Bullygate: Mitt's Chronic Failure to Define Himself

By R.B. Scott

Boston, MA - One reason to write an autobiography (Mitt Romney has written two and could have cooperated, but chose not to, on two independent but reasonably friendly biographies) is to get stuff like the bullying/haircut incident out on the table and fully explained candidly, self effacingly e.g.: "I did some really dumb things in high school. The worst was gang tackling a kid, who was a bit of an oddball, and cutting off his long hair. I have felt guilty about the incident ever since. I would personally apologize to him for that attack, but I can't because, sadly, he passed away a few years ago."

Obama's autobiographies -- especially 'Dreams From My Father"-- are decent examples of what to do. Such efforts give the candidate more control over the message and how he is defined in the media.

In 1994, Ted Kennedy and team defined Mitt; in 2008 John McCain and Mike Huckabee did too; in 2012 Newt Gingrich, Donald Trump, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry had him going again. And, we see it continuing.

No doubt the "Washington Post" report on bullying was the result of equal parts good reporting and good "planting." That's part of the political process. The problem here for Romney is that he did not tell this story. He should have and could outed this story years and years ago.

There's a certain self-righteous arrogance attached to gripes that this kind of accurate reporting is dirty pull politics, or lame assertions that the media are in bed with President Obama. What we see in the bullying incident is evidence of a poorly run campaign directed by people unwilling to demand that that their candidate come clean about everything.

The pattern of short-sightedness from Team Romney is chronic, easyto see, and very unfortunate.