It’s the stupidity, stupid

I don’t like Mark Halperin-style process stories about campaigns, and don’t agree that much with “if he can’t run a campaign, how can he run the country” type analysis. That said, given establishment punditry’s reluctance to discuss criticism of Bain, our best best for keeping the story might be “oh noes, look how badly the Romney campaign is handling it“:

It would appear that a certain overconfidence has built up in the Romney camp, a smugness that would appear to come from beating an incredibly weak group of underfinanced, poorly organized rivals. In a couple of cases, these included candidates whose campaigns couldn’t even manage to get their names on the ballot in the state in which they were legal residents (Virginia). Maybe it won’t matter, maybe the economy is so lousy and unlikely to improve that voters will opt to fire Obama after all. But this election is starting to look enough like 2004 that Karl Rove should be demanding royalties from the Obama campaign, and others may conclude that no presidential campaign should ever again be based in Boston.

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118 replies
  1. 1
    Mike Goetz says:

    There was actually an interesting Halperin post today, containing this quote:

    “Maybe Romney’s foreign trip, VP selection, and convention will organically turn the page for him in time. But there are a lot of nervous Republicans outside the campaign who don’t think that’s true. And most of those nervous Republicans would be even more nervous if they knew what Chicago was still, patiently, sitting on.”

    Obama has only just begun. It’s geting kind of spooky how gimlet-eyed the Obama campaign has been.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    I hate to jinx it, but this is like a much-anticipated heavyweight championship of the world fight where one guy lands a haymaker in the first 30 seconds and the other guy can’t answer the bell.

  3. 3
    Karen says:

    It’s better than the MSM ignoring it. Yes, I have a real low bar.

  4. 4
    amk says:

    Now it’s DNC’s turn to hit mitt on his tax returns.

    me likey that the proverbial herding of the cats on this issue is quite impressive.

  5. 5
    Martin says:

    @BGinCHI:

    I hate to jinx it, but this is like a much-anticipated heavyweight championship of the world fight where one guy lands a haymaker in the first 30 seconds and the other guy can’t answer the bell.

    Yeah, and they don’t stop the fight in politics. You gotta keep getting up through the last round.

  6. 6
    Legalize says:

    Team Obama isn’t punching Willard; they are punching through Willard’s face.

  7. 7
    Hal says:

    Looks like the Romney camp is once again announcing they are this close to picking a VP. But it has nothing to do with trying to distract the country from Bain. Really.

    The funny thing is, Romney picking a VP now would probably just enhance talk of Bain with plenty of people connecting the dots. Romney is flailing, and he is never good at recovering from his flails.

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    @Martin: Plus you can keep hitting the guy/gal while they’re down.

    Not sporting, actually.

  9. 9
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Cook’s “In one private, unpublished analysis of nonpartisan polling this year” has the stench of BS. If he means those fabled “undecided voters” that get the Villagers moist — well, I’d like to see polling on whether they can tie their fucking shoelaces.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Of course. It’s the underlings. They’re fucking it up.

    It’s not the candidate. “Oh, bad things are happening because der Führer has some bad people around him!”

    Halperin can’t blame Rmoney. It’s his wretched campaign team! The problem is NEVER the candidate himself!

  11. 11
    Mike Goetz says:

    I would also add, Obama’s new commercial on Romney’s tax returns says this:

    “Makes you wonder if some years Romney paid any taxes at all.”

    You don’t drop in a meatball like that without having the goods. Obviously Halperin believes they have something in hand (did they tell him, on condition he say nothing about it until they roll it out?)

  12. 12
    dedc79 says:

    Sullivan posted this question from an emailer, which seems spot on: I’m very much looking forward to a reporter asking Romney this single question: “How many years worth of tax returns did you require VP candidates to submit for your consideration?”

  13. 13
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @amk:

    me likey that the proverbial herding of the cats on this issue is quite impressive.

    I think it’s fairly clear that Team Obama has a broad goal before Mittens fucks off on his Dancing Horse Adventure: Rmoney’s tax returns from the Bain Capital years. If Mittens tries a release going back only as far as 2003/4 or thereabouts, that’s going to look just as evasive as his current position.

