"Gawker", my favourite online source for gossip, has had a "mole" at Fox News. But the "Fox Mole" remained secret only for about 48 hours, because the inevitable "digital trail" quickly gave him away. This, as it turned out today, doesn't stop Joe Muto, the now exposed associate producer of the "Bill O'Reilly factor" from publishing more or less juicy stories. These don't seem to be "sensational" yet, but they surely are entertaining, and the lawyers of Fox News are already busy. This coup by Gawker also received some recognition in the media.
As a sidenote, I would like to mention that the responsible reporter for the "Fox Mole" stories, John Cook, also was the reporter who picked up the "Bristol Palin myspace messages" back in April 2009 after I had contacted him. Unfortunately, the rest of the media then ignored these fascinating myspace messages, as so many inconvenient facts about the Palins were simply ignored by the mainstream during all these years. Well, this already feels like "history" now.
Back to the "Fox Mole": In the first report at Gawker, the mole had a very interesting new piece of footage to offer: A previously unseen chat between Mitt Romney and Sean Hannity before a TV-interview. In this conversation Mitt Romney proudly talks about the various horses that he and his wife are owning, and explains that his wife just had to "get some time on the horses", her "Austrian warmbloods", which are "dressage horses", the right "horse for the sport she is in." Mitt Romney himself has, as he says, a "Missouri Foxtrotter."
This in itself is not shocking information, as everybody knows that Mitt Romney is a very, very rich man, with his wealth or "net worth" very roughly between $190 and $250 million. Also, with all this money put away in a large number of investments, it can happen for example that Mitt Romney's wife apparently forgets that she had stashed away $3 million in a Swiss bank account at UBS bank,
The Los Angeles Times reported in January 2012:
The Los Angeles Times reported in January 2012:
The Romney campaign described the discrepancies as "trivial" but acknowledged Thursday that it was reviewing how the investments were reported and would make "some minor technical amendments" to Romney's financial disclosure that would not alter the overall picture.
An examination by the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Washington Bureau found that at least 23 investments detailed in the couple's 2010 tax returns did not show up or were not listed in the same fashion on Romney's most recent financial disclosure, including 11 based in low-tax foreign countries such as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Luxembourg.
The campaign has emphasized that Romney has paid all required U.S. taxes on his foreign funds.
Many of the funds that show up on Romney's tax returns but not his financial disclosure are affiliated with Bain Capital, the Boston-based private equity firm he ran for 15 years. Several others are apparently unrelated offshore entities such as Babson 2006-1, which is based in the Cayman Islands, and Barracuda Investments, which has an address in Dublin, Ireland, but appears to be owned by Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco.
Among the assets omitted is a Swiss bank account in Ann Romney's blind trust that held $3 million until it closed in 2010. The account was listed on a financial disclosure Romney filed in 2007, but it was mistakenly named as an asset held by the couple, not as part of Ann Romney's trust. A campaign spokeswoman said Thursday that Romney will file amendments to both his 2007 and 2011 financial disclosures to correctly identify the bank account.
The Romney campaign dismissed the omission of information as inadvertent and inconsequential, noting he has released more than 600 pages of details about his finances. Indeed, among the hundreds of investments listed on his recent financial disclosure are many foreign funds.
But the discrepancies speak to a broader challenge facing Romney: convincing voters that he can relate to their economic distress despite his immense fortune.
Whether Mitt Romney can relate to the ordinary voters or the "little man" surely remains doubtful, as some of his remarks don't inspire much confidence:
Earlier in the month, Romney characterized the $374,000 he made in speaker's fees in 2010 and 2011 as "not very much."
So Mitt Romney is very rich, which is not a crime. But there is another aspect to the story: Despite the fact that Mitt Romney is the embodiment of a "rich elitist" himself, he routinely mocks President Obama for playing golf, in a cheap, dishonest attempt to paint Obama as a snobby President who couldn't care less about the concerns of the American citizens.
I don't know too much about the many faces of Mitt Romney, the former staunchly pro-choice (great video), pro-healthcare Governor, but it's more than obvious that he has a major character flaw. The best which I can say in his defence is that there are in my opinion "hints" in his "performances" which point to the fact that he might not feel entirely comfortable with himself and that he might just be forced to play a role in order to please the very conservative audience. But maybe I am just hallucinating.
In any case, Mitt Romney will be running against a president who should easily be superior in his behaviour and in his speeches. Will Mitt Romney be a match for Barack Obama? Virtually every clip I watch of Romney makes me cringe. He always seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, whereas Obama always seems to be very comfortable with himself and his surroundings. Obama has credibility - Romney sounds like a bad salesman.
Watch Mitt Romney in the following clips mocking Obama for playing golf:
Mitt Romney, you haven't even started yet, and you have already sold out. Well done!
(Special thanks to Cheeriogirl!)
I cannot resist: The following clip shows the pro-choice candidate for Governor called Mitt Romney, explaining his stance on abortion, in 2002. Now, ten years later, Matt Romney is a staunch member of the anti-abortion/pro-life crowd. How can friend or foes alike believe anything what Mitt Romney says? A serious politician doesn't make a "180 degree turn" on such a fundamental issue within just ten years without a compelling reason. The only reason I can see is that Mitt Romney is a shameless opportunist and wants to appeal to the conservative base. But he is neither convincing nor credible.
Mitt Romney tries to explain his "change of heart" on the issue of abortion in this very interesting clip - and he also says that "from a political perspective" he believes that "life begins at conception", which frankly doesn't make much sense. Not one good argument is evident in his reasoning. Just an opportunist. Shame on Mitt.