The fireworks had barely faded from the nation’s celebration of birthday No. 236. Then the 44th president, who has largely been taking it on the chin since Day 22 of his presidency, caught a flat-footed contender for the Oval Office square between the eyes and pounded him into the ropes.
Political pundits describe the past week’s (July 8-14, 2012) political activities as one of the nastiest periods in a presidential campaign in recent memory.
It was so nasty, Romney asked Obama for an apology and when he did not get it, he took to the airwaves and called the president a liar, like rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C. did on Day 22 of the Obama presidency.
The Obama campaign countered by questioning whether Romney had perpetuated a fraud upon the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when he filed documents listing himself as CEO and the sole shareholder of Bain Capital in 2000, two years after he stated on the campaign trail that he did not have any working relationship with Bain.
One wonders what favor Romney was currying from the SEC documents by listing himself as the head man in charge at Bain. What were the implications to an investor who check out Bain Capital’s SEC filing? Were they more inclined to do business with Bain because Romney was listed as its Chief Operating Officer? Such questions abound.
The Obama Campaign and supportive political action groups fired a volley into the heart of Romney’s contention that he can solve the nation’s economic woes because of the work he did in the private sector with Bain Capital.
This artillery blast was unanswered as Romney cried dirty politics. A cry which fell on deaf ears, as did the cries of one primary opponent after another this past spring as Romney annihilated them with his superior war chest.
The Obama camp matched Romney dollar-for-dollar which is something Romney’s primary opponents were unable to do.
Obama followed this right-handed jab with a left cross to the side of Romney’s head by asking Romney to release more of his tax returns.
Romney stumbled to the corner to cover up as if he was not expecting the president to come out swinging. His corner threw out his 2011 returns but said they would take a beating in the ring before releasing more of the returns Romney clearly dreads holding up to a public inspection.
The president seemed obliged to continue his pummeling of a punch-drunk Romney. This issue will not go away no matter how much Romney wants it to. He will be hard-pressed to get the American people to focus on anything other than his failure to release an adequate number of tax returns.
On Sunday morning talk shows, his surrogates suggested that the American people were not interested in Romney’s tax returns but wanted to talk about the economy.
Yet they failed to persuade the public just how a man who dare not disclose his tax returns will address critical economic policies if elected president.
Should Romney release several years of his returns the prospect for his campaign does not get any better, as there are sure to be items in his returns that could suggest that his prescription for America is not what the doctor has ordered.
President Obama finished the first round in a Virginia rain storm. Rain drops dripping off him like sweat. He looked like Muhammad Ali standing up in his corner between rounds daring his opponent to get up off his stool and enter the fray for yet another round of taunts and jabs.
God only knows when he will land a right-handed hook that sends his opponent to the canvas.
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