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Mitt Romney: The Missing Years, 2003-7.
There was something missing from Mitt Romney's nomination-clinching speech on Tuesday night: any reference whatsoever to his track record as governor of Massachusetts. In fact, he didn't even mention that he had been governor.

Not even once.

During the most important speech Romney's given so far, he didn't say a single word about the one time in his life that he's ever been elected to anything. That's rather extraordinary admission by omission that he doesn't see his record as something that he can run on.

It's not hard to see why Romney feels that way. Massachusetts ranked 47th in the nation in job creation under his leadership and he left the state with a massive debt. If he'd run for a second term, he would have been defeated, with good reason.

Romney's biggest legitimate accomplishment was Romneycare, which President Obama took national. But now Romney is against Obamacare, so he can't talk about Romneycare.

Romney's failure to mention his gubernatorial experience really was a telling moment in his campaign, a vivid illustration of the fact that he believes his campaign depends entirely on convincing voters that President Obama has been a failure. As Greg Sargent has been arguing, Romney's approach to that task has been to blame Obama for the failures of the Bush years—to make the public forget that President Obama inherited an economy in freefall.

As depressing as it would be if Romney were able to pull off such an argument, I don't see it happening. His argument is transparently false, and neither the Obama campaign nor grassroots progressives are going to let him get away with making it. As tiring and annoying as it can be to constantly battle back Romney's lies, it's not particularly difficult—because the truth is not on his side.

I suspect that deep down, Mitt Romney knows just how tenuous his position really is. If he were really confident in his own claim to the presidency, he wouldn't be trying to blame Obama for Bush. He'd be out there selling his own achievements. The fact that he's not tells us everything.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 12:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The GOP Punditocracy are already saying that he (10+ / 0-)

    is a 'center-right' candidate (get that jesus freaks?) and they are citing his MA experience as proof.....The worm is turning.

  •  It'd be my guess that Willard doesn't (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, a2nite, HoundDog, jedennis, Matt Z

    remember much about being governor, just as Dubya forgot about being in the National Guard.  They're both figure head executives, elected royals with fixed terms to others get to have a turn. Think how dreary that Elizabeth has been on the throne -- how long?

    Willard's a representative who, like the current President, is a presentable fellow.  That is, he can be introduced and he behaves and looks good--like a matinee idol or leading man.  Picture him sitting on a horse leading the parade.

    Willard wants to be President, not do executive things.  Remember "Being There"?

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 12:51:49 PM PDT

  •  Bill Keller, the world’s leading Internet (7+ / 0-)

    Evangelical and the founder of LivePrayer.com, with over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide reading the daily devotional he has written every morning for 13 years on the issues of the day from a Biblical worldview, states that:

    a vote for Mormon cult member Mitt Romney will insure at least 1 million souls will end up in hell!!!
    Keller, who has never told anyone who to or not to vote for and never endorses any political candidate said:
    “Christians have a real dilemma this November. It is like Satan flipping a two-headed coin with his head on both sides.”
    The blog I got this from is a real hoot.  Check it out at:
    http://juanitajean.com/...
    •  Good God!!....not inviting that guy to dinner!! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olympia, msmacgyver, ardyess
    •  o_O (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Olympia, Wee Mama

      "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

      by LaurenMonica on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 01:11:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Mitt Romney has been running since 1994. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Olympia, Wee Mama, ardyess, bwren

        He got lucky.  Once.

        And he's been on vacation since Jan. 5, 2007.

        What has he been doing since he went on vacay, other than running for President?

        •  since employers will not consider... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Olympia

          Since employers are quite brazen in filling positions these days, refusing to consider anyone who is not currently employed -- including those who have been unemployed for just a matter of days, even, let alone the long-term unemployed, as their skills have atrophied -- why should Mr. Romney get preferential treatment.  He's just an unemployed has-been.  

          And since both Mr. Romney and the Republicans have vilified the unemployed categorically, suggesting that they are "indolent" (in Mitt's own word) and do nothing but seek self-gratification, lolling about watching television or engaging themselves in other bad habits -- such as, say, lounging in their bathrobes and surfing the Web or offering their (unsolicited) opinion to reporters periodically, as Mr. Romney did -- then why is he thought of as anything but a welfare queen.

