Does Obama Have a Bain Problem? Eh, Maybe a Little

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Photo courtesy of USA Today/Jeff Zients

Even after President Barack Obama nailed Mitt Romney’s political coffin, he still can’t get away from the word Bain.

Last year, Obama and his team of political cohorts torched Romney for his association with Bain Capital. Because the country was still in the midst of an economic downturn, the Obama political machine figured that Romney’s love of private equity and hostile takeovers would lead to his undoing.

Plus, if anyone uses the word hostile and Republican in the same sentence, it was bound to catch on soon.

With Bain in his right pocket, and being the incumbent in his left, Obama beat the remaining color out of Romney’s hair. It went so bad for the former governor that Romney was seen pumping his own gas just days after his shellacking.

At any rate, many believed that Romney’s history at Bain was his downfall, and his inability to morph into a good candidate.

So color me, and many others, surprised when Obama named Jeff Zients as temporary head of the National Economic Council. If that name doesn’t ring a loud bell, and it will not for many, Zients is a former executive at Bain and Company, a management consulting firm.

He’s also been with Obama for a little while, and his original appointment as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget was just as shocking to some.

If that’s confusing, don’t worry, it’s confusing to the media as well.

Many blogs and sites are reporting that Zients worked at Bain Capital, which is factually wrong, but not entirely inaccurate.

Bain Capital will often hire Bain and Company to do the ground work on many companies they plan to buy and terminate, errr, I mean rebuild.

In addition, Bain Company and Bain Capital are housed in the same building, and previously, if not currently, hold veto power over Bain Capital’s investments.

What’s interesting, or maybe sad, about this is that the Obama machine claimed that Romney had a Bain mindset. If that’s the case, so does Zients.

It also speaks to Obama’s penchant for keeping men from corporate America beside him.

Zients will aid in shaping economic policy for the president, so take the news of his temp job, and history with Bain, lightly or strongly. Either way, a Bain man has his hands in America’s economic dough.

-JH

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