NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Out of touch

Not since for­mer Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush, who famous­ly could not fig­ure out how to use a price scan­ner at a gro­cery store, have we seen a politi­cian so out of touch with every­day peo­ple, as Mitt Rom­ney was today. Mr. Rom­ney, in a pho­ny, pathet­ic attempt at empa­thy, informed vot­ers today that he, too, is unem­ployed.

Mitt Rom­ney sat at the head of the table at a cof­fee shop here on Thurs­day, lis­ten­ing to a group of unem­ployed Florid­i­ans explain the chal­lenges of look­ing for work. When they fin­ished, he weighed in with a predica­ment of his own.

“I should tell my sto­ry,” Mr. Rom­ney said. “I’m also unemployed.”

For­get the audac­i­ty of hope. This is the audac­i­ty of dope. The dope is a man whose net worth is report­ed­ly over $200 mil­lion, a sum that  none of the Flori­da vot­ers Rom­ney met with will like­ly ever get close to see­ing in their own bank accounts. Sim­ply remov­ing his tie for cam­paign events, while still wear­ing design­er suits and jok­ing about not work­ing, does not make Mitt Rom­ney an aver­age American.

And just how did Mitt make his for­tune? Check out this piece from the con­ser­v­a­tive New York Post.

How­ev­er, the for­mer pri­vate equi­ty firm chief’s for­tune — which has fund­ed his polit­i­cal ambi­tions from the Mass­a­chu­setts state­house to his unsuc­cess­ful run for the White House in 2008 — was made on the backs of com­pa­nies that ulti­mate­ly col­lapsed, putting thou­sands of ordi­nary Amer­i­cans out on the street. That truth if it becomes wide­ly known could become cost­ly to Rom­ney, who, while mak­ing the media rounds recent­ly, told CNN’s Piers Mor­gan that “Peo­ple in Amer­i­ca want to know who can get 15 mil­lion peo­ple back to work,” imply­ing he was that person.

Rom­ney’s pri­vate equi­ty firm, Bain Cap­i­tal, bought com­pa­nies and often increased short-term earn­ings so those busi­ness­es could then bor­row enor­mous amounts of mon­ey. That bor­rowed mon­ey was used to pay Bain div­i­dends. Then those busi­ness­es need­ed to main­tain that high lev­el of earn­ings to pay their debts.

In oth­er words, Mitt Rom­ney is a cor­po­rate raider who made his for­tune off of putting peo­ple out of jobs and destroy­ing com­pa­nies. He clear­ly knows noth­ing of the pain of aver­age Amer­i­cans and the sac­ri­fices they make when they lose their jobs. And prof­it­ing off of oth­ers’ mis­ery mixed with false empa­thy sure­ly won’t endear Mr. Rom­ney to voters.

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