What About Your Gifts?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 14 2012 5:51 PM

What About Your Gifts?

Maeve Reston scoops a conference call that Mitt Romney held for the poor schlubs who donated to him. (Note: said schlubs are not actually poor." The lede is that Romney blamed his loss on "gifts" from the administration to the moochers. What gifts are we talking about?

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

- the administration’s plan for partial forgiveness of college loan interest and the extension of health coverage for students on their parents’ insurance plans well into their 20s


- free contraception coverage under Obama’s healthcare plan

- health care plan’s promise of coverage “in perpetuity”

-  “amnesty” to the children of illegal immigrants

In these remaining moments that Mitt Romney remains a national figure, I have to ask: Does he not understand the transactional nature of government spending? This is a candidate who stumped in coal country promising to save the industry from health regulations and the natural gas industry, and who stumped in Virginia promising to increase spending on the defense programs that employed people in Tidewater.

I'm sure Romney gets this, and I'm sure -- because he keeps saying it -- that he views social programs as a dirtier deal for votes than actual spending on jobs that benefit certain constituencies. What's fascinating is that he keeps saying this to donors. The "47% tape" was recorded in front of wealthy donors who didn't understand why the rest of the country didn't back a candidate who was going to cut their taxes. Romney understood, and understands, that these people want to believe that poor voters are being exploited by Democrats and forced to vote themselves more benefits. It's a theory that undergirds a lot of conservative election analysis. Let's not just write off Romney as some gormless dweeb.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse

An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked
The Vault
Oct. 23 2014 12:02 PM Delightfully Awkward Studio Action Shots of Players, Used on Early Baseball Cards
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 12:01 PM Who Is Constantine, and Should You Watch His New Show?
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.