Despite what the Obama campaign might want voters to believe, Mitt Romney’s record as a businessman is stellar. The tax returns he has not released and the multimillion-dollar bank accounts Romney holds (including the recently closed Swiss account) do not tarnish his success; they simply prove it.
A good executive in the private sector turns a profit for his company—period. Mitt Romney did just that for Bain Capital, whether he left in 1999 or 2002, and he was handsomely compensated for his work. There is controversy as to whether laying off thousands of workers and outsourcing labor to foreign countries led to Bain’s fortunes during Romney’s reign, but in the world of private equity, these practices are both common and well within the government regulations that Romney now ironically claims are so problematic to a successful American economy.
Considering his accomplishments, American voters should not be surprised that the Republicans’ blue-blooded, white collared nominee is running on his business record alone. It is understandable that he does not cite his actual governing experience–where he successfully implemented a health care mandate and created fewer jobs than 46 other states. Instead, Mitt Romney (the business opportunist) has been relegated to preaching that America’s negative balance sheet offers him a chance to do what he does best: financial engineering, the euphemistic term for what was once known as hostile takeover.
But there is a major crack in Mitt Romney’s foundational premise: America is not a business, and even if it were, it would be the kind of struggling business that corporate executive Romney chopped up and sold for spare parts—or worse, declared bankrupt. These are not options for America the country, and that is why CEO Romney is not the right man for the job of President. Maybe Governor Romney can still give it a shot.