Democrats Say Romney “Out of Touch” with Middle-class and Minorities - Here’s Why That Line Won’t Work

Photo credit: Austen Hufford/ Daily Michigan

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee, the Democrats are seeking to damage Romney by portraying him as someone who is “out of touch” with the concerns and difficulties of the middle-class and minorities. Democrats are making the spurious argument that due to Romney’s wealth, he doesn’t understand the struggles of the “common man/woman.” Allow me to provide a few reasons why Romney is not out of touch with everyday Americans and will easily overcome this line of attack.

1) Romney’s Company was voted “Best Employer” in the Nation this Year – Romney founded a company called Bain Capital which was awarded the honor of “BEST EMPLOYER IN THE NATION” according to employee surveys done by a large and reputable website called Glassdoor. Bain Capital even beat other popular companies such as FaceBook and Google. Romney’s company has been in the top 4 every year Glassdoor has run the survey. If Romney can’t relate to the middle class or the average American, why is the company he founded doing so well with its employees who are mostly middle class? Romney was instrumental in establishing the culture within the company that so many of his employees enjoy. Romney’s company provides a powerful example of how “in touch” he is with the average American.

2) Romney Understands the Discrimination and Bigotry Often Felt by Minorities – As a member of a religious minority, Romney has experienced first hand discrimination and bigotry. Due to Romney’s Mormon faith, Romney understands quite acutely the injustices and pain caused by judgements against him simply because of his religion. While I don’t pretend to know whether Romney’s membership in a religious minority will help or hurt him in the election, it is just plain wrong for Democrats to say that Romney doesn’t understand the bigotry and discrimination of minorities. 

3) Romney’s Health Care Law in Massachusetts – President Obama’s biggest domestic achievement has been the passage of Obamacare. But if Obamacare represents how “in touch” Obama is with average Americans, then how can Obama claim that Romney is “out of touch” when Obama got his inspiration for Obamacare from Gov. Romney’s health care law in Massachusetts? I cannot count how many Obama surrogates, including Obama himself, have tried to damage Romney’s reputation among conservatives by “thanking” him for the model they used to create Obamacare. So, to the extent that Obamacare represents the type of policy that exemplifies Obama’s connection with average Americans, Romney should easily gain the upper hand.

4) Romney’s volunteer work as lay minister for his church in Boston – During his time as a lay minister for his church, which totals over 20 years of service, Romney spent much of his time meeting with and counseling members of the congregation who were struggling in one way or another. Recently, an article from the LA Times reviewed Romney’s church service over the years and said:

“Romney’s friends and family say his instincts are rooted in his Mormon faith and sharpened over his years as a lay leader in the church. For years, Romney’s church work amounted to a half-time job, as he counseled members of his congregation who were dealing with marital problems, substance abuse and financial difficulties related to lost jobs or health issues.

Often Romney would sit down with a pad and help a couple scratch out their budget — urging them to differentiate between wants and needs. In a privileged life, those experiences had a lasting effect.

“It allowed him to see so many different people and so many different problems that people are facing — to really have empathy for people who are struggling, and to recognize that almost everybody in every walk of life has one sort or another of struggle,” his son Josh said in an interview. “There are so many people out there in need of help or support — he learned a lot of that through those experiences.”

Romney listened and counseled with those members of the congregation for over two decades as they dealt with the typical struggles of the average American. That kind of extensive volunteer work sets Romney apart as a man who does indeed understand the average American

5) Romney’s wife with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – Nothing is more trying to a person’s life than to have a spouse or loved one diagnosed with a debilitating and incurable disease. Romney’s wife of over 40 years has MS and has been treated for breast cancer. Both Mitt and Anne have said publicly many times that one of the most difficult times in their lives was when Anne was diagnosed with MS. For a time, Mrs. Romney was unable to move about the house or even get out of bed due to her MS. Many Americans and their families who are also struggling with intractable health problems would find a very sympathetic ear from Mitt Romney. 

6) Romney’s handling of victims from Hurricane Katrina – The LA Times discusses a powerful example of Romney’s compassion that occured during Romney’s time as Governor of Massachusetts:

The Rev. Jeffrey Brown, who heads a faith-based gang intervention group in Roxbury, Mass., and spoke frequently to Romney during his governorship, saw two facets of the man — the executive and the spiritual counselor — come together after Hurricane Katrina when the Massachusetts Legislature provided shelter on Cape Cod for evacuees. Romney wanted members of the black clergy to attend to the arrivals — because he said some would rather talk to pastors than mental health professionals — and asked Brown to lead the effort.

