Is Romney Going to Repeat the Palin Strategy and Choose Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi?

A wee personsal confession: in 2008, I was not terribly interested in politics. I had a proud history of making protest votes for President, back to voting for John Anderson. I was not keen about Obama, although I weakly preferred him to Hillary because…..she’d bring back the old Clinton finance team. But if you had forced me to state my views as of that summer, I would have said I was less keen about McCain.

Something possessed me to watch the VP acceptance speech for the Republicans. About 20 minutes into watching Palin, I was so appalled that I left my TV and went to my computer to make a small donation to Obama.

I gather I was not alone. The Democrats got 8x as the Republicans in the 24 hours following her debut as the official Republican VP nominee.

This election, despite Romney’s shambolic Presidential campaign (his London gaffes were epic), he’s running neck and neck with Obama. The fact that he has any hope is due to Obama’s fealty to big corporate interests, particularly banks, and his neoliberal instincts. In early 2009, with the financiers cowed and desperate, and the country eager for a new direction, Obama could have take far more decisive steps to right the economy. But again and again, Obama has sold out ordinary citizens, from folding on a proposal to tax to end the preferential treatment of incomes of private equity magnates (they structure their deals to get capital gains treatment when they have no capital at risk), to pushing through a mortgage settlement that did perilous little for borrowers but served as a back door bailout to banks, or his enriching Big Pharma and the health care insurer though the ACA.

But Romney may be determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of a possible victory. Business Insider reports that the newest addition to the list of possible VP candidates is…Florida’s Pam Bondi. We’ve refrained from writing about her at NC merely because there seemed to be far more important targets. But contrast her conduct as the AG of one of the ground zeros of the foreclosure crisis, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada. Shortly after the robosigning scandal broke, Masto got legislation passed that made it a crime (a felony) to file improper paperwork with the courts, subject to 10 years in jail and fines of $10,000 per violation. (Note that this legislation did not change the legal requirement for foreclosure; it simply criminalized failure to comply. What did Bondi do? She fired two staffers in her office who were taking document fraud seriously.

Per Business Insider, this is what recommends her:

• She’s a woman. And she’s young. While the Romney campaign is said to be looking for experience and gravitas, there are obvious demographic advantages to picking someone who can appeal to women and young people.

• She’s from Florida. Bondi could give Romney a much-needed advantage in the crucial swing state.

• She tried to take down Obamacare — and almost won. Bondi was the lead attorney general in the lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. With her as VP, Romney would have one less problem to deal with.

• She’s really pretty.

The Romney campaign is getting her to stump for him in the Northeast on a limited basis.

The article warns that she’s probably not high on the prospect list and selecting her would invite a firestorm of Palin comparisons. Contacts in Florida say that Palin is probably smarter than Bondi (one wonders how she graduated from law school if true) and that her prior career as a prosecutor in Hillsboro County was light on actually filing cases and heavy on acting as a spokesperson.

So in the unlikely-but-not-impossible outcome that Bondi gets the nod, one can imagine that the campaign will portray her asleep-at-the-switch on the foreclosure fraud beat as a great plus. MBS Guy notes:

There is something so perfect about Romney picking a VP who would help him win the anti-“deadbeat borrower” vote. It seems fitting that the foreclosure crisis should be part of the election story – but in a totally bizarro way.

With Bondi as his running mate, Romney could paint Obama as the candidate who did too much to help deadbeat borrowers, and worsen the housing crisis, by stretching out foreclosures via the AG foreclosure settlement.

I think that would help ensure that neither candidate would say anything remotely truthful on issues like housing and the economy.

One has to assume that if the Romney campaign were to go for a woman candidate, Condi Rice would trump Bondi handily. But the fact that Bondi has been added to the list seems mighty peculiar, unless this is a device to build a relationship with her and dangle other shiny toys before he so she’ll stump hard for Romney in Florida.

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  1. ibilln

    “In early 2009, with the financiers cowed and desperate, and the country eager for a new direction, Obama could have take far more decisive steps to right the economy. But again and again, Obama has sold out ordinary citizens,..”

    Did not believe you early, don’t (emotionally) believe you now.

    Got to admit, though. The evidence is mounting.

    [But seriously – you would not vote Demo?]

    1. kxmoore

      i wish i cared…….. even a little. some people tell me i can’t complain if i don’t vote. well they can go to hell. obummer or wrongney. it’s coke or pepsi as far as i’m concerned and i don’t drink soda. how the hell did we get stuck with the choice of these two turds for president? they make truman, eisenhower and kennedy look like giants.

      1. Tiresias

        You have two other choices, I believe? Jill Stein and Gary Johnson? Or is it more important that your vote goes to the winner than is an expression of your democratic right to say who’s politics YOU support, even if they’ve no change of winning?

        America is going to be stuck in this bought, Tweedle-Dum or Tweeedle-Dee beauty contest until it grows up to embrace true democracy.

        EVERY vote for third party candidate is a hair-line crack in the clay feet of the Republocrat Juggernaut, and the more cracks every election puts there the sooner it will fall.

