One thing people don’t mention about Romney is that he does not need to lie as much as he does. Romney could have run a more honest and even moderate campaign and still won the GOP nomination because of the massively underwhelming field he was running against and he had every organizational and monetary advantage.
So it only speaks more poorly about Romney that he has no problem lying including about his GOP opponents.
So why does Romney lie so much?
First and foremost Romney’s habitual mendacity obviously says he has no personal principles but it also says more about his mentality or more specifically where this mentality brought Romney success and why he still employs it. Romney is a private equity business consult by trade and examining what these consultants do and not do explains to some extent why Romney lies as much as he does. For one thing PE consultants function in a paradigm of a world without limits because they are never the ones accountable when their advice is wrong. Romney’s bad call on the now famous ‘Let Detroit go Bankrupt’ op-ed is a great example this. Romney had no skin in the game so he could make his Nostradumbarse prescriptions all he wanted. Based on the environment Romney matured in whether he was right or wrong he and Bain Capital profited the vast majority of the time. It simply did not matter that the companies he consulted with went bankrupt or not because Bain almost always got there share.
To elaborate consultants in the private equity business operate on the notion that they tell their customers what they want to hear and then do what they want anyway. Remember the Gordon Gekko speech to the manufacturing company in the movie ‘Wall Street’. It was all platitudes about free enterprise and the American working spirit. However behind the scenes Gekko knew he was going to gut the company all along. This is the crux of why Romney will do or say anything to get elected. But again if you look behind the curtain like looking at his budget (which he is counting on most GE voters to forget) you quickly learn that his real intentions are to continue the Reagan greed is good direction of the country.
Private equity consultants with a pre-destined agenda are also very poor at tough decision making simply because it takes a certain mental rigidity and ruthlessness to be a Romney type consultant. This is a main weakness for Romney and why he would be a dangerous president. He simply does not have the inclination to take on the base of his party or offer ideas that do not fit the plan. Let us be unequivocal here Romney’s plan is to expand the American plutocracy and nothing else. Even his national security agenda which has a binary thought process and thinks the world is still us against them fits that dubious plan.
Do not get me wrong because I am not denigrating all consultants because most consultants are valuable parts of our business, technical, social and political communities. I have dealt with dozens of consultants (mostly technical consultants) in my career and while it is true that they do not have to deal with the direct consequences that the people that employ them do most of them were very good problem solvers. In fact a consultants only value is their credibility and while they can fail on a few jobs if the continue to offer bad services they simply will not get new business. Romney type of consultancy was different because at Bain because there was no value in offer tough solutions so they always took the easy path whether it was good for their clients or not. To refrain private equity consultants are different because they have a pre-destined agenda that does not mean they want what is best for the company. Private equity is basically a fixed game where the PE firm holds all the cards like the house in Las Vegas.
Based on Romney’s experiences at Bain Capital, obviously he thinks he is his own best political consultant. But Romney is running his campaign like a bad political consultant rather than as a presidential candidate. Usually candidates are sort of a foil to their own consultants. After all the candidate usually sees the big picture and is more concerned about coming off consistently and credibly. The political consultants usually have to prompt the candidate to go ultra negative because it is not their reputation on the line. Romney does not have the normal filter a presidential candidate needs. That is why he says things like ‘Russia is our #1 geopolitical enemy’ just to try and make hay off of a supposed open mic gaffe by Obama. Romney simply never even bothers to evaluate the broader consequences of what he says or does. In other words the concept of coming off as being presidential (beyond Romney’s superficial appearance) is foreign to Romney.
Fortunately President Obama is almost the anti-Romney in so many ways. Problem solving, decision making and most of all strategic presidential thinking are some of his major strengths. Not to mention the personal qualities like integrity and consistency that are the root of these higher level character traits. The president has no problem understanding complex matters and nuance, saying and doing the things that are not politically easy or even taking on his base sometimes.
Romney is an excellent private equity business consultant, poor political consultant and would simply be a terrible president. Fortunately he is a terrible campaigner with his lack of authenticity and other fatal personality flaws. But unless we remind voters on almost a daily basis what Romney is all about he still could win the presidency because we know the main stream media will not do their jobs.
Quote from ’2010′ – “HAL was told to lie – by people who find it easy to lie. HAL doesn’t know how. “