Mitt Romney officially kicks off his second bid for the White House today in New Hampshire, where he’ll go after Obama’s economic record and pitch himself as the guy with the business cred to turn the economy around. What better time to revisit Matt Taibbi’s profile of the man from 2007, early in Romney’s last (doomed) presidential run? To give you a flavor:
The perception of Romney as a successful businessman who has made a vast fortune is seductive enough that it works for most audiences on the Republican campaign trail, even if they don’t really understand how exactly he made all that money. But if Romney makes it through the nomination process to face the Democrats, they will be sure to turn his career into a referendum on modern business practices. In many ways, Romney is a symbol of modern capitalism, a turbopowered Wall Street dice-roller who made his fortune by coldbloodedly gambling on the successes and failures of the companies he bought and sold from afar. Romney’s “business” wasn’t turning labor into product, it was turning money into money — and more than a few of his investments were of the scorchedearth variety, buying up companies and cashing out within three to five years, often after closing factories or laying off workers to beef up the bottom line.