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Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Hilarity of the Romney-Scott Debate

There may be no better pairing of Republic icons than Mitt Romney and Rick Scott. Both are businessmen-turned-politicians. Both have an utter disdain for government regulation not so much because it hurts America but because it hurts their own bloodthirsty bottom line. And both are craven hacks who want to spin any and every bit of news to their own benefit. This is why between now and November, we can count on entertainment from the Romney-Scott feud on whether the economy is doing better or worse. In an early installment from Bloomberg News, we read this: --- Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named. --- Anyone who has seen Rick Scott open his mouth in the last two years knew this was coming. Scott cannot talk without preaching how his policies are restoring jobs in Florida. He has been caught spinning numbers, in fact, to suggest job growth is better than it actually is by discounting population growth. I thought about that when an ad mentioned in this Bloomberg article first came out, an ad where a mother is just weeping that her children can't find any jobs in Florida. If you took Rick Scott at his word on what is happening in the Sunshine State, that would make absolutely no sense. In this instance, though, the greater problem isn't Rick Scott (I know, that's one for the archives). It is that a supposed business master like Romney is out poo-pooing the economic rebound in every way in which he can. It has been sickening watch him wring his hands like a mad scientist whenever a jobs report comes out indicating disappointing numbers. As anyone in the business world can tell you, consumer confidence is enormously important in accelerating an economic recovery. Truthfully, jobs have come back enough and unemployment is at rates where the greatest factor in stalling commerce is not a lack of dollars or a lack of employed people; it is the confidence of consumers who still worry about spending too much because they still do not feel secure in their own careers. What Mitt Romney is actively doing is trying to depress economic confidence so that he can damage President Obama's approval ratings. The only job prospect that unemployed Mitt cares about is his own, and he can only get the job he wants in Americans create an opening at the White House. I never never seen a candidate to lead the free world cheer so breathlessly for its economic collapse. Rick Scott understands this too. He is going around doing what he can to convince investors that this battleground state is also one of the best places in the nation to do business. While he likes to take shots at Obama whenever he can, Scott knows that an economic recovery in Florida will determine his own electoral prospects, and that good things need to happen sooner than later for voters to reward him. Heck, with his approval ratings in the toilet, he probably also wants to make sure the state in which he lives is ripe for business growth in the somewhat likely chance he leaves the public sector in 2014. In reality, our economy isn't bouncing back faster in Florida because of Obama or because of Scott. It is because Florida was harder hit than almost anywhere else by the housing collapse and the investment losses that resulted from the Wall Street fiascos. Our unemployment rate still lags the nation as a whole, even though we have the fastest job growth. The oldest saying says that the bigger you are, the harder you fall, but that also means that when you stand back up again, you climb upward with more urgency. Mitt Romney, of course, would rather we stay down for the count. He wants Florida to fail because he wants Obama to fail. If he doesn't even care about the future of voters in the nation's largest swing state, it should be no surprise he cares nothing of Scott's future either. Thus comes my favorite part of the article, because it enlightens and makes me laugh out loud. From the Bloomberg piece: --- Romney’s staff has concluded there’s no benefit in appearing with Scott, said two campaign advisers who asked for anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter. --- Of course not. Scott is political kryptonite, the flotsam and jetsam that washed onto our shores only because of a Republican wave in 2010. But for the rest of us wondering if there is any benefit to appearing even to agree with Scott about job growth in this state, we can now feel comforted that Mitt Romney wants nothing to do with that message.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Rubio Obsession

It amazes me just how much attention this Jonathan Karl report today is getting. It isn't so much a confirmation that Marco Rubio is off Mitt Romney's short list in the Veepstakes as it is a piecing together of info and a supposition this must be the case. From ABC News, Karl posits: --- The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney’s short list of potential running mates. --- Fine. But other reasons to suppose that have been out there before. I've laid out some reasons Romney likely wouldn't want to make that appointment and why Rubio really shouldn't take the gig. But that deserves no special attention. It is all just supposition. I guess it's fair to also dismiss my thoughts as concern-trolling, seeing as I could care less about Romney or Rubio's political futures and would rather see their dreams crushed than realized. But why this fascination with the Karl report? Maybe he has some source that is giving him the real scoop that Rubio is completely out of the running and we should all trust that, but come on. That would call into question the two-year obsession with a VP Rubio story in the national media. The truth is, Rubio could get vetted any second and still be the VP. Romney at this point may look like he's caving to pressure from the Rubio-happy base, but then that has always been why I didn't think Rubio would be the choice in the first place. Honestly, the widespread push of Rubio in the first place is something that should make any nominee for president reluctant. In the first chance to make an authoritative decision, why leave it up to an online campaign? But I guess I have never quite understood the love affair with Rubio in the first place. He is a career politician who became the face of the tea party movement. No explanation for that seeming contradiction has ever been provided to me. Sigh. With any luck, the Karl report might at least cool down the Rubio-mania, though I doubt it. We'll know when the media starts breathlessly hypothesizing on whether Obama will drop Biden as a running mate, or something other nonsense story with little likelihood of actually happening. Ah, national media. You wonder why everybody hates you.