          Okay, he did not collect 'welfare' in the usual manner, filing for unemployment.  But he lived off the state, using its roads and other infrastructure while not paying his patriotic fair share for their upkeep, using "perfectly legal loopholes," shipping his money to Switzerland or the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes.  And most likely he continued to live off the state in the form of pension and/or health care benefits he received as a result of the one job he had that he doesn't like to talk about.  

          In the spirit of St. Ronnie, let's call him what he is -- Mitt Romney, Welfare Queen, driving around in his, or his wife's Caddies -- and let the chips fall where they may.

    •  I'm a semi-regular contributor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizenx

      at Juanita's...glad you enjoy it!

      "...now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!" -French Knight From "Monty Python & The Holy Grail"

      by Kellybee on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:24:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good Heavens! (or not...) nt (0+ / 0-)

      When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

      by msmacgyver on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:35:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  if Romney doesn't want to talk about (12+ / 0-)

    his four years serving in elective office and complete lack of foreign policy experience of any kind...well...that's all the more reason why we should be doing so.

  •  What a good point! (6+ / 0-)

    Brilliant in fact. Mitt Romney is just making it up as he goes along.

    I always wondered why he was such a liar- basically it's because the truth is pathetic.

    Ooh I am so going to use this...

    In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

    by vcmvo2 on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 02:39:37 PM PDT

  •  Obama campaign should mention this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess, flavor411

    His record as Governor was not impressive.

  •  I say he crumbles (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess, Remediator, DuzT

    once he's forced to do press conferences.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin

    by hotdamn on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:10:30 PM PDT

    •  Agree. Mittens hasn't shown much of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hotdamn

      a talent for thinking on his feet.  

      He doesn't behave like a person who is concerned for other persons.  That could be a huge problem for him in the white-hot glare of an actual presidential campaign.  He's had essentially no competition in the GOP primary.

  •  Of course he can't talk about Taxachusetts (7+ / 0-)

    He's running for office for Pete's sake!

    When he was Gov. didn't they call him FeeFee because rather than raise taxes he raised the fees on everything?

  •  Hug! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, citizenx

    Daily Kos I have missed you.
    Thank you Jed for your work.
    I just can't see a Mormon president with an ex Mormon vp.
    Evangelicals just couldn't deal with it.
    Born again is everything.
    You see no crusifix at the top of a Mormon stakebouse.

  •  OK...so far Mitt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, msmacgyver, ardyess, DuzT

    1. Doesn't want to talk about his record as Governor of MA
    2. Doesn't want to talk about his days as a vulture capitalist
    3. Doesn't want to talk about his offshore banking exploits
    4. Doesn't want to talk about his tax returns
    5. Doesn't want to talk about his foreign-policy "experience"
    6. Doesn't want to talk about Seamus.

      So...what's he gonna talk about for the next six months? Cookies? Trees?

    "...now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!" -French Knight From "Monty Python & The Holy Grail"

    by Kellybee on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:21:41 PM PDT

  •  Kidnapped by Aliens Yeah that's it nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:22:50 PM PDT

  •  The only reason Mitt thinks he can get away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess

    with putting all the blame on Obama is because Obama's economic policies aren't very different than those of Bush. This allows right wingers to blame "socialist" policies that are, in reality, fairly conservative policies (in the modern sense) for the state that we're in.

    As Greg Sargent has been arguing, Romney's approach to that task has been to blame Obama for the failures of the Bush years—to make the public forget that President Obama inherited an economy in freefall.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:27:47 PM PDT

  •  47th in job creation. that is a killer statistic. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Persiflage, msmacgyver, JML9999
  •  Rmoney wants to be king...not President. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, ardyess, DuzT

    And in that vein, he's gonna talk about whatever pleases him to say.   For the vast number of Americans who care most about the sports page, who's fondling the Kardashian mammaries, and the brands of lipstick worn by vacuous celebs, it will be just fine.  They don't have the inclination to hear anything but what they want to hear anyway.

    As an aside, Rmoney's foreign policy droid was on CNN this evening talking about Rmoney's desire to be more militarily forceful in the world.  Oh...what a surprise.  This from a  draft-dodging wimp and his spawn that will never serve.

