Friday, August 31, 2012

The Romney Files

Willard  Milton "Mitt" Romney  is the former governor of Massachusetts and a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. The son of former Michigan Gov. George Romney, who also sought the GOP presidential nod in 1968, Romney was raised in the suburbs of Detroit and served on a Mormon mission in France before going on to earn his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and a J.D./M.B.A. from Harvard University. Romney co-founded Bain Capital, ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 1994, and headed the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. He served one term as governor, from 2003-2007, and sought the GOP presidential nomination unsuccessfully in 2008.

By Felicity Blaze Noodleman


Has Mitt Romney had his eye on the Presidency since he left office as the Governor of Massachusetts?  One would think that holding the highest office in the nation has been the motivation behind his political aspirations from the beginning of his political career.  Mitt’s father was the Governor from the state of Michigan (1962 – 1969); and was a moderate Republican.  It should be noted that during the time his father was in office the country was advancing the causes of human rights under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson and he was reelected to his office by larger majorities each successive time. 


It would appear Mitt’s father is his inspiration in politics.  To say that Mitt is a “Chip off the old block” is a fair evaluation and would be the classic example.  I lived in Michigan as a child during Governor George Romney’s administrations back in the 1960’s, so I feel as though I know something about the candidate and can say the similarities between father and son are very, very close.  What ever the case, there seems to be a sense of civic duty in the Romney family.  If you want to know the candidate better you can read his books.

Mitt has written two books seen above, reviews:


In No Apology, Mitt Romney asserts that American strength is essential—not just for our own well-being, but for the world’s. Nations such as China and a resurgent Russia threaten to overtake us on many fronts, and violent Islamism continues its dangerous rise. In the face of such challenges, America need not apologize for its liberties, but must use them wisely.
We need renewal: fresh ideas to cut through complicated problems and restore our strength. Creative and bold, Romney proposes solutions to restore economic vitality, create good jobs, reduce out-of-control spending on entitlements and health care, dramatically improve education, and rebuild a military battered by years of war. Most important, he calls for a new commitment to citizenship, a common cause we all share, rather than a laundry list of individual demands. Many of his solutions oppose President Obama’s policies, many also run counter to Republican thinking, but all have one strategic aim: to strengthen America and preserve our global leadership.
Personal and dynamically argued, No Apology is a call to action by a man who cares deeply about America’s history, its promise, and its future.


From Publishers Weekly

It's not well remembered, but the planned 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics were scandal-ridden and in complete disarray until Romney took over as CEO in early 1999. In this management primer, he makes his rescue job seem very simple: he came in, displayed a positive attitude and hired competent, committed people, and the result was a successful Olympics that few had thought possible. That same attitude is displayed throughout this book, as Romney is quick to credit those around him for the games' success. He's thorough as he details how he revamped the budget, kept costs down and marketed the games to sponsors. His self-deprecating honesty is refreshing and appealing. As he writes after emphasizing the importance of selling the games: "I know there are people out there who love to sell, but it is far from my favorite thing." He's also honest about his criticism of the Salt Lake City leaders who were tainted by their efforts to buy votes from International Olympic Committee members to get the city the games. The same traits that make Romney, now the governor of Massachusetts, an unobtrusive leader don't always serve the book; some readers will want to see more sparks fly. But those looking for a training manual in how to run a high-profile organization will be rewarded.

So how well did Mitt Romney do in his one term as the Governor of Massachusetts?  This article from the "Boston Globe" below appraises his tenure:

By Scot Lehigh

 Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007.
the boston globe/file   Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007.
The State House was ground zero in the duel between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Thursday, with each camp taking to the storied front steps to critique and tweak the rival candidate.

To hear Team Obama tell it, Romney was a complete flop during his four years as governor; to listen to the pre-buttal Team Romney cobbled together in anticipation, Romney was a job-creating wonder compared to the Jimmy Carter-esque incumbent president.

So what to make of it all? First, a couple of event observations. Conspicuous by his absence was Deval L. Patrick, our state’s popular incumbent governor and favorite Obama surrogate. Instead, the local headliner was Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, who has roamed the state as a badly dented denizen of the land of the undead since news broke that he had been bitten by notorious public-sector vampire Michael McLaughlin. Add to the mix a long, rambling filibuster from former North Adams Mayor-for-Life John Barrett, and this observer found himself wondering: Who, exactly, picked this lineup?

