Meeting Governor Mitt Romney

At the recent California State Republican Party Convention in Sacramento, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Massachusetts Governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

One word that must be used to describe Mitt Romney is “likable.” Politics involves plenty of glad handing, and Governor Romney truly enjoys shaking hands and meeting people. Unlike some politicians that try to walk out the door as soon as their remarks are finished, Governor Romney is known to stay for long periods of time, all the while taking pictures with people.

The first time I saw Governor Romney was at a previous California State Republican Party Convention. That one was only blocks from my home, and Governor Romney wowed the crowd.

“Some say that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger gets along better with Democrats in the state legislature than I do in Massachusetts. Of course Arnold gets along well with the Democrats. He is sleeping with one.”

“After I helped turn around the Salt Lake City, Utah, Olympics, Sports Illustrated wrote about me and featured me. My sons turned to me and said, ‘Dad, in all our lives, we never thought we would see you on the cover of the sports pages.'”

At that event I asked him, “Governor, why is Massachusetts having trouble passing tough drunk driving laws? Is there political resistance?”

Governor Romney did not miss a beat.

“Yes there is, but I am not going to elaborate.”

I then saw Governor Romney speak before the Republican Jewish Coalition 2008 Candidates Forum. His full throttled defense of Israel left zero ambiguity. His best line came with regards to the War on Terror.

“Forget closing down Guantanamo Bay. We shouldn’t close Guantanamo. We should double it.”

I briefly ran into him at the 2008 Republican Convention in Minneapolis. He was in a hurry, but still took time to shake hands with people.

At this current state party convention, he was there to show support for California Gubernatorial Nominee Meg Whitman, the founder and former CEO of eBay.

Throughout the weekend, Governor Romney would speak, and introduce Ms. Whitman. This time, they decided to reverse roles. Ms. Whitman got the crowd revved up, and Governor Romney kept up the excitement.

Due to the crowds, I was pushed so far forward that I was practically on the stage. I managed to find a crevice so that I was one to two feet from the Governor. He was in fine form right form the start.

MR: “You see, Meg builds crowds, and I take credit for it.”

“There are three issues in the 2010 campaign. They are jobs, taxes, and schools. JTS.”

(Despite being a staunch and unwavering supporter of Israel, Governor Romney was not referring to the Jewish Theological Seminary when he referenced JTS.)

“In California, your schools are a real problem.”

“It is hard for a Republican to win here, but Meg wWhitman can win.”

“First of all, she is a woman. That is a big advantage in this state. Come to think of it, it could be an advantage in all the states.”

(laughter)

“That does matter here. There are many Democratic women that will give Meg Whitman a look because they can identify with her.”

“Secondly, Do you Twitter? Tweet, Tweet, Tweet. Look, I am an old person by comparison. Meg understands the young people. She created the technology that they are using now.”

“The people running in the primary are all good Republicans. Yet she is the one that can win.”

Somebody in the crowd then yelled out “Romney in 2012!” The crowd chanted “2012,” and when that died down, I decided to interject my own comment.

“2009 when Obama is impeached!”

The Governor and the crowd cracked up. It was just a joke, and I am glad it was taken as such.

When I got to speak to Governor Romney, I asked him only lighthearted questions. He is so incredibly quick. Nothing I asked him will change the world, but he was affable as always.

It was not an official interview.

Tygrrrr Express: “Governor, I saw you in Century City. I loved your comments about Arnold. That was hilarious.”

He thanked me, and I continued.

“Governor, do you feel that you have been the subject of bigotry? Isn’t it true that the media has a hostility against you because you belong to a sect of people that is constantly inviting hatred, that being people with absolutely perfect hair?”

The Governor laughed heartily, expecting the question to be about his religious faith.

MR: “Absolutely they are jealous.”

Tygrrrr Express: “Aren’t you living proof that a man can have perfect hair without being vapid like John Edwards?”

The Governor’s response will remain off the record since this was not an official interview.

Tygrrrr Express: “Governor, thank you for your strong support of Israel. I am always apologizing to Christians for the 80% of my community that does not get it. Do you ever want to go up to Harry Reid and tell him to stop messing things up for the rest of your community?”

