Strange post-election analysis from Bloomberg News seems to take the theoretical position that we live in a world of signs unconnected to any underlying meaning (emphasis added):
Democrats, too, saw opportunities in Romney’s biography. They spent months and millions of dollars painting him as a corporate raider, happy to ship jobs overseas, and a wealthy man eager to favor his rich friends over a suffering middle class. They had some help from Republican presidential contenders, who had labeled Romney, the co-founder of Bain Capital LLP, a "vulture capitalist" during the primary campaign.
Those attacks, and the ads that contained them, outraged Romney, who complained frequently to advisers, donors and friends that Democrats were wildly misrepresenting his record. Still, his campaign struggled to effectively respond, and the caricature stuck.
Romney himself only reinforced that profile when he told voters in New Hampshire that he “liked to fire people,” NASCAR fans in Florida that he had a lot of friends who were team owners, and supporters in Michigan that his wife owned “a couple of Cadillacs.”
The video leaked from a spring fundraiser in Florida at which Romney uttered the 47 percent remark gave the Obama team the final boost they needed, with Romney’s own words solidifying the profile created by his rivals.
Uh, caricature, profile, painting, label: Romney was in reality all the negatives listed in the first paragraph. An effective campaign simply had to make people aware of it.