        1. Waking Up

          For those who would like to see a woman with compassion as the first President of the United States, vote for Dr. Jill Stein.

      2. Xylix

        [“how the hell did we get stuck with the choice of these two turds for president?”]

        Quite easily. You see, democracy functions in a rather simple way. People vote for their leader. Whoever gets the most votes wins. That person then sets the agenda.

        But the secondary effects are almost as important. You see, other politicians also want to win their elections. As such, they tend to act more like the president/party that is winning. The more the other party’s win, the dramatic the shift. Now, this is merely a ‘tendency’. But ‘tendencies’ when given enough years, become trajectories.

        Now, gaze back upon the last thirty years. Review the victory of Regan. Ponder the rise of the Neocons. Examine Clinton’s pursuit of Republican policy. See how, despite this, Gore proved to ‘liberal’ for Americans. After that, think about the six-years of Republican dominance that followed. Then, more recently, consider the rise of the tea party.

        History makes the answer obvious. We have two neo-liberal turds because Americans vote for neo-liberal turds. And not just for any old neo-liberal turd either. We vote for the biggest and stinkiest one we can find.

        Is it any surprise that ‘Progressives’ are striving to be more turd like?

        Now you ask: “What does this have to do with me? I don’t vote.” But not voting is identical to yielding your vote to the majority. If failed to vote in 2000 and 2004, you effectively voted for Bush and all his policies. If you refused to vote in 2010, you voted for the Tea Party and all they stand for.

        In other words, you voted for this.

        1. brunssd

          Not true. Bush / Gore 2000 – tell me again who got the most votes? Add to this the fact that the neo-liberal cheerleading mass media vet the candidates for us to ensure the only choice available is two neo-liberal turds.

    2. kxmoore

      “Got to admit, though. The evidence is mounting”

      you are being facetious correct?

    3. Guy Fawkes

      The decision to vote for Obama vs. Romney, is like having to decide between dying of cancer or dying of heart disease.

  2. ibilln

    Bondi – “unless this is a device to build a relationship with her and dangle other shiny toys before he so she’ll stump hard for Romney in Florida.”

    R is many things, but not dumb. … Right?

  3. MitchTSeagull

    After the last 4 years how could anyone discern a difference between Democrats and Republicans?

    I see none.

    1. kxmoore

      it’s like picking between twin hookers at bunny ranch where one has dyed her hair blonde and the other red.

      1. Tiresias

        So look past them at the other hopefuls in the shadows. Maybe they’re stuck in the shadows ‘cos they won’t do whatever it takes to get to the front but are instead hoping they’ll get noticed by the more discerning and intelligent clientele who want more for their vote than a surface.

        1. ScottS

          Seriously? How would any third-party candidate be better? It would be even more gridlock with Congress.

          We need to change the system. Why do we choose the people who screw us over? Why not vote for policies instead, and let the bureaucracies implement our chosen policies?

          At least we wouldn’t have the problem of agency, as so elegantly demonstrated by Obama. We voted for him based solely on his self-characterization that he was not Bush. And he’s not Bush — he’s even worse.

          So how can you say voting for different liars will change anything?

  4. pat b

    Condi Rice will never be selected as she is a black lesbian.
    While that makes great porn, it’s something the GOP base will hate.

    Romney needs a VP who will rally the faithful, he may as well pick Palin again

  5. vlade

    Q: “one wonders how she graduated from law school if true”
    A: “• She’s really pretty.”

    Sad, I know. But seen it too often (mind you, once is too often). To avoid being labeled as sexist, there’s plenty of evidence that attractivness (in both male and female, although more so in the latter) matters a lot, and that people are more likely to accept a dumb argument from an attractive person.

    1. CB

      Palin’s entire appeal is visual. After the 2008 election, she spoke at a gevernor’s conference. Perry introduced her. I was in the kitchen and could only hear. Perry sounded like the stereotypical Duh. But Palin, my lord, Palin, sounded like a little girl trying her eight year old best for an adult audience. You know how kids do when they’re playing to the assembled family grown ups.

      1. stevo67

        Living in Texas, I’ve known for years that Rick Perry is dumb as a two day-old cow pattie. If Palin makes him sound like a Rhodes scholar, and I don’t doubt it because that woman is mind-boggingly stupid, yikes!!!

    1. Lambert Strether

      The non-wedding made the mainstream, too. One can only wonder if there are more pictures. A South FL blogger is quoted:

      “I think she failed miserably at a potential PR coup,” Lambiet said, making note that Bondi’s name has been floated as a future gubernatorial candidate. “And if you can’t handle this, how can you handle a campaign?”

      Always with the meta!

      1. Shutterbuggery

        Lambert.. if we’ve learned anything from recent history, there are ALWAYS more pictures.

  6. Boston Scrod

    “I had a proud history of making protest votes for President, back to voting for Jack Anderson.”

