertisements.
There was the dog attacks, the Mormon attacks, the housewife attacks and the venture capitalist attacks, but now we have Obama’s people suggesting impropriety. Well played Mr. Obama.
Honestly, it could work. Americans pay little enough attention that something like this might peel off the necessary votes in Virginia.
Romney, for being our only “serious candidate” is committing political malpractice by not defending himself, by building a mansion in the midst of a campaign and by refusing to release his tax returns. Romney is going to have to find a better way to respond and he’ll have to do so quick. This isn’t a gentlemen’s dual. It is Axelrod pulling Romney down into the mud to bite, kick, and gouge with Obama. Romney doesn’t have much time left to wake up to this realization.