What's He Hiding?

In a response unusual for candidates seeking the presidency, Mitt Romney said he wouldn’t be releasing his tax returns.  This immediately drew fire from the Obama Campaign, that pointed out even Romney’s father had released his returns when running for President in 1968.  It’s true to say that Presidential candidates have made it a standard practice to release their tax returns, and this certainly does raise some eyebrows.  Candidates release this information routinely, but the fact that Romney doesn’t wish to do so is sure to draw some negative attention.  This will surely become an issue on which the  Obama Campaign will pounce if Romney gets the GOP nomination, but Romney may be calculating that whatever is in it will hurt him more in the primaries than in the general election.

This is one of the real problems with Mitt Romney, and it’s been demonstrated in other actions over the years:  The Romney camp has a tendency to keep too many secrets, or at least give the appearance that he’s doing so.  Recently, it was revealed that back when he was the outgoing governor of  the state of Massachusetts, he expended nearly $100,000 of state funds in an unusual move of replacing hard-drives on office computers in order to destroy the information contained on those drives.  While they were cleaning up information, the Romney camp also deleted emails from state servers.  Once again, it prompts the question: “Why?”

The answer may be as simple as wanting to avoid a spectacle as ridiculous as the one Sarah Palin endured earlier this year when a pile of more than 24,000 pages of emails were released to the press, and journalists along with the public scoured them for weeks looking for any evidence of wrongdoing.  They found none, but who’s to say that would have been the case with Romney?  Now, it appears we’ll never know. They could have revealed a hard-working governor as had been the case with Palin, or they might of held something rather less positive.

It’s hard to understand why candidates for high office don’t understand that they’re better off releasing information than to keep it from the public’s eyes.  They nearly always get worse press out of the non-disclosure, and when things do make their way inevitably to the press, it always ends up looking as though the non-disclosures had been cover-ups.  Why Romney would decline to release his tax returns is mystifying, since this has been common practice for those seeking the Presidency, but what it definitely demonstrates is that Romney continues to avoid releasing information that might be used against him.  There will be those who consider this smart politics, but it’s also dangerous because of the impression it creates in the eyes of many voters.

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