Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Campaign 2012: We Review Mitt Romney

Today, my fabulous readers, we shall scrutinize Mitt Romney
and his campaign for President. The one-time governor of
Massachusetts tried for the Republican presidential nomi-
nation in 2008, and is back for a second try for the GOP
nod. Let's see what Gov. Romney has to offer, shall we?


Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947 in Detroit,
Michigan. His father was former Michigan Governor and
Republican presidential candidate George Romney, who
ran in 1968 but was defeated by eventual GOP nominee
and president Richard Nixon. Romney was raised in
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and is a practicing member
of the Mormon faith (member of The Church of Latter
-Day Saints), as were the previous five generation of
Romneys. After attending the prestigious Cranbrook
School, Romney received his undergraduate degree
from Brigham Young University in 1971, followed
by obtaining both his law degree and his M.B.A. from
Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School,
respectively, in 1975.

Mitt Romney married Ann Davies in 1969, and have
five sons: Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, and Craig. Romney
began his career in business, working for the manage-
ment consulting firm of Bain and Company before founding
the investment firm of Bain Capital in 1984. In 1994, he
ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts but was de-
feated by longtime incumbent Edward "Ted" Kennedy
after a poor showing in a debate between the two
candidates. In 1999, Romney became president of the
Salt Lake Organizing Committee to lead the preparation
for the 2002 Winter Olympics to be hosted there.
He reversed the financial and ethical ills plaguing the
Olympics and led a successful olympiad that year. He
would subsequently write a book about the experience
titled Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic

The following year Romney was elected governor of
Massachusetts. In his term as governor he oversaw the
shrinkage of a $3 billion budget deficit, but he also
signed into law "Romneycare", a health care program in
which he was instrumental in creating to provide almost
universal health coverage for Massachusetts residents ---
very similar to Obamacare in scope and substance.

After serving one term, he announced his candidacy for
the presidency. After making it through Super Tuesday,
winning primaries in Massachusetts, Minnesota, Alaska,
Colorado and Utah, he closed out his campaign just
before the Wisconsin primary after eventual GOP
nominee John McCain surged ahead of Romney and the
rest of the Republican field. Romney spent $110 million
to fund his unsuccessful presidential campaign, including
$45 million of his own money. He retained his political
staff and PACs, and spent the next few years raising funds
for fellow Republican candidates' campaigns for various
public offices. In March 2010 Romney published a book
titled No Apology: The Case for American Greatness.

Mitt Romney announced his 2012 presidential campaign
at a farm in New Hampshire on June 2, 2011. Since
then Romney has taken the standard Republican positions
on taxes, the economy, and the war on terror. However,
Romney's critics charged him with changing his positions
on abortion and some other hot button issues, including
opposing President Obama's health care reform program
even though his own plan in Massachusetts bears many


Mitt Romney has a solid background in business, including
successfully turning around a foundering Olympics organ-
izing committee and founding a successful investment firm.
Having grown up in a political family and having had some
exposure to presidential campaigning and accompanying
politics, Romney also has solid grounding in that realm
which is serving as a guide for knowing how to effectively
run a presidential campaign.  Romney brings a businessman's
sense of what needs to be done to rein in a runaway budget
and deficit, coupled with a political savvy for how to get it


His changing stances on some critical issues have dogged
him throughout the campaign so far. On abortion, Romney
stated that he would welcome overturning Roe vs. Wade,
which made legal abortion the law of the land nearly
forty years ago. However, he also claimed to be in the
"legal but rare" camp on the subject as recently as 2007.
Romney also said that he opposes Roe, but would not
alter any abortion laws. He never made it clear when,
if at all, he had switched from being pro-choice to pro-life
on abortion so that we could place his stances and remarks
on the issue on a timeline.

On the budget, Romney has stressed that some budget
cuts must be made, and the more the better. He stated
that not only should waste be cut, but spending be cut
too. On the other hand, Romney said that we must not
ask "what can we cut" but "what should we keep".
Most curious. Does Gov. Romney mean that we must
prioritize what programs we should maintain, regardless
of its possibly enlarging the budget deficit, and simply
tinker around the edges with small, almost inconsequential
cuts, or should we make the objective be cutting
spending with the aim of making the cuts be shared
across the board in order to seriously address our chronic
spending and subsequent creation of further red ink?
Many conservatives in the GOP are confused as to what
Romney's intentions here on these issues are, and also
on the issue of gay people serving openly in our military;
Romney was reported as being in favor of homosexuals
serving openly in our armed forces according to GovWatch,
a government monitoring organization which observes
the stands and votes that elected officials take on a range
of important issues in a 1994 finding. In recent years,
coinciding with his presidential aspirations, Romney
has defended "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", the law which
made the military back off from asking servicepeople
about their sexual orientation but gives no protection
to them if they wish to openly declare that they are
gay or anything other than heterosexual. There are
supposedly some other issues where Romney has been
less than clear in this way that I have described.


Because of his business and law background, Mitt
Romney makes a knowledgeable and skillful pres-
idential candidate. But his position changes on some
issues that are very critical to conservatives in the
Republican Party make Romney look like he is
vacillating. Also, Romney has too many beltway
insiders in the GOP saying complimentary things
about him, especially in light of Romney's criticism
of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI)  plan for cutting
the budget with Medicare cost containment,
calling it "radical". This has not endeared him to
the Tea Party activists nor other grassroots conser-
vatives, the very people that Romney will need if
he is to have any chance of getting the Republican

Finally, Romney has the ghost of his Romneycare
health coverage program from his days as governor
in Massachusetts hanging around. This does not inspire
confidence in conservatives looking for a candidate who
will get rid of Obamacare, let alone appreciably shrink
the federal government. Although Romney has some
pluses that should be noted, he also has some warning
bells ringing as well. Is Romney a warrior for government
reduction in scope and in cost? Or is he an establishment
lackey, trying to convince conservatives that he is on
their side while cozying up to the beltway smoothies?
Hopefully we won't have to elect him to see what his
intentions are and where his loyalties lie.


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