  14. 14

    Of course it doesn’t help that they have a totally clueless candidate who somehow thinks that waiters and waitresses serving food at a posh Country Club where his fundraiser was being held are somehow “middle class”.

  15. 15
    wrb says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Of course. It’s the underlings. They’re fucking it up. It’s not the candidate.

    Fortunately management ability isn’t one of the job requirements, and isn’t anything Romney has ever claimed he possessed.

  16. 16
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Mike Goetz:

    You don’t drop in a meatball like that without having the goods.

    Harry Reid more than hinted at that too, didn’t he? “Mitt Romney can’t do that because he’s basically paid no taxes in the prior 12 years.”

    @Mike Goetz:

    (did they tell him, on condition he say nothing about it until they roll it out?)

    I doubt it. Halperin is sort of trolling here. If he’s heard anything on the downlow, it’s probably in as vague a way as he’s reporting it.

  17. 17
    Citizen_X says:

    others may conclude that no presidential campaign should ever again be based in Boston.

    Why on earth is it Boston’s fault that Rmoney runs a clusterfuck of a campaign?

  18. 18
    4tehlulz says:

    Well, that didn’t take long.

    “I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” Sununu said.

  19. 19
    bago says:

    The hell is up with Youtube/google? They’ve gone full on huffpo sideboob maxim axe body spray with their suggestions.

    Seriously, I’m trying to watch movies about robots, can you shackle the tits until after work hours?

  20. 20
    wrb says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Why on earth is it Boston’s fault that Rmoney runs a clusterfuck of a campaign?

    The water, most likely.

    Gotta be something.

    Talking through the nose?

  21. 21
    schrodinger's cat says:

    DougJ@top
    The bard of Applebee’s has spoken and he has a sad that Obama is attacking “Capitalism”.

  22. 22
    jwb says:

    @Mike Goetz: If you were Obama’s team, would you trust Halperin?

  23. 23
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @wrb: Dropping the r’s where they exist and adding them where they don’t.

  24. 24
    feebog says:

    Note that Ole’ Charley is trotting out the “Right Track” “Wrong Track” stats again. Except we don’t know which poll or when it was taken. And even though a lot of voters still think we are on the “Wrong Track” they also still blame Bush rather than Obama.

    Look, with all the Republican Obstructionism this economy is going to limp along for the rest of the year right into the November election. Things are not going to get much better in terms of job numbers and people are going to continue to feel that things are on the “Wrong Track”. The trick will be for Obama to paint the other guy as even worse (well on the way to mission accomplished there) and to pin the tail on the Republican congress for the lack of job creation (yet to be tackled in any meaningful way).

  25. 25
    Karen says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Not sporting, actually.

    That’s always been the Dems problem. No offense but fuck sporting. Mitten’s SuperPacs aren’t sporting. Why should Obama be?

    After all the shit Obama has been forced to swallow from the GOP and their cheerleaders and sycophants and their media, he’s fucking earned the right to be “not sporting.”

  26. 26
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Mike Goetz:

    “Makes you wonder if some years Romney paid any taxes at all.”

    Is it irresponsible to speculate? It is irresponsible not to.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    “My, the cah is dihty. It’s time to warsh the cah.”

  28. 28
    Karen says:

    @4tehlulz:

    Um, your link is broken.

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @4tehlulz: The link doesn’t work but typing it into google brings up a lot of hits.
    I’m sure MSM will be appalled and spend hours calling Romney mean.

  30. 30
    WereBear says:

    @Mike Goetz: I agree, they are planting “bombs to be detonated later” by preparing the ground; ie, the minds of the voters.

    Let them wonder… and then find out. MUCH more devastating.

    I love this squirming by the Usual Village Suspects. Fact is, you don’t have to be a genius when you are wading through cash, the media is in the tank, and you are willing to be much more loathsome than the voters think possible.

    I think it led to many overestimating the native skill they had to work with. And now it has reached its full flower… as in the Century Plant, pollinated by flies, and smells like rotting meat.

