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.
Nice post, Sue. Considering the fact he’s got Romneycare on his resume, I’m really surprised he is still the front runner. Or, maybe conservatives were just against it because it was Obama pushing it. Even though he’s got no “core” of anything, except personal ambition, I’d still take him over the fanatics who want to install a religious state and don’t believe in science. Left to his own devices, he still seems rational enough to understand that our fossil fuel smog has something to do with climate change. He’s such a milquetoast character I really don’t see how he can beat Obama. I’d call him the GOPers candidate of desperation.
They know he has no backbone and can be manipulated. He will do anything to sit in the Oval Office. The RR/Dominionists are busy trying to find a way to dump him though.
Nice job, Sue. It’s increasingly difficult to differentiate GOP candidates. They all will say anything at anytime to anyone. They all hope their voters will forget what they don’t like and remember what they do like about the various stances they’ve taken. Bachmann seems to be real but crazy so she doesn’t matter. Perry’s only qualification is being a cowboy for those who haven’t tired of that style. But the others, while their styles are different have all touched the same ground. That ground is ME, ME, ME. I Want It. I Want the Power. I will say anything, anywhere, anytime. Small varmints indeed!
Good synopsis on them. I have such a hard time understanding how people could be so blind to the truth. It is so far out of my realm of understanding. And there is no, absolutely no shame in being confronted with their lies. Oh well, let’s not talk about the past……..how would they respond if a convicted killer said that to them?
Sue, I share that frustration of blindness. I only understand it because of FOX News, a very visible display of stupidity. It’s about winning against cultural issues that keeps them fighting for stupid. It’s infuriating and embarrassing.
I truly understand that. Fox just perpetrates the ignorance
I keep trying to tell people, he’s an android!
A synthetic life form with his own created back story.
His primary objective is to be elected president of the Unites States
But he escaped his creators before they could install programs
For empathy and human interaction.
That is a pretty good story. Where he becomes scary is his total inability to take a stand. The right will run him over and we would be looking up in 4 years with no progress, but rather of the backward type.
This is another example of their behind the scenes treachery
These are all dominionists.
I can’t fault anybody for wanting to get out of going to Vietnam, but I have a big problem with those who supported the war and then did whatever they could to get out of serving. That’s the worst hypocrisy I can readily imagine.
Same here KT. I did not support the war in fact I was accused by the principal of our HS as being subversive because of a paper I wrote in my junior year against the war. He probably would never have known if it had not won 2nd place in a state competition. I was also dating the one guy who was cute with long hair and a van as well. Sure signs in 1970 he was a subversive hippy. Hell even my parents were not bothered by either of those things. Being against the war and not serving is one thing, being for the war and doing everything you can to get out of serving is chickenshit.
The poor and middle class always have to fight the rich men’s wars. Yes, today there is an all volunteer army, but many young people have to go, or feel they do, because of economic conditions.
Romney is the ultimate rich white man, in appearance and political ideology. His lies about Obama are being revealed, more and more, as lies. Only the most ill-informed or uniformed will buy into his bullshit.
We really have to stress to young people the extreme importance of getting out to vote and vote on an informed basis.
I agree KT. Nothing makes my blood boil like some smarmy collegiate bragging how he is making money while the poor fight his wars. I also start a slow burn when it is classified as “fighting for my liberty and freedom”. My freedom to make sure the “corporate war machine” is fed? Bullshit. And to think I got shit for not believing there were WMD’s or Iraq was involved in 9/11.
Sue, there is a good movie with Matt Damon called, “The Green Zone,” about our government (bush/cheney) trying to cover up their “invented,” intel about WMDs in Iraq. It’s worth a look see. The characters are fictional, but the film is based on facts.
We did see that movie. I am not a real big war movie fan but I will watch some, like Audie Murphy and the Boys in Company C. One serious and the other semi-serious
Sue, I liked it not so much as a “war,” movie, but one in which the truth of such a massive misdeed is revealed. The scope of evil that resulted from those lies about WMD is difficult to imagine in it’s totality.
There may be a special place in hell for “chickenhawks” as the late Chicago columnist, Mike Royko named them. I knew a LOT of those guys – got some deferment but hated the anti-war protesters, sneered at Conscientious Objectors, and pumped the war as a good thing – just not for them. One told me that he was “too good” to be cannon fodder. His exact words to me – that came on the heels of the death of a medical student, a Captain, who died in action. I have real problems seeing how the Captain “deserved” to die but my acquaintance did not. Vile and despicable – they are the Cheneys who had “other priorities” as if everyone who served and died or was maimed did not?
Only Perry was in the military during Viet Nam, and he never was in harm’s way as a pilot of the “garbage collectors”, the planes that shuttled supplies. Nothing wrong with that – but don’t pretend you’re a war hero either. And do NOT send other young men and women into the path of a danger you never faced.
