Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Romney Hides Light Under Oversized Bushel – Knows how to Work for a Dollar? – Bill Maher Puts in Two Cents on Ann Romney – Continues War on Women

The Young Romney's in Boston - Not the lifestyle one envisions - photo NYTims

An article from Jesse Merkel at Policymic.com is an eye opener for those who believe Mitt and Ann Romney are beyond privileged and could care less about the “little people” There are some facts missing from the Romney narrative that could boost his appeal across the voters spectrum – these are outlined in the article that uses just a few links to news stories that are readily available.

Mitt Romney and the Silver Spoon - Although the perception of Mitt Romney as a lifelong “rich guy”, who’s out-of-touch with the regular folk is pretty much fodder for many a news article – a New York Times article tucked away under politics and fact checks suggests otherwise: Romney did inherit money from his father, but gave the entire amount away(this is also included in the article from Jesse Merkel, however, what struck most was the following paragraph from the times: “Even so, Mr. Romney benefited from his father’s wealth in another way: he relied on George Romney for a loan that he used to buy his first home, in Belmont, Mass., for $42,000.”(New York Times)

The Times in its quest to paint Romney as privileged somehow falls a tad short, when one looks at the amount that was loaned by the father to the sun - $42,000. Another key element – this was not a gift (as in benefiting) it was a loan. In the 1960’s through the 1980’s, it was not uncommon for parents to provide loans to their children – some at no interest, some at low interest, this was not something confined to the “filthy rich”, it was the way a family helped out the young couple who wanted a start in life, or to pay for a car. These were the middle class of the era, unlike the middle class today who is buried in credit card debt and one foot away from poverty. There was something about the pre-1960’s generation, children of the Great Depression, who knew the value of the dollar and gave that lesson to their children, in the form of loans.

The myth that Romney was some sort of carpetbagger in the State of Massachusetts is also debunked, he had lived in the Bay State longer than most know – electing to build his first home here.

The Merkel article also points out that Ann Romney (the pampered, never left the house, clueless stay-at-home mom: see Democrat Hillary Rosen and now Bill Maher – Obama supporter and general buffoon.) was not living the life of luxury - “In a 1994 interview with the Boston Globe, Ann Romney revealed that she and Mitt lived in a basement apartment for a few years without much income or even carpeting. (Romney gave away the bulk of his inheritance.) While finishing up college, they continued to get by on little income, having their first child while still in that small apartment.”.(Merkel)

In other words, the narrative that the campaign has not taken advantage of, including tales of heroics on the part of Romney and his Five Sons, may be in part due to the what is termed as a “Waspy” inclination to keep one’s light under a bushel. Romney is a bit of a conundrum for Conservatives, (and there are all of those many wings of the Republican Party (not unlike the Democrats) – because he is truly difficult to pinpoint, which may end up being politically to his advantage. Unlike the Santorum campaign that got boxed into the “religious zealot” category through Santorum’s defense of the Catholic Church under an Obama mandate, which mopped into the “Republican attack on Birth Control” - Santorum did not let it go, or brush it aside, but continued to make remarks and campaign on his Catholicism openly – it was a field day for the press, and in truth, although admirable to being such a “stand up guy” may have cost him.

Mitt Romney, dog on the roof of the car, aside, (since that tale with several versions, has become a campaign point for Team Obama, one has to ask - what does the incumbent intend to campaign on against Romney?), comes across now as a little less stiff, with Ann at his side, and, frankly, a guy in command of his own destiny and quite capable of getting our financial house in order – it’s what he does. Might not be the life of the party, but is that truly necessary in a President? Also, he just might, in his quest for perfection, understand protocol when meeting and greeting heads of state and proffer appropriate gifts to boot!

Read the rest of the article on Romney at www.policymic.com.

About Bill Maher: the Boston Globe has an editorial from an Obama supporter who has just about had enough – ”Bill Maher's slam on Ann Romney poses dangers for Obama” the alleged comedian, who makes his living on HBO by slamming conservative women (and using language that truly shows the mettle of the man), let loose on Ann Romney in words that suggest she was the “pampered wife” who has no clue (obligatory Maher expletive). Obviously, in a poor attempt to help Barack Obama over and above his million dollar campaign donation to Obama’s campaign, Maher’s going after Obama’s opponent – Ann Romney? – Rarely does the putz go after a man; one has to wonder why he hates women so very much, especially mothers – an analyst could have a field day with Maher – “mommy issues”. Otherwise, one could wonder why HBO would keep him on air – if not for the ratings, some of which might be made up of a mother or two, or more, considering how many American women are – mothers. It’s also quite possible that Maher didn’t get the memo that Rosen’s initial comments about Ann Romney on CNN produced a firestorm of sorts. Chalk it up to bad comedy and the need to be loved by Obama – after all he was doing the President a “favor” in his own mind.

Personal note: anyone reading this blog over the past few years understands that this blogger is lukewarm on Romney, however, as the saying goes, one learns something everyday – it was with interest that I read about the loan (and the attempt by the Times to paint it as something extraordinary and privileged, a parent having that type of money ($42,000) to loan to a son. This brought back a personal memory: as a student, who was self-funding her education, had on occasion the need to take out a loan for housing, this student went to the Bank of Mom, who wrote the check and sent along a notebook, with a payment Schedule Plus interest outlined in some detail. (Bank of Mom was what all siblings called the woman who had a brain akin to a Sperry-Rand Computer) (I have no fear of “dating myself”). This was a common practice, not just within one family but the families of friends and acquaintances in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Parents who were not “filthy rich” – but who had backgrounds in solid fiscal conservatism (and they were – Democrats!) – had actual savings, they did not pamper children into helplessness, rather, loans were the norm, and it taught more than one lesson, while instilling in those who were fortunate enough to live in that era the following: fiscal responsibility, the import of paying a loan, the import of passing on to one’s child a work ethic, which included one’s children taking personal responsibility for their lives. Bailouts were not an option one would want to approach unless one was ready for a long lecture – and a possible rejection – therefore, one strived to achieve goals set.
Somehow that changed – our society lost the value instilled in us by parents such as George Romney and this bloggers, who cared enough about their children to insure their success with the less intervention and give-aways. Now it is not uncommon for a child to be given a car, given a college education, given whatever they ask for, beyond one’s means if necessary - and therein lays the problem. What we, as a nation, have lost is the concept of personal responsibility and personal freedoms – without one, one cannot have the other.

Mitt Romney’s campaign may not have put out this tale about Romney’s first house, and humble basement apartment living, but in looking at Romney with this information – he certainly does stand in a new light – one of respect. What we need in a leader is not flash, or promises that cannot be kept, but someone who is steadfast and has a background that includes a bit of struggle and some identifier with those of who might be a wee bit suspicious of the “rich guy”. Now Romney is one of those men, who went from the bottom, to the top, on his own merits – in effect an American Success Story.

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