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Romney Senior Adviser Ed Gillespie: Mitt “Retired Retroactively” From Bain

This morning, Ed Gillespie, the former Republican Party official who served as a Bush Administration adviser and has been a Senior Adviser to Mitt Romney since 2012, put a new spin on the Romney campaign’s explanation for their candidate’s relationship with Bain Capital and its related entities from 1999 through 2002:

Senior Mitt Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie blasted President Obama’s attacks on the GOP candidate, saying Romney had been honest about his tenure at the private equity giant Bain Capital.

“We now know this president will say or do anything to keep the highest office in the land, even if it demeans the highest office in the land,” Gillespie said, during an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

(…)

Gillespie on Sunday sought to clarify the matter, saying that Romney initially thought he would be leaving Bain on a temporary basis, but the challenges of the Olympics led him to “retire retroactively.”

“There may have been a thought at the time that it could be part time, but it was not part time,” Gillespie said.

“He took a leave of absence and in fact he ended up not going back at all, and retired retroactively to 1999 as a result,” he added. “He left a life he loved to go to Salt Lake City and help a country he loves more, and somehow Chicago… is trying to make it something sinister.”

Gillespie also appeared on Meet The Press and pretty much said the same thing:

For the most part, this may actually be the best explanation that anyone affiliated with the Romney campaign has given for what happened during that three year period that Romney was principally involved in saving the Salt Lake City Olympics from a bribery and management scandal that was threatening to cause the International Olympic Committee to reassign the 2002 Winter Olympics to another host city. But, what’s with this retired retroactively  nonsense? What does that even mean? I’m presuming that what it might mean as that, for the severance agreement that was eventually negotiated between Romney and his Bain partners, the parties agreed that it would be assumed for the purposes of the agreement that Romney had actually retired in February 1999 when he left for Salt Lake City. There are legal reasons why that would make sense in terms of valuing Romney’s shares in the company and other such matters, but that hardly matters when you’re trying to deal with an issue like this in the middle of a political campaign where the important thing to do is to give the explanation that is both correct and the easiest to understand.

It strikes me that Gillespie most certainly did not do that today. “Retired retoractively?” Really, Ed? Why couldn’t you just say, why can’t the campaign just say, that Romney was originally on a leave of absence from Bain but that, after a time, it became clear that he would have to devote far too much time to the Olympics to be able to resume an active role in the company any time soon? If that means they have to admit to some involvement in Bain activities during that period, then that’s what it means. It strikes me that this would be better than continually dissembling like this, which just makes it look like you have something to hide.

The other problem, of course, is that Romney’s account of what was happening with his role at Bain during these years has, well, evolved:

Only a week before the election for Massachusetts governor in 2002, Democratic candidate Shannon O’Brien launched a television ad in which a laid-off steelworker accused Mitt Romney, O’Brien’s Republican opponent, of firing laborers at a Kansas City steel mill, leaving them without health insurance and destroying their families.

Eight years earlier, Senator Edward M. Kennedy deployed a similar attack — with devastating effectiveness — in a campaign against Romney, the wealthy founder of private equity firm Bain Capital.

But this time, Romney had a strong rebuttal, one that would become a bedrock of his political career for the next decade: He said he was not responsible for the struggles of the worker and his colleagues because he had left Bain Capital in February 1999, two years before the Bain-owned steel mill went bankrupt.

(…)

But until his run for governor — and even before that campaign was underway in earnest, when he needed to prove sustained connections to Massachusetts in order to ward off a ballot challenge — Romney had characterized his departure from Bain Capital more as a “leave of absence” in which he would be a “part-timer,” and not as an absolute separation from the thriving business he built and solely owned.

It was not until 2002 that Romney finalized a severance agreement with Bain, a 10-year deal with undisclosed terms that was retroactive to 1999.

The reason for Romney’s change in emphasis from “leave of absence” to stating that he had left Bain completely in 1999 is, of course, quite obvious.  It was the easiest way to rebut the attempts of his political opponents to try to tie him to Bain investments after 1999 that went sour. It may well be the case that Romney never really had much input in those investment decisions, and given the accounts of the 112-hour weeks he was putting in out in Salt Lake City it’s hard to see how he really could have, but obviously his campaign, both when he ran for Governor and now, thinks that any admitting to any association with Bain during this period would be detrimental. The problem is that the “leave of absence” explanation, which is essentially the one that Gillespie returned to today, is the one that makes the most sense given the documentary evidence we have so, like it or not, that’s what Romney has to accept. The campaign’s problem now, though, is that they’ve so mishandled this matter that they’ve created the impression that they have something to hide, and that has the potential to cement an image of the candidate in the mind of the public that would be far from beneficial.

Joe Gandelman puts it quite well:

If this was the case why wasn’t this offered days ago by the Romney camp? Why didn’t Romney hammer this home when a slew of network interviews on Friday?

The fact it’s being offered now suggests two things:
a)Political malpracticee on the part of team Romney.
b)It’s spin — the kind of explanation a defense attorney comes up with to defend a client.

Republican partisans will accept this and say the matter is settled. Democratic partisans will say its a lie.

But the question truly is: if this is the case, why wasn’t this hammered home days ago? I hate to use the trite awful phrase, but I will:

The timing of this explanation and the fact it was not put in this manner days ago doesn’t pass the smell test.

Rush and Sean will now say it’s all settled. But I don’t think it’ll stop media curiosity on Romney and the Bain issue and it’s enough of a loose end that it will not halt any planned Obama ads on the issue.

It won’t stop the media questions at all, not will it stop the Obama campaign. Indeed, Gillespie’s “retired retroactively” line is already being ridiculed on Twitter. You can expect this to be a topic of discussion on cable news yet again tomorrow, and likely for the better part of the week unless the Romney campaign gets its act together.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Political junkies have know this was the key line for a few days:

    It was not until 2002 that Romney finalized a severance agreement with Bain, a 10-year deal with undisclosed terms that was retroactive to 1999.

    And while it’s fine to say Mitt had a reduced role in 1999, and the 2002 document recognized that, it is not the same thing as Mitt telling his buddies “I’m gone” in 2002, contemporaneously (to drop a word to match “retroactively”).

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  2. al-Ameda says:

    Romney’s parody of himself continues, unabated:

    Let’s adjust Ed Gillespie’s hackery to reflect reality, shall we?

    “We now know this president Candidtate will say or do anything to keep get elected to the highest office in the land, even if it demeans the highest office in the land Candidate, and insults the Public,” Gillespie al-Ameda said, during an interview a blog comment, Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union the website Outside The Beltway”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  3. Sorry, messed this up:

    it is not the same thing as Mitt telling his buddies “I’m gone” in 1999, contemporaneously

    Also “s/know/known”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. C. Clavin says:

    Retired retro-actively?
    WTF?
    Nixon should have resigned retro-actively…that way Watergate never would have happened.
    Is “retired-retroactively” the new “I was for it before I was against it?”
    Worst. Campaign. Ever.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  5. But, what’s with this retired retroactively nonsense? What does that even mean?

    Unfortunately, it is taken to the extreme, in a “shake the Etch-A-Sketch” moment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  6. michael reynolds says:

    In a related development, former President Bill Clinton retroactively did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewisnky.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 1

  7. DRS says:

    Would anyone like more popcorn? This could be a long movie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  8. Argon says:

    The association with *Stericycle* hurts Romney with the religious conservatives who have long been questioning the candidate’s varying positions on gay rights and abortion. He can’t afford to lose that support given that many would be perfectly willing to vote for a third candidate like Ron Paul as protest. He *has to* deny all operational connections with Bain, post-1999, because it’s after 1999 that Bain derived profit while in “league with abortionists” and thus became abhorrent in the eyes of the religious right.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  9. rudderpedals says:

    This raises more questions than it answers.

    Were there tax benefits behind the decision? Amended returns? Lets see them

    When Romney discovered he retroactively resigned did he update the SEC filings?

    Who was the real CEO post 99?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  10. al-Ameda says:

    In a related matter, what’s the over/under on the number of comments that this article will generate?

    +/- 150?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  11. gVOR08 says:

    I wouldn’t blame the campaign too much. Mitt’s probably been not much more forthcoming with them than anyone else. You’d think, though, somebody would have some memory of Romney’s loss to Kennedy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  12. michael reynolds says:

    @DRS:
    Grab me a beer while you’re up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  13. C. Clavin says:

    The retired “retro-actively” thing is funny…and will be hung like an albatross around his pretty little spoiled frat boy neck.
    But more importantly…and as I typed yesterday…if Romney was so over-whelmed with running the Olympics that he was unable to run a business with his name all over it and from which he was taking a six-figure salary…then it is logical to assume he is unable to run a complex monster like the United States of America.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  14. Jr says:

    The ship be sinking…………….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  15. Moosebreath says:

    In other words, Romney is trying to eat his cake and have it too. Just as the rest of us having been saying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  16. Raoul says:

    Color me skeptical on the 112 hour work week-occasionally? Sure. Three years? Right.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  17. PJ says:

    Not only was Romney still at Bain while running the Olympics, he was still at Bain after being elected as Governor…

    A corporate document filed with the state of Massachusetts in December 2002 — a month after Romney was elected governor — lists him as one of two managing members of Bain Capital Investors, LLC “authorized to execute, acknowledge, deliver and record any recordable instrument purporting to affect an interest in real property, whether to be recorded with a Registry of Deeds or with a District Office of the Land Court.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  18. @Raoul:

    That would be enough to cause PTSD. My best-ever week was something like 72 hours, billable. There were guys who did 80+ but we avoided them. They mostly giggled.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  19. michael reynolds says:

    I used to put in 90+ hour weeks covering dinner and graveyard shift in 24-hour restaurants back in the day. Of course I was also crushing cross-tops back in the waiter station and snorting them through a beverage straw.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  20. A 112 hour work week is a full seven, sixteen hour, days. That gives you eight hours each day to do your commute, get yourself washed and fed, sleep, and begin again. It would be a hard schedule and sleep deprivation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  21. I’ve known guys who can run like that. Of course, it helps to be in good shape physically and Romney of course doesn’t drink or smoke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  22. Stonetools says:

    I suppose it is too much for Romney to retroactively admit that he had some connection to Bain after 1999, but that he wasn’t involved in the day to day running of the company and just take his lumps for that. It would be better than this “drip, drip,” Chinese water torture treatment about Bain that’s deflecting him from attacking Obama on the economy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  23. Modulo Myself says:

    The few investment bankers I’ve known seem to put in over 12 hours a day. Although their spouses have always been somewhat skeptical about how much of this was work, and how much was the obligation to be seen as working by others.

