January 12, 2012
"When Mitt Romney Came to Town"
Posted by Gordon Smith

The "King of Bain" video by Invest in America is here. If you are inclined to embrace the Romney-as-Raider narrative that Newt Gingrich has been developing, you might find this film effective, but it's hard to imagine independent-minded voters being persuaded. 

One problem is that many of the claims and insinuations in the film are facially ridiculous. For example, the first case study of Romney's rapaciousness is about a company called UniMac. According to the film, this was the Bain formula: buy a great company, degrade the products, fire the employees, and sell the company at a huge profit to the Canadians. In that order.

The bigger problem is that the tone and rhetoric of the film are well-designed to affirm preexisting beliefs, but not likely to persuade those who are independent or inclined to favor Romney. Romney buys big houses, and he makes them bigger! He is rich, and he likes money! He says crazy stuff like, "everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people"! His own firm took "foreign seed money from Latin America"! And in case you missed the fact that Mitt isn't like you, look at a clip of him speaking French!

It's just over the top.

"More ruthless than Wall Street," Romney apparently coined the term "creative destruction." (Sorry, Mr. Schumpeter.) For Newt Gingrich, this film is just about destruction. Ultimately, I think it will be self-destruction

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