Make a Comment 0

Romney: A Michigander or Michi-gamer?

Posted in: Elections   National politics
Tags:



Mitt Romney wants to be president, so he needs to win next week’s Michigan primary. A big part of the game plan for pulling that feat off involves reinforcing Romney’s ties to the state where he grew up, where his father served as governor, and where he launched his 2008 presidential run. Which is why a column in yesterday’s Boston Herald should be a giant red flag for Romney’s embattled campaign.

Yesterday, former Herald State House reporter Kimberly Atkins recounted a sit-down interview she did with Romney on Beacon Hill. To break the ice, Romney’s press secretary told the governor that, like him, Atkins was from Detroit. Romney responded by talking about driving in his father’s car down Grand Avenue -- a street that doesn’t exist. He relayed a now-discredited story about his dad marching with Martin Luther King, Jr.

Romney also asked Atkins which neighborhood she was from. “I told him I was originally from the West Side Detroit neighborhood near the intersection of Wyoming and Fenkell Streets, but grew up on Oak Park,” she writes. “By watching his blank facial expression, I knew he had no idea what I was talking about.”

Romney’s cringe-inducing attempts at acting like a real live boy are well documented. But the weirdness that transpired between Atkins and Romney speaks to something deeper. Atkins tells Romney she grew up five miles away from his boyhood home, and he acts like she’s talking about the moon. Then, when political necessity calls, Romney wraps himself in Michigan’s mantle, calling himself a “son of Detroit,” and wistfully driving around the streets of his old hometown for the benefit of a campaign videographer riding shotgun in his truck. “I was born and raised here,” he told a campaign crowd last week. “I love this state. It seems right here. The trees are the right height. I like seeing the lakes.”

Atkins says Romney’s current native son act in Michigan looks about “as authentic as a Honda Accord with a Cadillac emblem glued to its hood,” and implores Romney to “stop pretending you’re Mr. Michigan. No one’s buying it, and the act will not help you win votes in the state’s upcoming primary — or anywhere else, for that matter. No one likes a phony.”

Right now, Romney is locked in a death match with Rick Santorum, a candidate with the exact opposite problem as Romney’s. Santorum needs to cover up his more, er, eccentric social beliefs, and focus on the blue-collar voters who would push him past Romney. But Santorum can’t resist wading into protracted, politically unproductive discussions about theology and human reproduction and man-on-dog type things. Santorum is a culture warrior, and he won’t run from that fact. In Romney, he’s facing a man who will try desperately to become exactly what you want him to be. A week from today, we’ll know which was the wiser path.

                                                                                                                                                --PAUL MCMORROW



BEACON HILL

Lottery sales are up nearly 6 percent so far this year over last year after a 28 percent drop in 2010.

Martha Coakley is back from the political dead.

Just when Massachusetts starts playing catch-up on casino gambling, other states start exploring Internet gambling, Governing reports. New Hampshire lawmakers are poised to decide the fate of gambling in their state, the Associated Press reports. Maine is about to approve its first casino license, the AP reports (via the Lowell Sun). Meanwhile, the AP reports that the industry spent $11 million on lobbyists to woo Massachusetts lawmakers to vote for casinos.

Massachusetts officials tout the potential of the video game industry even as they lament the one (Curt Schilling) who got away, reports the Lowell Sun. For a more comprehensive analysis, take a look at CommonWealth’s recent examination of the fledgling video game industry.

Exiled Rep. Charley Murphy backs gas tax or regional payroll tax revenues for the MBTA in a Boston Herald op-ed, and then tells the paper, “Clearly the speaker has said no new revenue. That’s his position. The speaker’s not king.”

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

Westport officials have banned commercial shell fishermen from part of Westport Harbor, allowing only those with recreational permits to dig for clams and oysters.

The MetroWest Daily News bemoans library decertification in towns like Franklin.

NATIONAL POLITICS/WASHINGTON

The White House defended its proposal on limiting charitable deductions for the rich, saying the impact on nonprofits will be minimal.