    I’m curious if all of the people who never fail to cite how long the ACA bill was (50000000 pages, plus or minus) are puzzled at how it could take three years to hash out legally an agreement about retirement and ownership for a company.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  24. giantslor says:

    @C. Clavin: Well, I think that depends what the definition of “is” is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  25. PJ says:

    Mormons are sure fond of doing things retroactively.
    Like baptizing non-Mormons after they have died.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 0

  26. C. Clavin says:

    PJ wins the thread…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  27. al-Ameda says:

    @PJ:

    Mormons are sure fond of doing things retroactively.
    Like baptizing non-Mormons after they have died.

    We Catholics are bequeathed “Original Sin” – I’d like to retroactively expunge that from the record too. Can Mormons do something about that? Would I have to pay a fee?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  28. Herb says:

    likely for the better part of the week unless the Romney campaign gets its act together.

    I’m not so sure the Romney campaign will be able to massage this message into shape….

    Truth is, Romney’s in a no-win situation with this Bain business and you know what happens when you get into a no-win situation? You lose.

    At this point, Romney can only cut his losses and try something else, like…….details on what he’s going to do as president, not just on Day 1, but Day 2, Day 100, hopefully all the way up to Day 999 and (perhaps) beyond.

    He can’t rely on “I’m rich and I’m a Republican and I’m not Barack Obama.’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  29. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DRS:

    Hey, pass me the remote. I’m just gonna fast forward this sucker to the part where his car explodes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  30. C. Clavin says:

    Romney also keeps lying, about how many years of tax returns Kerry released, in order to justify not releasing more years of Romney returns.
    If your argument is based on a lie…then you don’t have much of an argument.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  31. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Herb:

    Truth is, Romney’s in a no-win situation with this Bain business and you know what happens when you get into a no-win situation? You lose.

    His main qualifications for being President? #1, he was a successful governor of….. Uhhhhhh, never mind that.

    #2, he was successful business man running Bain Capi…… Uhhhhhh, never mind that.

    #3, he was….. ummmm…. Olympics! Where he successfully negotiated a Federal bailo….. Never mind.

    #4………. #4……. #4……

    Any ideas?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  32. @OzarkHillbilly:

    Any ideas?

    Good hair?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  33. jd says:

    Maybe he could resign as Governor retroactively. That would solve his Romneycare problem.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 0

  34. PJ says:

    @john personna:

    Good hair?

    The campaign doesn’t think that’s a good idea.

    Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, declined to comment on the candidate’s hairstyle, or to make Mr. Romney available to discuss it. Advisers describe Mr. Romney, whose hectic schedule has landed him in barbershops from Atlanta to New York City (where his cut costs $25), as uninterested in the finer points of his appearance. The same cannot be said of his advisers. In 2007, the last time Mr. Romney ran for president, they drafted a 77-page PowerPoint presentation on his strengths and weaknesses, which later fell into the hands of a reporter.

    His hair was listed as a potential turnoff.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    Mitt’s excuses have excuses…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  36. DRS says:

    Found it! From the comedy How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967 movie):

    J. B. Biggley: I realize that I’m the president of this company, the man that’s responsible for everything that goes on here. So, I want to state, right now, that anything that happened is not my fault.

    Rudy Vallee looks more sincere than Romney saying it…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  37. anjin-san says:

    Guys, there is a simple explanation for all this.

    Double Secret Retirement…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  38. anjin-san says:
  39. Herb says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Any ideas?

    Just one…..

    Pullling a “Freaky Friday” with another candidate.

    But in all seriousness….a Romney presidency seems to me to be wholly unnecessary. I know, I know, we need more tax cuts and we need to cut back on regulations and need to repeal Obamacare and close the border and ban gay marriage and whatever nonsense the GOP has committed themselves to these days…..

    But none of that strikes me as all that compelling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  40. jukeboxgrad says:

    I haven’t seen anyone notice one of the most interesting things Gillespie said (video, scroll to 1:25):

    He was still CEO

    On the other hand, this is what Mitt said Friday:

    I had no role with regards to Bain Capital after February 1999.

    How is it possible to be CEO and also have “no role?” Sounds like Ed didn’t get the memo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  41. de stijl says:

    I’m beginning to think that Romney is willing to accept this Bain thumping because there is something much more politically damning in his tax returns. Something like he paid no taxes for several years because of the way that he structured his income and investments or more damaging off-shore accounts / investments that have yet to come to light – you know, standard mega-rich guy behavior, but political death for a Presidential candidate.

    The Bain information that has already come out to date may very well cost him the election, but he seems absolutely willing to take his lumps on Bain rather than release any more financial / tax information than he already has.

    That, or Argon‘s Stericycle theory is correct.

    Perhaps it’s both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  42. jukeboxgrad says:

    doug:

    Why couldn’t you just say, why can’t the campaign just say, that Romney was originally on a leave of absence from Bain but that, after a time, it became clear that he would have to devote far too much time to the Olympics to be able to resume an active role in the company any time soon?

    Because Mitt has already stated to the FEC, twice, in writing, that he “retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999.” That claim is not congruent with the narrative you just suggested. “Retired” and “leave of absence” don’t mean the same thing.

    What Mitt told FEC is also not congruent with what Gillespie just said (“he was still CEO”). If “he was still CEO,” that means he lied to FEC, which is a felony.

    The problem is that the “leave of absence” explanation, which is essentially the one that Gillespie returned to today, is the one that makes the most sense given the documentary evidence we have so, like it or not, that’s what Romney has to accept.

    That explanation does “[make] the most sense given the documentary evidence we have.” Trouble is, Mitt turned his back on that explanation when he told FEC he “retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999.” He also turned his back on that explanation when he said on Friday that he “had no role with regards to Bain Capital after February 1999.”

    The campaign’s problem now, though, is that they’ve so mishandled this matter that they’ve created the impression that they have something to hide

    They’ve also shown that they think the proper way to respond when you’re caught lying is to demand an apology.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  43. Lar 5 says:

    “What baloney! I guess Bush and Cheney should have retired retro actively after the Iraq war and Hoover should have retired retroactively during the depression.”
    Maybe Romney will edit his tax returns and release them retroactively.
    Heck, maybe he’s the one who got Bin Laden retroactively.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  44. sam says:

    @al-Ameda:

    We Catholics are bequeathed “Original Sin” – I’d like to retroactively expunge that from the record too. Can Mormons do something about that? Would I have to pay a fee?

    They do retroactive baptism, but I that’s free… Dunno about the retroactive expungement thingy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  45. PJ says:

    @de stijl:

    I’m beginning to think that Romney is willing to accept this Bain thumping because there is something much more politically damning in his tax returns. Something like he paid no taxes for several years because of the way that he structured his income and investments or more damaging off-shore accounts / investments that have yet to come to light – you know, standard mega-rich guy behavior, but political death for a Presidential candidate.

    The Bain information that has already come out to date may very well cost him the election, but he seems absolutely willing to take his lumps on Bain rather than release any more financial / tax information than he already has.

    Brian Beutler at TPM wrote that McCain’s former campaign manager Steve Schmidt is the man to watch, Schmidt saw 20 years of Romney’s tax returns when Romney was vetted for VP. When he starts telling Romney to release his tax returns, then whatever is in them is no longer worse than not releasing them.

    Schmidt is quiet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  46. mattb says:

    As I said yesterday, the biggest problem for the Romney Campaign is that this is exactly the sort of scenario in which they tend to commit unforced errors.

    I’ll note one other thing, the longer this stays alive, the tougher it is for “Romney-Friendly” folks to deal with it. Look back over the trajectory of Doug’s and JJ’s posts and comments on this subject. While at their core, both continue to feel that this is a tempest in a tea pot, both have been becoming increasing frustrated with the multiple stories, the wanting to have it all, and the overall mishandling of the response.

    It’s not to say that’s enough to make either of them NOT pull the lever for Romney. But it has taken a toll on the tone of their responses. And any loss of momentum at this point in the race does not bode well for Romney.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  47. mattb says:

    On the other hand, before any Obama supporters think that this alone will cost Romney the race, let me remind that roughly four years ago, in this same general time frame, the entire Rev. Wright things was coming to it’s head in the national contest.

    While the dynamics are not completely parallel, its worth noting that by the end of the summer the entire controversy had died out and had little effect on the final election.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

  48. jukeboxgrad says:

    Schmidt saw 20 years of Romney’s tax returns when Romney was vetted for VP

    Yup. 23 years, actually. And then McCain did what? Picked Palin. Hmm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  49. James in LA says:

    Oh dearity-dear-dear… well, on the plus side for the GOP, Mitt Romney is not yet the nominee, and there is still the sultry swelter of Tampa in which to correct this clearly ghastly mistake of a candidate that is not going to attract a majority of votes. The video vault already contains a critical mass of lies from Romney, most recently Friday evening. Even if Ed Rendell is right (and I highly disagree with him on this point) and “only 6 – 7 million people are paying attention right now,” this video vault will require some exceedingly catastrophic internet-related event to just magically disappear. Asteroid impact sort of thing.

    Because in the Age of Newspapers, when all the currently governing pols cur their teeth, all was forgotten by September, and they have not adapted. See: Macaca. See: The Actual Vetting of Sarah Palin. See real soon now: Fomer candidate Mitt Romney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  50. Ron Beasley says:

    The fact that after six years of running for President Romney is so ill prepared to run for President really makes on wonder how qualified he is to actually be President.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  51. PD Shaw says:

    I’m presuming that what it might mean as that, for the severance agreement that was eventually negotiated between Romney and his Bain partners, the parties agreed that it would be assumed for the purposes of the agreement that Romney had actually retired in February 1999 when he left for Salt Lake City

    One of the Bain partners, Ed Conard, said as much on the Chris Hayes story. Romney was too busy to negotiate the severance agreement while working on the Olympics, and he was the first of the founding partners to leave and the terms had to basically provide a framework for all partners future severance agreements.

