Political Animal


August 14, 2012 2:53 PM Telling the Brief Success Story of Mitt Romney

By Ed Kilgore

Speaking of the Republican National Convention, we’ve all heard that this will be an occasion for Mitt Romney to “reintroduce himself to the American people.” And sure enough, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus says the convention will tell the “Mitt Romney story,” per Geneva Sands of The Hill:

Priebus said the story of the presumptive Republican nominee is one of a “good, decent man” that built a successful business, managed the Olympics and governed Massachusetts.
“That story is a story of success that we in the Republican Party are going to celebrate. We’re going to celebrate the American Dream and success. We’re not going to be on defense on success, and I think that is something that you’re going to see at the convention,” he said.

Success, success, success. What other option does his campaign have than to paint a brief and heavily edited story of Mitt’s life as one unbroken triumph after another? But the editing will have to be heavy: Bain without outsourcing or too much “creative destruction,” the Olympics without public subsidies or too many references to London, and of course the Massachusetts governorship with most of his major accomplishments going unmentioned. I suppose they could have gone in a very different direction, telling Mitt’s tale as one of sin and redemption whereby he has finally come to the True Faith of a ideology that treats government merely as a help-mate to private-sector “job creators” and moral censors. But such an approach would show defensiveness about “success,” and we can’t have that in a room full of the smug and self-righteous, can we?

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • DAY on August 14, 2012 3:19 PM:

    How many "undecideds" will turn their TeeVee to Tampa, August 27-30?

    It will be a four day circle jerk for the faithful, with no surprises. (Well, maybe one- remember when Bod Dole fell off the platform? I bet the Jersey Whale could do some serious damage to the place.)

  • BillFromPA on August 14, 2012 3:21 PM:

    He can't run on Bain or the Olympics or his stint as a gov. when he created Obamacare so he'll run on his great success,at a time when the 99% is falling behind. Seriously? The middle class and below are falling behind, I'm 62 and resigned to working until 70 to max out my SS and pad my 401k and Willard's obscene 'success' is his only sellng point? This ticket is doomed, and good for that.

  • stormskies on August 14, 2012 3:23 PM:

    Instead of American flag being used as a backdrop to the events, especially when the corporate automaton and buffoon called Romney is introduced, I would suggest a giant picture of a vulture eating it's pray.

    That will say it all.

  • Grumpy on August 14, 2012 3:27 PM:

    "...a 'good, decent man' that built a successful business, managed the Olympics and governed Massachusetts."

    ...Who then realized that the only way to win the presidency was to lie his ass off. Romney waved buh-bye to good & decent a long time ago.

  • Lev @ LibraryGrape.com on August 14, 2012 3:33 PM:

    I remember the days when I didn't even know who the chair of the RNC was. I liked those days. It was just some guy who raised money and stayed in the shadows, and that was for the best. Far better than this Reince Priebus, who seems to have drafted himself as the party's spinner-in-chief despite being in his post due to backroom deals--he's never been elected to anything, and has no credibility with anyone--and isn't even good at being a pundit. Evidently his name is supposed to make him interesting.

    As for Mitt, I seem to recall a certain saying about putting lipstick on a pig...

  • MuddyLee on August 14, 2012 3:39 PM:

    Re chair of the RNC: i thought his name was Prince Reebus. These repub names confuse me - like Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Ayn Rand - are they actually different people?

  • SteveT on August 14, 2012 3:39 PM:

    stormskies said:
    Instead of American flag being used as a backdrop to the events, especially when the corporate automaton and buffoon called Romney is introduced, I would suggest a giant picture of a vulture eating it's pray.

    As I've said before, calling what Mitt Romney and Bain did "Vulture Capitalism" isn't fair -- it isn't fair to vultures, who have the decency to wait for their prey to die before stripping its carcass.

    Rats, on the other hand, will kill their prey if it doesn't die fast enough to suit them. Mostly though, rats thrive by stealing the provisions that others have frugally put away to use later.

    What Bain did (does) is Rodent Capitalism.

  • Toon Moene on August 14, 2012 3:49 PM:

    Confusing "effort" with "success".

