Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Got It, You Take It

It's often used in the world of sports, the notion of "doesn't anybody want to win this thing?"

Typically, scribes and observers will say that about a baseball pennant race or some other competition in which the players or teams involved appear to be more insistent on losing and screwing up than actually winning.

The Michigan GOP Primary is nearing, and the two front-runners are stumbling over themselves to crow how they would NOT have authorized a bailout of the Big 3 automakers if they were president.

This on the heels of news that GM just announced a 2011 profit of $7.6 billion. Profit sharing checks are upwards of $7,000 for giddy GM employees.

Yet here are Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum sweeping into the state, trying to out shout the other about how against the bailout they still are.

It's a rather strange strategy, to say the least.

Usually politicos are wont to crow their "I told you so" stance. It's a tried and true method of making yourself look good to voters---to be able to puff out your chest and tell everyone, "If only you had listened to ME, we wouldn't be in this mess."

But when the results of your stance are proven to be wrong/misguided, wouldn't you just want to shut up about it? Or, at the very least in this case, eat some humble pie and feel good for the car industry?


If Romney looks weary here, it's probably because he's been expending a lot of energy double and triple-talking his way around the auto industry bailout situation


Romney and Santorum, however, don't see it that way, apparently.

Romney is more egregious, as he's done some verbal gymnastics in trying to explain his 2008 column in the New York Times. The one entitled, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."

Yeah, that one.

But Romney has not only explained it, he's re-defended it. Amidst all sorts of facts suggesting that he was dead wrong. His "solution" of a "managed bankruptcy" has very few, if any, people with industry and financial knowledge on board with him. Some have described it as laughable, given the state of the economy in 2008.

Again, strange strategy heading into a primary in---MICHIGAN.

Especially when you're trailing your opponent by four points, in the latest Detroit News poll (34-30, to Santorum).

What's next for these GOPers? Some caustic remarks about corn just before traveling to Nebraska? Decrying the movie industry on their way to California?

Romney is airing some TV ads that show him driving around Metro Detroit, waxing nostalgic about his childhood. He talks about going to the Auto Show with his dad. Then he makes an about face and openly wonders, "How could this great industry get itself into such a fix?"

Romney has it wrong. It's not about how the Big 3 got into the mess (that's a whole other story), it's the success story of how they got out of it. But I can see why Romney doesn't want to harp on that, because he was against the eventually successful solution. And he's still against it, and would be against it again.

Santorum told the Economic Club of Detroit today that he wouldn't have bailed the Big 3 out, either. Good for him.

Don't either of these guys want to win here?

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