    The reality that this was a partnership at its core does not seem to have permeated much of the critical analysis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  52. swbarnes2 says:

    I tried to make a post where there was a link to the Office of Government Ethics site, where you can download the filing where Romney swore that he had no involvement at all in Bain operations after Feb 1999, but it got caught as spam.

    If that never posts, you can google this: SF 278/OGE Form 278 romney. You have to fill out a short form before downloading the file.

    You are looking for point 9, on page 28. Page 1 is where Romney certified that all the statements in the doument are true, complete, and correct.

    But of course, somoene who “was not involved in operations of any Bain Capital entitiy in any way” should not have been signing Bain SEC forms, but we know that Romney was doing that, which makes the OGE form a lie.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  53. jukeboxgrad says:

    shaw:

    Romney was too busy to negotiate the severance agreement while working on the Olympics

    If doing those two things at once is enough to overwhelm him then POTUS is probably not the right job.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  54. michael reynolds says:

    @PD Shaw:

    He was too busy. Thank God the presidency doesn’t require you to do two things at once, like say, appear at a televised event coolly telling jokes while at the same time killing Osama Bin Laden. Or dealing with a financial meltdown while fighting two wars. Those severance negotiations are really tough, I can see where that would take three years.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  55. Ron Beasley says:

    Romney’s next big problem is tax returns. Even George Will thinks there must be something so toxic in them he can’t release them. Drip – Drip – Drip.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  56. jukeboxgrad says:

    I can see where that would take three years.

    Closer to four years, as I explained here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  57. jukeboxgrad says:

    The fact that after six years of running for President Romney is so ill prepared to run for President really makes on wonder how qualified he is to actually be President.

    Mitt’s intelligence and competence is vastly overrated. All his life he’s been coasting on connections and privilege, and he’s never had to deal with a truly challenging situation, one that requires real courage, integrity, wisdom and leadership. Now for the first time in his life he’s facing a world-class opponent, and he’s coming up short in all those areas.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  58. MBunge says:

    There is a bigger and, if you can believe it, more troubling element to this whole case. It’s about a contempt of the democratic process and democratic legitimacy is growing amongst certain aspects of our body politic. The attitude is always there, usually embodied by patricians like George Bush the Elder who see elections as this dirty business they have to go through in order to run the country. It publicly metastisized after 9/11 with Dick Cheney who publicly and repeatedly refused to abide by some of the most basic traditions of openness and accountability. Now we’re getting the corporate America version of the attitude from Romney, where he obviously can’t process the fact of people daring to actually question him in any serious manner. The reality that such interaction is fundamental to building and maintaining the connection between the leader and the led is alien to Mitt and others like him.

    Mike

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  59. Resnio says:

    Retroactive Retirement Is B.S! Way to resolve all this once and for all is for full release of tax returns from 1999—2002. !,

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  60. mattb says:

    @PD Shaw:

    The reality that this was a partnership at its core does not seem to have permeated much of the critical analysis.

    Fair point.

    That said, let me restate that this has always been about the political optics (sorry Jukebox and others, based on my understanding the felony discussion is an overreach) on two counts.

    First is that Romney attempted to have things two ways — to link himself to Bain’s successes while distancing himself from their shortcomings. And so you ended up with extremely convoluted stories.

    But the second problem is the connotations of three letters: C-E-O. As I’ve said before, if Romney was simply a partner, or even the principle owner of Bain, I don’t think this story would have any real legs. The problem is, fairly or unfairly, people have a built in, general feeling about what a CEO does. And the idea that a CEO could go on a three year leave-of-absence or take no responsibility for the actions of the company, just doesn’t make sense to people.

    And to Doug’s point, terms of art, like “Retroactive Retirement” make even less sense.

    Again, Romney is probably in the “right” legally. But this stopped being about legal issues a few days ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  61. PD Shaw says:

    @michael reynolds: Luckily, when you want to leave the Presidency, you don’t have to negotiate your departure, it comes with a deadline.

    And a parterships is not analagous to the President; one of the reasons to form a partnership is to allow muliple executives to manage operations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  62. C. Clavin says:

    MattB…
    The reason the Wright thing died down is because Obama stood up an spoke about it like an adult. He changed the optics. Romney has yet to show that he can be an adult. He did whine about apolgies though.
    The other thing to keep in mind is that sitting in a pew in a Church does not establish anywhere near the level of connection that being the CEO of a company does.
    Nice try though…not.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  63. Herb says:

    @mattb:

    While the dynamics are not completely parallel, its worth noting that by the end of the summer the entire controversy had died out and had little effect on the final election.

    This is a good point……but I think the dynamics of this situation promises a long shelf-life. It’s not like the Obama campaign is accusing Romney of hanging out with a guy who outsourced jobs and hid money in off-shore bank accounts.

    They’re saying he is that guy.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  64. michael reynolds says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Yep, that’s where the narrative goes next: what the hell is so awful on those tax returns? What is he so desperate to hide?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  65. Herb says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    “Yup. 23 years, actually. And then McCain did what? Picked Palin. Hmm. “

    I didn’t get to see Rahm Emmanuel make this point on the Sunday shows, but I heard about it and thought, “Damn, that’s good.”

    The Obama people are landing blows and what’s that….is that a cut I see forming?

    At any rate, one thing bothers me about this. It implies that McCain showed good judgement when he picked Palin over Romney. And I just can’t accept that “good judgement” showed up anywhere in the whole Palin pick fiasco.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  66. gVOR08 says:

    @de stijl: Bingo. He’d apparently rather od anything rather than release more tax returns. Not only would a low tax rate look bad to voters, it would make it very difficult for a president Romney to argue that rich people should pay lower taxes. And if he won’t be able to get them lower taxes, why would rich people donate millions to his campaign?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  67. Herb says:

    Got one stuck in the moderation queue…..think I did two in a row or maybe something even more suspicious. Spring it if you want.

    @PD Shaw:

    Romney was too busy to negotiate the severance agreement while working on the Olympics, and he was the first of the founding partners to leave and the terms had to basically provide a framework for all partners future severance agreements.

    Once we accept that as truth, do we then have to accept it as a good excuse?

    Growing up, I was always told my Grandpa was in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was Chesty Puller’s driver, ole Gunny. Turns out, he served during Korea and Vietnam (missed WWII completely) but never saw combat. He became “Chesty Puller’s driver” by driving him to an event during a short base visit. I still think the man is a mountain, a lifelong Marine and proud of it, but I’m also a little miffed about the false impression.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  68. Herb,

    Actually it got stuck in the spam filter for some odd reason. I liberated it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @PD Shaw:

    Romney was too busy to negotiate the severance agreement while working on the Olympics, and he was the first of the founding partners to leave and the terms had to basically provide a framework for all partners future severance agreements.

    Uhhh, PD, what part of “Sole Owner” don’t you get? There were no other “partners”. Unless….. Somehow or other, “Sole Owner” does not mean the same thing in their world as it means in mine.

    In other words, they can parse these words as much as they want to, so that Mitt will not be legally responsible. However, I am just an Ozark Hillbilly, and I know that I am not rich enuf to spin this shit into ice cream. I might not be as educated as his advisers but I am not stupid…. And I can smell goat shit from a mile away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  70. Herb says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Gracias.

    I was gonna say…I don’t usually start spamming until midnight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Herb: .

    He became “Chesty Puller’s driver” by driving him to an event during a short base visit. I still think the man is a mountain, a lifelong Marine and proud of it, but I’m also a little miffed about the false impression.

    Herb, if he was good enuf for Chesty, he was good enuf for anybody. Fvck the false impressions. My uncle got “famous” at Tarawa as a frog man… (a book was written, his name was mentioned). My old man anonymously flew B-29′s out of Saipan…. Neither questioned nor cared…. They knew, they respected…. Tho when it came to dropping off his little sis at home 2 hrs later than promised my Uncle was a total pussy….. dropped my old man and my mother 2 blocks away and left them to face my grand father at 2 AM all by their selves….. While gramps swung a golf club in the front yard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  72. KansasMom says:

    “In other news, immediately after hearing the phrase “retroactive retirement,” Penn State University officials began drafting paperwork to retroactively retire Paterno and Sandusky in 1997 so as to avoid any civil litigation related to the Nittany Lion child rape regime.”
    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/07/15/retroactive-retirement/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  73. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    It all hangs together quite tidily — IF you’re not a mindless partisan hack out to find excuses to hate on Romney, even if you have to make them up.

    1) Romney gets the call from the Olympics.
    2) Romney takes a “leave of absence” (perhaps not that precise term, but in effect one) from Bain, intending to leave open the option to return in the future.
    3) At some point, Romney decides to not to return to Bain.
    4) Romney and his associates from Bain hammer out the buyout details.
    5) Romney signs off on the paperwork and officially ends his relationship with Bain.
    6) As Romney had been absent from Bain since 1999, they agree that his “leave of absence” was, in effect, his retirement, as he left and never returned. He could have pulled the Major League Baseball stunt and returned to work a single day before retiring, but he’d been out of the picture for three years and there was no reason to do so.

    For the 1999-2002 period, Romney was legally responsible for Bain. However, he was not practically responsible, as he was gone. This is precisely the opposite impression the Romney-haters want to give — that Romney wants full credit for the good stuff Bain did, but no accountability for anything bad. Had Bain actually run into legal trouble at that point, Romney would have been on the hook.

    Fortunately, he’d chosen his associates well, and they kept Bain’s nose clean.

    I’ve known a few people who’ve done something similar — taken a leave of absence that they never came back from. Their official “termination” date was the date they declared they wouldn’t be coming back, but their effective date was the last day they worked. Kind of like how Obama treated his Senate seat — he took a “leave of absence” to run for president, but never came back for it.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 20

  74. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    In other words, Romney is invoking the The Sergeant Schultz defense; “I know nothing! Nothing!”

    Too bad Romney just can’t seem to decide if he approves of his role at Bain Capital, or if he approves of his non-role at Bain Capital?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  75. OzarkHillbilly says:

    For the 1999-2002 period, Romney was legally responsible for Bain.

