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July 24th, 2012 7:04 pm
An Answer to the Transparency Question

Victor Davis Hanson makes a modest proposal:

So how much do we wish to detour from the issues to know about the background of either candidate Romney or incumbent Obama? Some sort of compromise seems in order. If transparency is really what the public demands, and if these issues distract attention from a necessary debate over the economy, then in bipartisan fashion let us now demand full disclosure from both candidates: ten years of income tax returns from each, full and complete access for journalists to all known medical records of each, and complete release of all undergraduate and graduate grades, test scores, and other records.

Romney may not wish to release a decade’s worth of careful tax planning and investment that might reveal him to be more concerned about making money and keeping most of it than about outsourcing or foreign bank accounts. Obama may likewise be embarrassed over a prior undisclosed ailment, or a relatively unimpressive Occidental or Columbia record that would belie his media reputation as the “smartest” man ever to serve as president in the nation’s history. Perhaps for much of August we might hear that Romney had a gargantuan Swiss bank account, or more bankers in the Caribbean than we had surmised. Maybe Obama smoked more marijuana than he has admitted to or received lots of Cs and even some Ds in International Relations — grades that would make it almost impossible for most students to get into Harvard Law School.

I predict that if they do release their records, each man reinforces the central objection to his candidacy: Mitt gets hit for his money; Obama for his record.

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