Five Best Wednesday Columns

Steve Rattner on Bain and jobs, Richard Grenell on gay Republicans, Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz on Iran talks, Holman W. Jenkins Jr. on Facebook's IPO, and Dana Milbank on banking regulations

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Steve Rattner in The New York Times on Romney's job record at Bain While Rattner supports President Obama, he writes that the campaign's attacks on Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital make him nervous. Still, Rattner argues that Romney's job as a private equity executive had nothing to do with job creation, as the candidate often claims. Obama's questions on this are "fair, particularly because Mr. Romney himself has been foolishly reweaving history to claim, as recently as last week, that he helped create 100,000 jobs during his time at Bain." Romney likes to count jobs created by companies Bain invested in even when they were added after Romney left. "Mr. Romney takes credit for every job ever created at every company Bain Capital invested in during his tenure — while ignoring jobs eliminated after his departure."

Richard Grenell in The Wall Street Journal on gay Republicans and the Romney campaign Grenell resigned as a national security spokesman for the Romney campaign after some conservatives took issue with his homosexuality and vocal support for same-sex marriage. His column addresses the incident and argues (predictably, given his former position on the campaign) for Romney's national security qualifications. "Like many voters, I rarely agree with a candidate's every position. I can support Mr. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies. I can be proud of President Obama's personal support for gay marriage and still take exception to his dismal national-security and economic records," he writes.

Reuel Marc Gerecht and Mark Dubowitz in The Washington Post on the Iran talks  Talks between Iran and Western diplomats begin Wednesday and their outcome will reveal much about the way forward. "President Obama and his Western European counterparts have adopted a strategy of quasi-regime change: They don't really intend to overturn Khamenei's dominion, but they want Tehran's power players to think they will. But given how advanced Iran's nuclear program is, the West's approach seems wildly underwhelming," the Iran specialists write. They list the concessions they fear the West will make, and the stark choice Israel will be left with if they do.

Holman W. Jenkins Jr. in The Wall Street Journal on Facebook's IPO Facebook and Morgan Stanley are perhaps lucky that NASDAQ had so many technical issues on Friday because it'll divert some of the blame for their disappointing first week, Jenkins writes. "[T]he rocky start to Facebook trading accurately foreshadows what was always going to be a stressful relationship between Mr. Zuckerberg and his public investors," Jenkins writes. Most assume Zuckerberg isn't anxious to answer to his investors, but Jenkins says he should appreciate their ability to evaluate a company's corporate strategy. "If he keeps the stock market happy by building a profitable company, nobody will be breathing down his neck."

Dana Milbank in The Washington Post on Republicans and banking regulations When JP Morgan announced it had lost billions on a bad trade, CEO Jamie Dimon predicted there would be louder calls for banking regulation. "But Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee wouldn't hear of it; they preferred to blame government." Milbank documents the way Senators attempted to blame regulators and used the occasion to declare that regulation had failed and should be done away with. He also lists the bank's contributions to various Congressional campaigns. "Republicans were more inclined to blame the Dodd-Frank law itself — tiptoeing past the awkward fact that it hasn't been in force."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.