    Soooo…. You think he should be prosecuted for filing false reports with the SEC? Orrrr…… for filing false reports with the FEC?

    I am OK with either alternative, because if I had done either I would be looking at 5-10. I wonder what he will get……

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  76. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: What a perfect example of reduction ad idiotam, You can’t admit it makes perfect sense, so you resort to cheap pop culture references to avoid saying “I’m too stoooopid to understand it, so it must be wrong!!!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  77. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: You really don’t grasp it, do you? You’re not just playing dumb — you really are that dumb?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  78. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idiotrian #13: Forgot to provide the link to your statement

    :For the 1999-2002 period, Romney was legally responsible for Bain. However, he was not practically responsible, as he was gone.

    What world do you live in Idiotrian? In my world, “Legally responsible” is one and the same as “practically responsible”…. You sound like a trial lawyer.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Hey, you said he was legally responsible, not me.

    And yes, you really are an idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  80. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Try this: you loan your car to someone. They get in an accident. Were you “responsible” for the accident? No, you weren’t in the car. Are you legally responsible for it? Yes, it was your car, being operated by your friend with your permission. So you’re not on the hook for any criminal charges, but for any civil damages.

    Got it, or should I use smaller words?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 17

  81. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: In my world, “Legally responsible” is one and the same as “practically responsible”…. You sound like a trial lawyer.

    My, ain’t you proud of your stupidity and ignorance and inexperience. Bet you got a shiny certificate that says so, too.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 19

  82. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: What a perfect example of reduction ad idiotam, You can’t admit it makes perfect sense, so you resort to cheap pop culture references to avoid saying “I’m too stoooopid to understand it, so it must be wrong!!!!”

    I’m sorry that you don’t seem to have an explanation of why Mitt Romney cannot adequately and convincingly explain his role (or non-role) at Bain Capital to the American public. Is the public too stooopid to understand it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  83. john personna says:

    @PD Shaw:

    As others have pointed out, sole stockholder and equity partner don’t mix. I think this must be partner in another sense, as principals in the firm, or partners with a profit share.

    Also, as Drew notes, there would be separate, parallel enitites, the soley owned Bain as only one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  84. An Interested Party says:

    Now for the first time in his life he’s facing a world-class opponent…

    He didn’t do too well against Teddy Kennedy back in 1994…of course, the Obama Campaign seems to be pulling many pages from that previous race…

    Kind of like how Obama treated his Senate seat — he took a “leave of absence” to run for president, but never came back for it.

    You and your fellow travelers are certainly free to keep pushing stuff like this…sadly for you, most of the American people know exactly who Barack Obama is–he’s been their president for the past 3 1/2 years…Romney, on the other hand, obviously isn’t as well known to most people, but others will be happy to define him to those people…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  85. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Is the public too stooopid to understand it?

    Well, the segment you represent apparently is. Maybe you need more dog in your diet or something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  86. john personna says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Actually Jenos’ latest comment shows a lot of movement. He now understands that Mitt was officially in charge in 1999 and until the 2002 retroactive agreement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  87. An Interested Party says:

    So you’re not on the hook for any criminal charges, but for any civil damages.

    You’ve just described the strategy to be used against Romney…the civil damages will be just as damaging to his campaign as criminal charges…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  88. bk says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Kind of like how Obama treated his Senate seat — he took a “leave of absence” to run for president, but never came back for it.

    I’ve been seeing you repeat this shit for several days now, and have lost more than a few brain cells as a result. But if you believe what you are saying, then you should believe that Obama’s campaigning for reelection over the past year should absolve him from all of the things that you previously have been blaming him for. Right? Right, Indiana Jones anagram? What a maroon you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  89. Jeremy R says:

    I wonder if Romney’s 2002 retroactive retirement to 1999 had something to do with padding his 10 year severance deal:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Options_backdating

    Options backdating is the practice of altering the date a stock option was granted to an earlier time, (usually to) when a company’s stock price was lower. While options backdating is not, in and of itself, illegal[1], many options in corporations are granted to upper management in corporations and backdating has been called “cheating the corporation in order to give the CEO more money than was authorized.”[2] According to a study by Erik Lie, a finance professor at the University of Iowa, more than 2,000 companies used options backdating in some form to reward their senior executives between 1996 and 2002.[3] In an “uncanny number of cases,” the “companies granted stock options to executives right before a sharp increase in their stocks.”[4]

    To be legal, backdating must be clearly communicated to the company shareholders, properly reflected in earnings, and properly reflected in tax calculations.[5][6]

    When company executives discovered that they had the ability to backdate stock option grants, thus making them both tax deductible and “in the money” on the date of actual issuance, the common practice of stock option backdating for financial gain began on a widespread level. The problem with this practice, according to the SEC, was that stock option backdating, while difficult to prove, could be considered a criminal act.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  90. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Yup. To repeat myself, the strategy is “let’s make dishonest attacks, and then talk about how awful he responds to them!”

    If that’s the strategy, it’s time to drag out Larry Sinclair, and see how the Obama campaign handles that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 14

  91. Ron Beasley says:

    Don’t you just hate it when Jenos shows up and ruins a perfectly good party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  92. anjin-san says:

    Kind of like how Obama treated his Senate seat — he took a “leave of absence” to run for president, but never came back for it.

    Kind of like (well, exactly like) “Country First” war hero John McCain treated his senate seat, and would have left it behind had he won.

    I wonder when Indy is going to take McCain to task…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  93. john personna says:

    @Jeremy R:

    More likely for the other guys? The “partners” needed to acquire equity to take Bain ownership off Mitt’s hands.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  94. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Is the public too stooopid to understand it?
    Well, the segment you represent apparently is. Maybe you need more dog in your diet or something.

    I’m not sure which Madrassa you study at, however it is clear that thus far Romney has not been able to adequately explain his role (or non-role) at Bain Capital for the period 1999-2002.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  95. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I seem to recall McCain suspending his campaign to return to the Senate, while Obama kept on going.

    Pardon me while I show some priorities.

    The last nominee to show any class and responsibility in that area was Bob Dole. Since then… not so much. At least Romney doesn’t have a “day job” to blow off. hell, he didn’t run for re-election as MA gov in 2006 specifically to run for president. You won’t find many Democrats with that kind of character.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  96. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    If that’s the strategy, it’s time to drag out Larry Sinclair, and see how the Obama campaign handles that.

    On that we agree, Mitt Romney is the GOP’s ‘John Kerry’

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  97. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: You mean, “adequately explain to you.” And as shown, you won’t accept any explanations that don’t make Romney look bad, so why bother trying?

    “You can’t reason a person out of a position they didn’t reason their way into.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

  98. Ron Beasley says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: No he didn’t run because he knew he was going to get his ass kicked and that would look really bad on his political resume.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  99. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Not quite. Kerry’s money is from his second wife’s first husband’s family. He’s a gigolo who dumped one heiress, then married another one.

    Oh, and he’s a tax cheat, too.

    In other words, a stellar Democrat. No wonder you nominated him in 2004.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  100. An Interested Party says:

    At least Romney doesn’t have a “day job” to blow off.

    Indeed…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  101. PJ says:

    @Mutt Williams (formerly known as Jenos Idanian #13):

    I seem to recall McCain suspending his campaign to return to the Senate, while Obama kept on going.

    Are you referring to the stunt McCain pulled? That failed miserably? Or have you forgotten that?
    Here’s an excerpt from Henry Paulson’s memoirs to remind you…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  102. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Try this: you loan your car to someone. They get in an accident. Were you “responsible” for the accident? No, you weren’t in the car. Are you legally responsible for it? Yes,

    Jenos, put down the shovel. The hole only gets deeper…..

    it was your car, being operated by your friend with your permission. So you’re not on the hook for any criminal charges, but for any civil damages.

    Sooooo…. You are OK if take his millions?

    Got it, or should I use smaller words?

    If you need them…..

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    My, ain’t you proud of your stupidity and ignorance and inexperience. Bet you got a shiny certificate that says so, too.

    Jenos, I am unsure of what “stupidity and ignorance and inexperience” you speak of, but I have spent more than a little bit of time in our so-called “courts of law” and it is quite obvious that I have spent more time there than you have.

    Some of us are more equal than others. Don’t believe me? Google “Auggie Busch” …. One does not have to get past #3 before the sh*t gets deep….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  103. jukeboxgrad says:

    matt:

    based on my understanding the felony discussion is an overreach

    It’s an overreach only in the sense that it would be bad politics to prosecute him. It’s not an overreach with regard to the law. Mitt made multiple statements to SEC that are contradicted by multiple statements he made to FEC. That means he lied, multiple times, to at least one of these agencies. Lying to the federal government is a felony.

    Romney is probably in the “right” legally

    Except that lying to the government isn’t legal.

    the idea that a CEO could go on a three year leave-of-absence or take no responsibility for the actions of the company, just doesn’t make sense to people.

    The problem is more basic than that. Even if he wasn’t CEO, he was still fully responsible for what the company did during this period, because he was the sole owner.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  104. jukeboxgrad says:

    clavin:

    The reason the Wright thing died down is because Obama stood up an spoke about it like an adult

    Yes, and there’s another big reason why the analogy doesn’t work. Obama never made a statement like this: ‘the main reason you should vote for me is on account of my nifty church.’ In contrast, Mitt has indeed made many statements like this: ‘the main reason you should vote for me is on account of my nifty company.’ So Bain is a much more relevant object of inquiry, compared with Obama’s church.

    Mitt went out of his way to paint “Bain” all over himself, while being too foolish to realize that what he was painting was a big juicy target. A better analogy is regarding Kerry, and the way he opened himself up by presenting himself as a veteran. And of course many people before me (including in this thread) have made this comparison. Two rich dorks from MA who made themselves vulnerable to attack. Many details are different, but those major features are similar.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  105. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @PJ: McCain’s attendance record while running was bad. Obama’s was abysmal.

    Maybe Obama found a good place to get dog out on the road or something…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 15

  106. jukeboxgrad says:

    herb:

    At any rate, one thing bothers me about this. It implies that McCain showed good judgement when he picked Palin over Romney.

