So it turns out that Romney "retired retroactively"
from Bain. I think women in our red states should pick up on this gambit: Don't call it "abortion." Call it "retroactive birth control."
has come out indicating that Romney was in charge of Bain Capital Investors in 2002. Of course, the Romney camp can argue that this was an entirely different company -- not the Bain Capital we know and love. All things are possible, retroactively speaking.
The best piece on this contretemps comes to us by way of Emptywheel
, who notes that Newt Gingrich "retroactively" edited out some of the nastier thing said about Bain in his campaign videos. As you may recall, this blog actually made the earlier, hard-hitting version of that video
the subject of a post. At the time, Newt's presentation inspired me to make these comments:
We suffer from the predations of a cabal of vampire grifters who want to make millions without making things.
These people call themselves "capitalists," but that's not the right word. Capitalism is not capitalism when it profits from a hari-kiri business plan.
Marcy Wheeler believes that Newt and others foresaw from the get-go that Bain would be a huge problem.
I sort of get the feeling Newt knows what’s in Mitt’s tax returns. Indeed, I’ve seen oblique tweets from a few Republicans this weekend saying “I told you so” and paying off debts, leading me to believe more than a few Republicans tried to warn their party that this Bain thing would blow up and are now being vindicated.
One outsider has, in fact, seen the tax returns that have aroused so much curiosity. John McCain's campaign manager, Steve Schmidt
(the primary source for the fine film Game Change
) vetted Romney when the McCain camp considered Mitt for the veep spot in 2008. During that process, Schmidt went over 20 years' worth of tax forms.
What did Schmidt see? I don't know, but we have one big clue: The McCain crew decided not to go with Romney. In fact, they found Sarah Palin
preferable. (If only they had gone over 20 years worth of her report cards and SAT scores...)
In January, Schmidt offered these cryptic -- or maybe not
so cryptic -- words:
I think that he`s the front-runner in the race. I think he`s the most likely person to be the nominee of the party. And I would never advise him to disadvantage himself with issues like his taxes, against what is precedent for campaigns.
I think that he will probably do what presidents and vice presidents typically have done with regard to the release of their taxes. But if it was good enough for John Kerry, it ought to be good enough for Mitt Romney. He shouldn`t release information that disadvantages himself and opens up a lot of attacks.
Now, I don't think you have to subject this text to a hyper-critical between-the-lines reading to conclude that Romney might get a black eye from those records. One could interpret Schmidt's words as a signal to the Democrats: Look
here, dummies. He's vulnerable on the tax thing.
(As for that distracting reference to John Kerry: Forget about it. He's not running this year, is he? As it happens, Kerry released five
years' worth of taxes -- not two, as the Romney camp would have you believe.)
Of course, there's one other big indicator that something in those returns would bruise Romney's chances: Romney won't release them, even though a surprising number
of prominent Republicans have called upon him to do so.
Schmidt's remarks place this Fox opinion piece
-- yes, Fox
-- in a new light:
...based on the one year of tax returns he's publicly released so far, Mitt Romney himself wouldn't make the cut as a vice presidential contender if he wasn't already at the top of the ticket.
Think about it. What candidate for president -- even a GOP candidate for president -- would pick a guy as a running mate who would only hand over one year of tax returns, as Mitt Romney has done?
And would anybody pick that guy if that one tax return revealed Swiss Bank accounts and more than $30 million in off shore accounts in the Cayman Islands-- especially in an election year when public anger at Wall Street remains so high?
The answer is: no. No presidential candidate in their right mind would pick such a candidate as their running mate.
Those words were written by Joe Trippi, the renown Democratic consultant. He worked with John Edwards, which means that he knows a thing or two about candidates who need close vetting. God only knows why he's scribbling for Fox.
Has Trippi learned any hidden info from Schmidt? Although those two guys work for different parties, they do more or less the same jobs, and they have appeared together on teevee. I wouldn't be surprised to learn -- retroactively, as it were -- that they've gone out for beers on one or two occasions.
I suspect that a large-ish group of people is in on the secret of the Mittster's tax returns. DC runs on gossip -- as do most other towns.