How Staples's Failures Will Hurt Mitt Romney

A consortium of private equity firms including Bain Capital is said to be in preliminary talks to take-private struggling office supplies retailer, Staples. Though an official announcement has not been made, an offer could be announced by the end of this year. What does this mean for Mitt Romney?

As the Obama campaign continues to portray Mitt Romney's role at Bain Capital in a negative light, Mitt Romney has always retaliated with a list of companies he helped become successful. In almost all of his speeches regarding the recovery of the economy, he mentions how Bain Capital invested in Staples, created jobs, and caused it to become what it is today.

Based on recent news which has come out about Staples, it doesn't make sense for Mitt Romney to keep touting Staples as one of his major successes as it continues on a downward spiral. Just last month, Staples cut its profit and sales expectations citing a weak retail market. Staples shares have fallen 25% in the last six months, as it continues to face competition from Amazon and other online retailers. Even more, it may be delisted from the stock market and placed into the hands of private equity firms, which may or may not be able to turn it around.

Granted, an informed voter would realize that Staples was once one of the most successful retailers, and Mitt Romney's involvement played a huge role in making that happen. However, as long as Mitt Romney keeps showcasing his involvement with Staples at every campaign event, most voters will naturally connect Staples to Mitt Romney. Soon they will ask themselves, "If Staples fails after Romney's involvement, will the American economy fail too?"

This psychological correlation, though not completely rational, is inevitable. How can someone claim success by aligning himself with something that is failing?

-Smit Purohit


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