An Oil and Pizza Nation

20 January 2012

The GOP debate fulfilled it’s promise, with tightly coreographed displays of temper (Gingrich), santimoniousness (Santorum and Romney) and baffling non-sequitors (Paul), interrupted at regular intervals by admonishments to the audience that the most important decision they can make is to nominate the Man Who Can Defeat Obama. Romney was the most strident on this topic, causing me to wonder how a man who made a fortune as a Turnaround Ace could reason that firing Obama in the midst of what is becoming more and more clear is a genuine recovery should be Number One on our National Agenda.

But then a closer look at his record shows that, like many Leverage Buy Out Stars, his focus was on torquing up the presale valuations of the companies he bought, stripping out employees and their benefits to inflate the short term profits, and loading them up with debt to achieve a high Return on Equity. After which several went bankrupt, but not before Romney got his fat payday. More troubling, his big score was not a manufacturing company (his steel company went bust) or technology play, but was in Herman’s (remember him?) Pizza Space, or in retail (Staples).

Not exactly the kind of high value jobs that America needs.

Then couple this with the other Big Message of the GOP: rape our natural resources, i.e., ‘Drill, Baby’, Drill’.

Kind of reminds you of the strategy a Third World Country would employ.

But the most fun of the evening came early, when John King thought he would rock Newt back with the disclosure that ‘Mr Family Values’ had once asked his second wife if she would consent to an ‘Open Marriage’. Newt called the question ‘despicable’.

And, apologies to John, it was the wrong question. The right question was this:

“Newt, you started affairs with your future wives years before you actually divorced your current wife. So, Mr. Speaker, who are you cheating on Callista with right now?

Ah, the missed chances.

Rupert Scofield


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