Visual source: Newseum
Bain Capital Horror Stories Continue to Haunt Mitt Romney’s Campaign
The double-edged sword that is Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital will not stop causing image problems for the candidate. This time, it’s a pair of articles chronicling the private equity firm’s outsourcing of American jobs and methods for draining money out of the failed companies it controlled.
Will any of this make any difference?
“Republicans argue publicly that the attacks have failed to move the needle in polling, so why engage, and that voters are more concerned about their own lives,” writes Maggie Haberman at Politico.com. “But privately, some Republicans believe and/or fear there will be an aggregate effect in key states among middle class voters from the Bain assault.”
As they try to frame an answer for dismal jobs and unemployment figures, that’s what the Obama camp is hoping for.
The pro-Obama Priorities USA Action superpac has launched a series of TV ads featuring employees of companies it says were shut down by Bain.
Conservative John Kass illustrates Romney’s continued problems with the GOP base:
President Barack Obama has had a terrible few weeks, and it could get worse.
Especially if the Supreme Court accepts the ancient premise in that old, forgotten document called the Constitution that the federal leviathan cannot force Americans to purchase a thing, let alone health care.
But I still believe that the guy from Chicago will win re-election in November, despite all the anguish around him, because the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, isn’t exactly inspiring either.
The campaign’s point: not every example of outsourcing involved sending jobs overseas. Some contractors were located within the United States and some initially went offshore to serve markets where U.S. companies were exporting. Many of the companies highlighted in the article began by outsourcing domestically before expanding increasingly offshore.
But that’s a narrow and nuanced argument, one that will likely have little impact on the way this story is viewed in the political realm.
Some prominent legal scholars say a series of tactical decisions by President Obama’s legal team may have hurt the chances of saving his landmark health-care legislation from being gutted by Supreme Court conservatives.
The warnings are a preview of the finger-pointing certain to ensue if the law is overturned. That could come sometime this week, when the justices are expected to decide on the constitutionality of the health law and its controversial centerpiece provision mandating that all Americans purchase insurance or pay a penalty.
Want bipartisanship in DC? Just watch the finger-pointing.
Jacqueline Stevens on political scientists (who I am fond of):
It’s an open secret in my discipline: in terms of accurate political predictions (the field’s benchmark for what counts as science), my colleagues have failed spectacularly and wasted colossal amounts of time and money. The most obvious example may be political scientists’ insistence, during the cold war, that the Soviet Union would persist as a nuclear threat to the United States. In 1993, in the journal International Security, for example, the cold war historian John Lewis Gaddis wrote that the demise of the Soviet Union was “of such importance that no approach to the study of international relations claiming both foresight and competence should have failed to see it coming.” And yet, he noted, “None actually did so.” Careers were made, prizes awarded and millions of research dollars distributed to international relations experts, even though Nancy Reagan’s astrologer may have had superior forecasting skills.
Why the Stevens Op-Ed is Wrong
…The claim that real politics is messier than the statistics are capable of capturing is obviously correct. But the implied corollary – that the government shouldn’t go out of its way to support it – doesn’t follow. Jacqueline Stevens doesn’t do quantitative research. Nor, as it happens, do I. But good qualitative research equally has to deal with messy realities, and equally has to adopt a variety of methodological techniques to minimize bias, compensate for missing data and so on.