George Romney built things. George Romney served his community. Governor, you're no George Romney.

In Presidential elections, every candidate has their defining moment. The defining moment of the 2012 campaign carries echoes of 1988 - and 1968.

 

First, 1988. Before there was Sarah Palin, there was Dan Quayle.

 


An epic moment of political theater, in an election fast on the way to taking its place among the annals of great Democratic Party defeats. The last election prior to the party's co-opting by its neoliberal center – though many considered Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas to be the party's first grand concession in that direction. The Hail Mary heave by a flagging Dukakis campaign to pry Texas' 38 elecoral votes away from resident George H.W. Bush.

 

Quayle is  the man who decided to enter politics after viewing Mike Ritchie's prescient The Candidate  - and comparing himself favorably with the Robert Redford character. A movie he completely missed the point of theatlanticwire.com

 

Bentsen's riposte has long outlasted the memory of the campaign during which it was delivered.


Flash forward to campaign 2012. Gaffes are said to occur when a politician says what they feel. Citizen Romney fractures America into the portions he doesn't care about, ignoring the portion whose votes he needs, while acknowledging the tiny portion he represents.


The Citizen tells a roomful of high-flying donors that he's not out to win the vote of the 47%, who he says don't pay taxes, don't care about their lives, and feel entitled to housing and healthcare from the government. Establishment media, sensing a game change, pounce.

 

The divide and conquer strategic remark is alleged to be revealing, but as noted by some, it's business as usual. Whether the bootlegged candor serves to deter the candidate's voters remains to be seen.


The son of former Michigan governor George Romney thus openly and inadvertently admits his war on the poor – many of whom work. Or worked their whole life and are now retired, living on social security. The remark - also inadvertently - suggests a contempt for those  in states whose electoral votes the Citizen takes for granted businessinsider


The candidate's telling choice of words harkens back to an intimate, familiar historical moment for the candidate.


George Romney is indelibly associated with his home state of Michigan and the city of Detroit. His business acumen saved a company and created jobs within the community. Buildings are named after him for the public service he provided.


And it must now be concluded, George Romney was everything his brazen son is not. Except in this one aspect : both men's campaigns are now marked by their inability to filter their comments before an unforgiving public.

However there are profound differences in the comments, as there are between the men . George Romney doomed his own candidacy with a true “off the cuff” remark - one which reflected a personal re-evaluation of the human cost of the Vietnam War.


His 1968 campaign to win the Republican nomination ends when he says he was “brain-washed” on a 1965 fact-finding mission by US diplomats and military advisers into supporting the war. Romney would quickly bow out of the campaign, admitting that it hurts to be “too right too soon.”


(Senator Eugene McCarthy noted that, in Romney's case, "a light rinse would have been sufficient." )


Romney was a take charge, no doubt brash businessman accustomed to speaking candidly. Tired from campaigning, he did not adequately weigh the impact of his words.


His lapse stands in sharp contrast to the deliberate, strategic comments made by his son - in order to curry favor and secure contributions from a roomful of billionaires.

His wayward son chastises the 47 percent - while obscuring his own tax picture, hiding the myriad loopholes he and his firm have taken advantage of to enrich themselves. To avoid the uncomfortable reality that his soaring investments are taxed at a far lesser rate than the paychecks of the working class he berates. Cbsnews

 


George Romney  viewed mid-20th century American manufacturing as the engine to lift workers up – similar to a man he admired greatly, Henry Ford. He was a rugged individualist and unabashed capitalist. He did not believe government had the answer to all society's ills. He did not always agree with organized labor nor was he violently opposed to them (as Ford was). He did not believe in Right to Work, unlike his son. He did not endorse the idea of runaway CEO pay and hiring workers for as low as you could get them, before firing them without a second thought. (below)


Unlike his son, who roamed the economic landscape as a predator, snatching up companies and loading them with debt – to cover his own firm's astronomical fees and investment returns – George Romney built a single company – American Motors - using innovation, grit, and determination to create jobs in his community. As a Republican, he stood at the front of his party on key controversial social issues of the day. He served as the Head of Affordable Housing where he sought housing production increases for the poor, and for open housing to desegregate suburbs.”



