Romney set to return: Character counts


John Elsegood

Expect former Presidential challenger, Mitt Romney to announce soon that he will run for the US Senate in Utah, in 2018. Long serving Republican senator, Orrin Hatch (83) will step down, in November, after seven terms, and the former GOP presidential challenger will be a shoo-in, if he wants the job.  [Editor: There is also speculation he would challenge Donald Trump for the 2020 GOP nomination for President.]

Prior to winning the Massachusetts governor’s race Romney ran for the Senate, unsuccessfully, in that liberal Democratic state, against Teddy Kennedy. He was also the man who saved the 2002 Winter Olympics, in Utah, from going belly-up financially and he has been one of the most decent Americans in public life.

Romney’s strength of character can in fact be deduced, and contrasted, by some of his critics in the ‘lamestream’ media.

Amy Davidson, writing in the New Yorker, was typical of that pack. She sneeringly dismissed Romney’s statements about having ‘binders full’ of qualified women who would be able to serve in a Romney Administration, and then moved to abortion, the idee fixe of feminists. Davidson thundered that if it hadn’t been for Roe v Wade then many women would have wandered the streets and some of them would have died. Her piece de resistance came at the close; “Would Romney have led a search party for them?”

This was a cheap shot at Romney who remarkably went searching for the kidnapped 14 year old daughter of one of his business partners, in a superb display of compassion and determination. The distraught father, Robert Gay, has no idea where she was after her disappearance from a rave party, three days earlier, in New York City, in July 1996. Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to NYC to help find Gay’s daughter. The employees scoured NY talking to prostitutes, drug addicts, indeed anyone they thought might have information. A phone lead, traced by police, led to her discovery in a New Jersey basement, suffering from withdrawal symptoms. She probably would not have survived another day.

Nor was this a one-off act of concern.

Two years earlier when Romney was campaigning (unsuccessfully) against Senator Ted Kennedy, he discovered that a Veterans’ hospital badly needed milk. Being a bit gauche, politically, Romney suggested they learn to milk a cow! Having checked out the Veterans’ hospital Romney apologised for the flippant remark and then did something else, covertly arranging milk supplies for the next two years. The hospital tried to find out who their benefactor was but it was only when the milkman retired some years later that he spilled the beans…or perhaps the milk, in this case, as to whom epitomised the milk of human kindness.

Romney has a long list of such acts.

In 1979, as 14 year old David Oparowski lay dying, Mitt and one of his sons, Tagg, were frequent visitors to the hospital. Indeed, Romney helped the young boy draft a will so he could leave his cherished possessions to members of his family.

Ted Oparowski, father of David, commented on the Romney solicitude thus:

“You cannot measure a man’s character based on words he utters before adoring crowds at happier times. The true measure of a man is revealed in times of trouble, the quiet hospital room of a dying boy with no cameras and no reporters – that is the time to make an assessment.”

That powerful statement by a father contrasts with the mean-mindedness of Romney’s critics with arguably the worst effort coming from an Australian hack. Canberra journalist Robert Macklin’s effort, in the 2012 US presidential race, would certainly be a worthy winner of the War of Jenkins Year award. According to Macklin, Romney, a Mormon, once drove to Canada on a family holiday with his dog strapped on the roof of a car.

Golly, gosh what a revelation and only 28 years after it happened!

Actually, what Romney did was to build a rooftop carrier, complete with shield, to make the journey of the much loved family canine more comfortable. Macklin’s ‘scoop,’ apart from qualifying to be in Evelyn’s Waugh’s manic novel of the same name, in fact belongs in the communication era of colonial America.

American history aficionados may recall the length of time taken between incident and response time in the War of Jenkins Ear.

In April 1731 a Spanish coast guard sloop intercepted a British merchant ship and the Spaniards boarded that ship. Heated words ensued between the two captains resulting in the Spaniard, Juan de Leon Fandino slicing off one of Robert Jenkins ears. Seven years later, March 1738, Captain Jenkins reported this incident to a committee of the House of Commons and the British saw that as a reason to declare war – in October 1739.

