Make us your home page

Before he "introduces" himself to America this week in Tampa



Six things I underlined in today's story in the New York Times on the two "dark spots" in Mitt Romney's otherwise fortunate life:

1. ... what his campaign has not offered, to date, is a crisis narrative, the kind of biographical story of overcoming hardship that other politicians have used to define themselves and inspire other Americans.

2. After the shock of Ann Romney’s diagnosis, he immersed himself in research about multiple sclerosis, becoming “a mini-expert,” said Laraine Wright, a close friend of Mrs. Romney. He read scientific papers and called medical experts. And he began focusing on practical ways he might make his wife’s life easier. He contemplated installing an elevator in their home and moved the master bedroom downstairs.

3. After the car crash in France, Mr. Romney returned to his mission duties with a broken arm and renewed zeal; along with another 21-year-old, he was left in charge of the mission. In an early hint of his executive abilities, he concentrated on motivating his peers to win more converts.

4. There are some reasons Mr. Romney may not want to talk to voters about the vulnerable moments in his life. Ann Romney, whose story has inspired patients all over the country, undoubtedly has access to the finest medical care, at a time when many Americans are struggling for lack of health insurance. And the car accident shines a spotlight on Mr. Romney’s Mormon faith, something that until recently he has mostly tried to avoid.

5. "I think in a very real way he is not so much the un-Barack Obama as he is the un-Bill Clinton," said Dr. Anderson, who once ran for Senate as a Democrat from Utah, but supports Mr. Romney for president. "Bill Clinton was an enormously empathetic person who in a crowded room could lock onto you and make you feel like you were the only one there. But he was a totally undisciplined person in his own personal life. Mitt Romney will never disgrace the office. He will set an example of moral rectitude. But don't expect him to sit down and feel your pain."

6. Craig Romney said his father was exceedingly careful in teaching him how to drive, though he is not sure if the accident was the reason.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 9:39pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours