Willard Mitt Romney is an American Businessman and politician. He was born in Detroit Michigan but was formally raised in Bloomfield Hills. He went to Public schools up to middle school when he transferred to a Boys Preparatory School, Cranbrook. He was accepted to Stanford, however only stayed for one year. He then went to France to fulfill his LDS mission. Upon return from his mission he enrolled at BYU and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He was granted several deferments from military service because of schooling and his mission. He claimed to support the war, but like a lot of others of his generation/status made sure he never had to serve. His father wanted him to be an attorney but he wanted to be a businessman, so he enrolled in both Harvard School of Law and the school of Business. I don’t know about other people, but this would be an early indication to me of his inability to stand up for his principles, a trait that has become documented from the start of this and all of his political runs. Upon graduation, he went to work for a consulting firm but soon was lured away to work for an off-shoot of Bain & Company, Bain Capitol, a private equity firm. While he did extremely well financially with Bain Capitol, job creation was not at the top of his list. Private equity firms buy existing firms with money mostly borrowed against their assets. Romney partnered with existing management to apply the “Bain way” to their operations (rather than the hostile takeovers practiced in other leverage buyout scenarios), and then selling them off in a few years, not a formula to create new jobs.
In 1994 Romney challenged Ted Kennedy for his Senate seat. He also changed his political affiliation from Independent to Republican at this time, Mitt, no core, but political expediency as always.
In the general election, Kennedy faced the first serious re-election challenger of his career in the young, telegenic, and very well-funded Romney. Romney ran as a fresh face, as a successful entrepreneur who stated he had created ten thousand jobs, and as a Washington outsider with a strong family image and moderate stands on social issues.When Kennedy tried to tie Romney’s policies to those of Ronald Reagan or George H W Bush, Romney responded, “Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. I’m not trying to take us back to Reagan-Bush.”Romney stated: “Ultimately, this is a campaign about change.” Romney’s campaign was effective in portraying Kennedy as soft on crime, but had trouble establishing its own positions in a consistent manner.By mid-September 1994, polls showed the race to be approximately even.Kennedy responded with a series of attack ads, which focused both on Romney’s seemingly shifting political views on issues such as abortion and on the treatment of workers at the Ampad plant owned by Romney’s Bain Capital. The latter was effective in blunting Romney’s momentum. In November, Kennedy won the election with a 58 percent to 41 percent advantage. Romney returned to Bain Capital the day after the election, but still smarted from the loss, and told his brother, “I never want to run for something again unless I can win.” Sounds pretty petulant to me, but maybe that is just me.
In 1999 he joined the Olympic Committee as CEO and did turn the organization around.
In the 2002 Massachussetts Governor’s race Romney ran as a political outsider, saying he was “not a partisan Republican” but rather was a moderate with progressive views. Romney was sworn in as the 70th governor of Massachusetts on January 2, 2003 with a Democratic majority in both houses of the state legislature. He had some excellent achievements, however he also raised fees and taxes in Massachussets. He passed the country’s first Universal HealthCare bill that mandated coverage of all citizens. Romney sought additional cuts in his last year as Massachusetts governor by vetoing nearly 250 items in the state budget, but all of them were overridden by the Democratic-dominated legislature. It should be noted that the cuts in state spending he had previously passed put added pressure on local property taxes; the share of town and city revenues coming from property taxes rose from 49 percent to 53 percent. In 2005 he revealed a change in his stance on abortion from pro-choice to pro-life, a pretty strange change since he had indicated a personal experience in his family with a botched illegal abortion was his reason for support in the first place. His reason for change would soon become clear though when he announced he would not seek re-election as Governor but was putting his hat in the ring as a Republican candidate for President in 2008. Again, political expediency, this time at the expense of that family member, but hey she was already gone . Romney used the bully pulpit to promote his agenda, frequently staging well organized media events to appeal to the people of the state, rather than working with his legislature. Midway through his term, he decided to stage, a full-time run for President, making his announcement in December 2005. He spent part or most of 200 days of 2006 traveling around the country promoting himself for President. He predicted that the state of Massachusets would likely not elect another Republican for Governor, but I wonder if all that time spent out of state on his next pursuit had anything at all to do with Devall Patrick winning the Governors race easily. We all know he did not win the nomination in 2008. What would make him any more viable at this point is a mystery to me unless Republicans are just going to hold their noses and vote. But ole Mitt has actually been running for president since the day after the 2008 election. On April 11, 2011 he formally announced he would be a candidate for the 2012 primaries and hopefully the candidate of the Republican party in the general election. He wrote the appropriate rightwing book, “No Apology: The Case For American Greatness to further his creds with the republican base however his numbers have remained flat and he is going to be required to step up to convince that wing of the party. Actually during much of his career, he held no public political positions, probably too busy making all those millions.
On the issue of abortion, when Ted Kennedy accused him of being “multiple choice” Romney responded in part:
“On the accusation of being ‘multiple-choice’, I have to respond. I have my own beliefs, and those beliefs are very dear to me. One of them is that I do not impose my beliefs on other people. Many, many years ago, I had a dear, close family relative that was very close to me who passed away from an illegal abortion. It is since that time my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that, or being multiple-choice, thank you very much.”
I think a lot of people would question how that compares with his new stance: that Roe v. Wade should be overturned and the decision should be left to the states. But he is not wavering on his original stance, “thank you very much”.
This increased alignment with traditional conservatives on social issues(stem-cell research, abortion, gay marriage, abstinance only sex education) coincided with Romney’s becoming a candidate for the 2008 Republican nomination for President. In 2006 he joined the NRA and proceeded to try and convince people of his lifelong love of hunting.
In April 2007, he said, “I’ve been a hunter pretty much all my life,” but then acknowledged he had only gone hunting twice and did not own any guns, and later said, “I’m not a big-game hunter. I’ve made that very clear. I’ve always been a rodent and rabbit hunter. Small varmints, if you will. I began when I was 15 or so and I have hunted those kinds of varmints since then. More than two times. He sounds like a political version of Chevy Chase’s cousin Eddie.
From an article in Time dated March 2007 (in part)
“He is not above political manuevering and playing dirty either or using his religion to attack others. He muscled aside a vulnerable G.O.P. incumbent, acting Governor Jane Swift, after promising not to run against her; then he sideswiped Democrat Shannon O’Brien. After she accused him of trying to “mask a very conservative set of belief systems,” Romney called her “unbecoming,” leaving the impression that he considered it a none-too-veiled attack on his religion. He won, 50% to 45%, carrying many of the Democratic areas of the state.”
“There’s two ways to look at this guy. One is that the glass is half empty. The other is that the glass is totally empty,” says Stephen Crosby, a Republican who served in the Swift administration and is now dean of the graduate school of policy studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Romney’s ads and campaign speeches boast of engineering an economic turnaround. But Michael Widmer, president of the nonpartisan Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, points out that the state has lagged most others in job growth. And while Romney closed a $3 billion deficit without raising taxes, he did it in part by raising numerous fees, as well as shifting some of the burden by cutting aid to cities and municipalities.”
If you are interested in reading his “current” stances on the issues, here is a wiki document that gives some detail.
Of course, like Santorum he would probably put his finger in the wind and make changes to those “deep core” beliefs based on political expediency or perhaps to climb in the business world. If he can be so wishy washy in politics about his beliefs what would make him any different in the business world? As David Plouffe so aptly put it, “he has no core beliefs”. I certainly do not want a president with no core beliefs and the only belief I have seen him remain firm on is his religious belief which is not a measure for basing public policy. His father seemed to be a person that many could respect, seems the apple did fall far from the tree. Besides who wants Chris Christie as a VP?
In closing there is something Romney forgot or maybe no one called him on this promise. It is not important in the scheme of things, however it does reinforce his inability to take a firm stand:
In October 2011, Romney told the Las Vegas Sun that he had not yet taken a serious look at the issue of legalizing online poker, but that he would do so and state a position “[b]efore the caucuses come along”.
Hey Mitt, we are still waiting.
Next Up, Ron Paul. Don’t know if I have the stamina for that one but will give it the old college try.