The catalogue of criticisms directed Romney-ward were about what you’d expect: He didn’t pay sufficient attention to Barrett and other Democratic mayors, he cut funds for local aid and education, and his jobs record trailed most other states.

If, however, you prefer context to overkill, here are some things to consider. Yes, Romney made some budget reductions that hurt, but he was governing in a time of a sluggish economy and fiscal problems. And so, like governors of all ideological stripes, he cut spending.

But here’s the more instructive point, given the no-new-net-revenues stance Romney and the national GOP have taken regarding our national fiscal problems: Romney did about a third of his first-year budget balancing through new revenues. According to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, he raised around $750 million in new revenue for his first budget, half through a long list of fee increases, half through what he called corporate-loophole closings — but which someone more committed to linguistic precision would label business tax hikes.

“By and large they were changes in tax policy,” says Michael Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “One can argue the merits, but they were overall tax increases.”

The two sides also battled over respective jobs records. Romney’s surrogates claimed, as Romney himself has bragged, that he created more jobs as Bay State governor than Obama has nationally. This is an area where it’s easy to fit facts to one’s favored storyline, so here are the most relevant data: According to the Taxpayers Foundation, the state added about 20,000 private-sector jobs during Romney’s four years; as of April, there were 35,000 net new private sector jobs since Obama took office. (At a comparable time under Romney, the state economy had added some 10,600 total non-farm jobs.)

What renders the president’s overall job picture negative is the 600,000 or so public-sector jobs that have been lost. Although liberals may lament the public-sector loss, one would think conservatives would be more focused on the private-sector figures.

But honestly, the jobs comparison doesn’t tell you much that’s truly useful. Why? Because the idea that governors are responsible, beyond the margins, for the job creation or job loss in their states is misplaced. It was mostly fiction in 1988 when Michael Dukakis ran for president on the so-called Massachusetts Miracle and it’s mostly fiction now. A president’s policies have more overall economic effect than a governor’s, but even on a national level, many other factors are at play.

So how to judge Romney as governor? Certainly he doesn’t rank with Bill Weld or Mike Dukakis, the two governors who define the modern era in Massachusetts. But he was hardly a dismal failure, as Obama chief strategist David Axelrod and yesterday’s supporting cast charged. He was an above-average state CEO, but could have been considerably better if he hadn’t turned his focus nationally so early in his single term. He dealt reasonably well with tough fiscal challenges. And as he showed on Romneycare, when he set his mind to something, he could get big things done.

But count on this: You won’t hear much about his signature achievement on the campaign trail. Not from Romney, anyway.
 The Boston Globe

So what about Mitt’s experience with the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic games? Wikipedia has made this assessment in the article which follows below:
2002 - Romney addresses Salt Lake City Olympic Committee . . .
Desert News - Salt Lake City

The Salt Lake Games faced a bribery scandal and some local opposition during the bid, as well as some sporting and refereeing controversies during the competitions. Nevertheless, from sporting and business standpoints, they were among the most successful Winter Olympiads in history; records were set in both the broadcasting and marketing programs. Over 2 billion viewers watched more than 13 billion viewer hours.  The games were also financially successful raising more money with fewer sponsors than any prior Olympic Games, which left SLOC with a surplus of $40 million at the conclusion of the games. The surplus was used to create the Utah Athletic Foundation, which maintains and operates many of the remaining Olympic venues.



During the 2012 Presidential campaign the “US Olympic Committee” has released a statement asking the candidates to leave the games out of the politics.  The Following story expresses:


U.S. Olympic Committee wants Olympics footage out of campaign ads

July 26, 2012|By Melanie Mason


The U.S. Olympic Committee has a message for the presidential candidates and their supporters: leave the Games out of your politics.

The committee today panned an ad released Wednesday by Priorities USA Action, the "super PAC" supporting President Obama, which made ample use of old Olympics footage of Mitt Romney at the 2002 Winter Olympics. The spot poked fun at Romney’s international investments and pointedly referred to foreign countries where Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, helped create jobs.

That was not exactly in line with the Olympic spirit, at least according to the USOC.

"The Olympic Games are a celebration of friendship, excellence and respect. While we are absolutely confident that neither presidential candidate nor campaign has participated in the production or distribution of these negative ads, the attacks, using Olympic themes and images, need to stop,” said USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky in a statement.

