Never underestimate the ingenuity of the New York Times when it comes to creating – not finding, creating – misfeasance by Mitt Romney. In a front-page, above-the-fold story on Wednesday, under the headline, “Romney’s Trade Message and Bain’s China Ties,” Sharon LaFraniere and Mike McIntire ran into a problem. After reciting how a company owned by Bain Capital since 2010 had closed down U.S. plants and shipped the work and jobs to China, the Times reporters (columnists?) say that Romney’s “private equity dealings, both while he headed Bain and since, complicate” his message that we must crack down on Chinese trade cheating.
Since Romney left Bain long before the deal in question, the “and since” presented a difficulty. A small, soluble matter for a newspaper unwilling to let facts get in the way of its drive to help reelect Barack Obama. Journalistic standards demanded that the reporters mention that Romney’s investments are in a blind trust over which he has no control. So first call that fact into question while at the same time reporting it. “Mr. Romney’s campaign insists he has no control over his investments since they are held in a blind trust.” Note the “Mr. Romney’s campaign insists…” a bit of sly innuendo suggesting that, well, it might not be true because all we know is that the Romney campaign says it’s so, but we have no proof that Romney has any say over his investments.
There is worse. Since Romney’s investments are beyond his control, and since he left Bain before these job destroying investments were made, what is a columnist working for a newspaper that has become an Obama house organ to do? Resort to that great trick, that bridge from a fact to a non sequitur, “That said…” So, after grudgingly conceding that Romney had no say in the transaction that resulted in a shift of jobs to China, the authors go on, “That said, a confidential prospectus for one of the Bain funds, obtained by The New York Times, promotes China as a good investment for some of the same reasons Mr. Romney has said concern him…”.
In other words, the folks now in charge at Bain Capital think China is a good investment, perhaps because the president has failed to stop it from cheating, and are doing their job of maximizing the returns to their investors. How they do that is beyond Romney’s control: A “blind trust” is just that, with a trustee making decisions that remain unknown to the investor.
Robert Caro, in the latest volume of his biography of Lyndon Johnson, points out that the then-president had telephones installed in the White House living quarters that were independent of the White House switchboard, and were used by the president to communicate with the trustees of his only supposedly blind trust. Let’s hope that some Times reporter doesn’t notice a bedside telephone in one of the hotels or motels used by Romney during his campaign treks, and tell us that he has no proof that Romney uses it to give directions to his trustee, but, “that said,” at least one former president (probably best not to name a Democrat) used a bedside phone to give eyes to his blind trust.
Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, who is giving a keynote address tonight at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, is a beneficiary of Bain Capital, the private equity firm Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney helped create.
President Obama used his most recent interview with the Associated Press, released today, once again to hit Mitt Romney for investing overseas. "[T]he small bits of disclosure that he has put forward indicate investments in the Bahamas, or Swiss bank accounts," Obama said of Romney.
Mitt Romney's campaign sent out House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan's appearance on CBS's Face the Nation. On the TV show, Ryan said this election is "really going to be a big choice about two futures."
Most journalists will swear that, despite the fact they vote Democratic, they treat both sides fairly. Indeed, it is a rare event to read a news article that directly attacks the Republican party or one that praises the Democratic party.
But that does not mean media bias does not exist. It does – its exercise is just subtler than this. And the last two weeks have been a great example of how it operates.
In a local interview with WJLA, President Obama urges Mitt Romney to say that he was running Bain Capital after 1999, though Romney insists he did not actively manage the company at that time. "Well, here's what I know, we were just talking about responsibility and as president of the United States, it's pretty clear to me that I'm responsible for folks who are working in the federal government and you know, Harry Truman said the buck stops with you," Obama said.
A new television advertisement from the campaign of presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attacks President Barack Obama's campaign for spreading lies and dishonest attacks. Watch the ad, titled "No Evidence," here:
President Obama, envious of China’s economic model, proclaimed his admiration for the high-speed railways, bridges, skyscrapers, and solar panels that China is building. (“That used to be us,” he famously said – a line apparently so powerful it became the title of a book.) But even the Chinese know that Obama’s envy is misplaced.
During one of his lesser moments in South Carolina, Mitt Romney insisted he would never apologize for his success, “success” being his preferred euphemism for titanic wealth. Surely, he’s right. He should no more apologize for being wealthy than we should want him to do so. To a greater degree than most of the world, America does not demonize its millionaires—we celebrate them. And this attitude is part of what makes us exceptional.
A couple weeks ago Vanity Fair published an excerpt from Michael Kranish and Scott Helman’s book The Real Romney. It was not entirely unfriendly to Mitt Romney, but neither was it entirely fair. For example, the authors tip their hand as to their own views and agendas in the following passage:
Politics makes for strange posturings. It seems that several of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination—some eagerly, others somewhere between reluctantly and warily—have decided that it is evil to take over failing companies and attempt to restructure them so that they can grow and create jobs.