In Defense of Romney’s Vagueness

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BROOKS KRAFT / CORBIS FOR TIME

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney marching in the the July 4th parade in Wolfeboro, NH on July 4, 2012.

There’s a bit of a panic raging in the conservative commentariat today with twin columns from the Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol and the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board urging Mitt Romney to correct his course. President Obama just won the biggest court case in a decade and the slowing recovery hasn’t made him bleed in the polls just yet. So serious voices on the right are telling Romney to get his act together. Their suggestion: be more specific specific.

The Journal:

The Romney campaign thinks it can play it safe and coast to the White House by saying the economy stinks and it’s Mr. Obama’s fault. We’re on its email list and the main daily message from the campaign is that “Obama isn’t working.” Thanks, guys, but Americans already know that. What they want to hear from the challenger is some understanding of why the President’s policies aren’t working and how Mr. Romney’s policies will do better.

[snip]

The biography that voters care about is their own, and they want to know how a candidate is going to improve their future. That means offering a larger economic narrative and vision than Mr. Romney has so far provided. It means pointing out the differences with specificity on higher taxes, government-run health care, punitive regulation, and the waste of politically-driven government spending.

Kristol:

The economy is of course important. But voters want to hear what Romney is going to do about the economy. He can “speak about” how bad the economy is all he wants—though American are already well aware of the economy’s problems—but doesn’t the content of what Romney has to say matter? What is his economic growth agenda? His deficit reform agenda? His health care reform agenda? His tax reform agenda? His replacement for Dodd-Frank? No need for any of that, I suppose the Romney campaign believes. Just need to keep on “speaking about the economy.”

First a note about the pure politics: If by “playing it safe,” the Journal means “unflinchingly implementing a strategy of using a bad economy against an incumbent,” then I’m not sure what the problem is. Are they wishing he’d throw a curveball like, say, suspending his campaign so he can focus more on the crisis in Europe? Do they really believe that if only Romney talked more about block-granting Medicaid that voters would prostrate themselves in adoration when his motorcade drives by? (Paul Ryan may have that effect on editors at the Journal or the Standard, but I’m not sure it’s a universal phenomenon.)

These columns have the politics all twisted: Romney’s job is to make the election about Obama, not himself. Polling suggests that voters prefer Obama’s stance on taxes to Romney’s and trust the President more on health care. Romney already has an edge on the economy among independents. Why risk messing that up? It’s Obama who’s pulling for a choice election. Romney is better served by a referendum. And if conservatives feel the economic case against Obama isn’t working, they may only need to wait a few months.

But the specificity debate also inevitably leads to another question: Isn’t it bad for the country if Romney remains vague about what he would do as President? Joe, for one, argues the answer is yes. I agree that it’s important for voters to have enough information about two candidates’ competing visions to make an informed decision. And there are some policy areas in which Romney hasn’t provided enough detail. But hyper-specific policy platforms are not necessarily tonic for the Republic.

With some notable exceptions, Presidents tend to enact exactly what they promise during campaigns. This is a feature of democracy, not a bug. But if politicians crafted every single detail before they took office, the end result might just be a shoddy product. Think about it: During a campaign, the first thing on a politicians’ mind is winning, and nine out of ten guys in the room are campaign strategists, not wonks. That’s not an environment that’s likely to produce good policy. Congress, especially the House, where election season is practically continuous, is also hyper-political. But it benefits from having a big staff of policy experts on hand and guidance from a seated President who is looking to create a legacy. Presidential campaigns are all horse race.

It might be counterintuitive, but just as widely abhorred negative campaigns can be more informative, moderately vague campaigns allow for more measured policy planning. That’s not to say reporters shouldn’t push Romney to provide more details about what he’d do as President. They should. But the fact that he isn’t shouldn’t be viewed as an existential crisis for his campaign or the nation.

