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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My way or highway Mitt

If at first you don't succeed, forget it. That seems to summarize the record Mitt Romney compiled during his one term (sort of) as governor.

The Boston Globe looks into some of the previously unexplored nooks and crannies of the Romney administration, which is best known for health care reform and dealing with the collapse of a portion of the Ted Williams Tunnel.

Take education policy. Please.

Romney's singular accomplishment in higher education will be remembered as shoving out former UMass President William Bulger. The merits of that move can be debated elsewhere, but the net impact on the quality of the state's higher education is clearly negligible.

The Globe paints the usual picture of Romney as the state's CEO, a man who sets policy and then expects others to carry it out. But the business leadership model has always been flawed as a governing model, which requires negotiation and compromise to reach consensus and results.

And Romney was never one to roll up his sleeves and work for what he wanted as governor, a vital clue to how he would behave as president, where cooperation and negotiation with Congress is crucial.

And make no mistake, even if the GOP sweeps and Romney gets a Republican Congress, his style is sure to generate friction. Legislative bodies are not boards of directors that take orders from the C-Suite.

In the end, the Massachusetts Legislature did implement some of the ideas Romney put forth. But by then he had moved on to stoking his presidential ambitions and was an uninvolved bystander.

Much as a President Romney would be when he used the same style on a Congress that is likely to be just as dysfunctional as it is today.

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