Romney arrived a few days later, telling Brown he wanted to hear the stories directly from the victims, many of whom were from New Orleans’ hard-hit Lower 9th Ward.

“He wanted to make sure that their needs were being met,” Brown said. “He brought 50 state agencies down there, and everybody’s needs were attended to. I’m talking about people who left their houses in such a rush that they forgot their teeth. He had dentists down there to get them their dentures.… He was on it.”

But Brown was most surprised watching Romney interact with victims — praying with them, sitting with them on park benches asking about their families, scooping up children and asking for hugs.

“He was pastoral,” Brown said. “He was that person with those people.”

Romney’s connection with average Americans was exemplified by his compassion to the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina.

In Conclusion, What about JFK? With all the focus Democrats place on Romney’s wealth, what is left out is that JFK, one of the Democrats most beloved presidents, was just as wealthy as Romney, if not more so. In fact, JFK came from one of the richest families in America and then married a woman who was an oil heiress who also had great wealth of her own. Despite JFK’s wealth, JFK was still able to connect with minorities by famously calling federal marshals to allow Blacks to attend the University of Alabama in 1962. Even though JFK was assassinated in 1963, his presidency was instrumental in developing and passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

One very important difference between Romney and JFK, however, is that almost all of JFK’s income and property came from a trust fund created by his rich father and then shared with other family members. Romney, on the other hand, created his wealth for himself through hard work by founding a successful company. Romney did not inherit his fortune from his father.

Hey, Obama! Extraordinary Stories of Compassion “HUMANIZE” Romney

Pizza with ‘Papa’… Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney watches the Republican National Convention while playing with a few of his grandchildren from his hotel room on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012 in Tampa, FL. (Photo – Evan Vucci/AP)

Heh.

If you’re sick of hearing leftists’ manipulative meme “Mitt Romney is cold and calculating; he needs to HUMANIZE himself” it was eviscerated at last night’s GOP National Convention:

Townhall’s Guy Benson states my case:

If Barack Obama and David Axelrod had their druthers, every American voter would have a certain impression of Mitt Romney: An exceedingly wealthy, secretive, greedy robber baron, using his substantial means to identify and exploit small businesses — sucking them dry of capital, bankrupting them, and laying off all the hard-working employees, leaving a trail of human misery and destruction in his wake. After distributing those pink slips, he cackles and rubs his hands together while depositing his obscene profits into his off-shore bank account somewhere, then it’s on to the next victim. This is the cartoon liberals have painted of Romney, spending tens of millions of dollars on negative ads. It’s mean-spirited fantasy. Yes, Mitt Romney built an exceptional private sector career. Americans tend to celebrate that sort of thing. But he’s also a faithful, honorable, compassionate family man whose generosity and kindness hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention, at least until last night.

Three speeches during the closing session of the Republican National Convention shed light on the private deeds and values of the party’s nominee for president. I’d bet that the Romney’s weren’t thrilled by the prospect of airing their private (squeaky-clean) laundry for all the world to see because bragging about doing the right thing feels unseemly. But given the assault on Mitt Romney’s character and the consequential nature of the election, they relented and decided to allow others to sketch out those elements of Mitt’s life on his behalf. Kate touched on one of these speeches earlier. I cannot possibly share these vignettes any better than the speakers themselves. The hall was silent, and few eyes remained dry during these extraordinary testimonials.

Before we look at the videos, Byron York (Chief Political Correspondent for The Examiner) weighs in with an article titled “The most extraordinary story of the GOP convention“:

The portion of the program devoted to Romney’s religious service was enough to leave many viewers in tears — and with a higher opinion of Romney than they had before.

In particular, the program featured Ted and Pat Oparowski, a couple who lived in Medford, Massachusetts in the 1970s. They knew Romney from church, and when their 14 year-old son David was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease in 1979, Romney visited the boy regularly. “They developed a loving friendship,” Pat Oparowski said, recounting the many times Romney came to see her and her son.

