Let me preface this article by stating that this is not a statement of support for or against Mitt Romney. He does not reflect my values and views as a conservative libertarian. I also do not believe that he reflects the values of the Republican party as a whole, which was why I did not support him during the primaries. However, this does not make him a bad person, nor do I think that he is stupid. As a matter of fact, from what I can see he is quite intelligent.
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard that Romney has only released one year (count them: one) of tax returns in advance of his presumed presidential nomination by the GOP. Although there is nothing inherently wrong or unusual about this, it has resulted in a barrage of accusations by his opponents, and recently Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in particular. Senator Reid is playing a sort of guilty until proven innocent tactic to imply that Romney has not released any more returns because he has something to hide. Something that would so outrage the public that it would ruin any chance he has of being elected President this November.
I have a different idea.
Does anyone recall just how much attention the mainstream media gave to the whole “birther” issue with President Obama once Donald Trump called for the release of his long-form birth certificate? Talk about a non-issue! What are we going to do, invalidate the last two years of US legislative action? That’s doubtful, at best. But how did this play out? The President knows where his birth certificate is – you had better believe it. He’s probably had to produce it on multiple occasions. I can think of a few times that I’ve had to present mine just to get a driver’s license, or submit a college application, etc. It just so happened that, well what do you know, right when this debate reached its zenith, Mr. Obama found his birth certificate and put it on public display! Ta da! Now, some people (cough, cough, host of The Apprentice) still don’t seem to want to let the issue go, and challenge the validity of the document, etc., etc., but for the most part in the eyes of the public it’s a closed case.
I happen to believe that Mr. Romney is doing the exact same thing with his own manufactured issue. Let’s look at this from a couple of angles, and I shall explain.
First, if there was some sort of big skeleton in the tax closet, it is doubtful that Mitt Romney would have made it this far in the process to begin with. I know it’s certainly possible, but you’d have to be taking a shot in the dark to make an argument like that. People don’t just rise to this level of public view without jumping through some hoops. Again, I know it’s possible, but I’m dealing with probabilities here.
Second, think about what would happen if and when Mr. Romney releases his records (assuming he gets a clean bill of health). For a week or so, the headlines would be that Romney has released his tax records and there’s nothing fishy. He made a lot of money, but he paid his taxes and there’s no funny business. Then, as soon as that news would die down, another “controversy” would arise and take center stage. Romney’s temporary rise in the polls would take him back down again, damaging his campaign and putting him back on the defense. Don’t believe me? They’re still trying to demonize Bain Capital.
Now for my prediction, and it’s pure speculation. I predict that soon Mr. Romney will in fact release more of his tax returns. Maybe just one more year, maybe a few. I doubt it will be 10. That’s ridiculous. Nobody releases 10 years – or at least not all at once. President Obama did release quite a good amount of returns, 8 years at the time of his 2008 election campaign. He has since released more than 10 years, but those are in addition to what he already released.
When Romney releases another year, or years, of tax returns, it will be the same as when President Obama released his birth certificate. It was a sort of, “See, I told you so!” kind of moment. And for most Americans, that was the end of the birther debate. Assuming Romney has nothing to hide, this would be a very smart move which would serve to strengthen his less-than-spectacular campaign. Although he has consistently polled behind Obama in recent months, there are now fewer than 100 days until the November election, and he doesn’t need a long history of approval – just a short one. Releasing his tax records at the right time could accomplish just that.
Your guess is as good as mine. Here are a few possibilities, just for discussion’s sake. The earliest I see this happening is just before the Republican National Convention at the end of this month. It may or may not be at the same time as an announcement of a Vice Presidential pick. That could give him a boost just before the convention and add to his publicity when he could be officially nominated by the Republican Party. Another time would be just after that news dies down, say, two or three weeks later. I don’t really see him waiting much longer, but the longer he can wait, the less time there will be for additional demands to pull him down in the polls. Also, the more times he has to give in to pressure from the current president’s campaign, the weaker it makes him appear.
Lastly, please allow me to remind you that nothing I’ve written is an endorsement of either campaign nor their tactics. I have personally experienced the brunt of shameful tactics by the Romney Campaign, and I have seen what kinds of things the Obama Campaign has tried to pull as well. Neither of these two offer much if any change to the way things have been going for the last 12 years. Mitt Romney, at this point, still does not have a nomination by his party for the presidential race. The convention is at the end of the month, and a lot of things could still happen between now and then. Let us hope and pray that something does.
What do you think? Is Romney hiding something? Is it all just a big show? Leave your predictions and comments here!SHARE