Thursday morning the Boston Globe published a story alleging that Mitt Romney worked at Bain Capital three years longer than
he has publicly claimed. The Obama campaign jumped on this with a conference call for reporters during which a senior campaign manager suggested Romney may be a felon.
Meanwhile, Fortune magazine revealed new documents which support Mitt Romney's contention that he was not an active part of the company after early 1999.
Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post's fact checker, noted that he has
already looked at the underlying issue and found nothing in the Globe
story that would shift his opinion. He also mentioned another source that supported Romney's claim: "Interestingly, 'The Real Romney,' a book on the former Massachusetts governor, by Boston Globe reporters,
states clearly that he left Bain when he went to run the Olympics and
details the turmoil that ensued when he suddenly quit, nearly breaking
up the partnership."
The Real Romney
devotes one chapter to the story of Romney's involvement with the 2002
Olympics. Romney's involvement with the Games began after an
embarrassing public scandal in which international executives received
gifts from organizers. Utah civic leaders decided the Games needed a
"turnaround artist" who could make sure things were being run properly
and above board.
The search quickly came down to two men, Mitt Romney
and Jon Huntsman Jr. Huntsman eventually dropped out and Romney seized
the opportunity, seeing it as a way to serve his state and also
transition himself from a successful business career to public service.
This paragraph describes Romney's rocky transition away from Bain:
His departure from Bain Capital, though, was not so neat. The
partners squabbled over how the firm would operate without him. A power
struggle ensued. Several partners made plans to leave. Suddenly, a
company that relied on loyalty, long-term relationships, and Romney’s
personal courtship of investors seemed to be at risk. And such a breakup
could be messy. A Bain meltdown might mean lawsuits with tens of
millions of dollars at stake. The potential existed for embarrassing
disclosures of how much money Romney had made on certain deals. “It
would have been a circus, and circuses over money are not good for
politicians,” one Romney associate said. Romney grew worried that the
company he had worked so hard to build would be destroyed. The anxiety
escalated until finally, one Sunday afternoon, Romney and one of his
fellow Mormons at Bain Capital, Bob Gay, knelt on the floor together and
prayed for its survival. “We were facing a crucial event that
threatened the very existence [of] our firm’s partnership,” Gay said
later. In the end, the crisis abated. Romney left the firm, retaining a
financial interest in it, and Bain Capital continued to thrive.
A couple pages later, having accepted the job, Romney is being
introduced to the public -- "on February 11, 1999." The Obama campaign is
hoping people don't care that this 1999 "departure" ever happened.