Remember in 2012 when the mainstream media and populist candidates lambasted GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for the campaign contributions he received from Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded? Bain Capital became the symbol for how disconnected Mitt Romney was to the average American citizen. Romney was characterized as “just another out-of-touch rich white guy.”
Bain Capital is in full force this election cycle, utilizing its vast financial resources to back another presidential hopeful. And just who is the favored candidate of the private equity firm Mitt Romney founded? Donald Trump? Ted Cruz ? Marco Rubio ? No. It’s not even a Republican.
It’s Hillary Clinton .
That’s right. It was already the case in November of last year that nearly all individual contributions from Bain Capital employees were to Hillary Clinton. And recent reports indicate that Bain Capital is throwing a mega-fundraiser for Clinton in Boston on February 5.
One wonders why a private equity firm founded by a long-time Republican would throw its financial weight behind a blue-blooded Democrat. There are a number of possible explanations, though none of them are pretty.
It’s possible that Bain Capital switched loyalties because Hillary Clinton promised more to Big Money than any other candidate. Though Clinton has attempted to paint herself as a poor, average American intimately familiar with life at the bottom, nearly no one has bought that act. Instead, Hillary Clinton has long been criticized for her politically significant entanglements with Wall Street.
How much of the farm has she promised should she be elected? It’s unclear. But she is certainly a better partner for Big Money than Bernie Sanders . And Trump is a wild card. So perhaps Bain Capital is hitching its wagon to the candidate most likely to deliver on continued corporate welfare and cronyism.
Another explanation is that Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton were never all that different from one another. The political parties have never been more interchangeable than in this election cycle, and “flip-flops” like this may just be another indicator of that reality.
The final possibility is that the old guard in the GOP (the Romneys would be included) would do anything to keep the current Republican candidates out of the Oval Office. Even if it meant getting Hillary Clinton elected instead.
One way or the other, this news should sober up the incrementalists—though it probably won’t. The only group that has benefitted from incrementalism has been liberal progressives. Thanks to the decades-long efforts of the incrementalists, we find ourselves in 2016 with only repugnant choices, and largely indistinguishable ones. Congratulations.