75 comments
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scariestdemocrat
scariestdemocrat

Well,

well... the Globe appears to have gotten it right! This is pretty clear cut.

Romney was still in charge at least on February 13, 2001 - two years after he

signed a FEC doc saying he wasn't involved with Bain after 1999 (signing off on

SEC documents in 2001 - maybe he's more afraid of them than the federal

election commission)

Romney

falsified his FEC documents. A federal crime/ felony.

SEC

Filings

BAIN CAPITAL FUND VI LP (Filed by) CIK: 0001065042

Filing Date

2001-02-13BAIN

CAPITAL FUND VI LP|BAIN CAPITAL FUND VI, L.P.|BAIN CAPITAL V MEZZANINE FUND,

L.P.|BCIP IRS No: 980197680 state of incorp. DE Fiscal Year End 1231

"As

of the close of business on 12/31/00, the Sankaty Fund owned 385,802

shares of Common Stock of the Company through its membership in EMSIcon and

presently - excercisable warrants to purchase an additional 289,221 shares of

Common Stock of the Company. The Sankaty Fund has the sole power to vote and

dispose of the shares of Common Stock. The Sankaty Fund acts by and through its

general partner, Sankaty Investors. Sankaty Investors acts by and through its

managing member, Sankaty Ltd. Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, a

director, and President of Sankaty Ltd. and thus is the controlling person of

Sankaty Ltd. No person other than the respective owner referred to herein of

shares of Common Stock is known to have the right to receive or the power to

direct the receipt of dividends from or the proceeds from the sale of such

shares of Common Stock."and... BAIN CAPITAL FUND VI LP (Filed by) CIK:

0001065042Filing Date

2001-02-13IRS

no: 043405560 state of incorp. DE Fiscal Year End 1231

(xi) W. Mitt Romney ("Mr. Romney"), an individual, as the sole

shareholder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of

BCI and BCP VI Inc. NAME OF REPORTING PERSON

1 I.R.S. IDENTIFICATION NO. OF ABOVE PERSON (ENTITIES ONLY):

W.

MITT ROMNEY

BAIN CAPITAL, INC.

By:

/s/ Dennis M. Myers

-------------------------------

Name: Dennis M. Myers

Title: Attorney-in-Fact

PEP

INVESTMENTS PTY LIMITED

By:

Bain Capital, Inc.,

its Attorney-in-Fact

By:

/s/ Dennis M. Myers

---------------------------------

Name: Dennis M. Myers

Title: Attorney-in-Fact

/s/

W. Mitt Romney

________________________________________

W. Mitt Romney

 

 

Here’s what Romney has said:

Mitt Romney

Public Financial Disclosure Report, Aug. 11, 2011: Mr. Romney retired from Bain

Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since

February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital

entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity

in any way.

Romney’s

signature appears on the line that states: “I certify that statements I have

made on this form and all attached schedules are true, complete and correct to

the best of my knowledge.”

Making false statements to the federal government is a serious crime (under 18

USC 1001) carrying possible fines and up to five years in federal prison.

Senior

Obama adviser David Axelrod has already weighed in on Twitter:

Based on

Globe report, either Bain filed false SEC statements 1999-2002 about Mitt's

status, or his campaign is making false statements now.

But Axelrod

isn't even right about how bad this is. It's not an "either-or."

1. Romney told the SEC that he remained the firm’s "sole stockholder,

chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president" up until

2002.

2. But Romney said in a more recent financial disclosure form that he left Bain

in 1999 - so the two federal forms contradict each other, at least one is a

lie:

Mitt Romney

Public Financial Disclosure Report, Aug. 11, 2011: Mr. Romney retired from Bain

Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since

February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital

entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity

in any way.

In other

words, Romney lied to the federal government either way. Either to the SEC, or

in his more recent financial dislocure forms.  And either one appears to be a felony.

W L Simpson
W L Simpson

Re;  voting-----damned if we do , damned if we don't.

