In my latest reading of The Real Romney, by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, the topic was Romney's record as Governor of Massachusetts, and how he moved to the right on such issues as abortion and gay rights, probably because he was planning to run for President.
to Kranish and Helman, Romney as Governor did not really form
relationships with state legislators, for he was not a back-slapping
sort of politician. This had negative consequences for Romney,
but also positive consequences. The negative consequences were that
several state legislators thought that Romney regarded them as
underlings, that there was not a great deal of cooperation between
Romney and state legislators in pursuing Romney's agenda, and that state
legislators tried at times to show Romney who was boss (as when they
overrode the vast bulk of his vetoes). The positive consequence
was that Romney led state government slightly away from its "You
scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" atmosphere (which sometimes led to
corruption), for Romney was not much of a deal maker. Rather,
Romney's strategy was to appeal to the people of Massachusetts,
expecting for them to put the state legislators in the hot seat. There
were times when this worked, as when the Democrats in the state
legislature backed off from increasing the capital-gains tax.
Romney's accomplishments as Governor, Romney did help make the
judiciary more of a meritocracy. Romney also displayed leadership after
a tragedy involving the Boston highway system, when "heavy concrete
ceiling panels fell onto a car driving through a Big Dig tunnel",
resulting in the death of a mother of three (page 243). Kranish
and Helman say on page 244: "Immediately, Romney became a commanding
and reassuring presence. The legendary quick study was on the case,
demonstrating a stunning mastery of complicated engineering details."
terms of the economy, Romney (according to Kranish and Helman)
"streamlined the public approval process to help businesses expand and
revived an agency charged with recruiting businesses to Massachusetts"
(page 242). At the same time, Kranish and Helman state that
there was only a one percent net increase in new jobs by the end of
Kranish and Helman are excellent
writers, and I think that you can see that in what they say on pages
259-260, as they artfully transition to the next chapter, which is about
Romney's health care reform plan:
"As public resentment
about his national ambitions grew, Romney swatted it away as best he
could. How could liberal Massachusetts be expected to understand? The
state didn't matter for Republican presidential candidates, anyway. Yet
just when many expected him to disengage completely, Romney did the
opposite, displaying a dedication and focus that people around him had
never seen. Eager to notch a signature achievement before he left
office, he took on a problem many others had tried, and failed, to
solve. It was a puzzle he had worked over in his mind for years. No
state had ever put all the pieces together. But now, Romney decided,
Massachusetts would: every resident would have health insurance. He'd
find a way."
That evil Bible, again.
9 hours ago