“Tomorrow we will celebrate America's finest athletes' accomplishments and watch Team USA march in the parade of nations,” Sandusky added. “For anything even remotely negative to be associated with that time-honored, inspirational moment would be extremely unfortunate.”

Olympics footage is not just off-limits for attack ads. Sandusky specified the ban “pertains to all ads. We will not allow Olympic footage to be used in any political ad, positive or negative, per the IOC's Olympic Charter."

The restriction may spell bad news for Mitt Romney and his supporters, who point to Romney’s stewardship of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics as a key biographical selling point in his presidential campaign.

His campaign has already used Olympics imagery at least once – a Web video from last December, called “Leader,” refers to his involvement in the Games and features a shot of Romney decked out in Olympics gear.

The USOC will ask candidates to stop running any ads that include Olympics footage; it will also ask YouTube to take such ads down.
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As for Priorities USA, it will still run ads in four battleground states during the Olympics, but it will sub in a spot unveiled last month which hammers Romney for layoffs at an Indiana factory that occurred when his private equity firm, Bain Capital, took over.

“When we were assured Mitt Romney and his allies would be held to the same standard, we were more than happy to take the ad down,” said Bill Burton, co-founder of the liberal super PAC.

The Los Angeles Times

So now what about the infamous “Bain Capitol”?  What is it and what is it’s purpose?  Wikipedia defines:

Bain Capital is a Boston-headquartered alternative asset management and financial services company that specializes in private equity, venture capital, credit and public market investments. Bain invests across a broad range of industry sectors and geographic regions. As of early 2012, the firm managed approximately $66 billion of investor capital across its various investment platforms.


The firm was founded in 1984 by partners from the consulting firm Bain & Company. Since inception it has invested in or acquired hundreds of companies including AMC Entertainment, Aspe Education Group, Brookstone, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Clear Channel Communications, Domino's Pizza, DoubleClick, Dunkin' Donuts, D&M Holdings, Guitar Center, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Sealy, The Sports Authority, Staples, Toys "R" Us, Warner Music Group and The Weather Channel.

As of the end of 2011, Bain Capital had approximately 400 professionals, most with previous experience in consulting, operations or finance. Bain is headquartered at the John Hancock Tower in Boston, Massachusetts with additional offices in New York City, Chicago, Palo Alto, London, Luxembourg, Munich, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.


I have to say that Bain Capital sounds nothing like the villainous raiders the Obama administration as described them and the candidate Romney as.  Bain has helped many American companies secure their needed capital and many are business American families use from time to time.  The Obama campaign has leveled a number of serious charges at Romney and Bain to which the candidate has given the following answers:

Obama’s False Attacks



OBAMA MYTH: Destroying companies

REALITY: Governor Romney’s private sector record is one of success and turnaround, despite many investments in companies that were failing at the time.
Eighty percent of the companies Bain Capital has invested in from its founding to today have grown revenues. When companies grow, they are able to hire more workers and our economy grows.
Bain Capital pursued an investment strategy that often included targeting companies in decline and trying to turn them around. In most cases, it held the companies for many years and invested a significant amount of human and financial capital into improving operations to help revive these struggling companies.
When President Obama attacks Governor Romney’s record in the private sector, he’s also attacking our country’s greatest engine for job creation: the free enterprise system.

OBAMA MYTH: Rich businessmen profited most from the firm’s investments.

REALITY: The major investment beneficiaries of Mitt Romney’s work in private equity – and private equity in general – are the investors in the fund.
The investors include pension funds, charities, and universities. In fact, over half the money invested in private equity is from pension funds and charitable foundations alone. The success of private equity investments helps provide secure retirements for seniors, allows charities to serve their communities, and provides universities with the resources they need to educate our youth.
In addition, state and local governments depend on higher returns from private equity investments to fund employee retirements without cutting into operating budgets. When investments don’t perform, state and local governments must offset gaps in investment returns by using tax dollars otherwise spent on local programs. In California, for example, one study has shown that a 0.25% decrease in investment returns could cost local municipalities and school districts $300 million per year. That’s $300 million less being spent on vital local programs.
When private equity succeeds, it is not just companies that thrive -- it is retirees, charities, local communities, and universities that benefit the most.

OBAMA MYTH: Bankrupting a successful steel mill in Kansas City, MO.

