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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Myth busted

When Utahns turn against Mitt Romney, he's in a heckuva pickle. And some of then are turning.

The one seemingly unblemished mark on Romney's resume is his handling of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. That myth has Romney riding to the rescue to lead an organizing committee that was presiding over a corrupt, out-of-control venue. It required his great managerial skills to put clean up the Games and take them from a likely loss to a nice profit.

Not everyone agrees. Listen to Wayne McCormack, a professor at the University of Utah law school:
“You could have brought Humpty Dumpty in and the same change would have happened. It was inevitable. . . . I don’t mean to denigrate Mitt’s performance by any stretch. But to answer the question, did he cause it to happen? No, the organizational structure was such that it simply had to happen.”
Nor did it hurt that Romney was able to secure an extra $400 million taxpayer dollars for the Games, bringing the federal contribution to an estimated $1.5 billion.

After the Games, of course, Romney took credit for saving the Games and "came home" to graciously accept the Republican nominee for governor, pushing aside Jane Swift, whose interim time in the Corner Office was highlighted by her role as a helicopter parent. His efforts in Salt Lake were a major piece of this campaign pitch.

But Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini, a Democrat to be sure, says Romney's role was, well mythologized.
I don’t remember him as a savior of the Olympics,” she said. “He came in and did a good job. He did a very good job. . . . I would put [former Bain associate] Fraser [Bullock] in with him as having made the Olympics hugely successful. Would it have been as successful without them? It’s hard to say. . . . I think our Olympics would have been good no matter what.”
Another myth busted.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been saying the same thing for 10 years. The changes needed at the Salt Lake City Olympics were already in motion when Romney came on board. He merely provided the white knight image needed to be the face of those changes in the public eye, not that he wasn't eminently qualified to excel at the job. Romney benefited from the hundreds of millions of additional federal dollars and assets for security in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to make the Games profitable, and the very successful athletic side of the coin completed the image for him. All that remained was the golden opportunity of a weak incumbent Jane Swift coming up for election, that he could easily muscle out of the way, and the rest was history.

February 13, 2012 9:25 AM  

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