Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mitt Romney the Bad Ass

National Review writer Jim Geraghty has a piece out today that focuses on 6 stories from Mitt Romney's past that he says he would highlight if he were running the campaign.  These tidbits about his history may surprise you or at least remind you of the truth of the man beyond Obama's attack ads.  The truth is, Mitt Romney is actually exciting and kind of a bad ass!

Read on to learn more, it will pump you up to fight for this man in November.
(Geraghty's headings are in bold, the words below them are mine)

Taking on epic mismanagement and incompetence in Massachusetts state government as governor

Geraghty highlights when Romney physically confronted the head of the Mass Turnpike Authority in the wake of the death of a motorist from a falling piece of concrete in a Big Dig tunnel.  Now, the Big Dig was a huge, decades long construction project to completely overhaul the highway system in Boston.  It was a boondoggle bloated with waste, incompetence, corrupt government contracts, delays, and safety issues.  I'm from Boston and I can tell you what a headache the Big Dig was and how cynically it was viewed at the time.  No one was particularly shocked that bad craftsmanship had led to a fatal disaster, many felt it was only a matter of time, but it was nice to see someone finally take on the corrupt MTA and hold them accountable.  As an article on the incident said, “Immediately, Romney became a commanding and reassuring presence.”  Finally, an adult took over to manage the out of control project! 

A focus on spending priorities that saved the Salt Lake City Olympics

Romney came in to manage an Olympic games that was almost $400 million in the hole.  He cut wasteful projects like a youth camp, wetlands restoration, and decorations.  He even charged the Olympic Committee for food and drinks to raise money.  The Olympic COO at the time recalled: “Every line item in the budget was classified as ‘must’ or ‘nice to have,’ ” Mr. Bullock said, and “nice to have” was chopped.

Giving away his inheritance

Geraghty quotes Romney saying, "I did get a check from my dad when he passed away. I shouldn’t say a check, but I did inherit some funds from my dad. But I turned and gave that away to charity. In this case I gave it to a school which Brigham Young University established in his honor."  Romney is a self-made man, it wasn't his father's money that made him successful.

Romney and his sons, heroic lifesavers

This one's a great story about Romney and his sons saving a family on a lake whose boat was quickly sinking.  Mitt Romney saves lives!!!  That's the story that he should be associated with, not the stupid dog one.

I'll get to this story a little later, but the quote from a man whose daughter Romney helped find when she went missing is particularly apropos and one to keep in mind when thinking about Romney, his character and how he'd be as a president:
So, here’s my epiphany: Mitt Romney simply can’t help himself. He sees a problem, and his mind immediately sets to work solving it, sometimes consciously, and sometimes not-so-consciously. He doesn’t do it for self-aggrandizement or for personal gain. He does it because that’s just how he’s wired.
Now contrast that with Obama ... nuff said.

A focus on helping others, reflected in lifelong generosity to charitable foundations   

Mitt Romney has given back at least $18 million to charity.  Obama always talks about the rich giving back and paying their fair share but he means that in the forms of taxes paying for more wasteful government programs.  Romney doesn't need the government to mandate he give back even more, he already does, by his own volition, with the power to choose what his money goes towards.  And private charities are better at doing things than the government.  They tend to be more localized, focused and can be held more accountable than a massive, faceless government bureaucracy.  Plus, if the charity is not doing what it is supposed to, people can choose not to give them their money.  I sure wish we could do that with the government!

Young Mitt Romney, barefoot street-brawling vigilante

This is a funny story about Romney running out barefoot in the snow to defend some female Mormon missionaries from a group of thugs while in France.  Bad ass!

One additional story that Geraghty does not include but needs to be told is the one I mentioned earlier about Romney helping to save a Bain partner's missing teenage daughter.  PolitiFact relates the story:
"In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital, had disappeared," the story reads. "She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high on ecstasy. Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay’s daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York and asked them to help find his friend’s missing daughter. Romney’s accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper. Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could – prostitutes, drug addicts – anyone."
The quote from Mr. Gay about Romney that I cited earlier deserves to be repeated: "He sees a problem, and his mind immediately sets to work solving it...He does it because that’s just how he’s wired."

I say these stories reveal Romney the Bad Ass.  He is often portrayed as a milquetoast, unapproachable, greedy businessman but these aspects of his history show him to be an exciting, smart, accomplished man with a heart for using his wealth and power to help others.

Mitt Romney is a businessman, a doer.  Barack Obama is a professor, a thinker.  Romney deals in the real world, he sees a problem and he fixes it.  Obama lives in Fantasyland, he sees a problem and he finds someone else to blame for it - or proposes a solution that makes things 10x worse yet still declares it a success.  

"He sees a problem, and his mind immediately sets to work solving it."  At a time of high unemployment, record deficits and debt, and an economy on the brink, this is the kind of mind our nation needs.  We need Mitt Romney as president.

1 comment:

Zilla said...

Excellent post, and you're right, these facts about Mitt Romney need to get out front and center to the American public!

The only thing I take issue with is the sentence where you say Obama is a thinker - he's not, all indicators point to an intellectually incurious man, he is just an empty vessel that his handlers put things in for him to regurgitate at the country and the world. That's why he does so poorly when he is off-script.