That cynical delay in an era of slow communications was one thing; Macklin’s 28 year wait to pontificate that Romney was unsuitable to be the US president in 2012, based on false claims, was simply in a class of its own! Maybe the Canberra hack has lived in the Australian ‘bush ‘capital for too long and has forgotten that many dogs in both Australia and the US ride on the back of truck and utes all the time – without seat belts too! (Hold the front page).

This pathetic media behaviour was similiar to the flak Romney gained at home for using his business acumen to save the Utah Winter Olympics. A group called PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) protested about Romney arguing for a rodeo at the Games and also that he had gone quail hunting. (The latter referred to the succulent bird, not former VP Dan Quayle – only another former VP, Dick Cheney, is allowed to hunt humans!)

Romney is also a long term giver, his contributions to charity exceeding his hefty taxation payments. In the past two years he has paid almost five million dollars in tax and seven million dollars to charity. Romney’s innate decency was also reflected in the last days of the 2012 Presidential campaign.

Obama thundered at the people not to boo Romney but rather take their revenge at the polls. Romney simply replied it was incumbent for people to vote for love of country, not out of revenge. Romney was defeated in that election but the real loser was America.

Utah won’t make the same mistake.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

  • David Hiscox

    Good article, but America needs badass Trump, not nice guy Romney.

    • Shaquoya Washington

      Trump is racist.

      • Karen Dwyer

        You are boring.

        • Shaquoya Washington

          Put that on my list too, plus the hard trying of some to find a must in having a conversation exactly the time when all you wish is to look through the window or door.
          No matter the topic they ”hit” with.
          Tis also boring, at least to me , the rewind of an event everybody knows of, but some people keep putting it into light… oh, or repeating same jokes over and over again, for years. ::)

          Or, as it happened to me, hearing childhood stories and details of someone’s life (what they did, with whom, why, what they ate ,cooked. spoke with,etc) when nobody was interested.
          What is worse is when these people don’t realize the ridiculousity of the situation…
          Especially when you do that with some audience, gods! Such as co workers… ???

          • Maryanne

            Anybody got a clue as to what she’s talking about?

          • Karen Dwyer

            Boring as a woodpecker.

          • Shaquoya Washington

            Actually, Woodpeckers are fascinating creatures.

            Next time you hear a woodpecker hammering away outside your window, he or she may be trying to communicate with a member of the opposite sex. Woodpeckers are primarily monogamous, though polygamous species do exist.

            Courtship often begins with drumming, display flights and calls. Drumming can be used to advertise territory, alert a potential partner to a specific tree hole or to sexually stimulate another woodpecker.

            Woodpeckers are a highly aggressive species and courtship often triggers territorial behavior between other males and between potential mates.

            Black woodpecker males engage in a ritual called ‘threat courtship,’ where the birds will threaten each other with calls before flying to a base of tree and attempting to drive each other upward.

            Interactions between potential mates can also be fairly aggressive during courtship, though, once he feels more insecure, the male’s aggression usually subsides.

      • Sir Cumference

        Sounds like you are one of the few still on food stamps.

        • Shaquoya Washington

          If they ever finish arguing about immigration and the budget, members of Congress can be expected to turn to food stamps, which conservative Republicans want to cut and Democrats don’t. For their own sake and to promote public health, both sides might want to focus on a simple reform that deserves bipartisan support: Require that food stamps be used for food.

          According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, households receiving federal food-stamp benefits spend more money on soft drinks than on any other grocery item. Overall, they devote 9.3 percent of their food budgets to “sweetened beverages,” which include sodas and iced teas, compared to 7.1 percent for households that don’t receive benefits. The government estimates that beneficiaries spend $608.7 million a year on soft drinks and an additional $110 million on juices.

