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Opposition research

Posted Thursday, June 21, 2012, at 8:43 PM

Just read most of a 200-page "opposition research" paper written some months ago by the staff of one of Mitt Romney's Republican primary challengers. It has a little material I've been seeing in news stories like accounts of robotic "Bainies" working for the venture capital company where Romney made most of his money. Being from a conservative viewpoint, it is of little use to President Obama's strategists other than some of the Bain Capital stuff, which, as former President Clinton just pointed out, reflects standard American business practices.

Romney's past opposition to SUVs and a Cape Cod wind farm project, Cape Wind, could become issues, especially his NIMBY stance on the wind farm when he'd previously backed alternative energy. The biggest potential problem might be his maladroitness with Hispanic concerns, though his general agreement with McCain on immigration reform could help. This is probably why many Republicans advocate Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for vice president, whom the presumptive nominee referred to as "Mario" in '07 before inexplicably ending his speech with the Fidel Castro tag line, "Patria o muerto, venceremos!" meaning, "Fatherland or death, we shall overcome!"

Bill Clinton's empathy for Romney may date to September 1995, when Clinton praised him for defending AmeriCorps. Romney may remain a foreign policy novice, notwithstanding his travels to gain cred; but his advocacy is good to remove regulatory obstacles to new refineries because the paucity of modern refineries and prevalence of old, explosive ones is the primary weak point of the American energy industry.



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