In the face of business and economic crises, George Romney assumed responsibility; leadership then came to him. He at times took politically unpopular positions, risking the wrath of his own party to do what his personal experience told him was right. In some of his last public remarks he noted “popularity is no indicator of truth.” (below) For the organized, the prospect of standing together - even as you're fired. But at least you worked for awhile at $10-$20/hr. </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> For the unorganized, the vision is starker. By whom we mean the 93% of American workers in the private sector not represented by collective bargaining agreements. </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> It's laid out in an exchange between NPR On Point Host <b>Tom Ashbrook</b> and his guest, WSJ economics writer and Romney shill <a href="http://topics.wsj.com/person/M/stephen-moore/5675">Stephen Moore</a> who lambasts those receiving public assistance. He cites the burden they place on America, since they “pay no taxes.” Even as some of them sit at home on social security - a program they paid into their entire working lives.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> When pressed by Ashbrook, Moore gives the game away, saying he wants to restore the Clintonian work requirements for Welfare. It's another talking point that sounds good and scores easy political points : no benefits to lazy slackers while the rest of us work to support them. It's also untrue work requirements were waived, but that's beside the point. <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/aug/07/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-says-barack-obamas-plan-abandons-tenet/"><i><b>politifact</b></i></a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> This space gives the one percent their proportionate due. As such, we highlight the following portfolio strategy :</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> The reality of <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_Responsibility_and_Work_Opportunity_Act">welfare to work requirements</a> is that the state subsidizes the low wages paid to private sector workers –&nbsp; downsized into public assistance and dead end retail jobs. Its good news for participating employers and their investors. By this we mean places like the Sports Authority, Domino's, Staples, etc. (the Bain Capital success stories.) </p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">Think Wal-Mart relying on the states to cover employees wages and health insurance, a fact for which <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/24/walmart-agrees-to-pay-wor_n_153287.html">they've been sued successfully by state attorney generals, multiple times. </a> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> With the state picking up part of the tab, the opportunity for investor profits run high.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> Then, when the time is ripe - sell! For case studies, check out the now defunct <b><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KB_Toys">KB Toys</a>, a </b>Pittsfield Massachusetts firm founded in 1922 by the Kaufman family. Whose love of toys approximately mirrored George Romney's love of automobiles.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> For decades, the firm operated with strong income flows. Four years after Bain Capital did its leveraged buy out, it went into bankruptcy, and managed to separate its workers from the firm with no severance. But the returns to Bain investors were enormous, thanks to a “dividend recapitalization” that returned 900% return over 16 months.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <i><b>After showing workers the door, short their public assistance and blame them for destroying the country by shorting the treasury. <a href="http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/09/18/romney-and-the-dependent-47">OnPoint</a> (Audio) </b></i> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <i><b>Matt Taibbi takes a detailed look at Citizen Romney's business strategies and offers the following “His legendary flip-flops aren't the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they're the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal.” <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829">Rolling Stone</a></b></i></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> As far as the 47 percent, Citizen Romney needs their votes but, it turns out, despises and fears their political presence, where the principle of one man, one vote threatens the wealth pyramid. Hence the 47 percent can be written off, or better yet, kept from voting entirely. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/19/daryl-metcalfe-pennsylvania-voter-id_n_1898514.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012"><i><b>huffpost</b></i></a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;">Still, it may prove to be a dangerous political strategy. American democracy is not the business world. And it's very much not the leveraged, private equity world. Word is many in the group he disparages come from the very states the candidate is expected to carry. In fact, they form a numerically indispensable portion of his base.