          Because low-income shoppers typically use their own money to supplement government benefits, it’s impossible to know precisely how much the $74-billion Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is subsidizing soda consumption. But even a modest amount is too much, given the correlation between sugary drinks and obesity, diabetes and heart disease. One study estimates that prohibiting food-stamp funds from being spent on sweetened beverages would prevent more than 400,000 Americans from becoming obese.

          • Karen Dwyer

            Rubber stamped as are all your other notes: boring.

          • Shaquoya Washington

            When someone in authority rubber-stamps a decision, plan, or law, they agree to it without thinking about it much.
            Currently, rubber is harvested mainly in the form of the latex from the rubber tree or others.
            The latex is a sticky, milky colloid drawn off by making incisions in the bark and collecting the fluid in vessels in a process called “tapping”.
            The latex then is refined into rubber ready for commercial processing. In major areas, latex is allowed to coagulate in the collection cup.
            The coagulated lumps are collected and processed into dry forms for marketing.

      • David Hiscox

        Trump is the God Emperor.

    • John Sheppard

      Agreed, however how about Romney for VP? Then you have the good cop, bad cop setup which is probably what Trump also needs from time to time. That being said, Pence does fit the nice guy realm too, so if it ain’t broke…

      • David Hiscox

        He could make a good VP, but I am a don’t-fix-what-ain’t-broke-ist.

  • Shaquoya Washington

    We need a person of color in the White House, not another Whitey WASP.
    What is wrong with Oprah, she a nice lady and would make a fine President.
    Black Power, baby, that’s what I’m saying.
    It’s time.

    • Karen Dwyer

      You are still boring.

      • Shaquoya Washington

        Boring ?
        Now, that doesn’t mean that these topics will be boring to everyone. It’s just that the pool of people who’ll potentially find them interesting is going to be much smaller than, say, if you brought up the new coffee shop up the street.

        So make sure you keep an eye out for any nonverbal cues that your listeners might be giving you that indicate that they’re tiring of hearing how you got lost on your way to the party by turning left on Broad Street, but then realized that you really should have turned right, so you made a u-turn but then realized that you couldn’t turn back on to Broad because…well, you get the picture.

        • Maryanne

          Well I don’t get the picture. Is this a new cryptic puzzle without a grid? Who are the listeners? What party?

          • Shaquoya Washington

            Puzzles ?
            Yes indeedy !
            Solve this one….

            A problem posed by L. Collatz in 1937, also called the 3x+1 mapping, 3n+1 problem, Hasse’s algorithm, Kakutani’s problem, Syracuse algorithm, Syracuse problem, Thwaites conjecture, and Ulam’s problem (Lagarias 1985).
            Thwaites (1996) has offered a £1000 reward for resolving the conjecture. Let a_0 be an integer.
            Then one form of Collatz problem asks if iterating

            a_n={1/2a_(n-1) for a_(n-1) even; 3a_(n-1)+1 for a_(n-1) odd
            always returns to 1 for positive a_0. (If negative numbers are included, there are four known cycles (excluding the trivial 0 cycle): (4, 2, 1), (-2, -1), (-5, -14, -7, -20, -10), and (-17, -50, -25, -74, -37, -110, -55, -164, -82, -41, -122, -61, -182, -91, -272, -136, -68, -34).)

            The members of the sequence produced by the Collatz are sometimes known as hailstone numbers.

        • Karen Dwyer

          I could really do with a hyper-caffeinated cup of coffee right now.
          And I don’t even drink coffee, it’s just that….

          You are so boring.

          • Shaquoya Washington

            Coffee production in the country of Costa Rica relies on cheap, seasonal labor: Nicaraguan immigrants are often employed on these plantations.
            Coffee cultivators in the country are paid very little, often as little as US$1.5 per basket picked, but the wages are not less than in many other industries of the Costa Rican primary sectors.
            The berries are picked by the workers and are transported to processing plants to be washed and to remove the pulp around the beans.
            In Costa Rica the processing plants where this process is done are called beneficios but the effects of pulp removal may result in non-beneficial environmental effects (see below).
            The beans are then laid out to dry in the sun, then sorted according to size and shape. Although mechanical drying is gradually replacing manual labor in places, time consuming sun drying, and equipment are required to dry the wet seeds after pulping.
            Once processing is complete, the coffee is bagged into burlap sacks (with or without a moisture barrier bag) and stored until exported.

