DAVID HALPERIN, Republic Report
"Corporations are people, my friend," Mitt Romney enthusiastically exclaimed last fall at the Iowa State Fair. Romney was referencing legal principles that give business corporations many of the rights possessed by actual human beings. But Romney is more than the exponent of this idea, he is its embodiment. If Romney wins in November, it will be the first time our country has elected a corporation to be president of the United States. Here are five reasons why that's the case:
1. Romney's pitch is a corporation. Romney's central argument for his candidacy is that his successful record as a corporate executive makes him the right person to grow the U.S. economy. But there's a "question of whether Mr. Romney understands the difference between running a business and managing an economy." The aim of Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney ran for 15 years, was to make money for its investors, and in that regard Bain surely succeeded, earning $2.5 billion on $1.1 billion invested in 77 deals. But while Bain itself made money from most or all deals, more than one in five of those arrangements ended with the target company in bankruptcy. If the goal is job creation, Bain Capital is probably the wrong president.
2. Romney's campaign is a corporation. As the Romney 2012 campaign has moved into high gear, so has the private equity fund Solamere Capital, which is run by Mitt's son Tagg Romney and Spencer Zwick, who also serves as the top fundraiser on the Romney campaign staff. Solamere was launched with a $10 million investment from Mitt and Ann Romney, and Mitt also has provided strategic advice. "While Solamere has not operated exactly as a subsidiary of the Romney campaign, it has seemed that way at times. The firm shared its first address with the Romney campaign headquarters in Boston. Later, the company was located in the same building as Mr. Romney's leadership PAC, Free and Strong America..." Some Solamere employees have been Romney fundraisers, and some Solamere investors are also Romney donors. The intertwined nature of the two ventures -- let's make money while running for president! -- shows the prescience of Tim Robbins' 1992 chilling film comedy Bob Roberts, where campaign staff day-trade stocks right from the candidate's bus. [MORE]