This story is moving fast – but listen to Andrew Sullivan’s take on WaPo’s latest defense of the Bain filings:
Throughout, Kessler bizarrely asserts that telling the SEC that someone is the CEO and sole owner of a company, when he isn’t, is no big deal. He says that all Romney did was list “a misleading title.” Misleading? Really? Either you are CEO or you aren’t. If you are, you have responsibility for everything the company did while you were CEO. Can anyone just make up names for company CEOs at the SEC? Count me unconvinced.
(…) How does Romney attend board meetings of Bain acquisitions, sign six filings on Bain acquisitions, get a six figure salary as an executive, list himself as sole owner and CEO with the SEC in these years, and insist he was not “involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way”? Bain went further and stated that in the period involved Romney had “absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any of its portfolio companies.” All of this is a spectacular contradiction – and yet Kessler, defending, one suspects, his own reputation, refuses to give an inch. Is Kessler that much in the Romney tank? Or can he not read his own column?
Brad DeLong is even more direct:
Give it up, Glenn.
It would be very unusual for somebody to have the titles of not just “CEO” but “President”, “Chairman of the Board” and be “sole stockholder” and to have no responsibilities whatsoever. In fact, I defy Glenn Kessler to come up with any example of anybody anywhere–save for Mitt Romney–who has been characterized to the SEC as “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” and also claimed to have no responsibilities whatsoever and to have merely been a passive investor.