    Makes me puke.

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:31:02 PM PDT

  •  I noticed many times during the Republican debates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, ardyess

    that Willard repeatedly claimed that he "spent his life in the public sector."

    He instituted affordable health care as governor, "a model for the nation."

    How severely conservative can a guy be!

    (It's gonna take six Koch Bros and three Karl Roves to sell this one.)

    Voting Republican is a luxury that very few Americans can afford.

    by Says Who on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 05:31:29 PM PDT

  •  So-- why not use the honorific (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vzfk3s, ardyess, DuzT

    "Governor" when talking or writing about him? (After all, other elected officials keep using their titles after they've left office.)

    If thousands and thousands of progressives always refer to him as "Governor Romney", it will probably start to stick.

    The strategic consideration is whether that's a good or bad thing for Dems.

    Cheers!

    •  OT, but the use of a honorific is often (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silverleaf

      missed used.

      When I get to run the world former members the gov. who have been thrown out due to corruption lose the title. I would also add that any retired officer that lobbies for the MIC lose the title of Gen. Retired, etc. It gives more credibility then they deserve.

  •  This is a major, major problem that Mitt has (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess, Andrew F Cockburn, DuzT

    He has nothing positive to say. He can't talk about his record as governor because (a) his economic record sucked and (b) his major accomplishment was the basis for Obamacare. His entire campaign basically boils down to "Obama sucks." And that's not going to be nearly enough to take down an incumbant, especially when (a) the incumbant is well-liked and (b) you are not.

  •  If Willard becomes president (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT

    then the "Good Ol' Boys Billionaires Club" will have a contest to see who can become the

    "World's First Trillionaire"

  •  This is the same strategy that he used in the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, DuzT

    primary: relentlessly attack the other guy(s) and don't say anything substantial about yourself.

    It worked.

  •  Was he governor? (0+ / 0-)

    Seems to me I remember some guy who went around the country saying how awful Massachusetts is, and would occasionally show up in the state for a photo op a couple of weeks after a major disaster.

    He did nothing here.

    I have no idea whatsoever what Romney would do as president, when he won't have a higher office to run for.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 07:05:42 PM PDT

  •  Well, we wouldn't want to upset ... (0+ / 0-)

    I would conjecture that perhaps Candidate Romney may not have wished to upset any prospective voters with concept or principle - preferring the time-tested emotional approach, in his political speech.

    If only emotions were enough to keep the nation successful, I  might then be willing to consider a parallel universe theory in which I might wind up voting for Romney - Not!

  •  yes (0+ / 0-)

    Mitt Romney is horrible.

    I don't see a good way to fix what's wrong with our country and am increasingly getting disillusioned with our political process.

    This is the 1000th diary in the last month to reiterate what I already know (which is that Mitt Romney is not a good person and would not be good for our country).

    Meanwhile, our country keeps going further down the toilet and I don't know how to help stop it.

  •  No mention of Bain Capital (0+ / 0-)

    If you recall, throughout 2011, more than any other detail on his résumé, Romney was touting his time at Bain as his primary strength and attribute, and he was repeatedly claiming to have created 100,000 jobs while at Bain.  And Romney and his campaign were laying the ground work of portraying any criticism of his work at Bain as an attack on the free market itself.

    For the most part, much of the media was going along with this narrative.  But what the media and the Romney campaign didn't expect was that Romney's GOP rivals would attack Romney with populist arguments.  All it took to send Romney's campaign spinning is for Gingrich and Perry to delve into Romney's record at Bain and say that the plutocrat has no clothes.

    If you remember, perhaps the biggest outrage from the GOP establishment was when Gingrich made those populist arguments.  It's one thing for those on the left to make populist arguments against Romney, but it was another thing altogether to have those arguments made from someone on the right. How effective were those arguments?  When was the last time that you've heard Romney or his campaign speak of Bain?  Romney not only avoids the topic of Bain entirely, he no longer claims to have created jobs at all as it might once again bring up the messy issue of Bain.  Now Romney is left meekly claiming that he knows how jobs are created.  He is left claiming that he was successful, but he doesn't explain how he was successful.  Instead, he breaks out the bio of his father and speaks about his father's success story.

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