The Bain of The Mitt’s Existence
The Mitt is having a tough week.
The Mitt has a few accomplishments as an elected official; most famously the Massachusetts mandatory health care plan. But to keep his core constituency in his own party he has had to disavow that accomplishment. So instead he is running as a successful businessman. And Bain was his success: it made him rich, at least.
But Bain has turned into a trap. In the period 1999 – 2002, Bain made its millions mostly by shipping American jobs overseas. The Mitt has pretty much admitted what Bain did. The data are really indisputable. So The Mitt has attempted to minimize the damage by claiming he left Bain in 1999, so it was those other guys, the ones who replaced him, who wickedly sent American jobs abroad.
But The Mitt’s claims of non-involvement are doubtful. First, Bain filed documents with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission in which The Mitt was described as sole owner, president and CEO of Bain in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. And was paid a $100,000 salary. So while The Mitt is appearing on talk shows now, claiming he wasn’t involved, at the time he was CEO. We know what the late President Harry Truman would have thought about this.
But The Mitt? Not there; living in Utah, supervising the Winter Olympics. Not in charge. As Joe Trippi, writing for Fox News (Fox News!) put it:
Romney now is either the first sole shareholder, chairman, CEO and president of a company in history to claim that he had nothing whatsoever to do with managing that company or he is responsible for the worst practices of Bain.
But the second part of the box is The Mitt’s residency. When he ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, his residency – his eligibility to be a candidate – was called into question. To establish that he was a resident and entitled to be a candidate, in sworn testimony during a 2002 Massachusetts hearing to determine if he met the residency requirement to run for governor, The Mitt declared that he had remained on the board of a company in which Bain was an investor. He claimed he was still in Massachusetts on Bain matters often enough to meet the residency requirements to be candidate for govenor. Under oath.
The firestorm of non sequiturs, ad hominem attacks and Big Lies coming out of the Romney camp in response to the Bain Problem suggests that this may be a big deal. The Mitt has finally been caught in a lie where the voters may actually care. After lying so many times for so long this doubtlessly comes as a shock to The Mitt.
The Mitt could partially solve his problem by getting Bain to produce corporate minutes showing he wasn’t involved. He hasn’t. In his 2002 testimony on his residency, The Mitt acknowledged that he could pin down what dates he was where by looking at his calendars. He hasn’t. The Mitt holds the keys to the trap he has made for himself. But the keys may themselves be dangerous: they may not prove what The Mitt claims. The Mitt is a man who lives by risk-benefit analysis. It’s at the heart of what he did at Bain. It’s how he thinks. The benefits to releasing these documents are very great. Knowing how The Mitt thinks, the risks associated with releasing Bain corporate minutes, diaries and calendars and tax returns must be very damning indeed.
But mostly WC is deeply gratified to find his Grandma Ruth proven right once again: liars eventually get caught in their own web of lies.