Like real estate’s “location, location, location” mantra, the politico-media world has its own baseline rule involving the timing of a given story.
Without a doubt, pre-Aurora and pre-”you didn’t build that” this AP story on Mitt Romney’s departure from Bain Capital would have been semi-explosive or, at least, amped up the controversy.
The Democrats have become so desperate to revive/propel the Bain story in recent days that they now routinely email reporters news clips on Bain that actually cut against the narrative they want to drive. For a while that worked, because a lot of reporters and news organizations focus more on the “drum beat” narrative than on the actual facts.
But now the story has clearly lost media momentum and the bar appears super high for Bain stuff to break through.
Here’s what’s significant about the AP story:
“One former senior Bain partner said that once Romney had accepted the Olympics position, he would ‘make suggestions but not decisions.’”
Quoting “one former senior Bain partner” is not conclusive, of course, but this line goes to the heart of whatever remaining controversy there is regarding both the question of the duration of Romney’s time at Bain and the question of his veracity about said duration.
In the absence, as the AP points out, of document disclosure from Bain and the Romney campaign, and in light of some comments from Romney officials and the candidate himself that seem to try to create a distinction between Romney running Bain day-to-day and being involved in management decisions, there is a lingering issue here.
Still, in the absence of any proof that Romney played a role in Bain decisions after he departed for the Olympics, and given some background denials from the campaign that Romney played any role, there is no smoking gun at this point.
But my what-is-not-what-ought-to-be point remains: if this AP story had appeared a few weeks ago, it would have churned the waters. Now: barely a ripple.