David Oparowski’s cancer was terminal. During one visit, Mrs. Oparowski recalled, “David, knowing Mitt had gone to law school at Harvard, asked Mitt if he would help him write a will. He had some prize possessions that he wanted to make sure were given to his closest friends and family. The next time Mitt went to the hospital, he was equipped with his yellow legal pad and pen. Together, they made David’s will. That is a task that no child should ever have to do. But it gave David peace of mind. So after David’s death, we were able to give his skateboard, his model rockets, and his fishing gear to his best friends. He also made it clear that his brother Peter should get his Ruger .22 rifle. How many men do you know who would take the time out of their busy lives to visit a terminally ill 14 year old and help him settle his affairs?”

“David also helped us plan his funeral,” Pat Oparowski continued. “He wanted to be buried in his Boy Scout uniform. He wanted Mitt to pronounce his eulogy, and Mitt was there to honor that request. We will be ever grateful to Mitt for his love and concern.”

It was an extraordinary story, seldom mentioned in the press, and it left many in the hall in tears. “You cannot measure a man’s character based on the words he utters before adoring crowds during times that are happy,” said Ted Oparowski. “The true measure of a man is revealed in his actions during times of trouble — the quiet hospital room of a dying boy, with no cameras and no reporters.”

Ted and Pat Oparowski:

Pam Finlayson:

Guy Benson concludes:

My eyes welled up again just posting these videos. I couldn’t help by feel pangs of profound compassion for these families, and genuine gladness that a man as fine as Mitt Romney was active in their lives to comfort and help them during their struggles. Where is the monstrous, avaricious, uncaring money robot we’re always warned about in these anecdotes? He’s nowhere to be found because he doesn’t exist.

Grant Bennet, who served as an ecclesiastical assistant to Romney when he served as a Bishop (lay pastor) in his church, also spoke at the convention:

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Character, It Matters

We have a defining choice in November, and it is imperative that we become informed before committing to our decision; informed as to the character of those seeking the highest office in the land, for ‘character matters.’ The absence of principled character often results in negative consequences, the impact of which can seriously compromise that which matters most to our Nation and lead us down a path of decline. It doesn’t mean that everything will always go right or be easy, but in the difficult moments that come, and they have and will continue to come, character is what enables us to come through the trials with integrity, tutorial perspective and become better for the experience, individually or as a Nation. It is with principled character that we progress through trials with an ultimate positive result.

When pondering the question about who? We have to ask certain fundmental questions; for example: what are the defining and guiding principles that determine a person’s character? How and in what way is character manifest? Can I trust them to do what is right, or what I think is right. Character establishes the basis of trust; and we need to ‘trust’ our President. We need to trust him or her, to do what is right; to lead our Nation with integrity; to lead with principle and with character above reproach; we need him or her to lead with values that are consistent with our American ideals and values. We needn’t necessarily agree with them on all points, but we should agree with them on what matters to us; what we feel is important!

As we consider the two candidates for President of the United States, we should be wont to know their character; to know them as best as we are able before choosing who will secure our vote in November. Mark DeMoss, principal with the DeMoss Group, offered the following statement in his introduction of Mitt Romney when Governor Romney spoke to the 2012 graduating class of Liberty University. He said, “I was struck by the difference between knowing about someone and knowing them. You see you can know about someone simply by reading about him or her, but you can only know someone by spending time with them.” I agree with this statement completely, but it is difficult for every American to spend time with either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney. For most of us we are only able to glean insights through what we read about them, or what others might say who we have come to know and trust through personal experience, or by measuring our trust in them by and through observation over time. Another way we can come to know the candidates is by the company they keep, or observing their actions over time. Notice, I said actions, not just in the words they speak. The adage is true that states, “I can’t hear what you are saying because your actions speak more loudly.”

Why the company they keep? As individuals, or as a group, we tend to feel most comfortable associating with those most like us in key measurements; people with whom we share common values, ideals, and perspectives. We typically find discomfort being among those least like us in these key measurements. In fact, we most typically choose friends with whom we share similar core values. This point has been clearly illustrated in the current factions or divisions in our society. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

It is important that we spend time studying, reading and understanding the nature and character of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. In this regard, I am trying to remain objective, but knowing Mitt and Ann Romney personally, and having spent time with them in public and private moments, I acknowledge my bias.