    It’s all relative. The point is that Mitt’s tax-return baggage is so bad that it made Palin look good, and drove McCain into Palin’s arms.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  107. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    Romney takes a “leave of absence” (perhaps not that precise term, but in effect one) from Bain, intending to leave open the option to return in the future.

    Except that Mitt told FEC he “retired” on 2/11/99. “Retired” and “leave of absence” don’t mean the same thing.

    As Romney had been absent from Bain since 1999 … he’d been out of the picture for three years

    Except that he wasn’t really “absent,” and he wasn’t really “out of the picture.” If he was really “absent” and “out of the picture,” then someone else would have been signing all those official documents, instead of him. And if he was really “absent” and “out of the picture,” he lied to SEC when he told them he was Chairman, CEO and President.

    And we know for sure he wasn’t really “out of the picture” because there is no doubt that he was the sole owner, and that’s sufficient to make him an important part of “the picture.”

    For the 1999-2002 period, Romney was legally responsible for Bain. However, he was not practically responsible, as he was gone.

    Except that he wasn’t really “gone,” as I just explained. Also, it wouldn’t matter if he was. He was the sole owner, so “gone” or not, he was responsible for what the company did. And not just “legally responsible.” Responsible, period.

    Fortunately, he’d chosen his associates well, and they kept Bain’s nose clean.

    Except that they didn’t really keep “Bain’s nose clean.” They did all sorts of things that are politically toxic, which is why Mitt is trying so hard to pretend that it’s their fault and not his fault.

    Your narrative makes perfect sense, as long as you ignore all sorts of inconvenient facts. But that’s what we expect from you, and you have lots of practice, so please carry on with your inadvertent public service.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  108. jukeboxgrad says:

    party:

    He didn’t do too well against Teddy Kennedy back in 1994…of course, the Obama Campaign seems to be pulling many pages from that previous race…

    That’s a fair point. After I posted my comment I realized that he did face one strong opponent before. And lost, badly.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  109. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Not quite. Kerry’s money is from his second wife’s first husband’s family. He’s a gigolo who dumped one heiress, then married another one.
    Oh, and he’s a tax cheat, too.
    In other words, a stellar Democrat. No wonder you nominated him in 2004.

    Oh, so you’re big on morals in a candidate? Well then, Jimmy Carter was your kind of candidate right?

    More to the point, in 2004 Kerry was running against himself all the time, and now in 2012 Romeny is playing rope-a-dope with himself. Romney is Kerryesque, but with none of the charisma and warmth that Kerry had.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  110. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: but I have spent more than a little bit of time in our so-called “courts of law” and it is quite obvious that I have spent more time there than you have.

    News flash: “time in court” spent answering to “the defendant will please rise” does NOT make you a legal expert.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  111. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: In Kerry’s case, it’s not a question of character or morality, but experience and expertise. There isn’t another country we can marry to get access to their money, and we can’t park our debt in another country to avoid having to pay it. Kerry’s solutions simply wouldn’t work as president.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  112. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Kerry’s money is from his second wife’s first husband’s family. He’s a gigolo who dumped one heiress, then married another one.

    And, pray tell, just exactly where did the last GOP Nominee get his money? From a Vietnamese POW camp?

    If I was a cartoonist, my erasure would not be big enuf.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  113. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There was a foreign (Danish?) commentator who described the last election: “It’s a war hero who married a rich blonde with a big chest who owns a beer distributorship, versus a Harvard lawyer who married another Harvard lawyer. Why is there a contest?” Or words to that effect.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  114. michael reynolds says:

    I’m curious: am I the only one who took so long to realize that “Jenos Idanian” is an anagram of “Indiana Jones?”

    Am I the only one who thinks Harrison Ford has been dissed?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  115. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: No, A. C. Crispin was the responsible party.

    Go read a book, author-man.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  116. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    News flash: “time in court” spent answering to “the defendant will please rise” does NOT make you a legal expert.

    HAH! Well done. @Jenos Idanian #13: However, you never offered a single word of expertise in defense of your position.

    ps: and for the record, the vast amount of my time in court was as “Petitioner”, not “Defendant”…. not that you would know the difference…. and for the record, I always lost (except for the times I won) And no, I would not expect you to understand because you have plenty of stupidity and ignorance and inexperience..

    It is OK. You will learn. Now, I go to bed. But I will eat (something) first.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  117. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I explained it, and I used analogies to elaborate. As the saying goes, I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you. You gotta put a wee bit of honest effort into it — and I just don’t see that happening.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  118. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: In Kerry’s case, it’s not a question of character or morality, but experience and expertise. There isn’t another country we can marry to get access to their money, and we can’t park our debt in another country to avoid having to pay it. Kerry’s solutions simply wouldn’t work as president.

    LOL! After 8 years of George W Bush you could say that with a straight face?

    Seriously, Romney is the 2012 John Kerry – he’s fighting himself every step of the way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  119. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ah, the old “arguing from authoritah!” gambit.

    Well, I don’t claim to be a legal expert. I just play one on the internets.

    But please, feel free to post your own credentials to demonstrate your expertise. A CV, educational background, firm(s) you’ve worked at, cases you’ve handled, and whatnot. Then I’ll decide if I’ll accept your expertise as definitive.

    (Hint: I probably won’t. But you’re free to try to convince me.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  120. C. Clavin says:

    @ M. Reynolds…
    I can’t believe he’s still using it after being outed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  121. anjin-san says:

    I seem to recall McCain suspending his campaign to return to the Senate,

    Well, aside from the fact that that was one of the most boneheaded moves in the history of Presidential campaigns, it was pretty clear that the sitting President did not appreciate McCain blundering into a serious crisis for his own political gain.

    Since you don’t let seem clear on what happened, let me spell it out. McCain tried to pull a stunt, thinking he would box Obama in. Obama called his bluff, and McCain was humiliated, doing serious damage to his own campaign in the process. They will be studying this as a classic campaign mistake for many years to come.

    McCain’s tranparent ploy fooled no one, except, it seems, for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  122. anjin-san says:

    But please, feel free to post your own credentials to demonstrate your expertise.

    LOL, this is coming from the guy who nearly burst a few blood vessels when asked to detail his experience in the business world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  123. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: ” At least Romney doesn’t have a “day job” to blow off. hell, he didn’t run for re-election as MA gov in 2006 specifically to run for president.”

    Uh-huh. Except that’s the exact opposite of what Romney claims. He says he only wanted one term as governor, decided to retire from politics completely afterwards, and then was called back to the fray by patriotic duty.

    One of you is lying. You can decide which.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  124. michael reynolds says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I thought it might be like Rumpelstiltskin — you know, speak his name and he disappears.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  125. anjin-san says:

    And, pray tell, just exactly where did the last GOP Nominee get his money?

    Yea, that was a classy move by McCain. His wife kept the home fires burning all the years he was in ‘Nam, and when he got back, he dumped her for a younger woman with a lot of $$. Got to love those family values Republicans…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  126. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: In case you missed it, in both cases the point was “the argument doesn’t matter, only the credentials of the person making it do.” I rejected it then, and I’m rejecting it now — just in a roundabout way, by asking Ozark to show what right he has to claim authoritative status, in a way that he won’t answer.

    And he really shouldn’t. Take a look at what’s happened to certain people who 1) spoke the truth about Bret Kimberlin and 2) had their identities revealed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  127. An Interested Party says:

    Kerry’s solutions simply wouldn’t work as president.

    And neither will Romney’s, as they seem to be a rehash of Bush’s…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  128. C. Clavin says:

    On Jan. 20, 2009 Obama took over the worst economic crisis since the Depression, a failing Auto Industry, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, Iran, Egypt, Libya, and who knows what else.
    Romney was paralyzed by the Olympics and incapable of doing anything else.
    And his supporters, including Gillespie, see this as an acceptable thing.
    Hillarious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  129. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I seem to recall McCain suspending his campaign to return to the Senate, while Obama kept on going.

    God, you are descending into the worst form of performance art trolling — where you post shit that just undercuts your own case… You complain about Libruls mistaking style for substance, and then you invoke that particular stunt.

    BTW, you realize that due to the 2008 campaign, McCain missed far more votes and Senate Business than Obama…

    While running for president in 2007 and 2008, John McCain missed more votes than anyone in the Senate.
    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/11/27/20091127mccain-voting1127.html#ixzz20k72yzkv41

    BTW, for the record, beyond being absent from the Senate more than Obama, during that period McCain was absent even more than a fellow Senator who had a BRAIN HEMORAGE.

    So try not to claim the upper ground on that particular bit of history.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  130. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The last nominee to show any class and responsibility in that area was Bob Dole.

    BTW, I agree that Bob Dole did it right.

    That said, I’m glad to hear that you count both John McCain and Sarah Palin among the people without class or responsibility (in that area).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  131. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @C. Clavin: On Jan. 20, 2009 Obama took over the worst economic crisis since the Depression, a failing Auto Industry, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, Iran, Egypt, Libya, and who knows what else.

    And in response, he sent unemployment higher (while the work force keep shrinking), sold Chrysler to foreign interests, chose to fight an illegal war in Libya, and stuck us with another five Trillion in debt. “And who knows what else.”

    God save us from more salvation from Teh Messiah.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  132. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    For the 1999-2002 period, Romney was legally responsible for Bain. However, he was not practically responsible, as he was gone. This is precisely the opposite impression the Romney-haters want to give — that Romney wants full credit for the good stuff Bain did, but no accountability for anything bad. Had Bain actually run into legal trouble at that point, Romney would have been on the hook.

    Ok, so by your own account he was legally responsible for (a) the outsourcing that happened from 1999-2002, (b) the medical waste investment from 1999-2002, and (c) the decision to shutter some businesses and sell off their assets.

    Regardless of whether or not he planned them, even though those things happened “after he left” you agree that he held the ultimate responsibility for the organization that did them.

    Because you realize that he’s saying he holds no responsibility AT ALL for any of those actions. And that’s why people say he wants it both ways.

    I’ve known a few people who’ve done something similar — taken a leave of absence that they never came back from. Their official “termination” date was the date they declared they wouldn’t be coming back, but their effective date was the last day they worked.

    I know people who this happened to. Heck I was one of them.

    But tell me Jenos, how many of those folks you know had the letters “C-E-O” after their name?

