Stephen L. Carter in Bloomberg View on the faculty lounge Many have pointed out that Mitt Romney's pejorative use of Obama's experience in "the faculty lounge" doesn't make much sense given his own multiple Harvard degrees, but Carter, a Yale law professor, has his own issue with the insult. "At its best, the campus remains the world’s freest forum for the thoughtful and reflective exchange of ideas. The symbol of that exchange is the faculty lounge. To believe in the faculty lounge is to believe that ideas matter, that people can and often do respond to appeals not to their self-interest but to their reason." He describes cases of political correctness gone awry that make university faculty a convenient target, but says we should appreciate the values they espouse in our candidates anyway.
Joshua Green in The Boston Globe on the awkward private equity attack By emphasizing that private equity gives him job-creating credentials, Mitt Romney has opened himself to attacks on his record at Bain Capital. "Still, it's odd to see private equity suddenly elevated to a pivotal national issue," Green writes. "The reason why it's odd is that Obama has given no prior indication of being troubled by the industry's practices or made any obvious attempt to change them." This requires him to do an "awkward dance" in criticizing the industry, where his proposed rules that would affect it seek only to raise revenue, not change business practice. This is made more awkward because, "On the same day that his ad rolled out, Obama was attending a fundraiser in New York City — hosted by a prominent private equity executive."