In all likelihood, Mitt Romney destroyed any possibility of ever becoming POTUS this morning. In order to understand why, you need to stop thinking like a reasonable person (Republican) and start thinking like a Democrat. If the incident had occurred last week, Mitt would be well on his way to surrendering New Hampshire to
his arch enemy Jon Huntsman.
The irony here is that the Romney surge could be over. If it is, and what we were seeing was a Romney surge, then you will never never never never never hear it from either the conservative punditry or the MSM. For the most part they are in the tank for Romney. If the polls are correct, he is hemorrhaging support. Contrary to his pandering pundits of the conservative world, he did not have good debate outings this weekend.
Getting back to the reason Mitt Romney will never be POTUS, is because of things like what happened today. In normal times, what he said would mean nothing. It was nothing. If he were a Dem, he could shed a single tear, blow his nose, and feel their pain. The real problem here is that Mitt Romney is perceived as a one dimensional stick-figure only slightly more animated than Al Gore. Democrats can get away with such things. Republicans cannot.
Democrats have mastered the hypocrisy game. Republicans are just plain stupid at it. Conservative pundits are stupid if they think Bain Capital is not a serious problem for Romney. Once again, The Pink Flamingo shall reiterate, what Romney did at Bain was not illegal. It was not unethical. It may not even have been immoral. But – it was not nice.
Perhaps it strikes a chord with me because of something I’m dealing with, along with my father’s Alzheimer’s. I did not take over the day to day finances for my parents until about a year ago. I’d been keeping an eye on things, but not paying much attention to how he was doing his banking until I sat down one afternoon (after setting up online banking) and started totaling service charges for over-drafts, money market transfers, and penalties for transferring money from his CDs.
In years gone by, he had an arrangement with the small, local bank he used for business. He’d overdraw, they would call, transfer from the money market, and not do a service fee. It was small-town banking where they knew him, had the mortgage for the house, did loans for the Mill, and where he deposited all of his money. In good years well over $1.5 million would flow through as cash. Everyone made money.
The world changed. So did he. We never realized, until last March, that he had a very serious problem. The Alzheimer’s had hit the part of his brain where he could no longer make a judgement call on things. I get hold of the banking records and discover that, instead of recommending to my parents (joint account) that they set up a different arrangement, one after another “bankers” assigned to handle his account, took care of their own bottom line, ignoring his. We always assumed (ass you me) that when he cracked a CD, the money was going into his money market account. Nope. The account executive would put it back into another CD, get a commission off it, and the bank charged a percentage for braking one. You break a jumbo CD and that’s a lot of money – over and over again. Instead of advising him to keep a large balance in his checking account, they would take his call. He would transfer a thousand bucks to the checking. They would crack open a CD, charge him a service fee and put the rest back into another CD. After about 3 years, this added up to a tremendous amount of money.
It was legal. It was ethical. It was moral, but it wasn’t nice. It wasn’t honorable or decent. It was a betrayal of trust. Sure, we were foolish not to keep an eye on things, but somewhere along the line, it seems like someone would be decent – but it was not required. So, a specific bank made tens of thousands of dollars off my father’s declining reasoning capacity.
It was not their business to keep track of things. It was ours. What was even more disgusting was the fact that the person who handled the brokerage end of things for the bank, told me if things had been done differently that same money would have made him several hundred thousand dollars. He did not even have the decency to call the persons handling the account to task.
This is the problem Mitt has with Bain Capital. There were thousands of people who lost jobs, homes, and saw their lives ruined. I reiterate, Mitt Romney did nothing illegal, immoral, or unethical. But – what he allowed his company to do to these people was not nice. It was not kind, and could have been handled differently. When you make millions off the suffering of people (even when you do nothing wrong) it is going to come back to haunt you.
Yes, Bain Capital could have done a heck of a lot of things differently, like the account execs forgoing multimillion dollar bonuses to go into a trust to help those who had their live shattered. They would have done something creatively decent, and Mitt Romney would have been unbeatable. They did not, and now he is not electable, because of perceptions.
All he needed to say was that a person should not be in politics for a career. Mitt Romney couldn’t do that. He suffers from the same malady most Republicans have – perceptions. If you are a corporate raider, don’t make these sort of remarks. You must understand that Obama will NEVER ever ever ever ever ever be held to account for his Tim Burton escapade. But, Mitt Romney will be forever damaged for just a few sentences.
If you doubt it, you are living in a Tim Burton nightmare fantasy land. You see, Mitt Romney cannot connect with the average Republican, let alone a Democrat fence leaner. The key to Bill Clinton “greatness” was his ability to allegedly feel someone’s pain. The key to George W. Bush’s greatness is his compassion and humanity. Mitt Romney has a perception problem. If you are a Democrat, like Al Gore, you can get away with being as stiff as Frankenstein’s monster. If you are a Republican, you get no slack. I you cannot adapt you lose.
It is too late for Mitt Romney. He will probably win the nomination, but he will not win the Presidency. He blew it today.