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Can you spot eldest son, “Tagg”?

Get to Know “Mitt”
Willard Mitt Romney was born into privilege and a Republican pedigree in 1947 as the son of George Wilcken Romney, Chairman of American Motors, three-time Governor of Michigan, 1968 Presidential candidate (until a remark about having been “brainwashed” into supporting the Vietnam War effectively ended his run), and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the administration of Richard Nixon. Willard attended the Cranbrook School and went on to graduate from Brigham Young University, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. Ever the opportunist, Romney founded Bain Capital, a venture capital company that, through its investments and leveraged buyouts, came to control hundreds of well-known companies, including Staples, FTD Florists, Domino’s Pizza, Sports Authority, Sealy, and Brookstone.

Born with political ambitions, Romney ran an unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate against Democratic political icon, Ted Kennedy, in 1994, spending $7 million of his own money. Upon losing that election, he returned to make millions more in the business world, typically at the expense of labor, although he likes to say that he created 10,000 jobs while working at Bain. After gaining national exposure as the chairman of the 2002 Winter Olympics, Romney pounced on the opportunity to be elected Governor of Massachusetts, mercilessly forcing a vulnerable incumbent Governor, fellow Republican Jane Swift, to withdraw from the race. He won this election with the assistance of $6.3 million of his own money and despite the fact that, under residency requirements within the Massachusetts Constitution, he was not even eligible to run for the office. As Governor of Massachusetts, Romney could best be described as a ruthless hatchet man who would balance a budget by shifting burdens elsewhere. For example, a $140 million reduction in state funding for higher education led to 63% tuition increases at the state’s colleges and universities. In December of 2005, Romney announced that he would not seek re-election, establishing his exploratory presidential campaign committee the day before his last day as governor. He left office having spent 219 days campaigning out of state in 2006 and with a favorability rating of only 43% (and no doubt falling).

As a Presidential candidate in 2007 and early 2008, Romney once again turned to his old formula of trying to buy his way into office, spending over $35 million of his own money out of the $90 million raised by his campaign by the end of 2007. Surprisingly, his campaign for the top of the ticket did not succeed, despite the fact that he marketed himself as a “native son” in Michigan, Utah, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Within a week of suspending his campaign, Romney endorsed John McCain for President. He also launched a PAC under the name of Free and Strong America which funds conservative political candidates who, not surprisingly, include John McCain. What is wrong with buying one’s way into the Vice Presidency? In John McCain’s own words, “There’s nobody who represents me better today than Mitt Romney.” Oh, what a team!

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