Babe Ruth’s homers were prodigious but Hank Aaron hit more

I well remember the good old days, way back in 2011, when Mitt Romney was lauded for being the great debater among those boys (and Michelle Bachmann) of Summer. Thus is the ephemeral nature of debate moments and home runs; much as was the hope for a tea partier conservative GOP presidential nominee.

Winter and the new year are ushered in by Ruthian shots against Lefty pitchers named Juan and King from the bat of the former Speaker of the House. What conservatives don’t thrill to the sound of the crack of Newt’s bat pummeling false charges of racism and reminders of ancient marital disputes best left behind closed doors?

But ball games are decided by which team scores the most runs, not by which player hit balls the farthest. The Babe hit them a mile. Hank Aaron hit them just far enough and hit more. The Babe was undone by what he did between home runs.

Thus the voters of South Carolina face a similar choice between a heavyweight named Gingrich saddled with baggage, both marital and non-marital, that could distract voters from their Obama-emptied pockets or a steady Aaron-like experienced executive named Romney.

Last week we endorsed the latter; and a less-publicized debate-moment homer from last night illustrates, we think, the wisdom of our choice:

MR. KING: OK. A subset of the jobs conversation among the candidates in this state over the past week, Mr. Speaker, has been from you and from the now-departed Governor Perry pretty sharp criticism of Governor Romney’s tenure as the CEO of Bain Capital. I want you to be specific: What do you think he did wrongthat —


MR. KING: — makes you question his ability as a president to create jobs?

MR. GINGRICH: I think there are specific cases — Georgetown Steel would be a case here, a company in Gaffney, South Carolina — but specific cases where Bain Capital’s model — which was to take over a company and dramatically leverage it, leave it with a great deal of debt — made it less likely to survive. I think the governor ought to explain — because it started because he cited his experience as a key part of his preparation for being president. And so I think the underlying model of that kind of investment, which is very different from venture capital, ought to be explained and those cases ought to be looked at.

Ok, Newt is asked to explain, specifically, what Romney did wrong at Bain, and after several run-on sentences about “models”, the Babe Ruth of debates fouls out while admitting that things “ought to be looked at”. But aren’t those that level charges against another supposed to have already looked at them? Of course.

Plants close all the time for all sorts of reasons, 99.9999999% of which have not been owned by Bain Capital. The plant named Bain made profits (Newt, conservatives consider profits as good) after Mitt Romney took it over and the former CEO was able to wax specific about the thousands of jobs saved or created thanks to Bain.

While we are “looking at cases” involving Mitt Romney’s executive experience, let us also gaze upon the saving of the post-911 Salt Lake City Olympics and the balancing of Massachusetts’ budget.

Yes, the dredging up of attacks from a scorned ex-wife can be despicable, but this former Democrat turned-conservative, due in large part to the class envy and economic ignorance-fueled disdain for entrepreneurs and the false allocation of blame for jobs losses of my former party, finds much more disdainful, Newt’s merit-less attacks against a good businessman  about things that need to be “looked into”.

Newt’s debate home runs tell us that the former Speaker is one of the most articulate expositors of conservative principles alive today, but what does his attack on Bain tell us about him? What does the fact that he is held in contempt by so many of his former colleagues in the House? Why all the silence or worse from his “home” state of Georgia when straining to hear encouraging words? When is Newt scheduled to make another unprincipled U-turn onto a couch with Nancy Pelosi to espouse policies that would kill more jobs that did bad Freddie Mac loans?

America is suffering. Yes, the unemployment rate as measured by the preferred MSM metric is now under 9% and if enough people quit looking for work, it could get to zero. The unemployment rate on Mars is also Zero.

Capital is on the sidelines for many reasons, most all of which begin and end with the presence of Barack Obama in the Oval Office. The policies he voted for as Senator with new Democratic  majorities from 2007-08 helped precipitate the Great Recession. The policies he signed into law passed by the super-majorities of his party in 2010-11 made the economy worse. His refusal to cut spending and reduce regulations at the behest of the tea partier-produced Republican majority in the 2011-12 House have kept the so-called “recovery” tepid.

The denial of the re-election of President Obama would kick-start a real recovery. History shows that the Election of 2012 should be the GOP’s to lose.

Why would we take a chance and nominate a man with proven character flaws that got him fired as Speaker and that could alienate voters we need to garner 270 electoral votes? Just because he hits occasional tape measure debate homers? I think not.

A vote for Rick Santorum in my former native state of South Carolina tomorrow, given his improved campaign skills and integrity, including his refusal to defame venture capitalism, would be a principled vote for a man that would most likely defeat Obama.

A vote for Mitt Romney would end the back-and-forth between Republican friends and allow the campaign against the Democrats to begin now. We have had enough vetting of our own dirty laundry.

Let’s return Newt to full-time Chattering Class status where we can enjoy his home runs in safe mode.

It is Mitt that can win the pennant.

Braves pitchers and catchers report on February 19…just saying.

Mike DeVine

Atlanta Law & Politics columnist –

Editor – Hillbilly Politics

Co-Founder and Editor – Political Daily

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

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