It was inevitable that Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital would feature prominently in the presidential race, because both candidates need to exploit it in order to win. Romney, who has opted to de-emphasize his term as Massachusetts governor, needs to convince voters that his tenure at the private equity firm imbued him with special skills to fix the weak economy. Obama, who has presided over that economy, must convince them of just the opposite — that Romney’s business skills don’t apply to the presidency and they’d be better off sticking with him. Obama’s reelection, in other words, hinges on discrediting Romney as a viable alternative. That means going after Bain and private equity.
Last week brought the opening salvo, a brutal ad that depicts Romney as having heartlessly bankrupted a Kansas City steel company in his lust for profits. A laid-off worker in the ad calls him a “vampire.”