In evaluating a potential Mitt Romney 2012 presidential candidacy, the focus of discussion almost always seems transfixed on his role in developing a health care reform plan in
, while he was Governor. Health care will no doubt be a major issue in 2012, but there is so much more to Romney’s record and life experience, which also needs to be examined. Massachusetts
Last week Romney appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, to deliver the Daily Top Ten list. It was a mildly amusing affair, allowing Romney the opportunity to poke fun at his buttoned down image, despite the decidedly weak comic material he was provided by Letterman's writers. However, the Top Ten format seems like a good way to provide some background information about Romney, to his supporters, detractors and those unfamiliar with him.
So here is a list of some perhaps unknown events, facts and trivia, designed to provide insight and prompt discussions about Mitt Romney. And in no particular order we start:
10) Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947. That makes his zodiac sign a Pieces and a Pig in Chinese astrology. It is said of Pig people – “Pigs are models of sincerity, purity, tolerance, and honor. When you first meet them, Pigs seem too good to be true. They are careful and caring, obliging and chivalrous. Put your trust in him, he won't let you down and he will never try to. The Pigs simply want to do everything right.”
9) Mitt Romney once suffered broken ribs, a fractured arm, a concussion, facial injuries and accidently declared dead, after being in a head on auto collision in
. In June 1968, while driving fellow missionaries, a Mercedes passing a truck, missed a curve and swerved into the opposite lane, slamming the car Romney was driving, head-on. Trapped between the steering wheel and door, the Romney had to be pried from the car. Later a French police officer mistakenly wrote Il est mort (dead) in his passport. The wife of the mission president was killed and other passengers were seriously injured as well. Back home in France America, fearing his son was dead, George Romney relied on his friend, Sargent Shriver, then US Ambassador to , to go to the hospital for details. Shriver discovered Mitt had indeed survived and would later fully recover without needing surgery. France
8) Mitt and Ann Romney are a devoted couple who will be celebrating their 42nd wedding anniversary this coming March 21, with their 5 sons, 5 daughters-in-law and are you ready for this – 16 grandchildren. The love story of Mitt and Ann Romney started when they were teens. "Saying they have never had a serious argument in the long lasting traditional marriage, Mitt still refers to Ann as his sweetheart."
7) Romney enjoys spending time with his family - especially grandchildren, running, reading, skiing and horseback riding with his wife, waterskiing, and watching movies.
6) Upon entering office as MA Governor, Romney faced an immediate $650 million budget shortfall and a projected $3 billion deficit for the next year. Unexpected revenue of $1.0–1.3 billion from a previously enacted capital gains tax increase and $500 million in federal grants cut the deficit to $1.2–1.5 billion. By enacting further spending cuts, increasing fees, and removing corporate tax loopholes, Romney reversed the situation and by 2006, the state enjoyed a $600–700 million surplus.
5) In Romney’s original Health Care proposal, he wanted individuals who wanted to self insure, the right to do so, by posting a bond, proving they had this ability. This proposal was removed over his veto by the Democrat Legislature.
4) Romney lists the following musical artists among his favorites: Roy Orbison, The Beatles, The Eagles, The Kingston Trio, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, Brooks & Dunn,
George Strait, Clint Black, and . Garth Brooks
3) Romney is known to eat and maintain a healthy diet, including lots of chicken, fish, his wife Ann’s home made Granola (we need to get that recipe) and a good PB &J when he’s out buying his own shirts. Romney also enjoys a Hires Burger whenever he gets the chance. When at his new home in La Jolla, CA (a future Western WH?) Glen Johnson reports, Romney likes the turkey burger at the Burger Lounge. Another favorite is the Marketplace Grille, where he orders the chicken bowl - chicken served with tabbouleh, a choice of white or herbed rice, and lavash bread. It is served on paper plates with plastic utensils. "He comes in with his grandchildren," said Mehran Izadi, the restaurant's co-owner. "He's very down to earth. You don't expect that from a politician."
2) Romney’s first name is Willard. He was named after his father George’s great friend and fellow Mormon, J. Willard Marriott, of hotel fame. Mitt is his middle name, which was his dad’s cousin
’s nickname. Milton was a Quarterback for the Chicago Bears, playing from 1925 -1929. Mitt Romney served on the Marriott board of directors from 1993 to 2002, and again from Jan. 2009 to Jan 2011. Milton
1) In July 1996, when a fellow executive at Romney’s company Bain Capital , 16year old daughter went missing in NYC, he shut down the company and took a team of 30 to NYC to find her. It’s a great story and can be read in full here. It offers a glimpse into the understated determination, dedication and inspired leadership Romney is know to provide.
As the article detailing Romney’s recues efforts notes:
”It is often during a crisis that we gain insight into a person's real character. Romney's action demonstrated leadership, loyalty, and selflessness - attributes that Americans just might like to see in a president of the
.” United States