    As I keep writing, that is the big issue here — beyond any issues of legality — trying to explain how the Chief Executive Officer of a company can take a three year leave of absence, keep drawing a salary, and claim that he’s not really responsible for any actions his company took after he left.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  133. C. Clavin says:

    Kennedy probably wishes he could retro-actively avoid Dealy Plaza.
    LBJ probably wishes he could retro-actively avoid the whole Vietnam thing.
    Nixon definitely would retro-actively scrap the tape recorders.
    Ford would retro-actively stumble less.
    Carter would retro-actively skip the malaise speech.
    Reagan would retro-actively cure Alzheimer’s.
    Bush41 would have retro-actively learned about grocery scanners.
    Clinton….well…see Reynolds comment above.
    Bush43 probably wishes he could retro-actively avoid the greates economic crash since the Depression.
    Presidents don’t get to retro-actively fix their mistakes. Only spoiled frat boys get to play that game.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  134. Herb says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “I’m curious: am I the only one who took so long to realize that “Jenos Idanian” is an anagram of “Indiana Jones?””

    Until you mentioned it….I had no clue. Anagrams…meh.

    But now it’s obvious.

    And for a guy who makes it up as he goes along, somewhat fitting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  135. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    And in response, he sent unemployment higher

    That is not in accordance with reality, that is in accordance with conservative talking points.

    The 2008 crash of the financial and housing markets caused the loss of approximately $14 Trillion in income and wealth from the economy, and a plunge in aggregate demand, which cause unemployment to rise sharply. In a related matter, you do realize of course, that unemployment was trending up from from about 4.7% in April of 2008 to over 8% by the time Obama was inaugurated. Obama had nothing to do with that trend in unemployment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  136. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: Romney wasn’t just CEO, but an owner. And the only people who have any right to how a company handles such matters are its owners. If they didn’t have a problem with it, then no one else should have a problem with it.

    Unlike Obama, who’s doing pretty much the same thing Bain did now. But there are some key differences: Obama has shown a huge track record for picking losers (Solyndra is the rule, not the exception), and he’s doing it with our money.

    Where’s the outrage over that? Oh, yeah, it’s cool if Obama does it. For example, his “biography” has been revealed as including a very healthy amount of fabrication, but that’s not “lying.” Nor did it count when he lied about taking public financing for his 2008 run, about barring lobbyists from appointed positions, and…

    Nah, that’s more than enough. Listing Obama’s lies and broken promises in detail is just piling on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 12

  137. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I’m curious: am I the only one who took so long to realize that “Jenos Idanian” is an anagram of “Indiana Jones?”
    Am I the only one who thinks Harrison Ford has been dissed?

    I had no idea that “Indiana Jones” was actually an Armenian indie flick.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  138. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos…
    That’s your spin…every bit of it arguable…no matter…you yourself said Romney couldn’t multi-task. And you think that’s A-OK.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  139. C. Clavin says:

    Did I type Jenos???
    I meant Indy…….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  140. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Obama has shown a huge track record for picking losers (Solyndra is the rule, not the exception), and he’s doing it with our money.

    He sure picked a loser when elected to bail out GM and save hundreds of thousands jobs in the Auto Industry. Speaking of losers – Mitt wanted to let GM go into bankruptcy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  141. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Romney wasn’t just CEO, but an owner. And the only people who have any right to how a company handles such matters are its owners. If they didn’t have a problem with it, then no one else should have a problem with it.

    So you basically dodge my question.

    Jenos, I have said many times that if Romney was simply the “Owner”, and didn’t have the letters CEO after his name, then this would be far less of an issue.

    But the issue — and it’s a purely emotional one — is that the general population has an idea about what CEO’s should do and the role that they play in running companies. That’s what Romney needs to be able to explain. And so far he and his team have done a poor job of doing that.

    And given the convoluted explanations you’ve posted in attempting to say he had responsibility but he really didn’t, just proves how much of an uphill battle Romney currently faces as long as he tries to hold both positions at the same time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  142. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Funny, in my world, unemployment was 7.6% when Obama took office. And now it’s 8.4%.

    With a smaller work force and larger population. And that’s not counting those who’ve given up looking for work.

    How are those numbers in Cloud Cuckoo Land?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  143. michael reynolds says:

    Romney swore under oath – in order to run for governor in MA – that he was still doing business in the state while he was at the Olympics.

    And now he says he wasn’t.

    And the documents and his sworn testimony say he was.

    Except he “retired retroactively.”

    He’s now in order to run for president, or he was lying then to run for governor. Pick one.

    But then, this is the same guy who is both for and against abortion, for and against gun control, for and against a public mandate.

    Etch-A-Sketch Mitt, Schrodinger’s Candidate.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  144. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mattb: Let me spell it out to you: if Mitt Romney, Owner, and his fellow owners have no problem with Mitt Romney, CEO, taking an indefinite leave of absence to go run the Olympics which were about to collapse, and keep paying him a salary, then no one has any standing to complain.

    I understand it’s a tenet of the Left that all money belongs to The People, and rich people should not be allowed to spend it however the hell they wish when The Left could find far “better” uses for it, but that’s how it boils down.

    And you don’t even pretend to answer my counter-point: why the hell is it so bad for Bain to do with private money exactly what Obama is doing today with our money? At least Bain made money off their actions; Obama has a truly amazing gift for picking losers. Why, it’s almost like he’s using some other criteria for his investment choices.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  145. jukeboxgrad says:

    Etch-A-Sketch Mitt, Schrodinger’s Candidate.

    Multiple Choice Mitt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  146. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: Please elaborate on Romney’s declaration of “doing business” in Massachusetts. A quotation or a link would suffice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  147. TGee says:

    “Retired Retroactively” on ground level is “fudging the time sheet.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  148. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    if Mitt Romney, Owner, and his fellow owners have no problem with Mitt Romney, CEO, taking an indefinite leave of absence to go run the Olympics which were about to collapse, and keep paying him a salary, then no one has any standing to complain.

    In your regular disingenuous style, you’re misstating the nature of the complaint. No one is complaining that he took off to run the Olympics. The complaint is regarding all the lies he has told and is still telling. He had the right to go run the Olympics. He didn’t have the right to tell a bunch of lies about it. But as a chronic liar yourself, you have no idea why this is a problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  149. al-Ameda says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Etch-A-Sketch Mitt, Schrodinger’s Candidate.

    So, Romney’s most recent explanation might be alive or dead, depending on an earlier explanation?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  150. anjin-san says:

    his fellow owners

    Romney was the sole owner, there were no others.

    Does someone give you a lollipop every time you make something up?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  151. C. Clavin says:

    Jenos… I mean Indy…
    Using you numbers UE is up 10%+/-.
    Bush 43 raised it 60%+/-.
    Why aren’t you bitching about that?
    Indiana Jones.
    You idiot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  152. TGee says:

    Let me spell it out for you. If he is legally (L-E-G-A-L-L-Y) the CEO, as his signed documents attest, he is not retired (R-E-T-I-R-E-D), He is also ultimately responsible and answerable for the activities of the company no matter who or what the management agrees to. I know the right believes that entrepreneurs are only responsible for success and government and labor are responsible for failures. But the Right is full of crap (C-R-A-P).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  153. C. Clavin says:

    Slick Willard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  154. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Whatever. Just makes my case stronger.

    I knew he had partners, I just assumed they had ownership stakes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

  155. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: Funny, in my world, unemployment was 7.6% when Obama took office. And now it’s 8.4%.

    According to the BLS, the UE rate was 8.3% in February 2009 – the 1st measurable rate after the 1/20/09 inauguration. And it was 7.8% in January 2009.

    Funny how you didn’t hear about the 2008 crash of the financial and housing markets, the one that caused the loss of $14 Trillion dollars in wealth and income from the economy, and caused the 2009 recession. Your alternative reality obviously doesn’t get the news.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  156. C. Clavin says:

    My bad…Bush raised UE 40%+/-…only 4 times Obama. Sorry.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  157. C. Clavin says:

    Mitt Romney…a particle AND a wave.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  158. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    I knew he had partners, I just assumed they had ownership stakes.

    In this thread, you posted over forty comments. Did you bother reading the very first sentence of the very first comment?

    The important fact of Mitt’s sole ownership was mentioned about a dozen other times in that thread. It was explained in text that you cited yourself, here. I also explained it to you here. I also explained it to you in this thread, at 19:52.

    So when you claim you just didn’t know that he was the sole owner, you are proving that you are either profoundly dense or profoundly dishonest. Of course everyone familiar with your record here realizes you are both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  159. Jeremy R says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    McCain’s attendance record while running was bad. Obama’s was abysmal.

    You’ve got it reversed. They were similar but Mccain missed more votes overall. Mccain’s general attendance when not campaigning was worse as well.

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/barack_obama/400629
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/john_mccain/300071

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  160. anjin-san says:

    I just assumed they had ownership stakes.

    In other words, you don’t know what you are talking about so you just make shit up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  161. anjin-san says:

    @ Jeremy R

    Ah, another “fact” that i not a fact from Indy…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  162. anjin-san says:

    Funny, in my world,

    Ah, that would be the one where the Oompa Loompas live…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  163. jukeboxgrad says:

    Indy is quite reliable in the following sense: whatever he says, probably what’s true is the opposite.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  164. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Please elaborate on Romney’s declaration of “doing business” in Massachusetts. A quotation or a link would suffice.

    Glad you asked.

    “When I left my employer in Massachusetts in February of 1999 to accept the Olympic assignment,” Romney testified before the state Ballot Law Commission on June 17, 2002, “I left on the basis of a leave of absence, indicating that I, by virtue of that title, would return at the end of the Olympics to my employment at Bain Capital, but subsequently decided not to do so and entered into a departure agreement with my former partners.”

    Romney also testified that “there were a number of social trips and business trips that brought [him] back to Massachusetts, board meetings” while he was running the Olympics. He added that he remained on the boards of several companies, including the Lifelike Co., in which Bain Capital held a stake until 2001.

    Romney’s lawyer at the hearing said that Romney’s work in the private sector continued unbroken while he ran the Olympics.