</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><i><b>Many are retirees and working-class white voters who are wary of government's role in their lives and who have tended to vote for Republicans in recent years, even as they take advantage of tax credits and government assistance.</b></i><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"> </span></span><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/19/us-usa-campaign-romney-idUSBRE88I07M20120919"><i><b>Reuters</b></i></a></p> <p align="LEFT" style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: medium none; padding: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; text-decoration: none;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;">This was all supposed to be easy. The Citizen had originally billed himself as a jobs creator in a down economy mismanaged by the Prez. Now his handlers move off the “12 million jobs” talking point. It may have worked in 1988 but in the newly class-conscious era, it falls flat. The new mantra is “increasing take home pay.”</span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> It may be that RNC senses Americans are getting hip to <a href="all_news/uws_digital_news_content/occupy_news/1484">Staplesization</a> - the “steep pyramid pointed up” model /_\&nbsp; - &nbsp; retail-based companies in which a vast majority of employees work for $9.94 an hour. It's a model that has the lowest wage earners working for the most successful, profitable companies in America. One in four American work jobs that pay those wages. </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;">On the top end of the pyramid are the investors and senior executives. With </span></span>executive compensation [averaging] $9.4 million, and $174.8 billion (yes, billion) returned to shareholders in dividends or share buybacks in the past five years. <a href="http://truth-out.org/news/item/10499-large-profitable-companies-employ-most-minimum-wage-earners"><i><b>truthout</b></i></a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> It's the model that Citizen Romney and RNC propose to apply, wholesale, to America. Especially to new investment opportunities, such as education. The elephant in the middle of the country.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;">For their workers, well, sucks to be you. A tax break on $9.94 an hour won't get you far. It certainly won't afford you the car George Romney or Henry Ford wanted to sell you. <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/2012/0919/Is-Mitt-Romney-right-about-a-good-jobs-dearth-in-US-video"><i><b>CS Monitor</b></i></a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> With the <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/09/19/political-perceptions-poll-points-to-risks-for-romney/">Prez taking a larger lead in the fourth quarter of the race</a>, Citizen Romney will get desperate and go on the offensive, abandoning strategy in the hope of a political Hail Mary. But such desperation is rarely rewarded – especially in politics. How many voters hang on, unable to acknowledge the campaign as a cynical ploy remains to be seen. Expect an increasing news cycle of such revelations. <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-20/romney-faces-challenges-amid-republican-criticism-after-stumbles.html"><i><b>bloomberg</b></i></a></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> Citizen Romney is hardly the first politician to acknowledge his core constituents behind closed doors. If history is any indication, all is not lost for him and the Lords of Finance. Candidates frequently speak honestly behind closed doors, with few real consequences from the voters they promise to f--k:<iframe width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/mn4daYJzyls" /></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"><br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal;"> <br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><i><b>Finally, this space acknowledges the passing of Steve Sabol, an innovator, who like George Romney, began with a vision, and got everyone “rowing in the same direction.” </b></i></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><i><b>Sabol is the guy responsible for nearly every highlight film your football coach made you watch the night before the game, a creator of the enduring visual and narrative legacy of the National Football League, helping to make it a billion dollar enterprise. </b></i></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><i><b>Sabol was there in the game's early days, lugging cameras to film Lombardi's Packers and Title's Giants, right through the decades, often under extreme, sub-zero temperatures, to capture the guts and magnify the glory of the game. An obituary dedicated to the man, and the myths he created, and embodied, by Rich Hoffman <a href="http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/20120919_Rich_Hofmann__NFL_Films_founder_Steve_Sabol_leaves_a_giant_legacy.html">Daily News</a></b></i></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><br /> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><i><b><i>Submitted by <a href="mailto:press@unionwebservices.com">M-Bed</a><br />Updates for this space should be sent to <a target="_blank" href="mailto:press@unionwebservices.com">UWS Press</a> <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/UWSDigitalNews"><br />Follow UWS Digital here</a></i></b></i> </p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0in;"><br /> </p> </body> </html>