REALITY: The GS Technologies plant that Barack Obama has used to attack Mitt Romney was scheduled to be closed if Romney and his colleagues hadn’t bought the plant and tried to help turn it around.
In 1993, GS Technologies, a company Bain Capital had invested in, purchased a struggling Kansas City steel plant from Armco. Prior to this investment, Armco announced plans to close the Kansas City plant if a buyer could not be found.
This investment – and $170 million in upgrades – kept the Kansas City plant competitive in a tough international market and saved the steel workers’ jobs for eight years.
Two years after Mitt Romney left Bain Capital, the GS Technologies plant was closed because of foreign steel dumping into the U.S. market. Thirty-one other steel companies declared bankruptcy during the same period.
During his three and a half years in office, President Obama has consistently failed to take the steps necessary to protect American manufacturing from unfairly-subsidized Chinese imports. On day one, President Romney will designate China a currency manipulator and take the steps necessary to make American manufacturing competitive again.

OBAMA MYTH: Shutting down a successful paper plant in Marion, IN.

REALITY: The paper plant in Marion, IN was losing money when Ampad bought it to try to turn it around.
In 1992, Bain Capital invested in American Paper & Pad, or Ampad. Two years later – while Governor Romney was on a leave of absence to run for U.S. Senate against the late Ted Kennedy – Ampad purchased the assets of an unprofitable plant in Marion, Indiana from Smith Corona.
This was not a healthy plant: In the year preceding Ampad’s purchase, the Marion plant lost more than $1.6 million dollars.
Though the Marion plant would later close, Ampad added nearly 2,500 jobs at other plants between Bain Capital’s initial investment and the sale of its majority interest. During this same period, revenues grew dramatically from $8.8 million to more than $580 million.

OBAMA MYTH: A “Corporate Raider”

FACT: Even President Obama’s supporters acknowledge this isn’t true. Steve Rattner, President Obama’s former car czar, said that Governor Romney was the “furthest thing” from a corporate raider. Governor Deval Patrick rejected the characterization of Bain Capital as a raider and said that Bain was a “perfectly fine company” with “a role in the private economy.” The truth is that Governor Romney wasn’t tearing down companies; he was building up strong companies like Staples, Sports Authority, Steel Dynamics, and Bright Horizons. This accusation is yet another failed attempt to smear Governor Romney’s “sterling” private sector record, and even President Obama’s supporters reject it.

OBAMA MYTH: Shipping Jobs Overseas

FACT: Under Governor Romney’s leadership, Bain Capital invested in over 100 companies. Of those, President Obama’s campaign has accused three of shipping jobs overseas. In two of these cases, the accusations are related to events that occurred in 2000 and 2001, well after Governor Romney left Bain Capital in February 1999 to lead the Winter Olympics. In the third case, the share of domestic production actually increased, not decreased, during the time the Obama campaign points to. This attack is merely an attempt to distract voters from President Obama’s failed economic record and his refusal to stand up to China’s unfair trade practices.

OBAMA MYTH: Closing Stores And Laying Off Employees

FACT: Under Bain Capital’s ownership, Stage Stores doubled the number of employees and doubled the number of stores. During this time, Stage Stores added locations in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Bain Capital sold its controlling interest in the company in 1997. Years later, Stage Stores filed for bankruptcy, but today it is a healthy business with 14,000 employees and hundreds of new stores nationwide.
Team Romney "Romney for President"

Clint Eastwood  and  Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Kid Rock 
Mitt Romney
The Convention Floor

Con. Paul Ryan and Gov. Chris Christie

Massachusetts Delegates


Five Takeaways From Thursday

At The Republican Convention

Categories: 2012, Republicans
by Mark Memmott - npr

Mitt and Ann Romney (center) are surrounded by family members and balloons at the end of the 2012 Republican National Convention on Thursday in Tampa.

If you missed some of Thursday's action at the Republican National Convention, when Mitt Romney accepted his party's presidential nomination, we were live blogging here and you can always read through it to see how the day and evening went.

But if you'd like to save some time, here are five things that struck us (skip to the end if you only want to read about Clint Eastwood):

— It's Not You, It's Him: From the start of the evening through Mitt Romney's acceptance speech there was a common message for those Americans who voted for Barack Obama in 2008: That's OK, you shouldn't feel bad — it's Obama who failed. Romney himself put it this way:

"How many days have you woken up feeling that something really special was happening in America? Many of you felt that way on Election Day four years ago. Hope and Change had a powerful appeal. But tonight I'd ask a simple question: If you felt that excitement when you voted for Barack Obama, shouldn't you feel that way now that he's President Obama? You know there's something wrong with the kind of job he's done as president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him."

