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Post Partisan
Posted at 03:23 PM ET, 07/13/2012

PostScript: Bernstein and vetting Romney

BAM, KAPOW, SHAZZAM, PostScript is BACK, baby! We’re very sorry for the brief interruption of your daily dose of Snarky Commentary on Comments to Commentary, and hope those of you in need managed to make it to detox.

Eighteen hundred people have weighed in on Jonathan Bernstein’s Plum Line post, “Did Republicans forget to vet Romney?” Bernstein pointed out that the usual process of vetting for a presidential candidate occurs in the primary by the candidate’s opponents. It’s generally a reliable way to make sure the party and the media and the voters are aware of the general layout of closets and skeletons and can get a jump-start on dealing with them before the general campaign.

Like John Edwards’s affair and love child. Presumably, had he looked more like a winner in the primary, someone would have dug that up. But it doesn’t always work.

Like now, when complicated business dealings and Securities and Exchange Commission filings and tax returns are all surfacing to muddle the portrait of Mitt Romney as Saint Businessman, or Upstanding Tycoon or Job-Creating Economy Machine. We’ve got the allegation that Romney left Bain Capital three years after he said he did, and the one that he’s in fact not Chairman Mitt, Chinese Outsource Panjandrum. It doesn’t seem as though any of Romney’s primary opponents knew about these things, or as though Romney’s campaign knew they could be discovered. So, it’s . . . weird.

Aletheia101 says that there was a same-party effort to vet Romney, four years ago, but that it got abandoned pragmatically, when it was no longer needed:

McCain knows what’s going on. Romney released more than a decade of his tax returns to McCain, when there was some talk about him becoming VP. McCain chose Palin instead.

Jheath53 thinks that the conservative crowd views winning in business — even winning ugly — as success, so of course it wouldn’t harp on that stuff:

The reason that Romney’s skeletons are coming out now is that Republicans were criticized any time they mentioned Romney’s record at Bain Capital as waging war on capitalism.

DJWinMassachusetts sees it as new iterations of old news:

Everyone has already heard the “greedy businessman” narrative about Romney. More harping on it won’t change any minds at this point. It’s like the sex scandals over Bill Clinton years ago. Once everybody heard about them, all of the additional harping and howling during the election cycle didn’t change anyone’s mind.

Outofthebox1 thinks it’s a wash — Romney has been sneaky but President Obama is attacking:

Whether Romney has been properly vetted or not, if there are investigations about his finances or anything else, it will just feel like the Obama team playing the game.

Edfromtexas says hiding records is better than putting them out in the open to be attacked:

You want the tax records for ammunition for continued smearing and distortion. It’s not an innocent request.
The tax records issue is an attempt to steer away from Obama’s abysmal record on the economy.

And many commenters counter Bernstein’s assertion that Obama was well-vetted. The most thorough is Dan212. Here are just a few things he says the mainstream media either ignored or downplayed:

*His questionable associates (from Ayers to Van Jones and others).
*His questionable memberships (New Party and ACORN come to mind) and the nature of such organizations.
*His questionable appointees and their bizarre ideas (Chu, Emanuel, Sebelius, Salazar, etc.).
*His “invented” characters in his autobiograhy(ies).
*His dope-smoking youth.
*His hanging with “Marxists and radicals.”
*What he actually meant by “fundamentally transforming” the US.
*His friends/associates/grades/thesis while in college.
*An effort to use the National Endowment for the Arts as a propaganda outlet.
*Deliberately deciding not to prosecute an iron-clad case of voter intimidation.
*His advisors who admire Mao and communist China.
*His chief advisor who stood to make millions if the Oympics had chosen Chicago.
*His rampant crony-capitalism through “green” guarantees and subsidies.
The list is endless...most media still refuse to confront this President the way they have other Presidents. Even when these things are exposed by conservative media, they are downplayed by the mainstream media. They are, as the saying goes, “in the tank” for Obama.

Well, all right then! I hope this counts as the mainstream media fully vetting Obama. You’re welcome, Dan212! Having discharged our duties here, there will be no more vetting until after the election. Of Obama, we mean!

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:23 PM ET, 07/13/2012

 
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