  31. 31
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Don’t foget to warsh the bumpah stickah also.

  32. 32
    Mino says:

    And by using up all the air blaming Romney and the campaign they don’t have to discuss the revulsion that voters are feeling at what is being revealed. That voters might be getting a clue.

  33. 33
    Captain Haddock says:

    @Mike Goetz: I don’t think they need to have anything at all, just need to plant doubt in the mind of the viewer. I find it amazing how the dems are running GOP style commercials for a change – that’s not a bad thing, just not used to seeing ’em fighting.

  34. 34
    Mino says:

    @WereBear: Quite the metaphor.

  35. 35
    rea says:

    @wrb: “The water, most likely”

    [Singing]:

    Yeah, down by the river
    Down by the banks of the river Charles
    Aw, that’s what’s happenin’ baby
    That’s where you’ll find me
    Along with lovers, buggers and thieves
    Aw, but they’re cool people

    Well I love that dirty water
    Oh, Boston you’re my home
    Oh, you’re the number one place

    Frustrated women (I mean they’re frustrated)
    Have to be in by twelve o’clock (oh, that’s a shame)
    But I’m wishin’ and a hopin’, oh
    That just once those doors weren’t locked
    I like to save time for my baby to walk around

    Well I love that dirty water
    Oh, Boston you’re my home (oh yeah)

  36. 36
    Roger Moore says:

    and don’t agree that much with “if he can’t run a campaign, how can he run the country” type analysis.

    I’m not sure about that. I think you can learn something useful about a candidates managerial style by looking at how they manage their campaign. Bush was just along for the ride and let other people run things for him. Obama appoints people he trusts and gives them a lot of room, but he’s still the man when it comes to something important. That’s how they campaigned, and that’s how they governed. Romney is campaigning like a man who wants to make all the decisions himself, and it’s a good be that’s how he’d try to run things as President.

  37. 37
    Haydnseek says:

    @BGinCHI: No, not sporting at all, but deeply satisfying to watch.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    @4tehlulz: heh heh ..
    Reply from the Obama campaign

    “The Romney campaign has officially gone off the deep end,” Smith said in a statement. “The question is what else they’ll pull to avoid answering serious questions about Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital and investments in foreign tax havens and offshore accounts. This meltdown and over-the-top rhetoric won’t make things better- it only calls attention to how desperate they are to change the conversation.”

    edit must thank tpm

  39. 39
    amk says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Yup, reid said on that on the senate floor, no less.

    How really toxic are the fucking mittbot’s returns ?

  40. 40
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Yes, I noticed that “I haz serket study that says Obama is TOAST!” Then why pray tell has it not shown in the countless polls that have been done?

  41. 41
    Karen says:

    @4tehlulz:

    Here’s the link

  42. 42
    Nina says:

    Halperin doesn’t have the self-control to sit on any secret campaign information. I suspect his “contacts” on the Obama team are acting unbearably smug, whether they have anything or not, and Halperin is picking up on their confidence.

    And Romney gave us an awful lot to work with in the primaries. I’m waiting on the commercial with the “I like to fire people” soundbite. The 10k bet. The severe conservatism.

    I’m still nervous about the money avalanche. But if we can weather that, even turn that around, well, time to chill the fuck out.

    Obama’s got this.

  43. 43
    amk says:

    @Roger Moore: Bingo. The ‘management’ styles couldn’t be any more starker than this.

    Chicago beats the shite out of Boston. Hands down.

  44. 44
    flukebucket says:

    It would be glorious to find out that Mitt is one of those awful 49% that pays no taxes. What would Rushbo say?

    I am not going to be happy until the Obama team makes Mitt cry on national television.

    Who is in over their head now you entitled self righteous asshole?

  45. 45
    EconWatcher says:

    It’s interesting to watch David Frum right now. For a while, he was shamelessly shilling for Romney. But now you can see a whole lot of bobbing and weaving, while he tries to decide whether this is a lost cause that he should abandon.

    He’s a pretty good canary in the coal mine. If he starts pounding Romney consistently, you can infer that he doesn’t see any possible career prospects in a Romney Administration, so he might as well go back to burnishing those “reasonable and independent” credentials.

