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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Name Game

Perhaps Mitt Romney would have known Massachusetts legislators names if he had stuck out his full four years.

The New York Times' review of Romney's governing style focuses the spotlight on an aloof CEO who didn't bother getting his hands dirty with the nitty-gritty of governing.
“People often talk about Romney’s leadership ability, but a lot of it went unused because of his attitude toward the legislature,” said Maurice T. Cunningham chairman of the political science department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. “With better relations, he would have been able to do so much more.”
The story glosses over a couple of key elements of Romney's tenure in the Corner Office: his willingness to make a deal on the one piece of legislation that now haunts him -- health care reform -- and his effective abandonment of the office once his efforts at "reform" failed.

Romney allied himself with now-disgraced House Speaker Sal DiMasi and long-time conservative nemesis Ted Kennedy to draft the law which he himself touted as a national model for reform. That's hardly the company Romney now wants to be seen in and the Times story gives him a pass.

Equally troubling would be Romney's Palinesque move onto the campaign trail after his efforts to elect more Republicans to the very legislature he disdained failed miserably.

The Globe has reported that Romney was out-of-state for 212 days during his last year in office, traveling to 35 states and eight countries as he kicked off his presidential campaign. The big difference with Palin is the former Alaska governor formally relinquished power to pursue her outside interests.

Romney's lack of back-slapping skills is hardly news: Barack Obama isn't big into that either. And barring another congressional tsunami in November, negotiating with Congress isn't going to be a requirement for either man.

But readers deserve a better look at Romney's successes and failures in the Corner Office than this somewhat cursory look at his personal style offers.

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