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

Advertisement

- 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

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You: It Spreads Slowly

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

How Tattoo Parlors Became the Barber Shops of Hipster Neighborhoods

This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century

Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM This Gargantuan Wind Farm in Wyoming Would Be the Hoover Dam of the 21st Century To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Buy a Small Business
Oct. 1 2014 11:48 PM Inking the Deal Why tattoo parlors are a great small-business bet.
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?