MR: “Absolutely. I have tried my best. There is nothing I can do about him.”

Tygrrrr Express: “Lastly Governor, you have ties to Michigan. Do you think General Petraeus and the United States military have what it takes to take back, secure, and turn around Detroit?”

MR: That is a good question. That I do not know.”

Governor Mitt Romney is great at “working” a room, but that should not be seen as a bad thing. It implies insincerity. Mitt Romney genuinely does like the crowds. He feeds off of the energy, and gives it back in abundance.

California is a mess. We would do well to heed the advice of a man who turned around the state formerly known as Taxachusetts.

Governor Romney, as always, it was a pleasure.

eric

14 Responses to “Meeting Governor Mitt Romney”

  1. Dav Lev says:

    I won’t comment much right now, caus I just read the local paper,
    specifically the articles about the current budget proposal AND
    the attempt at a unity government being discussed in Egypt, between
    Hamas and Fatah and frankly got sick to my stomach. (GM lost billions
    last year, duh, due to lost sales. Yeah, we Americans are buying Toyotas
    and Hondas instead, lucky Japanese. )

    I will have more to say about this later.

    I am a proud voter for Republican candidates, but I consider myself
    an Independent.

    I did not vote for Barbara Boxer, nor did I disapprove Mr. Davis.

    I voted for George Bush Jr. both times and John McCain/Sarah Palin,
    even though, living in the most blue of states, I appreciated how futile
    it was.

    I admit to being for Giuliani at first as our next President. His experience
    as a US Attorney, and cleaning up an otherwise (liberal) unclearable city
    were only two of his achievements. (Community organizer,oh come on.)

    I thought Romney should have run with McCain for VP. I could not
    fathom Joe Lieberman getting the approval of the Republican base. After all is said and done, he is a Jew. Or as Bill Maher said on TV the other day,
    Bernard Madoff is a Jew, after all. (Thank you PBS for allowing criticism and ridicule of one’s faith, something Maher’s Muslim friends would not tolerate).

    Romney’s religion was undoubedly a factor in McCain’s choice.
    To Mormons, there are pagans and Christians. The Mormons are Christians. That won’t get many votes.

    Sooooo, the slide towards socialism ( ie, Communism) continues, at
    an accelerating pace.

    Hopefully Obama and his gaggle of socialists (take money from the
    successful to pay for the unsuccessful and ordinary), will be thrown
    out of office.

    BTW, thank you Mitt and the Republicans for your correct perspective
    on fighting terrorism. Are you aware that nobody wants the remaining
    250 GITMO internees…and that virtually no one released to their
    home country was ever prosecuted.

    More later…about the fleecing of my America.

    There is a group called Americans for Peace Now…it should be called
    peace now, war later.

    Another motto should be, save 400.00 (single person) on your taxes now, and pay 10,000 more over the following 10-20 years. Get it!
    Nothing comes free in this world.

  2. What does “double (Guantanamo)” even mean? Talk about “vapid.”

    Dan Lev seems to think “success” and wealth are the same thing. Wow. What a surprise. Hey Dan, did it ever occur to you that with paying for this wonderful country that gives people the opportunity to be “successful” there would be no such opportunity? Oh. That’s right. Conservatives can’t think that far into anything.

    Romney plays great to the “vapid” crowd. He looks and sounds like what some people want to see and hear. As for what he really believes or stands for? Nobody knows.

    JMJ

  3. Oops!!! (as usual)

    “Hey Dan, did it ever occur to you that without paying for this wonderful country that gives people the opportunity to be “successful” there would be no such opportunity?”

    JMJ

  4. Micky 2 says:

    ““Hey Dan, did it ever occur to you that without paying for this wonderful country that gives people the opportunity to be “successful” there would be no such opportunity?”

    Yea, so, why should I pay ten out of my twenty and you only pay one out of your ten for that ?

    Usually its the low lifing slouches that cant get out of their own way that think like that.
    I paid my dues on the way up and due to that success, in volume I am able to pay more than the guy just getting started today.
    It all relevant and this extremem progressive taxation Obama wants to implement is just punishing success and rewarding theivery, idiocy, and entitlement/victim mentalities in exchange for votes.
    Its an old commie/socialist play thats been used many times in history that has always ended in failure.
    If you want to call Denamrk and France a success, then I know why you own those bridges you keep trying to sell me

  5. hauk says:

    While I also have perfect hair and can sympathize with Mitt’s plight, I’d be curious to see an official interview sometime.