 Not voting won't save the country, just a lot of ethanol. 

Leavane Cox
Leavane Cox

Romney has only one advantage over Obama; monetary

contributions to the Romney campaign. But he has lost on many other

essential issues of the Presidential campaign: the economy, immigration,

health care, ...

 

Rock
Rock

I wholeheartedly agree with this article.  I cannot believe the handwringing from the conservative press over this - and its all probably a reflection in Rupert Murdoch not being in love with Romney - that's why Fox has been moaning about this all week.  I don't know what it is about the right (or far right) where they/we have to eat their/our young - you don't really see the left doing that. they just scream obscenities from the highest mountain top.

 

It's a holiday week and nobody's really paying attention anyway - no one cares about the healthcare "tax" issue, but whether someone will repeal Obamacare period - Romney has said he would repeatedly since January.  That's all you need to know.

 

The rest is all about a slow news week.  This putrid jobs report today should put a halt to this.  Talk about that Bill Crystal.

Joseph A
Joseph A

What drivel. 

We all know Romney's campaign is driven solely by his personal ambition to occupy the Oval Office. There's no plan for after January 21st, no ideology, no beliefs, no values, except the value of ambition. 

The more vague he is, the better chance he thinks he'll have to get elected, and the less trouble he'll get in with his lukewarm at best conservative supporters who have no one better to vote for in their rage to remove Obama. 

You won't see any particulars at all from Romney until and unless absolutely necessary. 

Rock
Rock

Well, generally people who run for office have "an ambition" to do it.  Ya sort of need that.  And it has been clear that he wants a smaller goverment just like Ronald Reagan and several conservative leaders through history.  He has a 57-p0int economic plan on his website and has frequently said he would lower tax rates by 20% and remove certain "loopholes".  He believes in a strong defense and negotiating seriously with foreign countries - not just capitulating all over the place.  And he will repeal Obamacare.

What does Obama stand for?  What?

Leavane Cox
Leavane Cox

As the

many referenced charts and graphs show, the trickle-down economic

theory of tax cuts has never

reduced the debt.

Indeed, the real world result of Republicans' "tax cut"

strategy is

already known:  when Reagan became president -- and began to cut taxes

--

the federal deficit was 2.5 percent of the national economy. When his

term ended eight years later, the deficit increased to 5 percent of the

economy. The interest payment on the

debt in 1988 was $169 billion -

compare this to $69 billion in 1981. Looks like "Reaganomics" didn't

work so well!  (source:

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfor...

Leavane Cox
Leavane Cox

As the

many referenced charts and graphs show, the trickle-down economic

theory of tax cuts has never

reduced the debt.

Indeed, the real world result of Republicans' "tax cut"

strategy is

already known:  when Reagan became president -- and began to cut taxes

--

the federal deficit was 2.5 percent of the national economy. When his

term ended eight years later, the deficit increased to 5 percent of the

economy. The interest payment on the

debt in 1988 was $169 billion -

compare this to $69 billion in 1981. Looks like "Reaganomics" didn't

work so well! 

(source:

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfor...

 

That is

the

reason

the unemployment rate is decreasing slowly;

a justification for Obama's stance that further spending cuts without

steps to increase tax revenues will hurt consumers.  Moreover, the 2011

Budget

Control Act which includes across-the-board spending

cuts, to all federal departments in 2013 is a possible national

economic disaster if Congress can’t design and pass a

budget that more specifically outlines spending cuts totaling $1.2

trillion over the next 10 years. 

Leavane Cox
Leavane Cox

Actually, the evidence from the Clinton administration

would suggest

that spending cuts are not necessary to reduce a federal deficit.It suggests that we could gradually reduce the federal

deficit by

keeping spending the same (or perhaps even a small increase) and

balancing the spending by a proportional increase in taxes. Ideally,

these taxes could be targeted to very wealthy households and very large

corporations. So such taxes would not affect the middle class at all. In

fact, tax breaks on wealthy people will not help

the economy.

