My latest reading of Michael Kranish and Scott Helman's The Real Romney covered a lot of ground: Romney's humorous social bloopers in his 1994 run against Ted Kennedy for U.S. Senate, and his struggle to define himself in that race; the death of Mitt's father and mother; Ann's battle with multiple sclerosis, and Mitt's support of her through that; and Romney leaving Bain Capital (while still keeping a financial interest in it) to save the Olympics, which were in disarray because a couple of Utah officials gave gifts to the Olympic committee so the Olympics would be held in Utah.
I especially liked a story from
Mitt's 1994 race for U.S. Senate. Mitt visited the New England Shelter
for Homeless Veterans, and the director of the shelter, Ken Smith, was
complaining to Mitt about how the high price of milk was killing the
shelter's budget, since the shelter went through a lot of milk each
day. Mitt jokingly suggested that the veterans learn how to milk cows,
but Mitt later realized that his remark was socially inappropriate.
Mitt apologized, and he also helped bring down the cost of milk for the
Romney wasn't doing this to look good, for he told Smith
that he didn't want any publicity for his deed. And Romney also wasn't
doing this to win the election in 1994, for he continued to help bring
down the price of milk for the shelter even after he lost to Ted
Kennedy. As Kranish and Helman say, "In fact, Smith said he understood
that Romney was still supporting the shelter when Smith left in 1996"
Mitt could be generous to people who needed help, but I
wonder if he's like Ronald Reagan (as some have portrayed him): he
could be quite generous when he actually encounters a person with a
problem, and yet he could pursue policies that arguably put people he
does not encounter in dire straits.
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