            I LOVE coffee !! Don’t you ?

          • Karen Dwyer

            You are berry boring.

    • Addelad

      I appreciate that part of having a low IQ implies poor memory; but if you try really hard, you might recall an inconsequential (if erudite) twerp who was POTUS and also a person of colour….baby.

      • Shaquoya Washington

        Our….or your intelligence is mostly hidden except when we speak with someone.
        A measure of intelligence is the language.
        I mean …language is a rather complex system of communication that reaches near to 100,000 words not counting special jargon of a class or other.

        Then, unless the person you are talking to is simulating not to understand (this can occur is rare cases) the lack of understanding means he has a low intelligence or it is an alien in the country.
        Most tests of intelligence, like the Stanford test, were measuring the understanding of the language or any of its derivatives.
        The test of Terman-Binet (the Stanford test) pretended to measure some “innate quality” (intelligence) that is mostly correlated to the social class of the mum, or both parents.
        Some derivatives, like words related to numeracy and operations with numbers, represent mostly a sub-set of language. Other questions related to the Terman test was related to “logical” artifices.
        But logic is also a sub-set of language.
        If you have virtually no language you will have not any logic.
        Logic, even if it is faulty, or full of fallacies, are the result of some language learned.
        Then, as not any infant is born with a language, language cannot be an artifact to prove the existence of an innate intelligence.
        There you go.

    • Maryanne

      “Person of color”? What the heck does that mean seeing as all humans have ‘color’? My son’s Asian in-laws insist they’re white and we European descended people are red. It doesn’t bother us. In fact we love Asians’ refreshing candour about race realism. My son has two daughters and his mother-in-law has no embarrassment about extolling the second daughter’s “beautiful white skin” compared with her sister’s yellowish Asian skin tone! Go figure.

      I agree with Karen, you really are boring seeing people as members of groups not as individuals. It’s the difference between the West and the rest I suppose.

    • entropy

      Oprah doesn’t want the job. It’s too much like hard work.

      • Caitlin⚡️⚡️1488

        How about Whoopsy Goldberg or Ellen Degenerate or…..dare I say it….Chelsea ( horseface) Clinton ???

  • Addelad

    Mitt “My conscience won’t let me vote for Trump” Romney may be a lovely bloke, but he is a classic RINO. The US (and the world) doesn’t need the likes of him at the helm.

    • Shaquoya Washington

      Members of the rhinoceros family are some of the largest remaining megafauna, with all species able to reach or exceed one tonne in weight.

      They have a herbivorous diet, small brains (400–600 g) for mammals of their size, one or two horns, and a thick (1.5–5 cm) protective skin formed from layers of collagen positioned in a lattice structure.

      They generally eat leafy material, although their ability to ferment food in their hindgut allows them to subsist on more fibrous plant matter when necessary.

      Unlike other perissodactyls, the two African species of rhinoceros lack teeth at the front of their mouths, relying instead on their lips to pluck food.

      I hope this helps.

      • Karen Dwyer


        • Shaquoya Washington

          Directional boring is used for installing infrastructure such as telecommunications and power cable conduits, water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, oil lines, product pipelines, and environmental remediation casings.
          It is used for crossing waterways, roadways, shore approaches, congested areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and areas where other methods are costlier or not possible.
          It is used instead of other techniques to provide less traffic disruption, lower cost, deeper and/or longer installation, no access pit, shorter completion times, directional capabilities, and environmental safety.

          Bore safely, is my tip !

          • Karen Dwyer

            Bore away, old thing. You bore; they block

  • Karen Dwyer

    I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion – but I’m certainly interested in the aspects of his personal history that you’ve presented. Well written article.