Friday, April 20, 2012

Romney and Myers: A match made in Hell?

Mitt Romney has decided to kick start his general election campaign even though he has not yet secured the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination.

First attack? The dog story.  Trying to get a "reverse gotcha" for the months of punishment he's taken because of his abuse of his family pet, he has the minions out saying Obama ate dogs when he was a child in Indonesia.

The quote lifted from Obama's book "Dreams of my Father" is

"With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chill peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy)"

Note he doesn't actually say he ate dog, and he was 6 to 10 years old during his time in Indonesia.  It sounds like the kind of fake story an insecure kid creates to show how masculine he is and so probably doesn't belong in his autobiography written as an adult. Certainly dogs are unclean to Muslims, and Indonesia is a strict Muslim country where dogs would only be eaten by ethnic minorities.   Even if Obama did eat dog, this is different from Mitt the adult father torturing his family pet in front of his boys, although there may be a common thread of insecure masculinity in both cases.  After all, this won't change anyone's mind about Obama, since we've already seen what kind of leader he is not.  It greatly cheered the Republican operatives, to think that they had a return "gotcha" but in the end it won't show Romney in a good light either.

The hardline approach is no surprise.  Mitt's closest adviser these days is Beth Myers, a lawyer who has become ever closer to him as the campaign has gotten dirtier.   He has even assigned her the job of picking his running mate, probably to avoid any charges of sexism should she happen to pick a man.

Beth Myers got her start in Texas, working for Karl Rove, just after she graduated from Tufts in 1979.  In 1986 she was heavily involved in the Clements campaign for Governor, and during that campaign, a most untoward event occurred.    From the Karl Rove Wikipedia article:

 "In 1986, just before a crucial debate in campaign, Rove claimed that his office had been bugged by Democrats. The police and FBI investigated and discovered that the bug's battery was so small that it needed to be changed every few hours, and the investigation was dropped. Critics, including other Republican operatives, suspected Rove had bugged his own office to garner sympathy votes in the close governor's race."

Myers was working for Rove at the time. Was she in on the bugging caper?  The shouts of Democratic dirty tricks helped Rove's client eke out a tiny victory over Mark White.  Rove was also accused by  Molly Ivins of getting a friendly FBI agent to launch corruption investigations of leading Democrats during campaign season, investigations that were generally dropped after the election.

It is no surprise that Mitt Romney would need a dirty trickster on his campaign.  To put Myers in charge of picking the vice-president, that's something dramatic. This campaign is likely to be one long string of histrionic and highly theatrical attempts to portray Mitt Romney and that vp choice, whoever he is, of being victimized by the big bad Obama.

Meanwhile, Romney has received a bump in the polls, not because people like him, but because people are not happy with Obama.    However, the public will have plenty of time to get to know Mitt Romney, and it is up to Beth Myers to prevent their doing so.

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