Sometimes, just for the fun of it, I listen to liberal talk shows on XM radio in my car. In spite of the fact the the GOP has yet to select its presidential nominee for the 2012 election, most Obama supporters seem to believe that Mitt Romney will be that nominee, and it is never too early to seek out issues that they hope have the potential to demean, denigrate and ridicule the Mr. Romney, the Republican opposition.
This week, one of the topics for Democratic derision was what some deemed a contrived effort to humanize Mitt Romney whom the current Democratic talking points have aimed at characterizing as cold, detatched and aloof. An “internet rumor” was cited as a cloying attempt to make Mitt Romney appear to be a caring human being–a citation that was often accompanied by chortles and even occasional guffaws. After all, how could such a “cold, unfeeling, obscenely financially successful” man be capable of the kind of human emotion that the liberal hosts and callers smugly claimed to be unique to their side of the aisle?
Here is the ridiculed e-mail that has made the rounds over the past week or so–an e-mail that those who have bought into the talking points describing Mitt Romney as so standoffish that he cannot connect with other people–found so impossible to believe, that they dismissed it as nothing but a phony and unbelievable rumor.
In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital,
had disappeared. She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high
Three days later, her
distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney took immediate action. He
closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to
New York to help find Gay’s daughter. Romney set up a command center at the
LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search.
He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the
NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in
New York, and asked them to help find his friend’s missing daughter. Romney’s
accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while
cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper.
Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked
with everyone they could — prostitutes, drug addicts — anyone.
That day, their hunt
made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl and the Bain employees
searching for her. As a result, a teenage boy phoned in, asked if there was a
reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New
Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing
withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later said the girl
might not have survived another day. Romney’s former partner credits Mitt Romney
with saving his daughter’s life, saying, “It was the most amazing thing, and
I’ll never forget this to the day I die.”
So, here is the inevitable epiphany from that episode:
Mitt Romney simply can’t help himself. He sees a problem, and his mind
immediately sets to work solving it, sometimes consciously, and sometimes
not-so-consciously. He doesn’t do it for self-aggrandizement, or for personal
gain. He does it because that’s just how he’s wired.
Had those who had such a fine old time making fun of the “ridiculously incredible rumor” about Mr. Romney’s herosim taken a few minutes to check the Internet to check its veracity, they wouldn’t have made such fools of themselves–as they tried desperately to pounce on what they were sure would be a great campaign issue. They could have checked Snopes, http://www.snopes.com/politics/romney/search.asp. They could have checked Politifact http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jan/30/chain-email/viral-internet-story-says-mitt-romney-helped-locat/:. They could even have checked the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/1996/07/12/nyregion/volunteers-search-for-missing-girl-14-in-party-underworld.html.
Instead, they checked into Obama Campaign Talking Point Headquarters, apparently got the word that the “Romney Rumor” should be headlined as the Republican Lie of the Day–and they ran with it.
The laugh is, of course, on them.