  • grandpa john on August 14, 2012 3:51 PM:

    well yes he is an example of a success story, Everyone of us probably has the dream that we were born into a family of wealthy parents, that we could have grown up with a silver spoon in our mouth,that our dad would have influential friends to smooth our pathway into young adulthood, of being born on third base without having to hit a triple. of never having to take any risks because we were given a guarantee that if we failed we would be bailed out. life would be a ball because we would never have to worry about bills or medical expenses or being unemployed or having to pay our own way through life because money was never a worry.

  • RepublicanPointOfView on August 14, 2012 4:00 PM:

    For those of you unable or unwilling to understand the glory of Willard Mitt Romney, here is a brief history:

    Willard Mitt Romney - business leader. Mitt created, with his own bare hands, a business venture that saved millions of good paying jobs for Americans. It is unfortunate that some dead wood had to be pruned to save the tree, but it was necessary and Mitt is willing to do what is necessary.

    Willard Mitt Romney - Olympics savior. Mitt took over the leadership of the Salt Lake City Olympics after it had been infiltrated and almost destroyed by democrats. Mitt was able to overcome the subversions caused by democrats and turn those Games into a success.

    Willard Mitt Romney - Governor. Mitt was able to overcome the liberalness of Massachusetts when he became governor and balanced their budget by cutting taxes and reducing government spending.

    Willard Mitt Romney - Taxpayer. Mitt has always paid every dime of taxes legally required. Take my word for it.

    Willard Mitt Romney - President. After Mitt moved into the White House on January 27th, 2013 (allowing a week to fumigate the place and repaint it white again), he balanced the budget and cut taxes and removed all of those damn regulations that have been strangling business investments.

    Now that you know everything that could possibly need be known about Willard Mitt Romney, just STFU and go vote for him!

  • beejeez on August 14, 2012 4:51 PM:

    Can somebody name one good president who previously was most acclaimed for his great business acumen?

  • Grumpy on August 14, 2012 4:52 PM:

    Lev: "Evidently his name is supposed to make him interesting."

    Priebus/Chambliss '16!

  • exlibra on August 14, 2012 5:27 PM:

    [...] this Reince Priebus, who seems to have drafted himself as the party's spinner-in-chief [...] -- Lev @ LibraryGrape.com, @3:33 PM

    It was his destiny, from birth. Remove the vowels, and you're left with: RNC PR BS. With a name like that, what else could he have been?

  • smartalek on August 14, 2012 6:14 PM:

    exlibra, I bow to your genius

  • e on August 14, 2012 7:10 PM:

    smartalek, I *wish*. I stole the RNC PR BS from a commenter here, can't even remember who, it was so long ago. But, like you, I can recognise a good one when I see it :)

  • c00p on August 14, 2012 11:33 PM:

    I'm with Grumpy. Priebus's definitions of "good" and "decent" aren't the same as mine.

  • Montana on August 24, 2012 3:55 PM:

    So Willard Mitt Romney tells us that he is a success, its easy when you start with Dad’s money and dad’s contacts (kinda like Trump) and did not do it on your own, but ok, success.

    Willard Mitt Romney tells us that Bain was his first success, a company without a product (unlike Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison among others who created jobs by the success of their products). What’s even funnier Bain owns “Clear Channel” who has under contract both “Rush Limbaugh” and “Glen Beck”, how do you think they will do after the election. Bain preyed on weak companies and even if these companies went into bankruptcy Bain made money (Willard still gets a check from Bain) not to mention the jobs that were outsourced or their dealings with RED CHINA, but ok maybe Willard did not know that Bain was in to that, sure, why not, right?

    Willard Mitt Romney then tells us that his second success is 2002 Winter Olympics. All 2002 Winter Olympics financials have been destroyed, but ok lets take his word, success.

    This is Willard Mitt Romney calling card that what our country needs now is someone like him a supposed successful business man.

    So given all of Willard Mitt Romney, supposed success, don’t you expect to see an extraordinary success in his position as governor of Massachusetts, his one and only public sector job? If you look at the majority of his statements as to why he should be governor of Massachusetts, they almost mirror his current ones, mainly “I am a successful business man”. But when we look at Massachusetts, it was an ordinary mediocrity, to the point that he could only survive one term, that how good this guy was, but ok according to him he was a success.

    Now he wants the top public sector job, hmmm, no not on my watch!