John Cassidy, on the “Romney & Me” video:
The Republicans have got this position where they’re the party of the very rich, obviously, but they’re also the party of the white, working-class guy now…. I think that’s really what’s got the Republican establishment frightened, because this is an attack right on the heart of the Republican coalition between the rich, economically driven voters and the poor—or relatively poor—voters who are driven by social values. And that’s why Gingrich has done Obama such a big favor
If you look fairly at his record at Bain, the Olympics, and the governorship of Massachusetts, I think you have to conclude that he has the requisite leadership and decision-making skills to be President.
But what became clear this week is that Romney made a major mistake in the way he chose to describe his professional experiences. Instead of simply emphasizing that he was a turnaround expert, someone whose managerial skills and business competence would help fix everything, Romney insisted that his great achievement in life has been creating jobs—specifically, 100,000 jobs while at Bain. As The Wall Street Journal and others have now made clear, “creating jobs” was never a metric that Bain used to define success, and, frankly, is not a metric that any company uses to define success. Independent fact-checkers have declared Romney’s 100,000 figure somewhere between phony and unverifiable. It is now one of the most important claims of this campaign for journalists to substantiate. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Romney’s success depends on whether that job-creation statement withstands scrutiny.