July 16, 2012 by Steve Schuler
Romney’s delicate balancing act: Regular guy or successful business leader?
Romney has an interesting line to walk: On the one hand he wants to be seen as a “regular guy” who knows what it’s like to live as a “commoner” in America. On the other hand, he wants to be seen as the successful business leader who knows how to make money for business.
Those two can’t coexist, and the tax return thing is a great case in point: He doesn’t want to release more years than he has to because he knows people will see how rich he is/was, and the reason he gives is ‘the campaign shouldn’t be about his finances.’ Then he turns around and campaigns on how great he is at running a business and making profits. Even more interesting is the implication of his resistance to releasing more tax returns: People might see how “successful” he’s been and attack him for it, which of course acknowledges this incongruity between the two sides he’s trying to portray.
Why would someone attack him for doing well at running businesses? Isn’t that an important part of his pitch for why he should run the country? The obvious answer is that Romney knows this contradicts his efforts to seem relatable to blue-collar Americans. So then logically, doesn’t this mean he’s AWARE that he’s lying to us when he tries to portray himself as an everyman?
The cognitive dissonance must give him constant headaches.
Oh yeah, and then there’s also the possibility that he doesn’t want to release his tax returns so that we don’t get a look at all the shady tax dodges and such he’s been using to game the system to maximize his own profits at the expense of the very country he says he loves. But, I’ll just take him at his word that it’s because he’s afraid of diverting his message and being attacked, which only makes him a liar, rather than a soulless cheat.