  46. 46
    redshirt says:

    @amk: I’m in Boston right now but in this fight – Go Chicago! Down with Beantowne!

  47. 47
    BGinCHI says:

    @Karen: Your snark meter has been recalled. Please proceed immediately to your dealer.

  48. 48
    Rafer Janders says:

    What’s almost been best about this is that Obama has essentially forced Romney into an own goal. Faced with some criticism of his time at Bain, Romney has insisted, at full volume, that despite being President, Chairman, CEO and sole shareholder of Bain from 199-2002, he had “no association” with it whatsoever.

    So this makes people wonder: if it’s that important to Romney to distance himself from Bain, then what the hell was Bain up to at that time? If the president, chairman, CEO and sole shareholder of a firm considers any assocation with his firm in those years to be toxic, then it must be pretty bad. And so the association in the public mind is made: Bain equals shady, unsavory, potentially criminal. And that’s all because Romney was so insistently defensive about claiming that he had no ties.

    Since Bain is now all that Romney has on his resume (because he can’t run on his time as governor of Massachusetts), Romney himself has knocked out a key part of the reason why anyone should vote for him.

  49. 49
    BGinCHI says:

    @Haydnseek: It’s more Ultimate Fighting than Marquess of Queensberry, that’s for sure.

    Mitt’s trying to find the ropes at this point but it’s a cage.

  50. 50
    hueyplong says:

    “Sporting” is what Al Gore’s concession speech was.

    After 3.5 years of birtherism, racism and conspiracy theories that your cat would laugh at, these people are completely estopped to utter so much as a whisper about unfairness.

    The Republicans have more money than can be imagined. They’ll eventually find something that works and then saturate the airwaves/internet 24/7. The Obama campaign’s plan seems to be to harden sentiment before that can happen. Can’t say I disagree with that.

    As for Romney thinking the waitstaff at his event was the middle class, that’s exactly where he wants us to be. The lower middle class will be begging in the streets, and the lowest classes will be living a short, Hobbesian life of the vilest sort.

  51. 51

    @EconWatcher:

    It’s interesting to watch David Frum right now. For a while, he was shamelessly shilling for Romney. But now you can see a whole lot of bobbing and weaving, while he tries to decide whether this is a lost cause that he should abandon.

    You very well might be onto something.

    Watching Frum’s twitter feed this morning has been like watching a game at Wimbledon. (To. Fro. To. Fro.)

  52. 52
    elisabeth says:

    @Captain Haddock:

    Makes me wonder if the campaign has a series of ads with different suggestions as to why Romney won’t release the returns.

  53. 53
    Todd says:

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com.....n-american

    Sununu always was a classless prick, and I’ve long thought that the world will be a much better place when the fucker sheds this mortal coil.

  54. 54
    amk says:

    @Rafer Janders: The greedy fucker is boxed in. As someone said here, Obama has locked all the doors from outside with mittbot inside and the shit is rising.

    mitt must be ruing the day that he ditched the idea of running on his record of govnor.

  55. 55
    wrb says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Since Bain is now all that Romney has on his resume (because he can’t run on his time as governor of Massachusetts), Romney himself has knocked out a key part of the reason why anyone should vote for him.

    He’s still got that management ability he demonstrates every and his extraordinary hepness.

  56. 56
    JPL says:

    Well when the campaign spokesperson say that the President needs to learn how to be an American, you wonder if this campaign isn’t imploding internally.
    I still think Romney lasts through the Olympics.

  57. 57
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Romantic Obots might like this picture:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....game-video

  58. 58
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Romney is campaigning like a man who wants to make all the decisions himself, and it’s a good be that’s how he’d try to run things as President.

    I get the feeling more that the Rmoney campaign is being run by a lot of wannabe-Rmoneys, behaving in their master’s image. Management consultants all the way down.

  59. 59
    Anya says:

    Did the Short Fingered Vulgarian take over Mittenz’s campaign? What’s next? Demand for the release of the college applications?

