Although the media hasn’t given much time to Romney’s record in MA, the citizens of the Commonwealth remember Romney quite well. Many, Republicans included, were disappointed by his performance, and Deval Patrick’s speech at the DNC summed things up nicely:
“He was a lot more interested in having the job than doing the job.”
Much of Mitt Romney’s rise to political prominence comes from a interesting combination of perseverance and luck. A man, who doesn’t seem to hear the word “no” much, has used Massachusetts has a stepping stone to the White House. Only in office for one term, Romney couldn’t even last the full four years and opted to spend almost 212 days out of the state. Well, what was he doing you might ask?! Beginning to run for President of course!
Using an average of four days a week, the sitting governor visited 35 states and eight countries. He was even kind enough to visit the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq; getting his feet wet in foreign affairs and national politics. Till this point the Bain baron, Olympics savior, and MA governor had little name recognition, and getting out on the open road and visiting the troops and speaking on behalf of Congressional candidates was a great way to show his face to Americans.
While MA still stumbled with nationally high unemployment numbers and the acquisition of healthcare reform, Mitt was busy using state troopers to cross the United States making speech after speech. He was even able to raise money for his two year old PAC (Commonwealth PAC). During the 2006 election cycle it raised $2.71 million. Not bad for one year. Although getting that money wasn’t always easy. Romney was forced to compromise, or should I say flip-flop, on his moral stance on a few policies. Gay marriage became abominable, abortions became sinful, and the healthcare mandate he gleefully passed was now something to shy away from.
And what about those voters in MA that honored the Mittster with the seat of Governor? Well, they became the center of his political jokes. Certainly not a very funny man, Romney tried to woo some of the more average Joes with jokes like:
“Being a conservative Republican in Massachusetts is like being a cattle rancher at a vegetarian convention.”
The only funny thing about this joke is calling himself a conservative Republican from Massachusetts. In all honesty, there really is no such thing, and Romney was not the leader to stand up for “conservative” values. For many Massachusetts citizens, Romney pulled a fast one and distanced himself as quickly as possible from the state that was good enough to land him his first real political stepping stone. While pandering to a group of conservatives in Utah, Romney even said that he wished his state was more like theirs.
Mittens really had no, and still has no, line in the sand. Everything to him is fair game so long as he obtains his goals. Ambition is by no means something that should be absolutely rejected, but ambition sometimes hides a deeper thirst for power and Mitt is certainly thirsty. Viewing his rise to power really shows a pattern of events and articulated movements that he thought would land him in the Oval Office. No luck yet, but never count out a multi-million dollar business man with a hope for even more power.
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