It's simple mathematics: There are more poor and middle class people

than wealthy people; thus money will be spent quicker in the poor and

middle class hands. This is why cutting entitlements is a bad idea and

hence there could be economic consequences as evidenced

by demand and

supply theory in economic theory; 90 percentage of consumers are the

poor people and middle class.

Leavane Cox
Leavane Cox

Consumers are catalysts to create jobs.

What's

hurting consumers most is that Obama cut spending in 2011 to the bone -

spending has been very low compared with the last decade . 

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.co...

If the Obama

Administration cuts spending more, as Congress demands, then the economy

may get worse than it is currently.

The historical economic evidence shows:

-Increasing taxes did not slow down the economy.

-Spending and increasing taxes in a balanced way decreased the deficit

and boosted the economy.

Leavane Cox
Leavane Cox

According to the Labor Department, U.S.

employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, a third straight month of

weak hiring. Perhaps

this fact justifies that consumption and intelligent spending are two essential

factors to boost

the economy in general and in particular create jobs. The number of job added is not sufficient to judge the

total performance of the economy when one overlooks some more essential

factors to judge the total performance:

http://mediamatters.org/resear... 

Leavane Cox
Leavane Cox

"Romney already has an edge on the economy among independents." ?

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012...

Why has the economy been slowly recovering?

According to the Labor Department, U.S.

employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, a third straight month of

weak hiring. Perhaps

this fact justifies that consumption and intelligent spending are two essential

factors to boost

the economy in general and in particular create jobs. The number of job added is not sufficient to judge the

total performance of the economy when one overlooks some more essential

factors to judge the total performance:

http://mediamatters.org/resear...

Consumers are catalysts to create jobs.

What's

hurting consumers most is that Obama cut spending in 2011 to the bone -

spending has been very low compared with the last decade . 

http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.co...

If the Obama

Administration cuts spending more, as Congress demands, then the economy

may get worse than it is currently.

The historical economic evidence shows:

-Increasing taxes did not slow down the economy.

-Spending and increasing taxes in a balanced way decreased the deficit

and boosted the economy.

Actually, the evidence from the Clinton administration would suggest

that spending cuts are not necessary to reduce a federal deficit.It suggests that we could gradually reduce the federal

deficit by

keeping spending the same (or perhaps even a small increase) and

balancing the spending by a proportional increase in taxes. Ideally,

these taxes could be targeted to very wealthy households and very large

corporations. So such taxes would not affect the middle class at all. In

fact, tax breaks on wealthy people will not help

the economy.

It's simple mathematics: There are more poor and middle class people

than wealthy people; thus money will be spent quicker in the poor and

middle class hands. This is why cutting entitlements is a bad idea and

hence there could be economic consequences as evidenced

by demand and

supply theory in economic theory; 90 percentage of consumers are the

poor people and middle class.

As the

many referenced charts and graphs show, the trickle-down economic

theory of tax cuts has never

reduced the debt.

Indeed, the real world result of Republicans' "tax cut"

strategy is

already known:  when Reagan became president -- and began to cut taxes

--

the federal deficit was 2.5 percent of the national economy. When his

term ended eight years later, the deficit increased to 5 percent of the

economy. The interest payment on the

debt in 1988 was $169 billion -

compare this to $69 billion in 1981. Looks like "Reaganomics" didn't

work so well! 

(source:

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfor...

 

That is

the

reason

the unemployment rate is decreasing slowly;

a justification for Obama's stance that further spending cuts without

steps to increase tax revenues will hurt consumers.  Moreover, the 2011

Budget

Control Act which includes across-the-board spending

cuts, to all federal departments in 2013 is a possible national

economic disaster if Congress can’t design and pass a

budget that more specifically outlines spending cuts totaling $1.2

trillion over the next 10 years.

