AFTER THE SUPREME COURT issued its Citizens United decision in 2010, money poured into the U.S. electoral system like never before. Ten billion dollars will likely be spent on the 2012 race, up from $7 billion in 2008—making electioneering one of the few U.S. growth industries in an ailing economy. Campaigns and super PACs have already spent $332 million on TV advertising in the presidential race alone (three-quarters of that sum on negative ads). This avalanche of cash has caused a lot of angst about the future of democracy.
Gosh, what sort of way-back machine has descended on Boston this week? The Republican political strategy emanating from the Hub has a distinctly 1988 feel to it, what with the resuscitation of that Reagan-Bush golden-oldie...the welfare queen!
Mitt Romney arrives back stateside and just like that, his refusal to release more than a year or two of tax returns is back in the news. Harry Reid is telling people that a big Bain Capital investor told him that Romney told him that he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years. OK, that sounds like something out of a junior-high cafeteria, but then again there’s also an easy way for Romney to knock it down.
More polls are suggesting that the Democrats' attempts to cast Mitt Romney as a self-interested, slice-and-dicing wheeler-dealer are gaining ground with swing-state voters, despite the much-ballyhooed reservations of the mayor of the 68th biggest city in the country.
In the two months since Eric Fehrnstrom’s “etch-a-sketch” gaffe, many political observers have waited for the iconic moment when Romney would move to the center or distance himself from the toxic conservative ideological battles of the primary season. But without much notice, that etch-a-sketch moment has already happened. No, Romney has not shifted positions. Nor has he disrespected the conservative activists whose votes and trust he sought so relentlessly since 2007.
Since Lanhee Chen joined the Romney campaign in March last year, his public pronouncements have been liberally seasoned with snark. Tweeting about Newt Gingrich during the first Florida debate, he wrote, “Thanks for explaining why you were forced to resign in disgrace, Mr. Speaker.” In April, he tweeted: “[David Axelrod] says Obama to be judged on his record.