If You Give Me $1.3 Billion, I Could Run the Olympics

Mitt is heading to London for the Olympics, hoping to remind us of his days running the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.  That’s pretty much all he has left.

In 2008, he ran on Bain, the Olympics, and Massachusetts governor.

Now, Obamacare has made it impossible for him to run on his record as governor, since Romneycare was his big achievement.  He was trying to run on his experience at Bain, but that just opened a whole can of worms which are wriggling all over his campaign strategy.

So he’s lost two legs of his three-legged stool, and now the last leg is about to get sawed off.

The Dems have just released a great video* showing that Mitt got $1.3 billion from the federal government for his Olympics.  That compares to $609 million for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and $75 million for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.  There is devastating footage of John McCain decrying the $1.3 billion as “outrageous,” “a national disgrace,” “an incredible pork-barrel project,” and “a rip off of the taxpayer.”

The video closes by saying that Mitt didn’t save the 2002 Olympics, the American taxpayer did.

His trip to London is going to remind us that Ann “You People” Romney goes to Europe to shop for dancing horses costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each, and that he wrote off almost $80,000 for one horse on that little peek at his tax returns he gave us.

I’m sure Mitt will get the dressage vote.  I don’t think they’re losing sleep over that in the White House or Chicago.

* “The Olympic Bailout,” DemRapidResponse, YouTube

Mitt Not Throwing Stones on Olympic Uniforms

Mitt has refused to join the outcry over the fact that the U. S. Olympic Team’s uniforms were made in China.

That’s probably because the uniforms for his Olympics in 2002 were made in Burma, which produced lots of protests from human rights activists.

His media team at the time was so incredibly ignorant that their response was “What do you mean the uniforms were made in Burma, they were made in Myanmar!”

I guess Burma and Myanmar could be different places in the same universe where Mitt was simultaneously running and not running Bain Capital.

Was Mitt Set Up on Bain?

I’m wondering if Mitt has been set up over Bain to make the story not about jobs, but about honesty.

Mitt ran twice in Massachusetts, with the story of how he’d caused workers to lose their jobs and benefits used against him both times.  Ted Kennedy used it effectively to defeat Mitt and keep his Senate seat.  But it didn’t work as well for Shannon O’Brien, who lost to Mitt for governor.

So the sad stories about the folks whom Mitt callously fired weren’t a sure thing for the presidential race.  Might work, might not.  Voters understand about the “creative destruction” part of capitalism, that jobs and industries come and go.  Mitt might have been especially ruthless about not giving folks notice and severance pay, but Americans realize that very few of us work at the buggy whip factory anymore.

But the Massachusetts history also offered another way to attack Mitt on Bain — Mitt’s insistence that he had left the company in February 1999 to run the Olympics and wasn’t involved in or responsible for anything that occurred after that date.  At the time it was called a part-time leave of absence, consistent with two prior leaves he’d taken — one to fix Bain Capital’s parent company when it was near bankruptcy and another to run for Senate.  It was assumed he’d return, as he had both other times.  Would he really cut off any involvement with this company he owned and was still head of and let it possibly be run into the ground?

So going into the 2012 race, Mitt was stuck with his unequivocal claims about when he’d left Bain, dating back both to his Massachusetts run for governor and his 2008 run for president.  But those claims are inconsistent with all kinds of documentary evidence, from SEC filings to candidate disclosures to contemporaneous newspaper articles.

I’m wondering if someone saw that the real way to catch Mitt was not to focus on his trail of lost jobs, but rather on his trail of lies.  I’m wondering which political party that someone belongs to.