US Rep. Bob Morris, an Indiana Republican, calls the Girls Scouts a “radicalized organization.”

ELECTION 2012

In case you missed it over the holiday weekend, the Globe’s Glen Johnson waxes political about Joseph Kennedy III and the Brown-Warren race with Keller@Large.

The longer the Republican presidential primary draws on, the more important super PACs are becoming.

Things are so bad in Michigan that Mitt Romney has called in The Donald.

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Governing looks at the economics of spring training, and particularly the economics of Lee County in Florida building a new training facility for the Red Sox. CommonWealth did a similar analysis in 2009.

Hundreds of jobs for contract workers at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford are in jeopardy, the Globe reports.

After reviewing the firm’s financials, Globe columnist Steven Syre calls it a gamble to bet on debt-heavy Caesars Entertainment, the company angling to put a casino in East Boston. The Wall Street Journal has more detail on the “dirty war” inside Wynn Resorts, the firm that is competing with Caesars for a Boston-area casino license.

Car dealers in the South Coast region said weekend purchases for the President’s Day sales were brisk amid signs pointing to some bounce back for the industry this year. Dealers in the Berkshire County  were happy too.

EDUCATION

The Republican argues that the Springfield school superintendent search should focus on finding a well-qualified candidate  and not obsess on whether the person is from the region or not.

In the increasingly contentious contract stand-off between the Boston schools and the Boston Teachers Union, Superintendent Carol Johnson charged yesterday that the BTU is jeopardizing the receipt of $9 million federal grant.

Radio Boston explores an Acton family’s lawsuit over the use of  “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

HEALTH CARE

The New York Times reports on the political consequences of the growth of some strong Catholic hospital chains.

Pharmaceutical behemoth Novartis will pay Enanta Pharmaceuticals, a Watertown drug research firm, $34 million for the rights to use a compound it has developed in the fight against hepatitis C.

TRANSPORTATION

Paul Levy likes GoLocalWorcester.com’s “SeeClickFix” app that invites readers to report potholes and other problems which in turn gets sent to the relevant fix-it authority and hopefully gets fixed.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Radio Boston discusses a tax accountant’s picture of an endangered species swimming in the Charles River.

Time breaks down the story behind the release of memos and budgets of the Heartland Institute, a research group skeptical of climate science.

MetroWest car dealers are finding that buyers want vehicles that have better fuel efficiency and are not quite ready for electric cars or hybrids yet.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Campus police will increase their presence at Bridgewater State University after a writer for the student newspaper was attacked for penning an editorial supporting gay marriage. Hundreds of students at Bridgewater plan to rally in support of the writer, NECN reports.

A retired family court judge is defending her order, which was overturned by an appeals court,  that a woman with schizophrenia undergo an abortion and be sterilized.

A Lawrence police union files a complaint with the state’s Labor Relations Commission seeking the hiring of more supervising officers, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

Online video shows two female Lynn English High School students fighting at a park with as many as 20 other students watching and doing nothing, the Lynn Item reports. WHDH has reaction and parts of the video.

MEDIA

The Boston Courant owns a website but won’t use it until the publisher can figure out a way to turn a profit running it, the Nieman Journalism Lab reports.

The New Haven Independent restores reader comments, but with some new rules, Dan Kennedy reports for the Nieman Journalism Lab.

The Boston Globe was awarded a George Polk Award for its investigative series on lenient treatment of alleged drunk drivers by Massachusetts judges.

0 Article Comments
There are currently no comments.
Would you like to comment? You must Login or Create an Account to leave a comment.
Back to top

Login

Forgot Password?

 

* = Required
*
Username Required
*
Password Required

Create an Account Here!

Create an account with us to comment on stories and blog posts. Your account information will not be shared with third parties.

* = Required
*
First Name Required
*
Last Name Required
*
Screen Name Required
*
Email Required
*
Password Required
*
Confirm Password Required
*

Archive