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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Arpege campaign

Those of you of a certain age will remember TV commercials for Arpege perfume, offering up a tag line as stale as last week's toast.
Promise her anything, but give her Arpege.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Romney Michigan campaign.

As the clock ticks down on the Wolverine State's erstwhile homeboy -- who polls show with a chance to snag a face-saving win, Our Man Myth is at it again, promising them anything. (We know what he's giving them, but they haven't found out yet.)

Former Massachusetts Governor Romney was all about eco-friendly, fuel efficient vehicles.
Romney imposed tough emissions standards in December 2005 that added Massachusetts to a growing list of states seeking to force the auto industry to produce cleaner-burning cars - which automakers considered a back-door attempt to raise fuel standards. Under the rules, cars sold in the state after 2015 must emit 30 percent less carbon dioxide, 20 percent fewer toxic pollutants, and as much as 20 percent fewer smog- causing pollutants than under federal standards.
Today, the son of former Michigan Governor (and American Motors president) George Romney is a champion of the auto industry, saying it's darkest days are behind and clear, smog-free skies are ahead.
“There are some people who don’t think there’s a future for the domestic automobile industry,” Mr. Romney said. “They think the industry and its jobs are gone forever. They are wrong.”
"Some people" of course really is John McCain, who is joined by many, including many in Detroit.

But Our Man Myth, that old business turnaround specialist, disagrees. He thinks the industry is just fine -- as long as muddled-headed Washington politicians and bureaucrats don't meddle with things like higher fuel efficiency mandates.

Earth to Mitt: Have you checked out the price of a gallon of gasoline or a barrel of oil? Or the fact that Toyota now outsells GM and Ford by building cars that last?

All it takes is the same sort of economic leadership he brought to Massachusetts.
...During his four-year term as Massachusetts governor, which began in the depths of a recession, the number of jobs grew by just 0.5 percent, compared with 5.5 percent nationally, according to Labor Department statistics. Only three states did worse: Ohio, Louisiana, and Michigan.

Manufacturing employment in Massachusetts slid 12 percent, more than double the national average; the state fared only slightly better than Michigan, which lost more than 15 percent of manufacturing jobs during that period.

And of course, this is the same Romney who, while running in Massachusetts in 2002 said he wanted to lower excise taxes for fuel-efficient vehicles. McCain's campaign said yesterday that because the plan was designed to be revenue neutral, that would have resulted in higher taxes on sport utility vehicles.

The excise tax plan, which was never adopted, "would have hurt the same American auto industry in Michigan that he now claims to champion," said Jane M. Swift, the former acting governor of Massachusetts who is backing McCain.

Some aren't buying this latest "education" of Mitt Romney as they haven't bought his "education" on a woman's right to choose, guns and gays. Hopefully Michigan voters won't be falling for the love songs of their (and our) not-so-favorite son and follow the lead of the folks in Iowa and New Hampshire.

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