Even so, there is plenty of material available to read to come to a better perspective of these two men. Of course we need to take into account (more…)

Romney’s Message of Service vs. Obama’s of Politics

American presidential politics always pit a Republican against a Democrat, but rarely do we see true polar opposites come together to compete as we have in 2012. In my lifetime, the last presidential election I can recall that included distinctly different candidates was the Carter / Reagan election of 1980. In so many interesting ways, this election feels oddly similar to those times.

Barnard College, May 14th -- WSJ

In recent days, Governor Romney and President Obama gave commencement speeches at two different colleges. The speech given by Governor Romney was truly inspiring and one of the best he has ever given. If you have not seen it, you really need to (it really is worth the time). To watch it in its entirety, click here.

Daniel Henninger’s weekly column in The Wall Street Journal yesterday was titled, “A Tale of Two Commencements” — (For Obama, politics is life. For Romney, politics does not define us.)

Henninger perfectly contrasts Obama’s frequent victims message with Romney’s message of optimism, rooted in selfless service.

Liberty University, May 12th

Two days after Mitt Romney delivered the commencement speech at Liberty University, the big evangelical Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell, Barack Obama tutored graduates at Barnard College, the intensely liberal all-women’s school adjacent to Columbia University. As you might guess, the wisdom these two political elders imparted to the Class of 2012 was not the same.
[...]
Barack Obama, by now a master at faux self-deflation, admitted he was pandering: “Now I recognize that’s a cheap applause line when you’re giving a commencement at Barnard.” (Laughter.) He had said the women of this generation will help lead the way. (Applause.)
[...]
The world that Barack Obama conveyed to the women at Barnard is totally, overwhelmingly political. To be sure, there were references to parental joy at the success of children completing college, but virtually every thought in the Obama commencement address—on the accomplishments of the past or a graduate’s goals—was defined by political activity.

He said they are about to grapple with unique challenges, “like whether you’ll be able to earn equal pay for equal work” or “fully control decisions about your own health.”

The role of the citizen in “our democracy” began 225 years ago at the Convention in Philadelphia, which had “flaws,” to wit: “Questions of race and gender were unresolved.” Nonetheless, it “allowed for protest and movements.”

And so: “Don’t accept somebody else’s construction of the way things ought to be. It’s up to you to right wrongs. It’s up to you to point out injustice. It’s up to you to hold the system accountable and sometimes upend it entirely. It’s up to you to stand up and to be heard, to write and to lobby, to march, to organize, to vote.”

Mr. Obama described his own early job as a community organizer: “I wanted to do my part to shape a better world.” He cited the accomplishments of previous generations of young people who “stood up and sat in from Seneca Falls to Selma to Stonewall.” This, Mr. Obama said, is how “we achieved” women’s rights, voting rights, workers’ rights and gay rights.

Barack Obama seems to inhabit a world of history and personal experience in which good people at every turn are held back by individuals or oppressive forces that one only overcomes by personal or public resistance.

Someone in high school told Labor Secretary Hilda Solis she wasn’t college material. Mr. Obama’s grandmother worked for a bank but hit the glass ceiling. And today there are “those who oppose change, those who benefit from an unjust status quo [and] have always bet on the public’s cynicism or the public’s complacency.” He predicts they will lose “this time as well.”

Fair enough. That’s how the world works for Barack Obama, though it strikes me he is telling America’s 22-year-olds that the road ahead is a fairly grim proletarian struggle. Be ready to occupy everything. Where’s the joy in that?

There was less tooth and claw in the Romney speech at Liberty University. In a discussion of the uses of religious freedom, one passage in particular separated Mr. Romney from Barack Obama’s default to mass action. “The great drama of Christianity,” Gov. Romney said, “is not a crowd shot, following the movements of collectives or even nations. The drama is always personal, individual, unfolding in one’s own life.” Out of this, he said, “Men and women of every faith, and good people with none at all, sincerely strive to do right and lead a purpose-driven life.”

Progress, he argued, emerges through “conscience in action,” for him “the nation’s greatest force for good.” Mr. Romney referred several times to the idea of personal service. “The call to service,” he said “is one of the fundamental elements of our national character. It has motivated every great movement of conscience that this hopeful, fair-minded country of ours has ever seen.”