  6. Micky, you’re such a sycophant. You really believe that everyone’s lot in life is purely of their own making. You ever hear that expression, “There but for the grace of God go I”? Do you know what it means? This isn’t about entitlement or communism, thievery or victimhood – it’s about a nation taking care of itself. It’s about being your brother’s keeper so that your broter can be your keeper. It’s about doing unto others as you would have done to you. It’s about working together so that we all can get ahead, not just looking out for ourselves and to hell with everyone else. And you say Denmark and Frabce are not successes? Who the hell are you? If your were Danish or French, I’m sure you’d be just as proud of your nationality and state. By coincidence, I ran into a bunch of Danes at store the other day – happies friggin’ people I ever layed eyes on! We should only be so lucky!

    And what “extreme taxation” are you talking about? We have the lowest income tax rate in the developed world!
    JMJ

  7. Micky 2 says:

    “Micky, you’re such a sycophant.”

    Maybe, I dont know, at least I’m not a liar.

    ” If your were Danish ”

    I’m 1/2 Danish, 1/4German, 1/4 Mahican and my relatives tell me constantly what a bunch of thieves the government is.

    “And what “extreme taxation” are you talking about? We have the lowest income tax rate in the developed world!”

    Its the ratio of progression buddy, you know, like my question that you never answered ?

    Yea, so, why should I pay ten out of my twenty and you only pay one out of your ten ?

    “This isn’t about entitlement or communism, thievery or victimhood ”

    I dont believe you, convince me.

    “It’s about being your brother’s keeper so that your broter can be your keeper. It’s about doing unto others as you would have done to you. ”

    I dont need the government to make me do that.

    “By coincidence, I ran into a bunch of Danes at store the other day – happies friggin’ people I ever layed eyes on!”

    They think most Americans are funny

  8. Toma says:

    Karl Marx, “The Communist Manifesto”

    Obama needs to read it, then have some one explain it to him.

    The kid has no motor!

    Toma

  9. thepoliticaltipster says:

    To my mind the “Mormon problem” was not to do with Romney’s Mormonism per se, but his attempt to appoint himself as leader of the evangelical wing of the social conservative movement. As someone who had clearly been pro-choice until the 2008 election cycle he came off as rather opportunistic. Had Romney stuck to his guns like Giuliani, or followed Fred Thompson in keeping quiet on the subject and repeating “I will appoint strict constructionist judges”, he would have earned more respect from Evangelicals (though following the former position might not have won their vote from them).

    It is interesting to remember that when Reagan tried to court evangelicals, with his famous “I know you cannot endorse me, but I endorse you” speech, he made sure that he did so with humility, and with a recognition that his passage of legalised abortion in California prevented him from speaking with authority on the issue. I also think that he is going to have a very hard time in 2012 as none of the wounds with Huckabee supporters will have healed and the establishment (the National Review wing of the GOP) seems to be coming to terms with a Palin candidacy. His only hope is to re-invent himself as a moderate, which will be very difficult.

  10. Laree says:

    Check out Cinie’s World, an excellent Blogger – Blogs PUMA issues. Who wasn’t paying attention to what the American Idol candidate was saying?

    http://cinie.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/what-you-thought-he-was-kidding/

  11. Laree says:

    Lou Dobbs and Imus discussing among other things the Second Amendment. Apparently if Obama renews the Clinton Assault Weapon Ban, this will make Mexico happy…oh sure why wouldn’t it, then when the Mexican Army helps the Drug Dealers smuggle drugs into our country- our side can just throw rocks at them 🙂

    http://youhavetobethistalltogoonthisride.blogspot.com/2009/02/tgif-circus-life-clowns-to-left-of-me.html

