Rather than release his tax records, directly address perceived inconsistencies, or come up with a more natural sounding response to the Obama re-election campaign’s relentless pursuit of all things related to Mitt Romney’s record at Bain, the Romney campaign is floating a different conversation changer.

Condoleeza Rice for vice president.

It doesn’t matter that the former Secretary of State and veteran of the Bush administration has said – repeatedly –  she has no interest in the job. (Exact words: “There is no way I would do this,” Rice said. “I didn’t run for student council president. I don’t see myself in any way in elected office.”) It doesn’t matter that insiders said Romney is not likely to make “daring” or female veep choices due to the GOP still suffering from Post-Traumatic Palin Stress Disorder. It doesn’t matter that Condi has never run for political office or that for all her strength, she comes with the baggage of “President George W. Bush,” a presidential administration only Dick Cheney could love (because he not-so-secretly ran it).

Even Bush doesn’t defend Bush anymore. Why would Rice reopen that old wound?

Besides, it would just be too easy for Barack Obama. It would be like Romney was a double agent for my old joke website “The Secret Council of American Negroes” – working as an inside man trying to throw 2012 to the Great Hope Monger. Rice is pro-choice AND an extremely controversial warmonger. It’s a great lose-lose where all Mittens would have managed is to enrage all sides.

What moderates or Liberals Romney could potentially impress with a Rice pick get turned off once they’re reminded of how she was resolutely for the heavily flawed, murderous, bloody boondoggle that was our invasion of Iraq. The conservatives he could feasibly build on would run away screaming upon closer inspection of Rice’s pro-immigration leanings and lack of dedication to conservative causes such as  abortion.

This is an obviously bad play, which means it’s probably a trap, a distraction, because Romney wants you to “LOOK AT THIS BLACK WOMAN! PLEASE IGNORE ANY REPORTING ABOUT BAIN CAPITAL,” and not actually seriously consider a Romney/Rice ticket.

Did it work? Did he make you look?

I don’t blame Team Romney for throwing up a Condi-sized curve ball in hopes of seeing some eyes blink. The Obama campaign isn’t pulling any punches and refused to back down from a staffer who pretty much accused Mittens of committing a felony in “potentially” lying on paperwork to government regulatory agencies about his status with Bain.

In fact, the campaign doubled-down with a new anti-Romney, Bain-related ad featuring Romney’s mockable, warbled, off-key rendition of “American the Beautiful.”

Romney claims he left Bain to run the Olympics in 1999, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has him down as sole owner, president, and CEO of Bain through 2002. Team Romney then blundered their way through the Sunday talk shows by saying he was “retroactively retired” (How Orwellian!) from the position.

This could be a plausible answer if the Romney campaign had couched it in any kind of non-defensive, non-constant-explaining way.

I get it. Maybe Romney took a leave of absence to run the Olympics thinking he’d return to Bain, possibly take a salary cut. But then his priorities changed and he decided not to return at all, and the company made his official “retire date” retroactive to when he first took the leave of absence. Ideally when something like this happens with a company head, there is some group of folks in the interim running the company.

But the Romney campaign didn’t answer the question that way. They got all huffy and defensive and blustered through it like they always do, as if the question in itself is surprising or offensive in the middle of a political campaign. They screwed the message on something I could explain in one or two sentences.

It’s not unheard of. But the fact that the Romney camp is getting blindsided by things they should already know about, done research on, and prepared answers for is a little disturbing. Attacking Romney’s record at Bain is a strategy the Democrats have used since his failed run for the Senate against Sen. Ted Kennedy in 1994. How is Obama going, “It worked for Ted” not even something these folks considered?

If you can’t mount a defense to the thing the Obama campaign said they were going to attack more than a year out ,how on earth are you going to run America?

This following excerpt is from Politico. In August. Of 2011:

The second aspect of the campaign to define Romney is his record as CEO of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm that was responsible for both creating and eliminating jobs. Obama officials intend to frame Romney as the very picture of greed in the great recession —  a sort of political Gordon Gekko.

“He was very, very good at making a profit for himself and his partners, but not nearly as good [at] saving jobs for communities,” said David Axelrod, the president’s chief strategist. “His is very much the profile of what we’ve seen in the last decade on Wall Street. He was about making money. And that’s fine. But often times, he made it at the expense of jobs in communities.”

Things aren’t “surprises” when someone says they’re going to do it. That’s a threat. “Retroactively retired” and “CONDI RICE! MADE YOU LOOK” aren’t strategies. That’s a cry for help, a call for donors to put their Team Mittens money into voter suppression. It’s like they’re trying to throw a close race in a weak economy to the beatable opponent. As an Obama supporter, I appreciate whatever help the O-Man can get, but I – for the life of me – don’t understand why Mitt is helping.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • my_reply

    The GOP knows that they need an exciting VP because Mittens is boring. He’s also taken the extreme right’s side on some issues, so they want to appeal to moderates. I think it will be her or that Cuban-American guy from Florida, Rubio. You can bet your bottom dollar that it will be a minority or a woman.

    • Grant

      Romney won’t pick Rubio or anyone exciting. The GOP is still traumatized over the train wreck that was Sarah Palin. Rubio is Cuban and the cultural/economic/political divide between Cubans and the rest of the Hispanic population can not be emphasized enough. Unlike white people who find comfort in Romney being a wealthy, supposedly self mad, fat cat. Hispanic people harbor a resentment over the preferential treatment that Cubans get as well as the clout that they hold in politics. Rubio would be an awful choice. It’s looking like Tim Pawlenty or Rob Portman to add more vanilla to a boring campaign.

  • Mademoiselle

    Repost: Considering politics are nothing but a game of chess a la high school superlatives, I’m not surprised Condoleeza’s name is being thrown out. The ‘Pubs are looking for a move that will allow them to split the black/minority vote. It’s the same reason Palin was chosen for McCain’s running mate. They figured there was already a palpable division between women Dems & minority Dems during the ’08 primaries, so throwing a woman on the Pub side was meant to split the woman vote. The clear fallacy was, well, I’m not about to bash another woman right now, so I’ll let you fill in the reason why she didn’t work in that strategy. I’m guessing Condy has the right amount of smarts and melanin to give them hope that this strategy would work if they get the public reaction they’re looking for, especially considering the lack of large scale rallying for Obama in the black/minority community this time around. They’re thinking there may be just enough disgruntled black people that a double-minority running mate might do the trick.

  • This isn’t the first time Rice’s name has been floated for VP. This story first broke in April with little fanfare. Now after Ann said Mitt would pick a woman it’s back. For the reasons stated above Condi is not a likely candidate.