For Barack Obama, life is politics. For Mitt Romney, life includes politics; politics, he said, does not define us.

To wage a presidential campaign in our nonstop media age, the man who sees politics as a battering ram may have an edge. But Mitt Romney, with his politics of optimism and personal conscience, could be onto something that will serve him well.

“Today, thanks to what you have gained here, you leave Liberty with conviction and confidence as your armor. You know what you believe. You know who you are. And you know Whom you will serve. Not all colleges instill that kind of confidence, but it will be among the most prized qualities from your education here. Moral certainty, clear standards, and a commitment to spiritual ideals will set you apart in a world that searches for meaning.” ~ Mitt Romney, Liberty University, May 12, 2012

Excellent CBS Videos in Search of “The Real Mitt Romney”

Mitt Romney bad hair and blue jeans

Mitt Romney November 2007 - Click image to view full size

Have you heard the story about when Mitt Romney closed his company for a few days so he along with his fellow co-workers and employees could go search for a co-worker’s missing daughter in New York? What about the one where Romney (while Governor) and his boys saved a family of six and their dog from a sinking boat? Those are a couple of the character defining anecdotes that you don’t hear much of in the media that continually tries to portray him as a plastic automatron devoid of emotion and personality. Those who have studied Romney and his life know that such is not the case.

The CBS videos below touch on what is perhaps my favorite of these “personalizing” anecdotes: Mitt digging up a tree stump at a home after the San Diego fires of October 2007. Why is this one my favorite? Perhaps it’s because Mitt performed this act of service without any heraldry while he was in the midst of a presidential campaign. Or perhaps because it’s the only one we have pictures and video of the events as they unfolded, and we have the homeowner to thanks for that. Wouldn’t you take pictures if a potential future president showed up on your lawn to help out?

The reason for the CBS segment about Romney is due to a new chapter about Mitt Romney being added to a book published in 2007 called The Mormon Way of Doing Business. (The videos below are much more about Romney than Mormons.)

Video highlighting Romney digging up the stump:

Video discussion with book author Jeff Benedict (and others) discussing “stories about Mitt Romney”:

Did you get a good look at Mitt vigorously swinging that axe in the first video? I’ve been to more than a few Scout Camps and have seen both men and boys swinging an axe to chop wood. You can tell instantly if they have experience at it, and to me it’s obvious that Mitt has done this more than a few times.

For more info (and pictures) on the tree stump story check out our older posts where we have highlighted it:
MUST SEE: Mitt Romney Doing Bad Hair and Blue Jeans… in 2007!
VIDEO: Mitt Romney on the The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno
Mitt Romney has Literally Defined the Meaning of “Service” by Example
Mitt Romney’s Best Stump Speech — Examples of Servant Leadership

~Nate Gunderson

Addendum: Another good read–> The Mitt Romney You Don’t Know

Mitt Romney’s Best Stump Speech — Examples of Servant Leadership (a guest post)

To be completely candid, I am really tired of people in the media constantly spinning and pushing narratives about Mitt Romney that are false, misleading, or just blatant lies. Any person who will take more than 3.5 minutes and “look under the hood” to study the man’s character, background, history, record, etc. will find that he is both ordinary and extraordinary. Ordinary as we perceive the best in a husband, father, grandfather, servant. Extraordinary as we perceive the very best in a leader: Unselfish, principled, statesmanlike, driven to excellence.

Far be it of me to define Governor Romney’s leadership style, but from my study of the man and the executive, he exhibits what I consider to be the very best form of leader – that of a servant leader.

Some of you have no doubt heard of the time in the Summer of 1996 when Mitt Romney closed down Bain Capital for a search and rescue mission and to organize as many people as he could to find a friend’s daughter that was missing in Metro New York City. Mitt Romney’s determination was only surpassed by his faith that they would succeed. This is only one example of his leadership abilities, but an important one. Romney shut down the business to do this work; how much money did he lose in the business and from the expense of flying everyone to NYC? For complete details (and fact check) of this extraordinary story, along with a short video ——-> CLICK

Just below is another first hand account of Mitt Romney’s hard work to assist another person in need. Maybe not as dramatic, but still impressive for what it says about the man we are all trying to discover. There was no press at this project. There were no professional photographs. Just men working hard.