    “He succeeded in that three-year period in restoring confidence in the Olympic Games, closing that disastrous deficit and staging one of the most successful Olympic Games ever to occur on US soil,” said Peter L. Ebb from Ropes & Gray.

    “Now while all that was going on, very much in the public eye, what happened to his private and public ties to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? And the answer is they continued unabated just as they had.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  165. michael reynolds says:

    And of course while he was on this “leave of absence” he was signing Bain legal documents, drawing a Bain six figure salary, and owning the titles, CEO, president, sole stockholder, Grand Poobah and The Big Cheese.

    And as CEO, president and sole stockholder he was of course responsible for actions taken by his company.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  166. michael reynolds says:

    Put simply: Either Mr. Romney lied to run for governor, or he’s lying to run for president. Period.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  167. C. Clavin says:

    Unless of course he “retired retro-actively”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  168. michael reynolds says:

    Now, let’s ask ourselves why Mitt Romney would claim to stil be doing business in MA? To qualify to run for governor, of course.

    Where he ran as pro-choice moderate and created ObamaCare. Oh, sorry, I keep doing that: RomneyCare. Totally different. So very very very different.

    Of course now he doesn’t want any of that Bain off-shoring stink getting on him, so now he’s told, let’s see. . . three. . .seven. . . okay, eighty-four different stories about Bain and how he wasn’t there for any of the bad stuff.

    Of course that contradicts reality. But why would Romney care about a little thing like reality?

    So now he’s running on:
    1) His experience at Bain
    2) His complete non-involvement with Bain.

    Romney, baby. Romney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  169. anjin-san says:

    Things are just getting worse for the father of health care reform:

    Conservative columnist George Will slammed Mitt Romney on ABC News for failing to fully release information on his tax returns and offshore accounts, saying Romney “must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

    Said Will: “If something’s going to come out, get it out in a hurry. I do not know why, given that Mitt Romney knew the day that McCain lost in 2008 that he was going to run for president again that he didn’t get all of this out and tidy up some of his offshore accounts and all the rest. The cost of not releasing the returns are clear. Therefore, he must have calculated that there are higher costs in releasing them.”

    GOP strategist Matthew Dowd had a similar view: “There’s obviously something there, because if there was nothing there, he would say, ‘Have at it.’ So there’s obviously something there that compromises what he said in the past about something.”

    Meanwhile, William Kristol told Fox News: “He should release the tax returns tomorrow. It’s crazy. You gotta release six, eight, 10 years of back tax returns. Take the hit for a day or two.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  170. michael reynolds says:

    Summarizing the career of Mitt Romney:

    1) Beat up on gay kid at school.

    2) Strapped dog to roof of car.

    3) Ran Bain Capital

    4) Governor of Massachusetts where he–

    5) Did nothing! Nothing at all, I tell you!

    6) Was pro-choice and a professed moderate.

    7) No he wasn’t!

    8) Quit Bain shortly before he began Bain.

    9) Ran vicious primary campaign.

    10) Was severely conservative. Retroactively.

    11) Whined because Mr. Obama said mean things about him.

    12) Bain? What is this Bain of which you speak?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 1

  171. michael reynolds says:

    Oh, I forgot the part where he suffered grueling hardship as a Mormon missionary in some godforsaken hellhole that totally made him a man of the people and . . . Paris? Wait, Paris France?

    He tried to get Frenchmen to give up wine, tobacco and espresso?

    Because Paris should be more like Provo?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  172. anjin-san says:

    In other news, the Wall St. Journal reports that Republican governors are working hard to raise taxes – I guess taxes are only bad when Obama says we need them…

    Republican governors, eager for new revenues to ease budget strains, are dropping their longtime opposition to imposing sales taxes on online purchases, a significant political shift that could soon bring an end to tax-free sales on the Internet…

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303644004577525070594717752.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  173. anjin-san says:

    Oh, I forgot the part where he suffered grueling hardship

    Dude, Romney has totally known hard times. In college he actually had to sell some of the stock his father gave him to make ends meet. This is a man who has paid his dues…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  174. john personna says:

    @michael reynolds:

    “Schroedinger’s candidate” is good :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  175. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Let me spell it out to you: if Mitt Romney, Owner, and his fellow owners have no problem with Mitt Romney, CEO, taking an indefinite leave of absence to go run the Olympics which were about to collapse, and keep paying him a salary, then no one has any standing to complain.

    As I keep writing, from my perspective this is not an issue of *right* (note: obviously others here disagree. I see what they are saying, I am still not sure that I agree with them, but that’s a different conversation and one I don’t presently feel well equipped enough to have).

    Romney’s problem is an issue of perception. As are a significant amount of political issues of “optics.”

    And you don’t even pretend to answer my counter-point: why the hell is it so bad for Bain to do with private money exactly what Obama is doing today with our money? At least Bain made money off their actions; Obama has a truly amazing gift for picking losers. Why, it’s almost like he’s using some other criteria for his investment choices.

    Generally speaking I have no issue with the concept of Private Equity firms. I do have an issue with a specific type of firm which practice “vulture capitalism.” Bain was involved in some of this, but not to the degree of some of the other great raiders like Carl Ikon. My issue with these types of firms is the broader destabilizing effect that they have had on industry.

    Beyond that, the primary issue with Bain and Romney is that he has attempted to dodge the more “messy” aspects of Bain’s operation which bring him into conflict with either the conservative base or the general population.

    Beyond that, as to the question of Bain’s record versus the Obama Administration’s investment record, I will simply point out that the goals of a private equity firm, in terms of investment, are fundamentally different that the goal of the government when it comes to investing. So to some degree, trying to compare the two is an apples to hammers comparison.

    Quite frankly, the government should not invest like a Private Equity firm and a Private Equity firm should not invest like the Government.

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  176. mattb says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Just to be clear, and boil it down to the most fundamental level, the reason that this in largely in play was Romney’s desired to take credit for all of the jobs created at Bain, while simultaneously saying he had no responsibility for any of the “icky” things Bain did.

    Even you have conceded that this fails, for as long as he was CEO, the buck stopped with him.

    Regardless of what his partners felt or feel about his leave of absence, the idea that he can retroactively retire and therefore ignore everything that Bain did during that period is problematic.

    Also, we have yet to hear whether or not, as part of that retroactive retirement, he returned the salary he drew for those three years. Again, that salary is part of the aweful optics of this situation for Romney.

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  177. Russell Dee says:

    Did you see Ed Gillespie interviewed by Candy Crawley on this same issue Gillespie started laughing when he said the “retroactive retirement” line. It’s very hard to say it with a straight face. Romney’s lying and guys like Gillespie are trying to help Romney cover his tracks.

    But what difference does it really make anyway? The thing is that even if Romney was “retroactively retired” he was still responsible for the bad things Bain did from 1999 to 2002 (firings, layoffs. outsourcing, offs-horing, bankruptcies etc) because prior to Romney’s leave of absence to run the Olympics Romney was the sole owner of the company, the CEO, president, and chairman of the board. That means he had ALL the power in that company and he set the direction and strategy of the company before he went on his “leave of absense” to run the Olympics. And before he left to run the Olympics he made sure that the people who stayed behind to run the company would continue the direction and strategy that Romney laid down before he left. Remember, Romney thought he was coming back to run the company after the Olympics were completed so when he left he made sure that all management staff were on the same page as him so they would do what he wanted them to do in his absence.

    Plus Romney was staying somewhat active with the company as has been proven by the fact that he signed some things during that period and stated under oath that he went to board meetings. So he was somewhat active with the company and the people who were there running the company when Romney was too busy, well they were doing what Romney wanted them to do because the management team that was running Bain were the people Romney hired and before he left Baine for a “leave of absence” he made sure that these people would do what he wanted them to do because Romney was planning to come back to run the company. The management staff running Bain at the time Romney left was an extension of Romney’s will.

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  178. I discovered that the original A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney was written back in March.

    Interesting that it was before Schrodinger’s CEO was discovered. Is he CEO? Is he not? You don’t know until you open the box. In this case, apparently the box was opened in 2002 and that had effects reaching back to 1999.

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  179. C. Clavin says:

    It no longer matters whether he was running Bain or not. The Obama campaign has succeeded in tattooing Bain with bad optics. Retired retro-actively. Off shoring. Disposing of aborted fetuses.
    When combined with Romneycare…Bain and his Governorship are of no longer of any use to Romney.
    Now the Obama campaign will start attacking policy. Romney/Ryan economics. Tax cuts for the rich. Ending Medicare as we know it.
    Obama plays the long game. I’m sure this is all planned out. And if I am right…so far it appears to be going as scripted. If Romney rolls out a VP early…there will be terrorist fist-bumps all around the Chicago Campaign offices.

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  180. jukeboxgrad says:

    russell:

    The management staff running Bain at the time Romney left was an extension of Romney’s will.

    This is an important point that’s mostly overlooked. Mitt was responsible after 1999 because he continued to be CEO. And even if he hadn’t continued to be CEO, he was responsible because he continued to be sole owner. And even if he hadn’t continued to be sole owner he was still heavily responsible for what was done after 1999. This was his company, built in his image, filled with people he hired, following the direction he had been setting since he helped found the company fifteen years earlier. This is not a situation where new owners took over, booted him out, and took the company in a new direction. On the contrary. Bad things Bain did after 1999 were done because they were the natural result of the course set by Mitt.

    This understanding is supported by what Conard said yesterday:

    Asked if the factory closures and lay-offs that occurred between 1999 and 2002 were characteristic of Bain Capital’s record before 1999, Conard said, “I believe that’s true, yes. I think that Bain Capital does what Bain Capital does, which is try to make companies stronger and grow them faster.”

    Mitt is trying to distance himself from what Bain did after 1999 even though it was just a natural continuation of what Bain had been doing all along.

    This story is important, and it’s not going away, because it’s about a major issue that a lot of people are upset about (including plenty of tea party people). This is what the story’s about, in a nutshell: escaping responsibility. Lots of people are upset that Wall St got bailed out, inside of being held responsible. When we talk about privatizing profits and socializing losses, this is what we’re talking about. We’re talking about people who create situations where they extract great profit while hurting others, and by hurting others, and then escape responsibility for what they did.

