As Mitt Romney advances closer and closer to the Republican nomination, the media is attempting to “vet” him for anything negative in his past. And, so far, the attempt is pathetic.
Here are some of the facts presented in the ‘Dark Side of Mitt Romney’ a book excerpt that appeared in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.
- Mitt Romney is a devout Mormon.
- Mitt Romney forbade his children to criticise their mother and forbid himself from disagreeing with her in front of them.
- Mitt Romney has so much energy and manages his time so well that even though he was an extremely busy executive, he made sure to spend an incredible amount of time with his family, and worked hard as a local leader of the LDS Church.
- Mitt Romney has a smaller circle of people around which he is totally comfortable.
- “He has little patience for idle chatter or small talk, little interest in mingling at cocktail parties, at social functions, or even in the crowded hallway. He is not fed by, and does not crave, casual social interaction”
- As a leader in the Mormon Church, he did not join in any kind of organised resistance to the non-negotiable tenants of the faith, but was flexible on any point of practice that was negotiable.
- “Romney, of course, never said that greed is good, and there was nothing of Gekko in his mores or style. “
What part of this is the ‘dark side’?
The article then tries to make the Mormon Church sound especially weird. But instead the article focuses on the fact that the LDS promotes traditional sexual morality and sex roles. (Egads! Just like most other religions.)
There is a long section on some of Bain Capital’s dealings. Some companies, like Staples, were a wild success. Others who were struggling when they came to Bain, never recovered. Nothing really incriminating. When even Bruce Rattner is defending your work as “thoroughly respectable – nay, eminent” these attacks aren’t going to stick.
The only two parts of the article that would lift an eyebrow are the following:
1) The time he strapped a dog-carrier case to the top of the family car for a long trip, and the Romney’s dog defecated all over the car. There is lots of dispute over how “protected” from the elements the dog was in its carrier, but as a dog-person, yeah this makes him seem weirdly out-of-touch.
2) The allegation from a single-mother in the Mormon Church that Mitt Romney was insensitive and applying high-pressure tactics to encourage her to give her children up for adoption. It’s unclear whether Romney was following orders, and most of her testimony is about the impression his visit left her, not on what he said.
You would think that Vanity Fair would pick the most salacious and incriminating details of his life. If this is it, then his personal and business life seems squeaky clean. Especially by the standards of politicians. He’s a choir-boy.
The only unsettling things in Mitt Romney past are his frequent, politically-motivated, changes of position, and the weird lies he tells about his political career. Vanity Fair didn’t bother to mention those.