The following account is provided by Greg Davis:

I noticed an earlier blog entry surrounding the 2007 fires. Below is my recollection of that period and my morning “stumping” with Mitt Romney.

I will never forget the fires of October 2007. That year unusually hot, dry, Santa Ana winds wreaked havoc in Southern California. Gusts touching 85 mph carried ash and cinders for miles seemingly touching off a new fire every day. Entire cities became ghost towns with an estimated 1,000,000 people being forced to evacuate (myself included).

Romney on The Stump

When all was said and done, over a thousand homes had burned to the ground and billions in damage had been done. While my house had been spared, the homes of many friends and neighbors had been burned or damaged and the entire region embarked on a massive clean-up effort.

About this time, the national GOP nominating contest was heating up and Mitt Romney was among the front runners. Mitt was coming to San Diego for some political events and wanted to get a better sense of the damage. His son, Matt Romney, invited Mitt to participate in an early morning service project at the house of a friend. Our friend had lost a giant pine tree to the fires (thanks to firefighters his home had miraculously been spared). The tree had been cut and hauled away but a giant stump dominated a pocket of earth in his front yard. Our friend needed help digging it out.

Mitt arrived bright and early in sneakers, jeans, and an old cotton shirt. He surveyed the stump and a wry smile crept across his face. I sensed this was not the first foray in stump removal and he knew (far better than I did) the scope of what we were trying to accomplish that morning. The tree had matured and closer inspection revealed a complicated labyrinth of large roots compacted by the surrounding cement sidewalks.

Armed with chainsaws and axes we went to work. Our progress was difficult to measure. The moist sappy wood and surrounding earth quickly dulled our chainsaws. I found myself questioning our effort and wondering if we were making any progress at all. After burning out three chainsaws my resolve was weakening and I was ready to hang it up, but not Mitt. It was time for the ax. After several hours it was time for me to go to work and time for him to return to the campaign trail. The stump remained but, surprisingly, we had made tremendous progress. Thanks a timely visit from a neighboring backhoe the stump was out by lunchtime (much to the joy of our friend who figured it would take days to remove).

There are several things I remember about this day. I remember Mitt’s focus and work ethic. Our friend bought us breakfast burritos, but Mitt politely declined citing his desire to, “..make some progress first.” I remember moments of ingenuity (Mitt used a crowbar to pry apart cuts in the wood helping our dull chainsaws be more effective). I remember the look on a neighbors face as they passed by walking their dog. Was that really Governor Mitt Romney chopping at his neighbors stump?

Photos by Greg Davis

For me the morning was a microcosm of what I envision a Mitt Romney presidency would be like. Every morning showing up early and ready to work, quickly assessing the challenges of the day, tackling them head on with a heavy dose of hard work and ingenuity, and leavings things in much better shape than he found them.

It has been said that our character is what we do when we think no one is looking. Notably, on this morning there were no bright lights or press corp. And as the prolific sweat on his cotton shirt would attest to, this was no token visit to merely score political points. Mitt had come to work and to serve. If America decides to offer Mitt Romney the privilege of being president, I know we’ll be getting a man character; one that not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

Background on 2007 Wild Fires —–> CLICK

Greg Davis is 37 years old and lives with his wife and 3 children in San Diego

On January 29th, we published a brief post on this topic that included a video ——> CLICK
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Governor Romney Wins Voters: Women, Catholics, Latinos, Evangelicals — Character Matters: Integrity, Fidelity, Honesty, Humility — SECRET SERVICE

CONGRATULATIONS out to all those who worked so hard in Florida for yesterday’s great win! What do we call that? “People Power” I think is the term Mr. Gingrich likes to use! Congratulations to Governor Romney and his team at all levels for bringing it! A stunning victory no matter how it is measured — THANK YOU to the countless volunteers in Florida and across America who made phone calls and got out the vote in old fashioned grassroots fashion.

Before I write what I had intended below, I have to point out an addition piece of evidence of the character of the man Newt Gingrich. Following Governor Romney’s decisive victory in Florida yesterday, Gingrich never congratulated Governor Romney privately or publicly. In fact, following Gingrich’s self-elevating speech, he was asked point-blank several times about this conspicuous omission and he ignored the reporters who pressed repeatedly. Class? There is none. Had the roles been reversed, Governor Romney would have graciously congratulated Gingrich as he has done before. Character matters.