Nevertheless, the Obama

Administration has added about 4.2 million jobs which were

lost on his watch in just over two years.  Unfortunately, this was was

not enough because so many jobs were lost in a severe recession starting

in 2008. Furthermore, starting in 2008, companies

started to send jobs over-seas and

still received tax breaks. The ironic fact is few voters know these

facts, instead they rely on false political slogans during the 2012

Presidential campaign. Consequently, voters including Democratic and

independent voters feel frustrated with the current unemployment of

8.2% http://washington.cbslocal.com....

There are at least five factors to impede

Obama's

economic agenda: It took almost three years to stop the free falling of

the severe economic recession in 2008, the economic and

political ideology of Congress, the economic turmoil in Europe - the

largest

economic domain in the world- economic competition with the second

economic power, China, and the limitations of presidential economic

budget power due to

Article I, section 9, clause 7

of The

Constitution of the United States and Article I, section 5, clause 2: Congress is the authority to determine the rules

governing

its procedures.

Economic frustration and

blame game due to lack of knowledge will never contribute to our

economic

growth. Being well-informed and actively involved in the

campaign are the only catalysts to save our country and to protect our

personal interest. 

John Luma
John Luma

Well said, outsider2011. This article has all the right ideas, except its conclusion..."It's okay for Romney not to say what he'd do different except the opposite of Obama." SORRY, THAT'S NOT GONNA GET MY VOTE, IT'S WAY TOO VAGUE. I already know the differences between Conservative and Liberal agendas. That's not enough when you're running for the most important office in the country. I want to know if this candidate can "sell" anything he believes in, not just follow an ideology. If he can't convince voters on specifics, how is going to convince Congress, opposition groups, world leaders, etc? All our best Presidents have been able to state their ideas with power and imagination. So far Romney has been a ghost whose real ideas are almost invisible.

moricone
moricone

I can't stand this so-called "Conservatives" these days.

8 years of Clinton - Great years for Americans

8 years of Bush Jr. - The most Horrible years for Americans

3 1/2 years of Obama - Recovery years from Bush Jr's Mess

I know economic recovery is slower than we hope.

But, with Obama, it is definitely getting better.

Many Republican governors admitted that even though Mitt Romney tried to stop them from saying it.

No one can deny this.

But, my question is this.

"Hey Conservatives! What in the world do you guys conserve for America?"

SC already ruled Individual Mandate is Constitutional.

From where I grew up, we helped each other when the whole town was struggling instead of pointing fingers first.

Aren't we all one family after all as one country?

Don't you want to help your family members?

What is SO horrible for all Americans to have Health Care?

Are you guys that Un-Americans?

This is the time Repubs amp; Dems amp; all Americans together start trying to make Obamacare better.

I would rather my tax money go to Health Care for struggling Americans than More War Mitt Romney supports.

I don't care what you might call it.

I would be so happy to pay more money for all Americans no matter what.

Mitt Romney is so Un-American.

Multi-Millionaire Mitt Romney pays only 13.9% tax when all average Americans pay more.

On top of that, he hides his money overseas from IRS and America.

It is just Wrong.

I hope IRS would go after him right now.

How long has he been running for president?

HoboJoeJoe
HoboJoeJoe

 Ron Paul 2012

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

The ship you wanted to embark is now somewhere in the Indian Ocean, prolly looking for Osama's remains.

Nwvotes
Nwvotes

Mitt Romney raised more than $100 million last month. Do you think SuperPacs should have so much money? Vote at Nationwidevotes.com 

carolerae
carolerae

Frankly, he wants to screw the 99% amp; shower the 1% with deeper taxcuts; cutting benefits of all types for the middleclass via the Ryan Budget.  He will screw you if your not rich is his campaign slogan.  Specifics will kill him.  No one wants Medicare amp; Social Security privatized.  No specifics; NO MANDATE.  We will Fight the Rich Bastard!

chupkar
chupkar

This would be a good 1000-Words also.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

The problem with being specific about Republican plans is their unpopularity.