  60. 60

    @JPL:

    I still think Romney lasts through the Olympics.

    It looks like he’s only going to the Olympics for 2 days (Jul 27-28).

  61. 61
    Rafer Janders says:

    @amk:

    It’s wonderful to behold the way that in one short week the Obama campaign (with, it must be admitted, a ton of help from Mitt “Go away there ain’t no Bain Capital and there never was!” Romney) has made the name “Bain” synonomous with scandal and suspicion.

    For the rest of the campaign, whenever anyone tries to tout Romney’s managerial experience at Bain, millions of voters will have a tiny little bell go off in their heads and think “Bain? Huh, wasn’t that the place where something weird and shady went on…?”

  62. 62
    Brooklyn Michael says:

    …and others may conclude that no presidential campaign should ever again be based in Boston.

    …yeah, yeah, I know, point of the post is despite the stupidity, process stories like this help keep the story alive, but….

    Jeebus, just shoot me in the #$&*@^! head, that is so dumb.

  63. 63
    Brachiator says:

    @dedc79:

    Sullivan posted this question from an emailer, which seems spot on: I’m very much looking forward to a reporter asking Romney this single question: “How many years worth of tax returns did you require VP candidates to submit for your consideration?”

    Oh, yes. The VP vetting process keeps the tax return issue alive.

    And if the VP candidate says he or she only showed 2 years to Romney, the Democrats should hit for a more full disclosure. Then, either Romney and his VP would have to disclose more, or both will be saddled with this lack of transparency throughout the presidential campaign.

    @DougJ:

    I don’t like Mark Halperin-style process stories about campaigns, and don’t agree that much with “if he can’t run a campaign, how can he run the country” type analysis.

    These stories seem more than fair to me; it goes to questions of character and competence. But it shouldn’t be the main focus.

    The issue here, which Obama has rightfully seized on, is that the Bain issue goes straight to undermining Romney’s claim of being the Businessman in Chief that everyone is waiting for. The gravy is that how Romney and his team responds to these criticisms, and his stubborn refusal to release more tax returns, raises questions about how imperious a president Romney might be, and the degree to which a Romney presidency would be the ultimate crony capitalism administration.

  64. 64
    lacp says:

    The convention in Tampa was always going to be a circus, and the clueless flailing by Willard & Co. can only make it more entertaining.

  65. 65
    wrb says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    I get the feeling more that the Rmoney campaign is being run by a lot of wannabe-Rmoneys,

    Exactly.

    Not only to they not do empathy for the commoners, they’ve always sneered at the idea of it.

  66. 66
    IowaOldLady says:

    Romney is running out of time. Early voting here starts September 23.

  67. 67
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Todd: So they respond with trolling? Good lord, these clown’s are short of a clue.

  68. 68
    grandpa john says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: So even BOBO is now just mailing it in.

  69. 69
    JPL says:

    Well with Ron Paul jumping on release the tax returns band wagon, this isn’t going to end well.

  70. 70
    quannlace says:

    Well when the campaign spokesperson say that the President needs to learn how to be an American, you

    Apparently, Sununu doesn’t believe Hawaii is part of the United States.

  71. 71
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Team Obama’s response to Sununu was a little pat: it should have been “is Romney paying for his corporate jets these days?”

  72. 72
    valency says:

    This sort of meta-analysis where you criticise how the campaign is “handling” an issue, not the issue itself, is characteristic of a situation where the villagers smell blood but aren’t quite ready to tip their hand yet. They feel a little conflicted, because this whole Bain Capital thing sounds a little like attacking capitalism and upper class privilege, the sort of thing that only communists talk about, but at the same time, they can’t deny the “resonance with voters” and that there’s “serious questions to be answered.”

    Should the issue progress further, steps will be made to isolate the issue to Romney and Bain capital alone without launching into a general critique of venture capital firms or highly leveraged casino capitalism.

  73. 73
    cmorenc says:

    @dedc79:

    Sullivan posted this question from an emailer, which seems spot on: I’m very much looking forward to a reporter asking Romney this single question: “How many years worth of tax returns did you require VP candidates to submit for your consideration?”