    Jack Anderson was an investigative reporter. John Anderson was a Republican congressman from Illinois who ran for president in 1980: first as a Republican and then, in the general election, as an independent. His quixotic campaign should be remembered for his having the temerity to propose a fifty cent additional tax on gasoline (at a time when gas at the pump was roughly a dollar a gallon).

  7. polistra

    Agree with your evaluation of Obama. He was obviously a Goldman puppet, easily seen before the 2008 election.

    But I really doubt the “anti-deadbeat-borrower” argument. Folks who paid their mortgage on time may resent the fact that non-payers got off easy, but I can’t see how that resentment would benefit Romney no matter who he picks. (Most people who are aware of this issue are also aware that very few non-payers actually got off easy!)

  8. Arch

    Don’t be fooled by Bondi’s good looks. She may look like a dumb blonde, but she didn’t get to be attorney general just on her looks. This post incorrectly portrays her experience as a prosecutor as limited to filing cases and acting as a spokesperson. In fact, she was an very able and aggressive capital crimes (murder) prosecutor. Mark Ober, her boss, described her as a “tigress” in the courtroom. You don’t get to try capital murder cases by being timid.

    1. stevo67

      In states like Florida, Texas, and Virginia, you don’t become a prosecutor unless you want to try capital cases. Also, let’s face it, the deck is stacked against the defendants facing the death penalty in these states, especially if they’re minorities.

  9. Shutterbuggery

    Come come now.. the very idea the American public could be taken in by a fast-talking attractive MILF in a leather skirt is absurd! We’re far too sophisticated to fall for such a juvenile political stunt.

  10. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Romney’s campaign gets weirder by the day. Guardian reports about his fundraiser in Jerusalem ought to raise a few eyebrows, i.e.,

    Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish American billionaire casino magnate who has bankrolled Romney’s presidential campaign, sat next to the candidate at a U-shaped table. Adelson also owns Israel Hayom, the Jewish state’s biggest circulation newspaper, which is a staunch supporter of Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.

    Among the other guests were the New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and hedge fund manager Paul Singer.

    Weirdly, I think this election is actually turning out to be a bigger deal than 2008, if for no other reason than that we’re finally seeing the belief systems of Big Finance a bit more visibly.

    Meanwhile, I’m spending a fair amount of time on, and the number of ‘I’m a (black, single dad, not-your-usual-white-guy) Mormon’ ads are increasing in number. In other words, ‘Mormon’ is being rebranded as inclusive. Romney is never mentioned in these ads, but clearly one element of the campaign is working to eradicate what had been called his ‘Mormon problem’. (I have Mormons in my extended family, so this is not intended as a slam — simply as an observation.) But that kind of reliance on PR and branding would probably give a pretty female AG bonus points in a VP beauty contest.

  11. Skeptical

    Pam Bondi is the guardian angel and protector of vast racketeering operations in Florida, which profit off of foreclosure fraud. That alone should endear her to Mitt Romney.

  12. gizmo

    IMHO, Romney is going to win this election, not because of who he chooses as a running mate, but because Republicans have made it very difficult for poor people to vote in some states. They are demanding two forms of photo ID and a birth certificate to vote for a Presidential candidate who won’t even show his tax returns.

    1. Laura

      we won’t get nothing knowing Mitt’s tax returns,we know he’s a self made rich man who gave all the money he inheritd to charity.We ‘ll be better off if Obama show us his real birth certificate from Kenya and all the college transcripts he’s hiding.We need an American in the white house not a foreigner who wants to sell our country.

    2. Adam

      Two pieces of photo id and a birth certificate? And then you have to factor in the possibility of working weird hours and the likes. That’s simply awful. Looks like things are not near as bad up here in Canada… although in time they’ll turn that way.

  13. Jack Hammersmiller

    Anybody can get through law school. Law school is a giant consumer scam for about half of all attendees. If you look around hard enough, you can find a diploma mill that will take anyone. See,, and the ABA at out stats for large garduating class schools like Cooley and even Stetson, Bondi’s school, only has a placement rate of about 50% and of course that counts “solo practicioners” right of law school).

  14. ep3

    well, considering she’s blonde, she fits right in with the FOX news crowd.
    Second, if the Dems did so well after the VP acceptance speech, why was there such an explosion of love for Palin afterwards? All the women buying her suits and glasses and quoting her stupid one-liners? Or was that just the ministry of truth doing a little misdirection?

  15. Guy Fawkes

    As a woman, I resent the reason Romney believes he should put a woman VP on the ticket.

  16. briansays

    if she is so “hot” why be mitt’s #2, a step down really, plus move to DC

    she can be her own boss until scott moves on or if she really doesn’t mind DC run against Nelson who is getting up there

    1. JTFaraday

      Yeah, I haven’t paid much attention to Romney, but I just intuitively sense that having to interact on a Barbie and Ken ticket is not going to redound to his benefit.

      He should pick a guy. Someone qualified and grounded, who can add a little bit of a common touch.

      With that sage advice, I go back to ignoring this election.

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