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Odd Jobs for Romney's acceptance speech

September 1, 2012 - Mike Maneval
It's an odd enough example to be humorous when, while accepting the Republicans' 2012 nomination, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, cited Apple CEO Steve Jobs as an example of the hard work and perseverance of the American economic system, or at least, humorous until you consider how Jobs' death leaves him unable to respond.

It certainly is true that much about Jobs' career remains admirable, that between the risks he took and the hard work he exemplified he changed the course of world technology in profound and positive ways. What also is true is that Jobs, in his own lifetime, was far from being a conservative Republican. While alive, Jobs and his wife contributed about three-quarters of a million dollars to political campaigns, all Democratic, according to the Seattle Weekly. According to the conservative magazine American Thinker Jobs told Fox News titan Rupert Murdoch was aligning with "destructive forces" with the network's editorial slant and, Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson recounted, offered to design advertising for President Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign.

It may be just as difficult to label Jobs an ideologue of liberalism or progressivism - in a 2010 meeting with the president he expressed frustration with the limitations of the political system and endorsed reforms in education and regulatory oversight - and both movements of the modern left and modern right tried to claim him in the wake of his death, as noted by conservative website as they lampooned HBO host Bill Maher for predicting the conservatives would do so while doing so himself.

But, ironically, as Maher noted in October, 2011 soon after Jobs' death in laying out his argument Jobs was not a conservative, Jobs was "fired by corporate America ... thrown out ... (because) he didn't play the game," in Maher's words. His firing was exactly the life experience Romney Thursday singled out in praising Jobs, and exactly the sort of role in which Romney in his career as a venture-capital speculator specialized.


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