Does Mitt Romney Remember Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité?


We have to hand it to David Axelrod and his 2012 team. They had Mitt Romney all figured out. A French aristocrat in America – a man who wore a plastic smile in public but had nothing but aristocratic contempt for the riffraff whose votes he needed. Romney explained his dilemma to his donors in the now infamous 47% comment. Romney never understood the meaning of the 47% – that he had to create a message for the 47%, that he had to show them that he cared and would work for their benefit. But he never understood that because that just was not in him or in his patrician background. Axelrod saw this and showed it to the American voters. They saw it and got it. 

Donald Trump not only gets it but voters can see he gets it. Donald Trump has figured out the crux of the difference between 2016 and the past 22 years. That America was told what was good for the American corporations was good for the American people. That was the promise of NAFTA in 1994, the proclaimed promise of TPP in 2016 and the promise of every trade deal in between. Donald Trump gets that all these deals proved disastrous for the well being of the American workers & their families. The big message of 2016 is that the American corporations have essentially become the adversary if not an outright enemy of the American worker. Donald Trump gets it and his supporters see he gets it. That is why they look to Trump as their champion in their battle. They feel that he is their last hope and that is why his core support is so firm.

People described Romney’s speech on Thursday as the strongest he has ever delivered. They asked why Romney never showed this intensity against President Obama. They don’t get it either. Barack Obama is as much of a new aristocrat as Romney – an intelligentsia aristocrat. Obama was Columbia & Harvard Law School. Obama’s rhetoric was about a glorious new change but never for the riffraff to take over the mansion. Romney fought Obama the way intellectuals fight each other to win a debate. There was no passion, no deep anger, no hate in that Romney.

But this Thursday’s Romney was totally different. His ferocity, his savagery against Trump was of a totally different kind, the kind that the French Aristocrats felt towards the riffraff that wanted to take over their beloved France. That was an existential fight and so is the one Mitt Romney launched this Thursday. Romney would have glorified Donald Trump had Trump’s message been traditional Republican designed to win over the financial donor class and the think tank crowd. But Trump had turned traitor to his financial & intellectual elite Ivy league class. Trump had launched a movement to deliver power & Romney’s precious elite grand old party to the rabble in the streets – blue collar poorly educated workers who should only be seen toiling in the factories but not admitted into the mansion. 

People wondered why Romney waited so long. The answer is clear & the one we gave last week when we wrote why Romney had “turned suddenly from a party elder to a candidate into waiting“. The Bushes have been ruling dynasty of the GOP since 1988. Mitt Romney was not GOP royalty, merely an aristocrat. He could not jump in while Jeb Bush was in the running. Jeb got out on Sunday, February 21. Trump won Yuuge in Nevada on Tuesday, February 23. And Mitt Romney jumped in on Wednesday, February 24. 

The big defeat of Marco Rubio on Super Tuesday made Romney change his tactics. So on Thursday, March 3, Romney delivered his savage attack on Trump showing the new kids – Cruz, Kasich & Rubio – how it is done. He instructed them and the GOP donors to take the fight into the convention by letting Rubio win Florida & Kasich win Ohio. Since Cruz, Rubio & Kasich would all get to the Republican Convention roughly on par, they would need a universally accepted party elder to take the nomination and hand out important roles to the three musketeers. 

Just like in 2012, many saw through this. Chris Mathews, in particular, was savage on Mitt Romney in his Hardball show on Thursday. Mathews heaped scorn on Romney, called him a “dweeb” and said “the loser, the certified loser has come back“. Robert Costa of the Washington Post said in that show to Mathews “today’s speech is the opening move of the Draft Romney movement“. He was correct. Romney refused to deliver a Shermanesque statement even when CNN’s Gloria Borger asked him:

  • Borger – “would you allow your name to be put forth[at the convention].
  • Romney – “I am not going to go there“.

Romney is today’s embodiment of the French Aristocrat before Bastille. But Paul Ryan is not. He should understand what Romney is trying to do and shut it down. The Republican Convention is on July 18-21, 2016. Speaker Ryan should remember what happened 227 years ago at that French “convention” in Paris – the French riffraff stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789.

Speaker Ryan is the highest serving leader of the GOP today. He has to ensure that the candidate who goes in with the largest number of delegates should be nominated at the Republican Convention. If not, Ryan & his GOP aristocracy might go the way of the French Aristocracy. We think every Republican candidate for a Senate or House seat will suffer the wrath of the Trump supporters and Chuck Schumer will take over Ryan’s job. 

Chris Mathews said about Romney’s underhanded machinations on Thursday – “I have sympathy for Trump now“. If he feels so, can you imagine what millions of Trump supporters are feeling? 

Why Trump is so different than Romney?  

We had the opportunity to speak with a Muslim cab driver in the first week of January, 2016. When asked about Trump, he expressed his anger about Trump’s comments about Muslims but added at the end – “every one in New York knows about how nice & well behaved his children are; any father who can bring up his children so well can’t be bad” .

This Friday we heard the well known real estate investor Tom Barrack speak to CNN’s Erin Burnett. Barrack spoke about Trump’s “unbelievable softness, kindness to doormen at Madison Square Garden, to ordinary Arab Muslims and to janitors in his building, something powerful men don’t do“. He explained his endorsement of Trump thus:

  • “based on the quality of the great executive that I have experienced as an adversary, as an investor with him, as a friend and finally some factors that you don’t see in his bravado every day which is compassion, humility & his unbelievable ability to talk simply & clearly to the normal person & then adapt the situation to various points of view. I think he is one of the few individuals in our world that would sacrifice where he is to do he wants to do” 

We have watched & heard Tom Barrack for years on Financial TV and we have always found him to be frank and candid. We are persuaded that he is honest & has spoken what he truly feels in this clip. We urge you to see & hear for yourselves. (For some reason, this clip is not found on CNN website but can be watched on The magic of democracy is that ordinary people, the voters, get to see & hear the candidates and figure them out. It is easy to see that the majority of ordinary American voters have, by & large, figured out what Tom Barrack said to Erin Burnett on Friday. 

The next two weeks are booby-trapped for the Trump candidacy as one pandit said on CNBC. We will all see what happens today in five states, what happens in Michigan on Tuesday and in Florida & Ohio on March 15. But what Donald Trump has already achieved was best described after the Nevada caucus by some one who is by no means a supporter of Trump. Van Jones, a passionate Obama supporter & activist, said after the Nevada caucus on CNN:

  • ” … [Trump is] a phenomenon; I think Democrats should be very worried tonight; you are going to be talking about this in political science & military strategy for a very, very long time

And Mitt Romney wants to throw Trump out of his patrician GOP! What a dweeb! Or as the French said in 1789 as they spat on the ground – Sacrrres Aristos!



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  1. This is as interesting a comment on Donald as I have seen. I think you are largely correct, although not in comparing Obama to Romney. Apart from the racism of many white voters, Obama would give Trump a serious challenge if he were running. Against Hillary, though, Donald should have an easy time. She’s a fine politician, but a lousy campaigner: she listens to campaign tacticians; she makes unforced errors; she gets unpleasant when rattled. Trump will make mincemeat of her.

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