Well, no doubt that our boy did it Tuesday. He was the Obama we all know and love, calm, precise, forceful, in a word, presidential. Mitt Romney? Looked like a spoiled, bully boy used to ordering his subordinates around and who implodes when they inexplicably refuse to be cowed by his bluster.
Maybe, though, Romney’s finally getting called out on his overbearing and arrogant behavior – which I thought was equally offensive during the first, widely lauded debate performance. I certainly couldn’t believe it when the same folks who were calling Romney winner of debate #1 started whining that mean old Joe Biden dissed their blue-eyed hero, Ryan, instead of doing the honorable thing and admitting that Biden wiped the floor with their boy in a fair fight.
One thing, though, bothers me. Why are folks letting Romney get away with with thumping his chest about his achievements in “his state,” otherwise known as Massachusetts? The record just doesn’t bear it out. There’s a reason, after all, that the folks in “his state” have consistently favored Obama by a double digit percentage.
We all know that the state’s economy tanked during his tenure, it was 47th in the nation in number of jobs created. There are questions about outsourced state jobs and whether or not Romney raised taxes (he didn’t – he introduced and/or increased numerous fees that impacted middle class and poor citizens, such as marriage licenses, which went from $4 to $50). Not exactly an unmixed record, although you’d never guess to hear Romney tell it.
I distinctly heard Romney claim several times that he was responsible for the fact that Massachusetts education system is highly rated. However, Romney can’t really take credit for the Massachusetts system since it was already one of the best in the nation before he took office. He did maintain funding levels, although he did little else to further education:
Romney gets average marks when it comes to other education issues. His administration launched no major initiatives or reforms. Higher education funding and the state university system’s infrastructure languished in his four years as governor — a time, to be fair, when there was little additional money in the budget.
What about Romney’s claim that his time in Massachusetts proves that he’d be able to work in a bipartisan fashion. The facts, however, don’t back up his contention:
…. He was unable to push anything through that the Democratic leadership didn’t like, including 800 vetoes Romney issued as governor. The legislature overrode all but a few vetoes issued when it was out of session.
According to Former Massachusetts House Speaker Tom Finneran, who served during Romney’s tenure:
“Initially his sense was, ‘I have been elected governor, I am the CEO here and you guys are the board of directors and you monitor the implementation of what I say,'” Finneran said. “That ruffled the feathers of legislators who see themselves as an equal branch (of government).”
Sounds like the Romney we say last Tuesday alright.
This less than stellar record, though, only begins to explain why Governor Romney is regarded so sourly by citizens of Massachusetts where many regarded him as m ore in the model of a absentee landlord rather than as an active chief executive.