"We're going to make the wealthiest few wealthier, and screw everybody else."

That's honest, but it just doesn't resonate with the electorate. 

So the goopers have no choice but to be vague, or lie.

~

mjshep
mjshep

 That's pretty much it, in a nutshell.

LogicLoop
LogicLoop

Adam, if this weren't a campaign where the opponent wasn't saying everything the president did needed to be removed I would have more sympathy with your point. Yet many of Romney's attacks imply the need for more detail. You cant say im going to replace the ACA with "common sense reforms" and then not detail those reforms. You cant say "im going to fix the economy by lowering taxes and also increase the budget for the military" and not have someone ask how. I remember in the 08 primary Obama was out campaigning against Clinton and was asked about his healthcare plan. He was vague and got called out, and so he then went and brushed up on it.  If Romney's caught being vague he simply ignores it or worse does the im rubber your glue defense.

I think what im trying to say above it that there are levels of vague, and what hes doing is bordering on the absurd with its obfuscation.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

It also doesn't help that this is a man who has been on every side of every issue at some point in his life, and will very likely be on a different side tomorrow.

If we were talking about a candidate who had an established, consistent history of opinions and ideas, a little vagueness might be okay, because we could put together a reasonable hypothesis from past statements, proposals, etc. “Judging from his history, he's likely to do this …”

But Romney has been all over the map. To date, the only consistency he's shown is that he likes money and he wants to be president. And he'll do anything to get either.

Other than that, who knows?

jillibrown
jillibrown

Who in their right mind would vote for a candidate that won't share his plans or provide specifics?  What are those folks voting FOR?  Hot air?  Bumpersticker slogans?  You wouldn't sign a cell phone contract with that little information, why would you put your future in the  hands of a candidate who can't/won't provide specifics?  Romney has to give voters a reason to vote FOR him, he's failed miserably to this point.

Anpadh
Anpadh

Time Magazine is actually saying that a candidate should do nothing and say nothing, to win the US Presidential election! Seriously? I don't always agree with Time but I have always respected the magazine so far. However, when I read an article as uninformed and as poorly written as this one, my respect for the magazine declines.

filmnoia
filmnoia

You can't beat something with nothing, and Willard is nothing. He can afford to be vague when you have about 33-40% of the vote locked up with racists,  Obama haters in general and the religiously  insane. So far he hasn't made inroads with the middle of the road suburban college educated voters. Willard's cynicism, lying and all around artificiality don't sell well among these voters. The Bain ads by the Obama team are,  so far, having the desired result among some blue collar voters, who are beginning to understand who their true enemies are.

usingmyvoice
usingmyvoice

Mitt Romney is a 65 year old piece of white bread who is completely out of touch w/the vast majority of Americans.  And in those 65 years, he has done very little worth noting as a presidential candidate.  I think if Mitt Romney wins the next presidential election, even Mitt will be surprised...

usingmyvoice
usingmyvoice

Mitt Romney is a 65 year old piece of white bread who is completely out of touch w/the vast majority of Americans.  Plus, he hasn't done anything in his life worth noting as a presidential candidate.  I think if Mitt Romney wins the next election, even Mitt will be surprised...

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

"500 words" -

.

Romney: Sorry, lady, but you can't have my underwear. Whether or not Ann chooses to give out her panties to lure voters to my cause is her biz, but MY @ss is off limits.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

The guy in the sunglasses who looks as though he is going to rip the garland from the woman's neck really deserves a caption. I just can't think of one.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

After Ron Paul's failure to win the nomination, his Ronulans have literally turned into lost-soul flesh-eating zombies in search of new red meat. Romney thinks this female zombie with the garland is a too-eager fan. He needs to get out more often. Dude in Sunglasses is a Romney bodyguard and has seen all the Living Dead movies. He knows better and reaches in to stop her.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Dude in Sunglasses: Oh crap, today's the wife's birthday and I forgot to get a present ...again... and my credit card's maxxed out and I spent the last of my money on beer and the strip club. Too late to bid on Ann Romney's panties on eBay too, wife always loves the sexy stuff. Maybe if I can swipe that garland from that Romney groupie and I can bum a six-pack off Joe....