— Romney's Faith Is Something To Be Celebrated: The former Massachusetts governor could become the first Mormon to be elected president. So far in the campaign, most stories about that have focused on whether some voters might be uncomfortable because they're unfamiliar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Up to now, the candidate and his campaign hadn't talked much about his faith. Tonight, they had friends tell about how he helped them through truly heartbreaking times.

"It seems to me when it comes to loving our neighbor, we can talk about it, or we can live it. The Romneys live it every single day," said a tearful Pam Finlayson, after talking about how Romney and his wife, Ann, helped and consoled her following the death of her daughter.

— It's Also OK To Talk About Bain Capital: Romney has taken a lot of incoming fire from the Obama campaign for his record as head of an investment firm that put money into some winners and created jobs — but also backed some losers that closed and cost workers their livelihoods. Tom Stemberg, the founder of one company that Bain helped get started — Staples — turned the issue back on Democrats: "You have to ask yourself: Why would an administration that can't create any jobs demonize someone who did? I've got a theory. I think when it comes to jobs, new businesses, and economic growth — they just don't get it. They say that Mitt Romney is out of touch with ordinary Americans. They just don't get it."

— Some Love From Brother Bush: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, departing from his prepared remarks, used the start of his address to the convention to honor his father (former President George H.W. Bush) and his brother (former President George W. Bush). It was one of only a few moments this week when George W. was spoken about from the podium, and his brother's words brought the delegates to their feet. "I love him," Jeb Bush said, and George W. "kept us safe" during "incredibly challenging times."

— Clint Eastwood Said What? It was easily one of the more bizarre moments in recent political conventions history. Actor/director/American legend Clint Eastwood came onstage to offer his support for Romney. He did it with what appeared to be a bit of improv theater: a "conversation" with President Obama, who was represented by an empty chair. For those in the Tampa Bay Times Forum, it was hard to understand what Eastwood was saying. According to a transcript put together by NPR's Padmananda Rama, and from what we could hear from our seat in the rafters, among the lines Dirty Harry said were:

— On the night Obama was elected "I just thought, this is great. Everybody's crying. Oprah was crying. I was even crying. And then finally — I haven't cried that hard since I found out that there is 23 million unemployed people in this country."

— "What do you want me to tell Romney? I can't tell him to do that. ... He can't do that to himself. You're crazy. You're absolutely crazy. You're getting as bad as Biden."

— Vice President Biden is "just kind of a grin with a body behind it."

— "You could still use the plane. Though maybe a smaller one. Not that big gas guzzler when you're going around to colleges and talking about student loans and stuff like that."

— "I'd just like to say something, ladies and gentlemen. Something that I think is very important. It is that, you, we, we own this country."

— "We don't have to be — what I'm saying, we don't have to be ... masochists and vote for somebody that we don't really even want in office just because they seem to be nice guys or maybe not so nice guys if you look at some of the recent ads going out there. I don't know."

Well, Mr. Eastwood, with that we think we'll call it a day. Or a convention. Or a night. Or whatever. We don't know. Now it's on to Charlotte, N.C., where the Democrats get together next week.

In conclusion; we have asked the simple questions about the "Romney Resume" and have reviewed some favorable and positive results.  If I had to rate or grade his performance I would give Willard Milton "Mitt" Romney an "A" + + + .  Go to the Romney site and read his economic plans!  I'm Felicity and you have been with the Noodleman Group. 

The Politician or the business man; or the business of politics!
* Images and photographs for this article; courtesy of "Google Images", 
the "Boston Globe" ,
the Salt Lake City "Desert News" and
Team Romney.


* “The Noodleman Group” is pleased to announce that we are now carrying a link to the “USA Today” news site. We installed the “widget/gadget” August 20, and it will be carried as a regular feature on our site. Now you can read“Noodleman” and then check in to “USA Today” for all the up to date News, Weather, Sports and more! Just scroll all the way down to the bottom of our site and hit the “USA Today” hyperlinks. Enjoy!

The Noodleman Group is on Google "Blogger"!

No comments:

Post a Comment