Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Romney's Concept of Service

More on Mitt Romney. Following a speech today in Bettendorf, Iowa, the former Michigan governor took a question from a Rachel Griffiths, who identified herself as a member of Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good, as well as the sister of an Army major who had served in Iraq. As reported in TPM Cafe, she asked "... how many of your five sons are currently serving in the U.S. military, and if none of them are, how do they plan to support this war on terrorism by enlisting in the U.S. military?" In a long response which touched on support for the volunteer army and the soldiers serving in Iran, and comments about his niece, Romney stated:

It’s remarkable how we can show our support for our nation and one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president. My son, Josh, bought the family Winnebago and has visited 99 counties, most of them with his three kids and his wife.

Griffiths clearly was not amused and asked for her reaction, responded "he told me the way his son shows support for our military and our nation is to buy a Winnebago and ride across Iowa and help him get elected." To give equal time: on the atlantic.com, substituting for Andrew Sullivan, Eric Kleefeld writes "I don't think Mitt Romney is so insensitive that he would intentionally compare the sevice of our troops to people working for his campaign. But I do think he did a great job of putting his foot in his mouth this time."

I don't buy this. I'm not convinced this does not reflect Romney's thinking about himself, service to country, or patriotism. I don't believe he is stupid, that he "put his foot in his mouth." Democrats underestimate this fellow at their peril, just as they always have George W. Bush- the guy who outmaneuvered (with the help of James Baker and others) them in the aftermath of the 2000 Presidential election, in the 2002 vote authorizing military action in Iraq, and recently, in expanding the power of the Executive Branch in wiretapping American citizens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a stupid response.

Still, I wonder how useful a question that is. It certainly tells you whether he has a certain perspective, but the point of the question seems to clearly be to make him look bad.

Still, it does highlight the uneven burden that now exists. Our nation has gotten much worse at actually supporting the armed forces, through both volunteering and giving, myself included. I suppose thats the price of not having a draft though.

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