  12. Hipster, I don’t think the “National Review Wing” is going to sit back and let Palin, or anyone of her ilk, take the reins of the party. The days of vacuus, pandering puppets are over. Did you catch any of the Gingrich speech at the CPAC the other day? Everything was “Bush/Obama” this and “Bush/Obama” that. The GOP establishment realizes that another empty suit (or skirt) that simply panders to the lowbrow wing of the party is a sure-fire loser, and a proven failure. Gingrich is a lot of things, but he isn’t stupid. For the GOP to come back, they have to appeal to a broader swath of the American people. The GOP has become too narrowly branded by the white, male, Christian, authoritartian, xenophobic, Southern Right. Contrary to what I inferred from our good host, it was not the MSM that cut Romney down for his Mormonism, but this narrow element within the GOP, as you point out. The GOP has to reach out to re-embrace pro-choice, culturally liberal Wall Street Republicans, middle-class Northeastern Rockafeller Republicans, “Reagan Democrats,” the libertarian youth, and conservative immigrants and minorities. It’s always been a tough coalition to hold together. When one sect gets upset, they simply stay home come voting time – or go with alternatives. This happened to Bush 41, Dole, and McCain. All three of these guys had problems with one bunch or another within the party tent, and that was enough to cost them the elections.

    McCain, through no fault of his own, lost a huge block of the hispanic vote, for instance, because the GOP seemed to many to become too rabidly anti-immigrant. Bush 41 lost Wall Street Conservatives when he broke his “read my lips” promise – even though it was the correct thing to do, AND lost the libertarian-conservative grassroots to Perot. Dole had little support from hard-liners of all stripes. You have to get some support from your hard-line base, but you can’t lean to heavily on them, lest you loose everyone else – and everyone else is a substantial majority. Palin is just too disliked by the “everyone else” group to win the presidency. She comes off as radical and risky, and even more vacuus and naive then Bush 43. Americans do not want another puppet presidency. If the GOP wants to win again, they need to field candidates of substance, who know what they’re talking about and can express it in a way that appeals to a much broader spectrum of society. Romney can do this, but he comes off too slick for the grassroots cultural conservatives, let alone the problem he has with his religion. When his father ran, his Mormonism was a negligible issue, but today Americans are much more religious and fundamentalist religious at that! The GOP now has the near impossible task of finding candidate who are BOTH fundamentalist religious AND intellectually substantial, and THAT may not be possible. You can’t be a ridiculous moron and a substantial intellectual at the same time.

    Micky, I know you hate the United States constitutional republic. I can’t help you with that. My advice? Move to Somalia. It’s an anti-Government utopia.

    JMJ

  13. Micky 2 says:

    “The days of vacuus, pandering puppets are over.”

    Oh yea ?
    Then what would you call the present CIC ?

    “Micky, I know you hate the United States constitutional republic. I can’t help you with that. My advice? Move to Somalia. It’s an anti-Government utopia.”

    You dont know squat.
    That statement was equivalent to me telling you to move the PRC because I think you love government to run every aspect of everything in your life.
    Grow up.

    “For the GOP to come back, they have to appeal to a broader swath of the American people”

    Nope, we need to remind people that the free market capitalistic limited government approach is what works.
    After Obamas policies of massive government intervention, class warfare, wealth redistribution on fail flat on its face we wont have that hard a time convincing people to go with what has always proven to be a winner.
    And please, dont use the last 8 years as an example, there were just too many RINOs involved to call that a truly conservative administration.

    “You can’t be a ridiculous moron and a substantial intellectual at the same time. ”

    How far up your rump did you have to reach to pull that one out ?

    You’re fairly well educated to the point of sounding intellectual at times.
    And then theres times when you sound like the a$$clown of the century.
    Theres some really great minds out there taht incredible scholastics and genius behind them, they just apply it to and for the wrong causes.

    Trust me, they’re out there, it wont be that hard, but like I said, when this administration is ka poot in 4 years anything resembling conservatism will be better.
    Its not gonna be a very hard act to follow.
    Really, stop thinking you sound like you know what you’re talking about by asserting that the GOP is so screwed for a definition, candidate or new image to run on and that if we dont do any of what you suggest were screwed.
    I suggest you worry more about the collasal failures coming up that you’re going to have to explain away.

  14. prying1 says:

    I have perfect hair too. Unfortunately it stays under the skin on my skull.

    Hey! Perhaps that is Jersey’s problem. His hair roots are growing into his brain and he has not learned how to train them.

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