A Washington Post article today about the annual Romney family vacation on Lake Winnipesaukee is as good of evidence as any of what a waking nightmare a Romney presidency would be. As with the sad tale of Seamus, this vignette comes from a friendly source and presumably was meant to humanize Mitt-bot 4.0 [note- italics not in actual article]:
The Romneys, 30 in all these days, spend their time away from the stresses of everyday life — like, say, wrapping up the Republican nomination for president — by following a highly orchestrated, highly competitive regimen of sports and games known as the “Romney Olympics.”
The Romney Olympics have long included a mini-triathlon of biking, swimming and running that pits Mitt and his five sons and their wives against one another. But after Mitt once nearly finished last, behind a daughter-in-law who had given birth to her second child a couple of months earlier, the ultra-competitive and self-described unathletic patriarch expanded the games to give himself a better shot.
Now they also compete to see who can hang onto a pole the longest, who can throw a football the farthest and who can hammer the most nails into a board in two minutes
Last winter in Iowa, Romney campaigned at a diner with his youngest son, Craig, who shared an anecdote from the Romney Olympics as an example of his father’s competitiveness.
Although Craig’s wife, Mary, had just given birth, she competed anyway in the triathlon.
“All the boys had finished at that point, and it was down to my wife and my dad,” Craig said.
“I tripped her!” Mitt quipped, joking.
“In the home stretch,” Craig recalled, “she had a slight lead on him and . . . he was going to win that race or he was going to die trying. And you see this fight to the finish. He went for this, he gave it everything he had, he gave it a good kick and he beat her in the end.”
Craig said his dad was so fatigued that “he passed out in the lawn chair, and we didn’t see him the rest of the day.”
“You know,” Mitt added, “there’s more to that. I changed the nature of the triathlon after that. I didn’t like this idea that these were only swimming, biking and running.”
Now, he said, “we have log-sawing, nail-hammering. We added some things I excel at so I don’t come in last every year.”
After one of Romney’s sons, who had just passed a kidney stone the size of a golf ball, almost beat him at pole-hanging, Romney introduced the events of out-sourcing, bucket-tossing, and waffle-making (his “trump-card”).
Obviously (?) that last part in italics is made up, but the rest appears to be horrifyingly horrifyingly real. It continues:
At night, the adults gather for family meetings, with each evening focused on a frank and full discussion of a different son’s career moves and parenting worries.
Each member of the family picks a daily chore from a “chore wheel,” so as to share cleaning tasks evenly.
One summer when Romney’s eldest son, Tagg, now 42, was working for the Los Angeles Dodgers, he told his father he wouldn’t make it to Wolfeboro. Baseball, after all, is a summer sport, and he didn’t think he could take a week off in the middle of the season.
“My dad said, ‘No, you will make it,’ ” Tagg recalled in an interview. So he showed up, noting, “I had to beg forgiveness from my bosses at the Dodgers.”
The 13 acres and 768 ft of shoreline on the property & the surronding town of Wolfeboro sound bucolically lovely, vacationing there should be a wonderful time. But, does not the forced march Mitt Romney version of a family vacation sound more like some crazy reality show than an enjoyable get away with loved ones? The “stresses of everyday life” sound potentially preferable of the stresses of worrying that angry Mitt will emerge and come up with some cockamamie thing for you to compete with him in, if you come too close to beating him at nail hammering. The poor Romneys must need a two week vacation to recover from the exhaustion of a week at the lake with crazed camp director Papa Mitt.
The problem with Romney as a potential President that the Seamus on the roof thing shows is not simply possible cruelty to an animal, it was that it highlighted a hyper focus careening into myopia that prevented him from recognizing not only when something was not working, but even when it had gone really really wrong. This is a not a good quality in a President to say the least. It seemed like a similar thing happened around the South Carolina primary with Romney’s slowness to recognize a real issue with his his tax returns. In that situation, his competition was weak enough he could recover, but a similar failure to recognize a changing situation on the global stage could be catastrophic.
The problem with Camp Romney is not that it reveals Mitt to be some extra-square throw-back patriarch, it’s that it illustrates the fact that Mitt Romney is such a controlling, competitive, must always win person that he would even subject his whole family a totally bizarre “vacation” week of his own hyper-controlled design (and whose design he will change at any time to his advantage). Romney’s me-first, and hyper controlling nature have long been evident and are often not even hidden. These are also extremely negative qualities for a President. It’s bad enough that 30 people have to endure Romney’s version of vacation, let’s hope and pray 300,000,000 people don’t have to endure Romney’s version of America.
If people are able, they should consider volunteering in New Hampshire for Obama. The polls there are tied and that state could make a huge difference one way or the other.