I could not have said it better. It took me years to get over the Vietnam era. I guess it was my first awareness that our government lied to us. I was in my teens and early twenties for the mid to end of the war but I lived in a very liberal city. Lots of students from Berkeley had moved there or were living there and I learned at their feet. I babysat for a couple who went to see a mid-eastern philosopher every week for transcendental meditation. They also were involved in the SDS. I spent a lot of time at their home. i learned a lot from them and others who were like-minded.
Sue, I don’t think we’re over Vietnam. The cons are trying to make Occupiers hippy love chldren, druggies. 68 Their anger hasn’t changed and their capacity for revenge is relentless.
I hear you though on how hard it was. I was in Chicago, ’68. Flower children. Not really adults
Chicago must have been interesting, I know Berkeley and SF were. We used to travel all over the bay area without incidence even when there were protests. I know some got nasty but none that I observed
Choice, Chickenhawks is a great word. Get ready for Iran because it sounds like their pecking again. Despicable doesn’t ever go far away. Protecting greed through fear is the worst motivator I know.
Sue – thank you for showing both the hypocrisy of this man AND his rightward, well, not drift but full-tilt sprint, to appease religious conservatives.
NPR had an interesting discussion yesterday on Dominionism and its goals to command the “Seven Mountains” of society. Mitt is falling in line even though his faith, Church of the Latter Day Saints, is officially OUT of the Dominionist camp. In, out, up, down – what difference if everyone agrees on the core “principles” of world domination? Mitt signed the compact to investigate any and all people and institutions that support marriage equality. Well, that would be me and mine.
Vancouver’s lovely this time of year I understand…
I don’t care if he once was more open minded (one might equate it to a wind tunnel) if today he is hard core rightwing. All that matters is where he is now. And he’s about at the same spot as Bachmann, Perry, and Santorum. So I’m not fooled by his vacillations – he is always where he needs to be to win. And this time he’s tied his fortunes to the most extremist religious conservatism possible. And that makes him deadly dangerous.
PS – if you can stomach Paul, please do. I met a cranky progressive this weekend who thinks he’s liberal on abortion rights.
Progressives can be JUST as stupid as the Right. We need you here!
I am going to do so, I am going to issue the articles according to how they come out of Iowa. Not that Iowans are that astute but it will give us an idea of the top three. As i was finishing these, Paul was in the top three but I saw where Bachman has 20% as of yesterday but I think it was religious standing/long term unwavering beliefs. Iowans vote on their religious beliefs. I have reviewed Ron Paul and I think he will be the longest and most difficult to cover. I promised so I will follow through
What amazes me is that apparently Iowa has gotten an additional 30,000 GOP registrations recently. I hope this means they have their own fifth column, and that not all of them are “real” Republicans! What in the world does anyone in Iowa get from these people except RELIGIOUS zealotry?
Investigate the CCC for what? To see if you all are subservise in planning a takeover of the 7 Mountains for gay people? Or perhaps you all want to move this country to gayocratic religious system? Or maybe you all want to take away my civil rights? Oh gosh I believe I am on to something here. That is why you all meet in such open surroundings to confuse the people who think you are subversive. You fool them by being subversive right out in the open. (smack) upside my head, I think I have figured out your sinister plot!
Oh no! Caught! We’re open and honest about our values and policies to cover up our values and policies! And here I thought we had you fooled.
Well – you’re too smart for me!
Yup – apparently anyone who advocates for marriage equality and generally for LGBT equality will be investigated. They have ALL signed the pledge.
Any of them wins the White House – I’m outta here. I do not welcome another McCarthyism. Peter King is bad enough – this will make it a full court press.
America. Brave New World.
Sue, that was a good piece on Mitt. He does things that will help himself to advance in this world, but nothing to help others. My son lived in Mass. when he was Gov. and said he was the worst he had ever seen. I for one do not trust people who are big business and will layoff workers to make their company more profitable. I prefer companies that have a social conscience like Ben and Jerry’s . When a company gets too big I believe it should be broken into smaller pieces like AT&T was back in the 80s. Most of the baby bells are now bigger than AT&T was back then.
I worked for New England Tel&Tel which was a part of AT&T. When the breakup came we were part of NYNEX then Bell Atlantic then Verizon.
Verizon is now bigger than AT&T was and should be broken up. These companies that are too big to fail should all be broken into smaller companies.
Mitt is one of those folks that will let people (workers) go to take money for himself. Greed is the problem today.
I don’t think there is a Republican candidate who is worthy of being President. But that is just my opinion and I don’t apologize for my opinions.
Good piece on Mitt thanks for writing it.