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

So, Willard wants people to vote for him. And he's taking millions of dollars in cash to run a campaign asking folks to vote for him … but apparently those people have no right to know exactly what they'd be voting for. All they need to know is "Obama bad, Mitt good."

And that's okay? Really? Just how low-information do you want voters to be?

We have serious problems in this country today, and we have serious choices that need to be made. But you're arguing that it's perfectly okay for people not to know what their choices are. If a candidate is running on "the economy sucks, and it sucks because the guy in charge is doing all the wrong things," then, somewhere, someone is entitled to ask and expect an answer to, “Cool. So what are you gonna do that's different?"

And the answer needs to be more than, "I'm not gonna be that guy."

But if no one asks and forces an answer to that question, then all you media types need to stop acting so surprised when your precious polls show that American voters don't understand the effing issues.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

 

Is there any doubt that a Romney administration would favor

the rich and increase the income gap in our country?  Mitt is a pariah in Mormon Clothing and will

stop at nothing to expand an empire of greed for the rich in this country.  Can his sacred Mormon underwear gain him

enough donations to buy this election? 

See for yourself as Mitt dons his tighty-whities from the Good Lord

Himself at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot...

gysgt213
gysgt213

Is it a reporter's job to justify vagueness? Don't think so.

Sue_N.
Sue_N.

Oh, not just justify. Celebrate it.

Because apparently we serfs have no right to know what our overlords are planning.

anon76returns
anon76returns

The political reporter's job is now apparently to make a more exciting horse race.  If that means carrying a little water for the horse that's starting to lag, then so be it.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Perot ran a vague campaign in '92 with the one exception of the national debt. But Romney's flip-floppery combined with opacity and vaguery is too much to tolerate. ("Vaguery" is in urban dictionary but not yet the real ones. Maybe Katy Steinmetz can make it a neopolism and introduce it at her Weds. Words newsfeed blog.)

fishyoil
fishyoil

That's fine if you say that being vague is a strategy.  But I as a voter want to know what his plan is that is better.

If a car salesman came to you and told you you needed a new car, would take him at his word?  The economy went into a death spiral under Bush.  At least Obama stopped it from getting worse.  At least Obama didn't spend trillions and kill thousands invading Iraq for no reason.

Could things be better? Maybe. Could things be alot worse? Definitely.  As an informed voter, this "strategy" is not working for me.

Vicki Jean Hartley
Vicki Jean Hartley

Romney is not a salesman trying to sell us a new car. He is telling us our car is broken down beyond repair and promising us he will get us something- not sure what. Something that will get us somewhere, someway. Not sure what it will cost. Not sure if it will meet our needs. Not sure if it will work. Not sure if it is even a car.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

So this company hires a bunch of consultants and list this huge list of requirements so that they could basically have any employee work from any location in the world at any time.  So the consultants built this plan for a huge multi-million dollar project to achieve it.  At some point, one of the consultants realizes that they've built the architecture for a company orders of magnitudes bigger than the one they're working with and asks the question: "Why do you need this stuff?"  Turns out that the company had 5 employees who worked remotely.  Some of the time.  A couple thousand dollars later, they had a shiny new VPN server.

This story is used in Software Engineering to show that customers often have no idea what they want, but if you dig down to try and find the business reason for it, you often have the experience and knowledge to provide a solution far better than any of them could have come up with.

On the surface, it sounds like what you're saying.  However, it isn't.  Here's the difference:

Way too specific: We need to build this multi-million dollar infrastructure so we can access your email from anywhere in the world at any time since it's at a datacenter and blah blah blah.