In fact The Washington Post reported this about the end of Gingrich’s speech:

He obnoxiously ended by pledging: “My life, my fortune, my sacred honor.” But he’s not doing any of that. And it’s quite an insult to American patriots who have said that and meant it.

Much has been written and discussed these past few weeks about integrity of character and whether fidelity in marriage matters in a President of the United States. In yesterdays WSJ, a reader left this brief letter in response to a previous snippet about past presidents that had been unfaithful to their wives:

Historian Victor Davis Hanson, in Notable and Quotable (Jan. 24), may know the facts but comes to the wrong conclusion in proposing that fidelity is not essential in a leader. Simply listing a number of well known, and by some measure, effective leaders who did not embrace marital fidelity does not translate into a case to ignore infidelity.

The issue is not about fidelity but integrity, in simply making one’s actions consistent with one’s knowledge of right and wrong. Without integrity we have Bernie Madoff. Surely somewhere along the way he had heard that “Thou shalt not steal.” We have learned the hard and expensive way that we must demand integrity in our financial arena. Does anyone really doubt we need integrity in the political arena as well?

And which of the presidents Mr. Hanson lists were elected after their infidelity was made public? The American citizen has always considered fidelity a crucial component of integrity, and while the “inner circle” may not care, the American voter prays for integrity in their government leaders and is terrified at the thought of one in which it is lacking. (by Mary Seaman — Salt Lake City)

[emphasis added]

Could this be the reason so many married women voted for Governor Romney in Florida?

Married women, who made up 33 percent of the electorate, also came out in droves for Romney. Among married women, six percent voted for Paul, 28 percent came out for the thrice-married Gingrich, 51 percent voted Romney and Santorum got 13 percent.

This past week we have seen Gingrich describing Governor Romney as a liberal, liar, anti-Jew, pro-abortion, fundamentally dishonest, etc. Had the Florida primary not occurred, we would expect to hear Gingrich dream up other more outrageous ways to label Governor Romney. This is one of those examples where what a person says about another is far more revealing of the character of the person speaking. Asked about this last night, Mrs. Romney said,

“It’s been funny to me. What’s next, a communist? I don’t know, it’s been humorous,” she said with a laugh during an interview with CNN moments before the network called the state for Mitt Romney. “We are looking forward to a win tonight.”

Ann Romney said that she knew where Mitt’s true beliefs lay.

“I know where his values are on a personal level. He is a conservative guy. I know how he has governed from a conservative point of view, and I know how he will govern, which is from a conservative place to rein in the spending, and help the country,” she added.

Ann Romney said that her husband was a consummate fixer at a time when the United States needed one.

“I think that people are hoping that Mitt, once he gets to the right job, can actually do something about turning this economy around, and I have seen him do it. I have seen him do the turnarounds time and time again, and when institutions get in trouble, whether it is the Olympics or the state of Massachusetts or businesses, he is a turnaround guy — he fixes things,” she said.

ASIDES:

Governor Romney will start to receive Secret Service protection beginning this week:
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Mitt Romney has Literally Defined the Meaning of “Service” by Example

(every photograph tells a story)

California suffered many large and devastating wildfires in the Fall of 2007. San Diego County was no exception. In fact the scale and number of fires there were unprecedented.

This Los Angeles Times web page lists many very good articles that describe the human tragedies as well as the enormous property damage sustained during this “fire season” as we describe it in our state. Another article describes how many victims found relief and solace in their faith.

This news item describes the some of the impacts following the 2007 San Diego area fires.

During this time, it seemed like all of California could burn away as we were experiencing wildfires in all counties surrounding our home. This was almost exactly four years ago and the presidential race was in full swing, as it is today.

I remember receiving a tip to a story of someone’s home that needed a tree stump removed — the result of a tree that had been badly burned during one of San Diego’s wildfires. Several men responded to the need by organizing and working hard for a few hours to remove the deeply rooted tree trunk. One of those that showed up for the needed work was Governor Romney. He and his son Matt worked alongside a few other men to get the job done.

That story is as impressive to me today as it was when I first heard it. Nobody from the press or media was ever present and, as far as I can recall, this story was never publicized in any major news outlets.

