Romney Is Vulnerable on Bain … But So Is Obama

“Employees of Bain Capital Donated More than Twice As Much to Obama As They Did to Romney, Who FOUNDED the Firm”

Michael Tomasky writes:

The quickest and sure-firest way for the Obama team to [reclaim the advantage on the economy] is to reintroduce the Bain Capital story. But they can’t do it like Newt Gingrich did in that “King of Bain” video, which was insanely over the top. As I said at the time, the argument is not “Mitt Romney was a job destroyer.” Because sometimes Mitt Romney was a job creator. That’s an unwinnable argument. The winnable argument is that Mitt Romney worked for the 1 percent. Sometimes it helped workers, but other times it hurt them; but nearly every time, the wealthy investors, and Romney himself, came out all right. That’s the story to tell. And any story that paints a darker picture of Bain than is fair will be pounced on and ripped to shreds.


And since 140,000 may be about what we get—the March numbers were revised up last Friday to 152,000—that won’t be good enough to change the who’s-better-on-the-economy numbers. Ergo, enter Bain, sometime around Labor Day, probably. It’s going to be a big part of Obama’s campaign, and who wins the Bain argument will tell us something about what Americans think about class. Not what the chattering class thinks about class. We already know that. They like being the chattering class. I mean what Americans think.

The Daily Beast argues:

President Obama … has to use the Bain Capital card to prove that Romney worked for the 1 percent…. Here’s a debate that, if argued right, could turn the middle class off Romney—and be Obama’s tipping point on the economy.

I agree that Bain Capital is vulture capitalism at its worst.

But as Newsweek reports this week:

President Obama has begun to fashion his campaign as a crusade for the 99 percent–a fight against, as one Obama ad puts it, “a guy who had a Swiss bank account.” Casting Romney as a plutocrat will be easy enough. But the president’s claim as avenging populist may prove trickier, given his own deeply complicated, even conflicted, relationship with Big Finance.


[Obama] chose Eric Holder, a former Clinton Justice official who, after a career in government, joined the Washington office of Covington & Burling, a top-tier law firm with an elite white-collar defense unit. The move to Covington, and back to Justice, is an example of Washington’s revolving-door ritual, which, for Holder, has been lucrative–he pulled in $2.1 million as a Covington partner in 2008, and $2.5 million (including deferred compensation) when he left the firm in 2009.

But Holder’s was not the only face at Justice familiar to Covington clients. Lanny Breuer, who had co-chaired the white-collar defense unit at Covington with Holder, was chosen to head the criminal division at Obama’s Justice. Two other Covington lawyers followed Holder into top positions, and Holder’s principal deputy, James Cole, was recruited from Bryan Cave LLP, another white-shoe firm with A-list finance clients. [See this.  Is it any surprise that Obama is prosecuting fewer financial crimes than Ronald Reagan or either President Bush?]


A Newsweek examination of campaign finance records shows that, in the weeks before and after last year’s scathing Senate report [showing criminal wrongdoing by Wall Street hot shots], several Goldman executives and their families made large donations to Obama’s Victory Fund and related entities, some of them maxing out at the highest individual donation allowed, $35,800, even though 2011 was an electoral off-year. Some of these executives were giving to Obama for the first time.


Last fall, Obama had collected more donations from Wall Street than any of the Republican candidates; employees of Bain Capital donated more than twice as much to Obama as they did to Romney, who founded the firm.

The difference between “Obomney” and “Robama” is only skin deep.


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