Thursday, August 9, 2012

Is This Transparency? Is this Changing the Tone?

In January 2009, a newly elected president delivered his first executive order and directive of his presidency.  In the speech, he spoke of the sacred role of being a public servant and reminded his cabinet members that they were committed to building a "more responsible and more accountable government."

He vowed to change the political culture of Washington.

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He spoke of his commitment to make the White House the "people's house" and demanded that the revolving door for lobbyist was going to officially close under his administration.  He said, "lobbyists, will be subject to stricter limits than under any other administration in history."

He also declared that the era of secrecy was "officially over."  One of the most memorable lines of his speech, "Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency." (Click here to read entire speech).

It appeared that the young president from Illinois was going to be different.  He pledged to change the tone and political culture in Washington.  From the onset, it appeared that he would.


Nearly four years have passed.  It has become increasingly clear this president is no different than the rest.  He may have a gift for speaking, but it doesn't mean that the words he uses are a reflection of his core beliefs.

Has this president simply mastered the ability to tell the American people exactly what we want to hear?

As The Washington Post and The New York Times have reported, this administration has given lobbyists remarkable access to the White House.  These officials have even carefully tried mislead the public by "meeting hundreds of times" with influential K Street lobbyists in a coffee house across the street from the White House.

Is this "transparency?"  Is this "changing the tone?"

Sadly, campaign tactics over the past few days have also proven that this president is not truly interested in changing the tone of Washington.  It appears that our president is perfectly willing to participate in false, misleading and slimy campaign tactics to destroy his rival.

An Obama Super PAC is now running this ad that has quite frankly crossed the line.

The ad shows a former employee of GST steel, Joe Soptic, who lost his job after Bain Capital shut it down in 2001.  He lost his health insurance coverage and when his wife was diagnosed with cancer, they were unable to pay for treatments and she died.


Is Mitt Romney is responsible for the death of this woman?  The ad certainly wants us to believe that he is.

Reuters Image

The ad has received a tremendous amount of criticism---even from the most liberal media outlets.


A few crucial facts which are blatantly left out of the ad:

1) As I wrote here, during the 1990s, the steel industry in America was collapsing.  Dozens of steel manufacturers were going out of business.  GST Steel was one of these companies.  In 1993, Bain Capital invested to try and help the struggling business.

2) In 1999, Mitt Romney left Bain Capital to run the Olympics.  Two years later in 2001, GST Steel closed its doors.

3) Mr. Soptic may have lost his job and health benefits, but it has been revealed that his wife had health insurance through her own employer.  In 2003, she injured her rotator cuff and lost her job and benefits.

4)  In 2006---seven years after Mitt Romney left Bain Capital---five years after GST steel closed its doors---three years after Mrs. Soptic lost her own health insurance---she went to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia and was diagnosed with stage four cancer.  She died a few days later.

Are we supposed to believe that Mitt Romney was somehow responsible for her death?

The Super PAC wants us to believe that he was.

This is misleading.  This is deceptive.  This is untrue.  Quite frankly, this is disgusting.  Despite relentless criticism and fact checking, the Super PAC has refused to stop airing the ad.


So where is our president who once vowed to "change the tone" and pledged to "change the culture" in Washington?


He hasn't even criticized the ad or called for the Super PAC to pull it.

Instead, his campaign officials are simply trying to distance themselves from the Super PAC by declaring that they had "no knowledge" of Mr. Soptic or his wife's story.  Stephanie Cutter, Obama's Deputy Campaign manager even told CNN, "I don't know the facts about when Mr. Soptic's wife got sick or the facts about his health insurance."

The only problem?

It is not true.

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Politico reported yesterday that Stephanie Cutter hosted a conference call in May 2012, in which she told reporters this very story of Joe Soptic.  Like it or not, the Obama campaign knew about Joe Soptic and his wife, so why lie about it?

It is a violation of federal law for a campaign to coordinate with a Super PAC, so naturally the Obama camp can't afford to have it appear that there was a coordinated effort to smear Mitt Romney.

Is this "transparency?"  Is this "changing the tone?"


The Romney campaign is furious and disgusted that the president and his team are participating in this type of campaign.  Rightfully so.  Mitt Romney is not a killer.

The American people deserve better.

Our president once vowed to lead the charge for accountability, transparency and accountability in Washington.  We believed him.  Sadly, his recent actions have demonstrated that he is simply part of the problem.

We deserve better.  It's time for real change.

Go Mitt.

1 comment:

  1. This ad and the Obama administrations blatant lying about their knowledge of the story is driving me crazy. I heard the other day that people were calling Mitt Romney essentially a murderer for his role in this woman's death. Was it a tragedy that she died? Absolutely. Cancer is a travesty in anyone and any family's life. But Mitt Romney did not kill her, didn't cause her death and did not contribute to it.

    Here is what I don't get -people not seeing the fact that virtually no promise made in 2008 and 2009 by Obama has come to pass. I don't need people to like Romney, but I don't understand this undying and uninformed devotion to a president who has not helped, in fact has hurt, our nation and our economy.

    Yesterday I heard Obama in a speech state that unlike Romney, he isn't interested in helping the "super super super rich." Since when did a person making $250k a year become labeled as the super super super rich? Since when did putting down success become the rallying cry of liberals? And why is it okay? Do those same liberals recognize the wealth of the Obama's? That Michelle wears designer clothing and at times a single outfit from head to toe will have a price tag equal to what some americans earn in a single year? Where is the outrage over that?

    Grrrr. That is all I have to say about that. Oh and please Obama supporters, if you are going to throw out statements about what you think Romney believes and supports, please back it up with sources.

    Soap box rant over.


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