Remember when Mitt Romney piously explained to Newt Gingrich that of course his campaign wasn't coordinating with his supportive Super PAC because, why, that would be illegal? Take a look at this "new" ad from Restore Our Future, then watch the spot below it, courtesy of Romney's 2008 campaign. No coordination here, folks. No sir:
Well then. At least this juxtposition makes a complete mockery of what "good government" liberals wrought with their virtuous "campaign finance" crusade. If you hate Super PACs, you should really hate McCain-Feingold, a law that Lefties cheered as a great triumph when it passed. Now they're moaning about Karl Rove's dastardly outside group and its virtually bottomless pockets. Reap the unintended consequences, whiners. RomneyWorld may end up paying a fine for their, shall we say, less than subtle violation -- but it might be a small price to pay. As Allahpundit notes, in return for his allies' slap on the wrist, Romney receives a windfall of free media over the controversy, which will all but force the media to cover the ad's subject matter. Say what you will about Romney, this story itself is incredibly moving. It also happens to undermine the "heartless robot" image the former governor's detractors have crafted:
In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital, had disappeared. She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high on ecstasy. Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay's daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York, and asked them to help find his friend's missing daughter. Romney's accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper. Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could, prostitutes, drug addicts, anyone.
That day, their hunt made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl and the Bain employees searching for her. As a result, a teenage boy phoned in, asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney's former partner credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter's life, saying, "It was the most amazing thing, and I'll never forget this to the day I die." So, here's my epiphany: Mitt Romney simply can't help himself. He sees a problem, and his mind immediately sets to work solving it, sometimes consciously, and sometimes not-so-consciously. He doesn't do it for self-aggrandizement, or for personal gain. He does it because that's just how he's wired.
It's hard to stay indignant over an arcane election law infraction after reading that account, isn't it? Yup, which very well may be the point. Cunning move, evil Super PAC. Countdown to the Obama campaign howling about this move, only to "reluctantly" replicate it when the moment suits them in 3...2...1...
UPDATE - I accidentally embedded the same clip twice. Corrected. Once you watch both clips, you might understand why my mistake was an easy one to make.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography