Thursday, May 31, 2012

The G Spot

By any account, Mitt Romney's tenure as governor of Massachussetts can be termed a period of moderate governance.
Which is great until you decide to run for President as a Republican:

"Mitt Romney claims his experience as a corporate buyout specialist will bring positive economic results for the nation," said an Obama campaign announcement.

"He made the same economic promises when he ran for governor of Massachusetts that he makes today -- more jobs, less debt and smaller government," added the statement. "Once in office, he broke all those promises and more."

I don't want to start to parse the Romney administration and weigh it on a scale of just how moderate it was. Suffice it to say that, by today's standards of homophobic legislation and anti-government rhetoric, it was pretty moderate.

So why would the Obama administration slam Mitt Romney as a moderate governor? After all, everyone-- except Mitt now, altho I suspect that will change by November-- acknowledges that Romneycare was the blueprint for Obamacare (clever, that, and part of Obama's vaunted eleven-dimensional chess), and that Romney was pro-family autonomy before he was pro-life.

("Family autonomy" meaning that medical decisions are left up to the individual family unit.)

You read that campaign tactic and view the four minute film and you begin to wonder if it makes sense: it's not going to persuade anyone on either side of the fence to switch allegiances. Republicans will still hold their noses and vote Romney and Democrats for Obama, albeit more enthusiastically. Anyone on the fence isn't really going to care about his social issue stances or his spotty record as governor.

Ah, but the devil is in the details...

The four-minute film notes that Romney raised state fees (i.e., taxes) and increased state debt during his single term in the statehouse; Massachusetts wound up 47th out of 50 states in job creation.

Those three items-- jobs, debt, and taxes-- are right at the top of the mind of every independent voter in every swing state. It shows that even Mitt Romney admits that he'll have to raise taxes and even then, there's no guarantee that he can cut the deficit. And, to boot, it thoroughly destroys the central rationale of his candidacy, that he's a job creator.

Remember, he was governor of Massachussetts, elected in 2002, and part of his constituency was the Route 128 corridor (Silicon Highway). A high tech hotbed that should have been creating jobs like crazy given the massive tax cuts that Congress passed under President....errr, what was his name again?

In other words, he stepped up to the plate with a runner on third and no outs and somehow managed to hit into a triple play. He could hardly have asked for more favorable economic conditions to take office in.

Mind you, in his first year in office, he received $500 million in Federal grants under the Homeland Security intiatives. He also got a windfall from increased capital gains tax increases passed under his predecessor of $1 billion. He still couldn't close the gap.

And he had strong bipartisan support from the Democratic legislature, mostly because he didn't set out to bash them as he has started to do in the general election campaign.

Yet, he still failed.

It's a powerful message, one that ought to resonate with voters across the country.