Mitt Romney's bad week seems to be getting worse from the view of several pundits. Here are links to three articles from the last few hours that illustrate how the press is coming out on the roller-coaster of Bain developments since Wednesday. Oddly, the most negative assessments seem to be coming from the conservative press. This post does not reiterate the vast analysis and history that we've had plenty of over the last week, but just provides you some links to articles I've been reading to assess the impact in the media.
David Frum provides the best summary of last weeks blow-by-blow in his article
Mitt Romney's painfully bad week, where he suggests the Romney campaign's "hyeractive warroom" over reacted to the NAACP boos, by releasing the bogus Condi Rice-VP story on Drudge, putting them off balance for a worse blunder Thursday morning.
The NAACP incident shows a hyperactive campaign war room, overcorrecting one way ("the boos are no big deal; everything's going according to plan!") and then overcorrecting the other way ("we weren't trying to generate TV images of racial confrontation; why, look, here's Condi Rice!"), spinning and counterspinning without any forethought for how this hour's aggressive statement would sound when the next hour's realities arrived. ... And it was that "win the hour" mentality that got the Romney campaign into much more serious trouble when the Obama campaign launched a big push on Romney's business record the next day.
Thursday morning, the Obama campaign released a tough ad attacking the record of downsizing and outsourcing at Romney's old firm, Bain Capital. The Romney campaign reacted with outrage. That same day, it announced a multimillion-dollar purchase of airtime for an ad that bluntly accused President Obama of lying. ...
Wham. The first attack on Romney had been a jab, dropping Romney's guard against the haymaker: On Friday, the Obama team counter-charged that it was Romney who was lying in his ads or who had committed a felony, lying on 140 official forms that he signed as CEO and sole shareholder of Bain between 1999 and 2002. ...
Joe Trippi, of Fox News thinks Mitt stumbled into team Obama's Bain-Trap, providing more evidence that one of Romney's flaws as a strategic thinker is that he repeatedly over reacts for apparent short-term gain, at the expense of his own long-term best interest.
Come November, we may look back on this past week and find this was the week Romney lost the election, or the week that finally woke up his campaign to the reality that they need a better strategy to deal with these attacks. ... But his current strategy of stonewalling doesn’t pass the smell test. ...And, Chris Cillizza doesn't think Romney will find a way out of this Bain-Trap. Other than to try to change the subject by announcing that they may announce Romney's VP choice by the end of the week, as the Romney campaign has just done in the last hour.
Because he won’t release Bain’s Board of Directors meeting minutes – and because he had no other strategy to put this all to rest besides stonewalling– Romney has set a trap for himself and walked right into himself.
And by allowing these questions about his involvement to dominate the news, he has now put in jeopardy the entire underpinning of this campaign: that his Bain experience has prepared him to fix the economy.
Instead, Romney continues to stonewall on Bain as he has stonewalled on releasing his tax returns. And if the last week taught him anything, it should have taught him that stonewalling for the next 114 days isn’t a strategy that will work.
... Politics 101 says that when your campaign is bleeding — and Romney’s camp is bleeding right now — the best way to stop it is to get as many facts out as quickly as possible and then insist that it’s a dead issue and refuse to answer questions on it moving forward.And, Andrew Sullivan wrote over the weekend:
That won’t likely work for Romney because of the seeming contradictions about when he left the company — and the exotic nature of his financial life. ...
Because of the the complex nature of Romney’s finances — and his on again, off again relationship with Bain — there is no simple way for him to put it in his rearview mirror.
Romney’s campaign seems to be trying a dual-tracking strategy to change the subject: stoking talk about the possibility of an early VP pick — perhaps as early as this week — and trying to re-take the offensive by hitting Obama for alleged political cronyism.
Neither are a bad approach. But with the Obama campaign showing no signs of letting up on the Bain issue neither will likely work. Romney is doing all he can do to make this Bain discussion go away but the complexity at the heart of his retirement ensures that it’s not a problem he can readily solve. His best bet now is to hope that it’s washed away in a few news cycles by the next hot storyline.
“I wonder when the ad that shows Romney owned a company, Stericycle, that disposed of aborted babies, starts running in evangelical areas. Maybe mid-October..."
Yes, Romney is having a bad week. Anyone who has links to other articles to keep us up to date with it are welcome to post them here.
Keep that popcorn coming.
4:04 PM PT: Here's the rest of the Andrew Sullivan quote. I'm adding it here rather then editing the original so I do not disrupt commenters already in the original article.
I expected and hoped for this. I wonder when the ad that shows Romney owned a company, Stericycle, that disposed of aborted babies, starts running in evangelical areas. Maybe mid-October. Rove would do it in a heart-beat. The point is not that Romney actively managed that acquisition; he almost certainly didn't. The point is simply that he was CEO of the company when it did this and was drawing a salary for it. That means he is formally responsible for it. Romney's response could still be that he disagrees with the transaction, didn't choose it, and wishes that Bain had never touched it. But that kind of parsing of responsibility and trashing of his own company comes off as both weasely and disloyal respectively.
We have a long way to go, but last week I think we saw the first real blood of this campaign. A hit, a palpable hit. And Romney's appearance on five major channels is the most significant confirmation. They're in trouble.
10:57 PM PT: I just found this story at HuffPo --