Contrast this little service project with the many we witness every year by politicians that work the soup lines or other charity events at which they know there will be numerous reporters and cameras. The soup lines in particular always annoy me in a big way. The people in line are the most poverty stricken among us and aside from their obvious need for sustenance, they have a natural need for dignity. Exposure to television cameras serves only to diminish human dignity in a setting like those.

In the case of the tree stump removal, obviously Governor Romney did not do the service for notoriety or media exposure, as there were none. There is no question in my mind that such hard, manual labor would be cathartic during an intense and grueling presidential campaign. So there is a good chance Governor Romney needed the break, the exercise, and the stress release anyway.

The service provided by these men is best described in this short YouTube by the brother of the woman that lived in the home with the tree stump (posted almost exactly four years ago today):

Few people know that Governor Romney received (as I recall) $1.00 every year in compensation when he served as governor and for three years after he took the helm of the 2002 Olympics turn-around “service project” — which, by the way was a tremendously enormous responsibility (I believe he also was paid $1.00/year when he was asked to come back to Bain to turn it around). Think about it: He inherited a $379 million deficit in 1999 and during the time he was chief executive, the world’s worst terrorist event occurred. In addition to turning around a failed project, dealing with a corrupt international Olympics entity, he instantly had a mandate to guarantee that no terror event would interrupt the Games. Many experts felt the Games should be cancelled for practical and safety concerns. Governor Romney ignored those suggestions and drove the team to an astounding success — one of the most successful Games in history [please fact check me!]. Oh, and he delivered a $100 million profit/surplus after it was over! This story, that Governor Romney refers to as a footnote, is nothing short of extraordinary IN EVERY WAY.

Now, what would have happened if Gingrich were given the very same responsibility with a failed Olympics project? He would have demanded a huge salary, #1. The team he inherited would have quit after the first week, #2. The next team he brought in would likely quit a few weeks later and tell the media how hard it is to work with the man, #3. This last one is only my opinion and I own it: When September 11th happened and Gingrich heard the cries to cancel, he would have quit with a large deficit in place. Remember, he is an ideas guy, not an execution guy — he is not an executive.

The cynical have nothing good to say about Governor Romney or his actions. That’s fine:They are wrong. His many years of selfless service are proved out by his talent, skill, art, and experience in turnaround executive leadership. No current presidential candidate compares, even to a small degree.

Compare Mitt Romney any day to Newt Gingrich, whose life for the last 20+ years has been 100% devoted to self-aggrandizement and self-promotion.

“I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

MUST SEE: Mitt Romney Doing Bad Hair and Blue Jeans… in 2007!


Update: Jay Leno used the photo of Mitt with bad hair during his show on 12-1-10. Watch the video here.

Recently Mitt Romney has been seen committing the cardinal sin of wearing blue jeans. He has also been spotted with his hair sussed, and, worst of all, driving a pick-up truck (gasp). Mitt’s straw-grasping detractors can’t resist using this to paint Romney as some sort of flip-flopper – “It’s the new Mitt 3.0″.

Mitt Romney bad hair and blue jeans

Mitt Romney November 2007 - Click image to view full size

Anyway, I don’t care much what they think (detractors will detract), but it did spur me to recall a picture showing Mitt in jeans with incredibly bad hair. I also recalled the wonderful human interest story behind the picture. A few google searches later I was able to dig it back up, and I found a related video to the story that I had not yet seen. The original blog post containing the story and pictures doesn’t exist anymore, but the entire text has been preserved by Mr. Swint at the My Dry Fly blog, and is including below.

For insight into what Mitt is really like, not as a businessman, not as a politician, but as a compassionate human being, I know of no better story than this:

The full story plus more photos after the fold…

(more…)

Mitt Romney’s Statement on Veteran’s Day

Here is Mitt Romney’s Statement on Veteran’s Day:

veterans-day

“As Americans pause to reflect on the service of veterans, I want to express my appreciation for our active military stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world, separated from families and loved ones, who dutifully carry out the mission of keeping the nation safe from its enemies. The Fort Hood massacre is a reminder of the threats we face, both at home and abroad. On this day of remembrance, we are called to remain vigilant, thankful for the contributions of so many who once wore the uniform and mindful of the sacrifices currently being made in defense of freedom and liberty.”

(Posted at Free and Strong America on 11/11/2009)