Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Lethal Epithet for Romney

Presidential campaigns need a pithy phrase to nail the opposition, and the President is edging toward a killer label for Mitt Romney.

In 1940, FDR won reelection against a likable corporate lawyer, Wendell Willkie, who was dubbed the Barefoot Boy from Wall Street and easily defeated.

Four years later, Thomas E. Dewey, a buttoned-down former prosecutor with a campaign strategy of not being "prematurely specific" on issues, was described as an opportunist who "changes his views from hour to hour.” Pictured by his own aide as "cold as a February iceberg," Dewey was dispatched as the Little Man on the Wedding Cake.

Now, Obama is running for reelection against a changeable Wall Street insider with current views that make Willkie and Dewey look like flaming radicals, one who claims that his experience as a venture capitalist qualifies him to be President.

Democrats have floated Vulture Capitalist and Vampire Capitalist, but the labels have not stuck. Now Obama is working on another, Clueless Capitalist.

On the stump, the President tells of Romney’s answer to a question about financial struggles, “right out of an economic textbook.  He said, ‘Our productivity equals our income.’  And the notion was that somehow the reason people can’t pay their bills is because they’re not working hard enough. 

“If they got more productive, suddenly their incomes would go up.  Well, those of us who’ve spent time in the real world (laughter) know that the problem isn’t that the American people aren’t productive enough. You’ve been working harder than ever.  The challenge...we’ve faced for over a decade is that harder work has not led to higher incomes, and bigger profits at the top haven’t led to better jobs.”

This argument is at the heart of Obama’s case against the GOP candidate who has nothing to offer but experience in making companies profitable for investors rather than the people who work in them.

After all the epithets that have been thrown at the President, this campaign is waiting for the right one to put Mitt Romney into history’s dustbin along with Willkie and Dewey.

Suggestions?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It takes a special type of water carrier to think that the takeaway from that speech snippet is that "Romney as clueless capitalist" will be a kill-shot. Quite the contrary, the kill-shot will be a riff on this:

"Those of us who've spent time in the real world..."

Deign to explain what "real world" experience BO has? ZERO. ZIP. NADA. History will show that turning the keys of the kingdom over to this incompetent will be among the US' worst mistakes, ever.

Anonymous said...

"History will show that turning the keys of the kingdom over to this incompetent will be among the US' worst mistakes, ever."

Leave George Bush out of this.

M. Bouffant said...

Deign to explain what "real world" experience BO has?

Uh, lemmee see ... Oh, yeah: Four yrs. as President of the United States. That enough?

Anonymous said...

"Those of us who've spent time in the real world..."

"And made a fortune, firing people and bankrupting companies..."

Yes, a very potent attack.

Heh.

Anonymous said...

Romney's comment is right on the surface--gains resulting from productivity improvements haven't trickled down. So it's a distribution problem, not a growth problem.

I hear conservatives say all the time that Obama's economic policies have failed because median household income has gone down. They fail to add that per capita GDP, productivity, corporate profits, stock market capitalization have all gone up under Obama.

So again, not a growth problem--a distribution problem.

Anonymous said...

How about the experience of being brought up by a single mother? How about the experience of seeing family memebers ill and dying? I suspect economics, brought to a personal level, have influenced both of those experiences for our president.

Anonymous said...

robo-chop, mitt the knife, mormon whip-saw massacre,2012 i-got-mine disaster, too sexy for my temple garments, coorporate welfare-queen(two-cadillacs how we roll), come on baby 'like my fire', money changes everything, flippin & floppin, smilin' races