Specific enough: We have these 5 employees who are offsite and we want a solution that will allow them to access the resources of our network while away.

Not specific enough: employees can't do their work from home.

Guess which one Romney does whenever he spends all day saying "the economy is bad".

And really, since he's the consultant rather than the customer, he should be providing the solution rather than the problem - but that's a minor detail here.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"...moderately vague campaigns allow for more measured policy planning."

Oh, please. Mittens is "vague" on policy because any "policy" that is acceptable to the Republican base would be insanely disastrous to the country and his electoral prospects. Republicans don't do "measured policy planning," where the hell have you been?

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

HOPE! CHANGE!

Oh. That was already tried? It FAILED (D)?

Never mind.

OweBama (D) wins -- four more years of DEPRESSION due to runaway spending, INCOMPETENCE, and excessive debt.

No one to blame but yourselves.

LoudRambler
LoudRambler

 I think that they both mean that it's time to etch that sketch.

 Essentially, I do believe that Romney could have gone after Obama a bit more aggressively - and rather differently. Even if Romney doesn't have a working economic plan for US (which he doesn't), neither it seems has Obama, so going after details of Obama's policies like Dodd-Frank can make sense if Romney can make a convincing argument.

 Trouble is, Dodd-Frank is fundamentally sound, even if it cut - badly - into Wall Street profits. It is possible to put the spin on it (i.e. how it hurts small mom and pop banks), and it is possible to pass the ball of recent JP Morgan losses as "but it didn't prevent it", but I doubt that Romney has the shrewdness to pull that off.

 Fundamentally, I think Romney would be a very good president, weren't Republicans so rabid these days and haven't the party chosen the course of "Not Obama!". I think, if Republicans and Obama cooperated (which was very possible and which Obama wanted really badly) Romney could have easily been a winner in 2016. Now he's between a rock and hard place. 

Rock
Rock

Cooperated on what?  Raising taxes? The last Republican who did that was the first Bush and he got killed for it.  Boehner did have a deal and Obama reneged that's it - and it really wouldn't have solved anything.  We really need to whack a department or two.

And Dodd Frank is a disaster - it wasn't set up to prevent JP Morgan losses by the way - it was set up so credit card companies couldn't charge high rates. Now you and I, who pay our cards off on time have higher fees.

Romney does have a working plan - he talks about it all the time but the press never talks about it. Lowering both personal and corporate taxes and closing loopholes and decreased regulation and approvidng the Keystone Pipeline and encouraging drilling.

bobcn
bobcn

"Fundamentally, I think Romney would be a very good president, weren't

Republicans so rabid these days and haven't the party chosen the course

of "Not Obama!"."

There's a strong reason to believe that Romney doesn't have the spine to be a good president. The republican party currently IS rabid.  And when has Romney ever stood up to them on anything?

Cmdr_Casey_Ryback
Cmdr_Casey_Ryback

Aw, you forgot, those with brains know, OweBama (D) is spineless INCOMPETENT FAILURE.

You're welcome.

Rock
Rock

He did the whole primary.  I guess you weren't watching.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"...I think Romney would be a very good president..."

Why on earth would you think that? The man has no empathy, no moral code and no fixed belief about the role of government. Not exactly presidential material.

Rock
Rock

I would seriously think about getting off the crackpipe there sheepdog.  The man "has no empathy"?  He gave all of his inheritance to his college before he even started work.  He took off for a year to help a friends family.  Has no "moral code" - he's a devout family man devoid of scandal - and did not hang out with terrorists and Chicago gangsters (like Barry did).  Has "no fixed belief  about the role of government"?  He wants it smaller.   And not to stand in the way of clear winning infrastructure projects like the Keystone pipeline.  It's pretty clear what he's for,  He's for an America that works - not suck at the public teat.

Read a newspaper some day.  You might learn something.