Apparently it’s now a felony for a CEO to take a leave of absence while still claiming to be CEO. So says the Obama campaign. I guess Steve Jobs was a felon too, for claiming he was CEO when in fact he stopped overseeing day-to-day operations.

Romney stopped running day-to-day operations at Bain Capital in 1999, leaving that job to Bain’s executive committee. That’s similar to how Steve Jobs took a medical leave and let Tim Cook run day-to-day operations. While the Romney and Jobs situations were obviously not exactly alike, it is completely absurd for the Obama campaign to suggest that being a CEO is inconsistent with taking a leave of absence.

Romney’s statement to the SEC in 2001 that he was CEO is especially harmless given that Bain Capital was not even a publicly traded company, so there’s no way any shareholders could have misunderstood what was going on. In contrast, of course, Apple was publicly traded.