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Tag Archives: Mitt Romney
The Boston Globe’s Joan Vennochi’s column today asks that Republicans cut senate candidate Gabriel Gomez some slack for his dances with Democrats. After all she argues, Bill Weld showed Republicans how to win in Massachusetts and he modeled bipartisanship. That got me to thinking about possibly our greatest resource for bipartisanship.
Bipartisan ambitious rich guys.
There has been a flurry of announcements and non-announcements in the special election as everyone but Gaspar Griswold Bacon enjoys a moment in the limelight before remembering that pressing business or family time prevail over service. We’ve had Gerry Leone and Bill Weld, continued misdiagnosis of the Scott Brown 2010 victory, and Brown giving birth to a new GOP chair then abandoning her at the nearest safe haven. And Tagg Romney, we hardly knew ye.
One of the narratives that came out of the 2012 campaign was that “the people” (read: Obama backers) narrowly escaped an election hijacked by a narrow band of one-percenters funding Mitt Romney and associated SuperPACS. The reality is somewhat more complicated, as my UMB colleagues Tom Ferguson and Jie Chen and Paul Jorgenson of the University of Texas show in Revealed: Why the Pundits Are Wrong About Big Money and the 2012 Elections. As the authors argue it isn’t that some loose alliance of “the people” beat back big money, but that
Our conclusion is that there is nothing paradoxical about the Republican loss. One campaign funded largely by the super-rich lost to another just about as affluently funded.
Recent news stories remind me how much political science can add to understanding (or prevent misunderstanding) of what goes on in politics. So here goes:
Sorry Tagg Romney, your dad Mitt Romney wasn’t going to be president even if his advertisements showed how cuddly he is. Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe, cheap shot at elected officials the other day – but political science can show you a way to give them proper credit while still suspecting their motives. And the NRA channels a long gone political scientist’s wisdom.
As Senator-elect Elizabeth (“Ol’ Blood ‘n’ Teeth”) Warren prepares to accept her seat on the Banking Committee it is well to remember that she is not joining some version of the FDR 100 Days Democratic Party. I recalled this recently while reading a short New Yorker piece which recounted a Priorities USA Action ad called Stage.
The ad featured an Indiana paper plant worker who told of how one day he and some co-workers were told to build a stage. When it was built he and the workers from all three shifts were shuffled in front of the stage, where it was announced that Bain Capital had bought the paper mill and they were all fired. According to the ad, Mitt Romney made more than a million dollars on that deal.
But that isn’t the interesting part. Jane Mayer of The New Yorker characterizes the reaction: They “fielded bitter complaints from Democrats who were cozy with the private-equity industry.” Bill Burton of Priorities USA Action said: “When we first went up, there was a lot of pressure on us from people like Steve Rattner, Cory Booker, Harold Ford, and even President Clinton. The leaders of our own party were telling us to quit.”
I’ve been wondering since election day how the famously data-driven Mitt Romney could have misinterpreted polling trends so badly that he actually thought he had the race in the bag. Noam Scheiber answers that question in The New Republic in The Internal Polls That Made Mitt Romney Think He’d Win. Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said ”that the biggest flaw in their polling was the failure to predict the demographic composition of the electorate.” Scheiber has gone through the internal polls and has an interesting take. Take a look.
Today is Election Day in America and we should be grateful for how fortunate we are. We get to elect our leaders and our votes are counted honestly and competently (almost always) and if an incumbent loses he or she actually leaves the office. This sort of thing hasn’t happened all that many times in human history and doesn’t happen to this day in many places We get to take it for granted.
Simon Johnson, Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund had some sobering words about our economy on Wednesday at IdeasBoston at UMassBoston. Prof. Johnson talked about the European mess, the danger of debt, our Chinese rivals, and even a little politics.
Parents love those early years when the children engage in so much magical thinking. We can continue that enjoyment throughout our lives by listening to candidates’ proposals to reduce the federal deficit. Mitt Romney in particular promises to reduce the deficit by some magical formula that relies mostly on us trusting his business acumen. But one interesting lesson to come from this week’s MassInc Polling Group/WBUR poll is that the electorate may engage in less magical thinking than our candidates.