We started MittTheMan.com last October because we were fed up with people who have never met Mitt declaring him to be “robotic,”plastic,” and “unfeeling.” Escalating the insults, exclamations such as “he has no core” continue to fill the news. The negativity towards Mitt reached I hope will be seen as its climax during his recent trip abroad, which implies the turning of the tide in the Obama “Kill Romney” campaign strategy.
The rhetoric in that campaign became more and more heated over time. Accusations from the Obama camp have included charges that Mitt is a felon. Showing either his dishonesty or his complete ignorance of what is going on, Obama later said that never happened! Worse still, campaign ads, which President Obama has refused to denounce, even border on calling Mitt a murderer. In that instance, unswayed by the fact that Mitt had left his company 7 years earlier, an Obama Super PAC ad implied that he played a role in denying healthcare to a poor woman later diagnosed with cancer, which ultimately took her life.
Most distressing to us who know Mitt, however, was the observation early on that even conservatives refused to give Mitt a fair shake. It appears, however, that the tide might be turning and not be a minute too soon. Given that we approach the most significant election in generations, we have no more time to waste.
It was in that frame of mind that I read this weekend a terrific piece by Andrew Ferguson, senior editor of the Weekly Standard. He admits there his previous anti-Mitt bias and recounted how his view has changed. The entire article is worth reading, but here are a couple of excerpts to preview the author’s apparent conversion. Ferguson lays out his initial impression, leaving little to the imagination:
Now that he’s officially the Republican nominee for president and has an excellent chance of becoming the most powerful man in the world, I feel free to admit, in the full knowledge that nobody cares, that I never liked Mitt Romney. My distaste for him isn’t merely personal or political but also petty and superficial. There’s the breathless, Eddie Attaboy delivery, that half-smile of pitying condescension in debates or interviews when someone disagrees with him, the Ken doll mannerisms, his wanton use of the word “gosh”—the whole Romney package has been nails on a blackboard to me.
To his credit, Ferguson did not leave it at that, which of course gave rise to the article! He had the integrity to delve further, to “dive” as he put it, into the Romney literature. His primary source was The Real Romney by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman of the Boston Globe. Ferguson’s conversion was slow at first, but then it became profound:
Almost every personal detail about Romney I found endearing. But my slowly softening opinion went instantly to goo when The Real Romney unfolded an account of his endless kindnesses—unbidden, unsung, and utterly gratuitous. “It seems that everyone who has known him has a tale of his altruism,” the authors write. I was struck by the story of a Mormon family called (unfortunately) Nixon. In the 1990s a car wreck rendered two of their boys quadriplegics. Drained financially from extraordinary expenses, Mr. Nixon got a call from Romney, whom he barely knew, asking if he could stop by on Christmas Eve. When the day came, all the Romneys arrived bearing presents, including a VCR and a new sound system the Romney boys set up. Later Romney told Nixon that he could take care of the children’s college tuition, which in the end proved unnecessary. “I knew how busy he was,” Nixon told the authors. “He was actually teaching his boys, saying, ‘This is what we do. We do this as a family.’ ”
This is the Mitt Romney that we know. This is the Mitt Romney who was our friend in France. This is the Mitt Romney of whom we have written for weeks now here on MittTheMan.com. This is the Mitt Romney who inspires virtually all who work closely with him. Indeeds Ferguson pointed out, the authors of The Real Romney apparently had to dig deep to find any negatives at all.
This irony is extreme, given the bad press that Mitt continues to receive. Read Ferguson’s article and pass it along!