    For that exact reason, Romney’s most likely response will be that the vetting process is through, but he won’t discuss the details with the press.

  74. 74
    scav says:

    Sununu’s platonic ideal of Real ‘Mercans ™. Doormats to Dollars.

  75. 75
    JPL says:

    @quannlace: Well he was smoking weed in Hawaii, so that doesn’t count. The president is also friends with felons..

  76. 76

    Someone asked upthread how they were going to be able to frame the tax return thing should they release the returns. They were already floating that response yesterday on MJ. All of Mitt’s income is capital gains you see, which has already been taxed, so it is only fair that you add in the taxes that were paid on that before it got to Mitt and THEN add in what Mittens paid on top of that.

    If as suggested he really did pay zero in some years you can bet that will be their line “it was already taxed at the corporate level”.

  77. 77
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    as news of Sununu’s Limbaugh-esque tantrum leaks through the media like the sewage that it is, it brings up another point: What is it about someone who is at best an obscure relic from the Bush administration, and is more like Chris Christie’s crazy uncle– fat, nasty and lacking self-control, why would anyone pick him as a media surrogate?

    “I wish this president would learn how to be an American,” Sununu said later.

  78. 78
    jl says:

    The post makes a good point. If Romney stinks up the VSP joint too much, and makes it too difficult to maintain kayfabe, the media gasbags will jump ship by emitting drivel about ‘what his poor campaign technique says about him’.

    As long as the drivel reminds people that Romney is the kind of creep who can be CEO, chairman, president and sole stockholder of a sleazy company, and then technically absolve himself of responsibility by resigning retroactively, then I approve, though I won’t bother to listen to it.

  79. 79
    quannlace says:

    The convention in Tampa was always going to be a circus,

    Yikes. Can you just imagine the little tribute film and photo montage they always show before the candidate makes his acceptance speech? Will Bain make the cut?

  80. 80
    amk says:

    @JPL: ron paul has already jumped in on this ?

  81. 81
    dead existentialist says:

    @Rafer Janders: Needs to spelled the correct way: b-a-n-e.

    Mitt’s getting the idea lately.

  82. 82
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Rmoney to NRO on his tax returns: “I’m simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort, and lie about.”

    Thousands of pages?

    My thought on this all along is like the Rude Pundit’s — when most people think of tax returns, they’re assuming the annual annoyance of the 1040. If you run a company or work for yourself, then it’s a bit more than that, but it’s still a relatively small amount of official paperwork. When Mittens prints out his tax returns, he needs to change the printer cartridge half-way through.

  83. 83
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: You mean the company he was CEO and sole shareholder of?

  84. 84
    Martin says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Why on earth is it Boston’s fault that Rmoney runs a clusterfuck of a campaign?

    It’s hard to relocate campaign staffers to new cities. As a result, a lot of the top staffers won’t sign on with you – they want to stay in DC. And there’s less infrastructure to work off of – fewer political ad shops, that kinds of stuff that campaigns outsource. There was a lot of concern over this when Obama decided to run his campaign out of Chicago.

    The other side of it though, is that it’s not has hard as the Villagers would have you believe, but they want the campaigns in DC because it’s easier for them to dish dirt and rub elbows.

  85. 85
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    If as suggested he really did pay zero in some years you can bet that will be their line “it was already taxed at the corporate level”.

    “Prove it.” Somehow I don’t think he wants the various Bain Capital entities’ corporate returns out in the open.

  86. 86

    @scav:

    The irony of a guy who was born in Cuba to a Palistinian father and a San Salvadorian mother saying that a guy born in Hawaii to a US citizen should “learn to be an American” just tipped the earth off its axis.

  87. 87
    lacp says:

    @quannlace: They better have an assload of stock footage of the Olympics.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: “well, I’d like to see polling on whether they can tie their fucking shoelaces”
    Ind: “What are shoelaces?”

    Once independents do not know what side they are on, they don’t know _anything_.

    I looked at poll details once and the independents had no clue, about anything.