    The story of Mitt and Bain in 1999-2002 is a perfect illustration of this phenomenon. Mitt profited greatly from what Bain did during this period, and he’s responsible for it in so many different ways: as CEO, owner and founder. Nevertheless he claims to have “no responsibility whatsoever.” This is precisely what people hate about Wall St: the attitude of feeling entitled to great profits while also having no responsibility.

    This is who Mitt is. He really does feel that sense of entitlement, and he demonstrates this by acting indignant and demanding apologies.

    The importance of the story is nicely summarized in the closing words of Obama’s new video (which has been seen over 800,000 times since it was released two days ago): “Mitt Romney’s not the solution, he’s the problem.” This is the “problem” Obama is talking about: a system that allows a few people to extract great rewards while taking “no responsibility whatsoever” for the damage they leave behind. The problem isn’t people getting rich. The problem is people getting rich while escaping responsibility for the damage they do along the way. And that’s the story of Mitt’s life, and it’s the story of how our financial world is currently organized.

    As John Personna explained in other threads, it would have been a lot better for Mitt to man up and own everything Bain ever did. So why didn’t he do that? Because what he has learned all his life is that he can rely on lame, superficial excuses and the people around him will buy it. That’s what happens when you life a life of great wealth and privilege. But now he’s playing in an entirely different league, so his regular habits don’t work so well.

    There are other reasons he didn’t man up and own everything Bain ever did: because he’s fundamentally a coward, and weak, and not actually that smart.

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  181. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:
    Yeah, I swiped it from some Facebook thing.

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  182. Pau Byall says:

    Okay, I own 100% of a company. 100%. Say its an investment company. After salaries, expenses and executive compensation, all profits come to me. The question, then, is under what conditions might I cede all operational decisions to others? Under what conditions would I never attend a board meeting, never ask what sort of entities my money — MY money — was being invested in, never even look at a profit and loss statement? Assuming I’m sane, the only condition would be where I feet comfortable that those running the company are making pretty much the same decisions I would make. Since the managers are investing MY money, they are acting on my behalf, and I’d damn want to be sure they are investing it in the same manner I would invest it.
    All of which means, there is no way I can wash my hands of decisions made on my behalf.

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  183. Tsar Nicholas says:

    This story pretty much has achieved an Abu Ghraib level of high dudgeon mode absurdity. For decades we’ve known that mid-July is political silly season, but this year’s dog and pony shows take the cake.

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  184. @Tsar Nicholas:

    It is poor debating technique to say “I got nothing, so I’ll just make vague comparison to something else.”

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  185. @michael reynolds:

    No problem, it was a good meme.

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  186. Barry says:

    @Modulo Myself: “I’m curious if all of the people who never fail to cite how long the ACA bill was (50000000 pages, plus or minus) are puzzled at how it could take three years to hash out legally an agreement about retirement and ownership for a company. ”

    Whose specialty was corporate take-overs and spin-offs. They presumably had change-of-governance boilerplate ready to go on their lawyers’ computers.

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  187. Barry says:

    @PD Shaw: “One of the Bain partners, Ed Conard, said as much on the Chris Hayes story. Romney was too busy to negotiate the severance agreement while working on the Olympics, and he was the first of the founding partners to leave and the terms had to basically provide a framework for all partners future severance agreements.

    The reality that this was a partnership at its core does not seem to have permeated much of the critical analysis. ”

    (a) This was a company which did corporate take-overs and spinoffs; they’d be quite experienced in handling change of governance – and this was a voluntary change of governance.

    (b) Romney was the sole stockholder; this would not be a framework for ‘all partners future severance agreements’.

    (c) Even given the above, why can’t Romney have told the truth?

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  188. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “5) Romney signs off on the paperwork and officially ends his relationship with Bain.”

    Except those parts of the relationship titled ‘sole stockholder’, ‘sole director’, ‘CEO’ and ‘President’.
    And also excluding the part where he boasted about what Bain did after 1999.

    But yeah, aside from that, you’re right.

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  189. Barry says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Kind of like how Obama treated his Senate seat — he took a “leave of absence” to run for president, but never came back for it. ”

    And you have a link to a ‘retroactive’ resignation by Senator Obama?

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  190. mantis says:

    I can see it now. It’s 2016, and President Romney is running for reelection. His campaign consists of taking credit for anything good that happened during his term, and disavowing the bad by claiming he “retroactively retired” from the presidency just after the inauguration.

    I’m sure it will work.

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  191. Ajay Jain says:

    ” … Mitt Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” the GOP candidate “retroactively” retired from Bain Capital after the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics began. … ”

    No body who has been drawing at LEAST $100,000.00 per year from 1999 to 2002 from Bain Capital “retroactively” retires from Bain Capital AFTER the 2002!!! Then why draw the salary of at LEAST $100,000.00 per year from 1999 to 2002 from Bain Capital if Romney retired from Bain “retroactively” !!!

    ” … Gillespie continued, “He took a leave of absence and, in fact, Candy, he ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result.” … ”

    However SEC documents show Mitt Romney as sole owner of all shares of Bain Capital. Romney is also shown as CEO, President and Chairman of Board of Bain Capital in 2001 and 2002 then LEGALLY speaking Mitt Romney has been responsible to all that goes on under the banner of Bain Capital. Then to run for Governor of MA Romney sought residency of MA by lieu of his Bain positions. Now either Romney was at the Olympics OR he was at BAIN.

    Only one can be true not BOTH at the same time simultaneously!!! Will the true Willard Mitt Romney stand up and accept ONE thing? Does Romney want to accept untrue SEC filings and be called a Felon or agree that he represented Bain from 1999 to 2002?

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  192. Ajay Jain says:

    On Friday the 13th (7/13/2012) the very illusive Mitt Romney gave very defensive interviews to all FIVE networks on a single day at once!! Just a few days ago Mitt Romney said to FOX News that explaining means that you are WEAK. So his five interviews “explaining” his time at Bain were signs of his weakness!!

    Presidential Candidate Mr. Mitt Romney maybe feeling the heat on his role in BAIN Capital, his business experience which was supposed to be his sole criteria for creating jobs and his greatest qualification for running for the American Presidency in the current economy in 2012!

    However SEC documents show Mitt Romney as sole owner of all shares of Bain Capital. Romney is shown as CEO, President and Chairman of Board of Bain Capital in 2001 and 2002 then LEGALLY speaking Mitt Romney has been responsible to all that goes on under the banner of Bain Capital.

    Mitt Romney can not just share the good like job creation from 1999 to 2002 and leave the ugly like Bankruptcies and layoffs behind as if he had nothing to do about them from 1999 to 2002.

    If he really wanted to disassociate himself from Bain Capital he could have resigned and sold all his shares in Bain Capital in February 1999 then it would have been a different matter but to share in the glory of Bain’s job creation accept a salary of $100,000 or MORE (where are the Tax Returns?) for three years and only to refuse to take the responsibility of Bankruptcies and layoffs on his WATCH (1999-2002) is trying to have it both ways and then complaining of playing politics having been caught with his hand in the proverbial Cookie Jar that is the very essence of an ACTIVE LEGAL ROLE in Bain Capital till 2002!! Was Romney getting $100,000.00 or more to do NOTHING for BAIN Capital???

    Mitt Romney will have to face the consequences of this leaving Bain “lie” that Mitt Romney has brought on upon himself. If we keep reminding the Romney campaign of the Bain exit lie and Romney’s ill effects on workers robbing them of their hard earned salaries and life long benefits all the way to November then 7/13/2012 (FRIDAY the 13th) will go down as the turning point of the 2012 Presidential election!

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  193. Ajay Jain says:

    Two-Faced Willard

    “I was not responsible for what happened at Bain Capital” – Mitt Romney
    “I was the Sole shareholder, Sole director, Chief executive officer and President of Bain” – Mitt Romney

    “The Arizona immigration policy is a good model” – Mitt Romney
    “I didn’t really support the Arizona immigration policy” – Mitt Romney

    “The Massachusetts healthcare plan should be a model for the nation” – Mitt Romney
    “Healthcare reform should be left to the states” – Mitt Romney

    “Let Detroit go bankrupt” -Mitt Romney
    “I’ll take a lot of credit for saving the auto industry” -Mitt Romney

    “I believe Roe v Wade has gone too far.” – Mitt Romney
    “Roe v Wade has been the law for 20 years we should sustain and support it.” – Mitt Romney

    “I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose.” – Mitt Romney
    “I never really called myself pro-choice.” – Mitt Romney

    “It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam.” – Mitt Romney
    “I longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam and represent our country there.” – Mitt Romney

    “I’m not trying to return to Reagan-Bush.” – Mitt Romney
    “Ronald Reagan is… my hero.” – Mitt Romney

    “I think the minimum wage ought to keep pace with inflation.” – Mitt Romney
    “There’s no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs.” – Mitt Romney

    “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.” – Mitt Romney
    “I did not see it with my own eyes.” – Mitt Romney

    “I would like to have campaign spending limits.” – Mitt Romney
    “The American people should be free to advocate for their candidates without burdensome limitations.” – Mitt Romney

    “I supported the assault weapon ban.” – Mitt Romney
    “I don’t support any gun control legislation.” – Mitt Romney

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  194. Ajay Jain says:

    “Given the precedent set by past five Presidents of releasing multi-year tax returns why is Romney making an exception?”

    Because he has a lot to hide, apparently.

    He’s the only one that knows what’s in there, and apparently he’s made the judgement that he’s better off having us suspect the worst, rather than us knowing whats in there, which apparently in his mind is worse than anything we’re likely to imagine.

    Possibilities include:

    (1) He ended up with 120 million in his 401K by the trick of agreeing with Bain to grossly undervalue the market value of his stock, then a few years later have the stock get unvalued to the stratosphere.

    (2) He participated in the tax avoidance amnesty program of a few years back, avoiding major tax penalties or prosecution.

    (3) Any one or more of the other borderline legal but very bad smelling tax dodges– “in-kind” trades, “no-risk” trades, no-risk write-offs, the list is almost endless.

    And BTW he HASNT even released all of his 2010 return, he very conveniently left off the foreign investments and deposits form. Very convenient.

    And his argument that it would be “bothersome” to collect the tax data is a crock too– he supposedly collected 23 years of the stuff to show to McCain in 2008.

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