Is all of the attention on Bain helping the GOP achieve its goal of pretending W was never president?
The logic behind the Obama campaign’s emphasis on Mitt Romney’s private equity background makes plenty of sense. Romney is pitching himself as a job-creator extraordinaire, and there’s probably a tendency among voters to associate business success with economic competence. So surely there’s something to be gained in reminding Americans – over and over – that what Romney was actually doing at Bain Capital was making wealthy investors even richer, not building the economy and helping the middle class.
But, as Jamelle Bouie argued yesterday, even if this strategy does lead voters to dislike Romney and conclude that he’s a heartless capitalist, that hardly guarantees that they’ll follow through and vote against him because of it. There may be some evidence of this in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, which finds Romney and Obama running dead even (47 percent each) on the question of who would do a better job handling the economy. But on the question of which candidate better understands people’s economic problems, Obama enjoys a healthy eight-point edge.