  89. 89
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Maybe it won’t matter, maybe the economy is so lousy and unlikely to improve that voters will opt to fire Obama after all.

    This is exactly what most of the wingnuts I know insist: that none of it matters because they assume everyone hates Obama as much as they do. I think the Romney campaign was assuming the same thing.

  90. 90
    Randy P says:

    My opthalmologist is otherwise a wonderful person but unfortunately a Fox News dittohead. So this morning in her office I heard a quote from Obama about “If you own a small business, you didn’t build it, somebody gave it to you”. Apparently it’s making the rounds.

    Knowing how Faux has a way of pulling quotes out so the person comes out saying the exact opposite of what they actually said… does anyone know what Obama actually said?

  91. 91
    Rafer Janders says:

    @quannlace:

    Can you just imagine the little tribute film and photo montage they always show before the candidate makes his acceptance speech? Will Bain make the cut?

    Can’t mention Harvard. Can’t mention Mormonism. Can’t mention Massachusetts or Romneycare. Can’t mention Bain after 1999, when Bain was taken over by Beelzebub and apparently started in the white slavery traffic, to judge from Romney’s frantic efforts to distance himself.

    Vote for Rommey because…just because, peasant!

  92. 92
    Martin says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    If as suggested he really did pay zero in some years you can bet that will be their line “it was already taxed at the corporate level”.

    Only if it was paid as dividends – and even then only if you don’t work for the company. If you work for the company, the dividend payments are tax free. If it was realized due to sale of stock, the company never owned that – you did. It was never taxed.

  93. 93
    catclub says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: “The irony of a guy who was born in Cuba to a Palistinian father and a San Salvadorian mother saying”

    The amazing thing is only the lack of self awareness, because that first guy IS the epitome of the American story. We are a nation of immigrants, each generation of which mostly forgets and wants to pull up the ladder. The things that actually DO make the US exceptional are the ones that the guys who proclaim about US exceptionalism, want to eliminate.

  94. 94
    the Conster says:

    I’m completely loving how we’re getting a two fer with the O Team’s Romney nut squeezing. With every tightening of the vise Romney squeals then hides, and his bootlickers in the press howl in pain. It’s a thing of beauty to see the media and their puppet masters caught in O’s trap for everyone to see how the game is rigged. Well played, O Team, well played.

  95. 95
    amk says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: There you go.

  96. 96
    catclub says:

    @Randy P: Think Progress is already on it. Go there, young poster.

  97. 97
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Randy P: Have you googled it to see where it came from?

  98. 98
    Martin says:

    @Randy P: Obama:

    If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

    The classic out of context quote. Actually, not as bad as when they took Obama quoting his opposition, but pretty close.

  99. 99

    @catclub:

    The things that actually DO make the US exceptional are the ones that the guys who proclaim about US exceptionalism, want to eliminate.

    This.

  100. 100
    Chat Noir says:

    @Randy P: Steve Benen has a post about it. Natch, President Obama’s comments were taken completely out of context.

  101. 101
    Tim F. says:

    @Randy P: The context of the quote.

  102. 102
    elaine benes says:

    @Brachiator:

    Sullivan posted this question from an emailer, which seems spot on: I’m very much looking forward to a reporter asking Romney this single question: “How many years worth of tax returns did you require VP candidates to submit for your consideration?”

    I’m thinking that it’s highly likely that the tax returns of the VP contenders were requested and turned over long before the brouhaha of the last week erupted. And I’ll bet $10k that the Romney camp asked for many years’ worth. It would be malpractice/suicidal not to.

  103. 103
    catclub says:

    @Brachiator: “Romney presidency would be the ultimate crony capitalism administration.”

    I think the Obama team can handle the Romney crony capitalism charges.
    Three word response: Dick Cheney Halliburton

  104. 104
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Maybe it won’t matter, maybe the economy is so lousy and unlikely to improve that voters will opt to fire Obama after all.

    This is exactly what most of the wingnuts I know insist: that none of it matters because they assume everyone hates Obama as much as they do. I think the Romney campaign was assuming the same thing.

    Crossroads has started running an ad here that says pretty much this. Obama has had his chance to fix things. It’s OK to change.

