Can the Obama campaign turn the Republican nominee into a villain of corporate capitalism?
On the Fourth of July, Vanity Fair uploaded a 4,457-word investigative feature by Nicholas Shaxon about Mitt Romney’s offshore, tax-protected money—“$30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?”
Four days later, President Obama’s surrogates appeared on cable and the networks to tell viewers to read past the Pippa Middleton story and check out Shaxon. “I've never known of a Swiss bank account to build an American bridge,” zinged Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. (The Los Angeles Times headline for these interviews was “Party surrogates rely on familiar talking points on Sunday shows.” Clip that one and stow it somewhere cold.)
Sunday afternoon, running into Monday morning, reporters started filing stories on the Range Rover-surfeited scene outside of Romney’s fundraisers in the Hamptons. One of these events, at a home owned by David Koch, was bracketed by bused-in Occupy and MoveOn protesters and buzzed by a plane with an anti-1-percent slogan: “ROMNEY HAS A KOCH PROBLEM.” The donors avoided the protesters but gave reporters quotes worthy of F. Scott Fitzgerald characters.
Which takes us to Monday afternoon, and President Obama’s announcement that he wants to keep all of the Bush tax rates for households making less than $250,000. He campaigned on that in 2008. He campaigned on it in 2010. Nothing had changed except the hair color of his opponent. “Many members of the other party,” said Obama, “believe that prosperity comes from the top down—that if we spend trillions of dollars on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, that that will somehow unleash jobs and economic growth. I disagree.”