Mitt Romney's Unrequited Love for Techies

The Globe published two articles the other day that laid bare Mitt Romney’s “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” campaigning technique.

The first was about Romney’s critique of Barack Obama as a free-market hater, dubbing the president a “old-school liberal whose first instinct is to see free enterprise as the villain and government as the hero.” He went on to reference all the smart innovative companies responsible for consumer technology:

To illustrate his point, the presumptive Republican nominee referenced the smart phones audience members used to capture his remarks. “BlackBerry got things going, and then Apple introduced the iPhone, and now the Android platform is leading the market,’’ Romney said. “In the world of free enterprise, competition brings us better and better products at lower and lower cost. That’s the whole idea. Not because they’re all smarter but because there are so many people competing with ideas, trying to come up with better ways to come up with better products. And the customer – that’s us, by the way – is who benefits from all this.’’

Fair enough: Companies and consumers benefit from competition. (But when did Obama commit the government to designing smartphones?) What I find interesting about Romney’s endorsement innovative companies is that the candidate receiving the most fundraising donations from them is … Obama!

Just check out this second article by the Globe pointing out the companies donating the most money to each of the candidates. Employees from Microsoft, Google (the maker of Romney’s beloved Android platform), and the University of California (educator of many of those aspiring techies), are among the top Obama donors, along with two law firms. So, according to our former governor, those very smart companies and employees are inexplicably donating to a man who hates what they do.

As for Romney, he’s pulling in piles of cash from giant banks: Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse. In other words, many of the exact companies that helped cause the recession. Companies that continue to rail against financial regulation, but then go and lose $2 billion. About the most innovative thing they’ve come up with is credit-default swaps. And we know how that turned out.