On paper, a president with Barack Obama’s record has no shot at re-election. The Democrats, knowing that Obama’s record is indefensible, decided that their only viable strategy is one of distraction. Every day, they have to come up with something to distract voters from Obama’s record. Michelle Malkin called it the Squirrel Strategy–”look, over there–a squirrel!”
Today’s squirrel is a decades-old divorce in which Mitt Romney was deposed. At issue was the value of shares of stock in Staples, Inc.; the husband in the divorce, Tom Stemberg, was one of the company’s founders. Staples opened its first store in 1986 and Romney testified in 1988 [Rather, 1991--see Update below], so the company was close to being a startup. It appears that the company went public in 1990, at which time its shares were valued at around 75 cents. Since then, due no doubt to the hard work of Stemberg and many others, the company has become a great deal more valuable. Stemberg’s ex-wife is bitter that she didn’t get to share in the riches that her ex-husband’s labors produced subsequent to their divorce.
The issue in the divorce case would have been the value of the Staples stock at that time, not what it might become many years hence. So it would be appropriate to tell the former Mrs. Stemberg, “You didn’t build that.” In any case, what this has to do with this year’s presidential race is anyone’s guess–which hasn’t stopped the media formerly known as mainstream from breathlessly following the antics of Gloria Allred.
Meanwhile, there is a great deal of real news if the press would choose to cover it. It was reported today that Iran has reached a milestone in its effort to produce nuclear weapons:
Iran appears to have nearly finished installing centrifuges at its underground nuclear plant, Western diplomats say, potentially boosting its capacity to make weapons-grade uranium if it chose to do so.
In other news, additional evidence emerged that Barack Obama knew all along that the Benghazi attack was planned and executed by terrorists, rather than being a spontaneous mob action–even as Obama, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Jay Carney told the American people over a period of weeks that our ambassador was murdered by a mob that was angry about a YouTube video. The administration, cornered, has clammed up. Yesterday Obama’s spokesman “decline[d] to comment” on when Obama learned about the emails that were sent to the White House while the Benghazi attack was in progress, and on when he first met with his National Security Council following the attack. Of course they declined to comment! Don’t you know there’s a campaign on?
None of this is of great interest to the press. ABC, for one, has almost completely failed to mention the Benghazi emails. But don’t worry: they, and pretty much every other news outlet, will chase energetically after tomorrow’s squirrel.
UPDATE: The facts relating to the Stemberg divorce are even worse than stated above. Contrary to earlier reports, Romney testified in 1991, when Mrs. Stemberg was trying to overturn the divorce settlement she entered into several years earlier. Essentially, she complained that she sold some of the Staples stock she received pursuant to the divorce settlement too soon. Her position was pathetic, as the court found after an astonishing 50 days of trial. There is nothing in these proceedings that reflects badly on Romney in any way.