It was August of 2007. My friend Reed Skogerboe and I ware having a discussion of the Republican field of Candidates for President. I found the field lacking and held forth on several candidates. At former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, I stumbled. Governor Romney seemed to be right out of central casting for most any lead role as a good guy. He was handsome and carried himself with command and confidence. He had a storybook family compared to most anyone—notably Mayor Giuliani of New York. I did not actually know much about his term as Governor but knew he had started at zero and built successful businesses to a personal net worth of some $200 million. I also knew he had turned a Winter Olympics disaster into a notable success. But I said, “There is something, I just can’t put my finger on it.” Reed immediately popped a one word explanation, “Slick.” That was it, “slick.”
But now, as Romney seeks to close out the 2012 Republican primary/caucus process, we are learning more. Slick was an inadequate description. It turns out this central casting business success with the perfect looking family lacks character.
Speaker Gingrich was castigated by conservative commentators (notably including Rush Limbaugh) for questioning the ethics practices at Romney’s company, Bain Capital. The assumptive position was any criticism of an American company is an expression of Socialism. The critics, while not as bright as Rush, are all very bright; way too bright to take such a stupid position. But, although Gingrich was on to something, his findings seemed washed away by the conservative blowback.
But as Sarah Palin, who gave Gingrich her second State in a row thumbs up, knows time will correct that. She knows that Romney’s contemptible character will catch up with him faster than Obama’s did.
For example, Romney was able to turn aside Gingrich’s charge that, while he, Gingrich, did have a customer named Freddie Mac, Romney actually invested in and profited by the “housing bubble.” No, no, Romney said, his assets are in a blind trust. He was prevented from even knowing what his money was doing. (Why didn’t the mob think of that?) Gingrich was not successful in refuting that false answer but I have a man who is—Mitt Romney. In 1994 Romney said, “The blind trust is an age old ruse. You can always tell a blind trust what it can and cannot do. You give a blind trust rules.” Watch him say it:
But, think what you will, the Romney investment and profit from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is legal. “Blood Money” or Medicare fraud as carried out on a grand scale by a Bain Capital company is Illegal. Call it “Blood Money” as this documentary trailer does. Watch it all—twice.
Think about this, George Soros observed, “There is very little difference between Mitt Romney and Barak Obama except the people they bring with them.”
The fathers of America, Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America), Lincoln, Ronald Reagan and many other American leaders knew that character is at the heart of a free America.
In the spring of 2008 a reporter interviewed President George W. Bush. He asked, “This is the final year of your Presidency, what do you hope your legacy will be?” Bush loved giving real answers instead of the one the reporter was seeking. His answer was, “The important thing for each of us all is, at the end of our life to leave behind more than you found when you got here. That, of course can be material production. Producing and saving is good. But I’m really talking about character. The mark of a life is the character that was added while here.”
Just weeks later, the President’s insight made all the difference for me. My son, Greg, barely past the midpoint of his life, suddenly died. I remembered the Presidents words as I surveyed the mountain of character Greg left behind. I also reflected on the lifetime of integrity my own father left. These lives, unknown to history, permanently and positively added to the world.
Governor Romney? After his time, his family will carry the scars of his deficiency in character. Let us pray and work to prevent the same scars on our country.