  105. 105
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @catclub: I think the Obama team can handle the Romney crony capitalism charges.
    Three word response: Dick Cheney Halliburton

    an even better one is the links between Romney’s “rescue” of the Olympics and Bain et al, Staples, Huntsmans’ chemical company, and more

  106. 106
    Turgidson says:

    But this election is starting to look enough like 2004 that Karl Rove should be demanding royalties from the Obama campaign

    I’m sure others have beaten me to the punch on this, but it annoys me that the Bain offensive is getting compared to the Rove slime barrage of 2004.

    Rove’s operation defamed, mocked, ridiculed and flagrantly lied about a war hero, despite contemporaneous accounts of his bravery. Tragically for our nation, it worked.

    Obama’s operation is pointing out aspects of Romney’s record that are verifiable by documents signed under penalty of perjury by Romney himself. Granted, they’re doing this pointing out with brass-knuckled fists. It also seems to be working.

    How is lying about and smearing a war hero comparable to telling the truth about a lying vulture capitalist asshole, exactly?

  107. 107
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Randy P: My Republican/Wall Street relatives were livid about that yesterday. I think Obama should have said, in the offending phrase, “on your own” or “all by yourself,” as he was saying both before and afterwards. But the meaning is clear. I think it’s going to be one of these things like “spread the wealth around” that the nutters repeat like a catechism and nobody else understands what the big fuss is.

  108. 108
    wrb says:

    @quannlace:

    Yikes. Can you just imagine the little tribute film and photo montage they always show before the candidate makes his acceptance speech? Will Bain make the cut?

    What does he have left?

    When the SUV sets off into America’s golden dawn, will the dog on top look enthusiastic?

  109. 109
    Haydnseek says:

    @BGinCHI: I would love to see Rmoney tap out, but I realize that’s way too much to ask for. I’m not that confident in Obama’s submission skills. I’ll gladly settle for a decision.

  110. 110
    SatanicPanic says:

    @FlipYrWhig: He should troll them by spiking his speeches with things like- Now there are some people who say (pause) I am a sockulist (pause) but I believe in the power of markets…

  111. 111
    Haydnseek says:

    @Todd: He can share a plot with Dick Cheney.

  112. 112
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Which is odd, because that’s not at all how Republican presidents traditionally govern: from Eisenhower to Reagan to Bush, the standard was “let your advisors run things and just remain the figurehead.”

  113. 113
    Haydnseek says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: @Jim, Foolish Literalist: They picked Sununu because he so perfectly compliments Ted Nugent and Donald Trump.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    They were already floating that response yesterday on MJ. All of Mitt’s income is capital gains you see, which has already been taxed, so it is only fair that you add in the taxes that were paid on that before it got to Mitt and THEN add in what Mittens paid on top of that.

    The company I work for was taxed on their earnings before I got my salary, so that means I should be exempt from income tax, right? Otherwise, it’s double taxation!

    Oh, and sales tax should be eliminated, too, because I’m buying something that the government already taxed, so making me pay tax on it is double taxation!

    I can play this game all day.

  115. 115
    Nutella says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    I get the feeling more that the Rmoney campaign is being run by a lot of wannabe-Rmoneys, behaving in their master’s image. Management consultants all the way down.

    That would explain why it’s such a clusterf*ck.

  116. 116
    satby says:

    @FlipYrWhig: A friend posted the Fox version on FB and snarked that he at least had to thank his parents for having him but that he built his business by himself. He was roundly smacked down by a number of his friends (including me).

    The weird thing is that this guy is an IT recruiter/ contractor manager and has been hammered by the Repug policies like off shoring and union busting that drive wages down. How he doesn’t see the direct downward trajectory of his business and the policies that sent it into the crapper amazes me.

  117. 117
    mclaren says:

    Very clearly, Romney needs to outsource his campaign. He can offshore it to Saudi Arabia, do a leveraged buy-out of the White House, then refinance that property to buy the congress. Then he can sell it all in a leaseback deal to Canada and retire to Greenland.

  118. 118

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