Mitt Romney has spent a lot of time in the last few weeks talking about how great a job he did as Governor of Massachusetts. Having grown up in Massachusetts during his term, I remember it a bit differently.
Governor Romney and I go back almost ten years now. When he was elected, I was eleven years old and had barely begun thinking about politics.
Toward the latter half of his term, Governor Romney successfully passed his universal health care plan. But, when I think about his term, memories of the Governor being disliked for his inability to remain in the state he was supposed to be in charge of.
So I did a little investigating.
(Cue the theme song to the Pink Panther movies)
It took a little bit of digging but I finally unearthed an article in The Boston Herald that I remembered reading when it was published in 2006.
The front-page of paper that day (which I was able to find and is provided at the top of this post), features the headline “Where’s Mitt?” and displays a picture of Governor Romney with his face on a milk carton.
The article, which is behind a paywall at the Herald but is accessible through the library at Cornell, paints a portrait of a Governor who has given up on trying to govern his state in favor of promoting his eventual candidacy for president. The article begins with three frustrated paragraphs:
“Basements are flooded from P-town to Topsfield, bridges are out, crucial legislation is stalled and the crime rate is up, but none of this has slowed Gov. Mitt Romney's traveling political circus.
“The former Utah resident was back in his home state earlier this week before he hit sunny California to spend time with his sons and raise money for his commonwealth political action committee.
“Today, he's set to travel to Arizona to speak at the Trunk and Tusk dinner, a GOP fund-raiser with tickets ranging from $275 to $5,000. Tomorrow he heads back to Utah until Tuesday.”
Later it goes on to list several “key pieces of legislation” that Romney neglected while traveling,
The Herald is far from a liberal rag, it is the conservative paper in Boston and otherwise was very supportive of Romney. Theirs was the bipartisan consensus of Governor Romney’s time spent as Governor of Massachusetts. He was not a hard-working, tireless fighter who somehow battled the Democratic legislature for 4 years. He was somebody who benefitted from a Democratic legislature that was willing to work with him instead of tanking his agenda and waiting for Democrat Deval Patrick to enter office.
Remember that the next time Governor Romney touts his record in Massachusetts.