Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

The Real Romney

The Real Romney

by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman

Review by John E. Wade II

 

This is an outstanding biography of Governor Mitt Romney, written by two reporters from The Boston Globe.  They describe Governor Romney as incredibly bright, hard working and ambitious.

Faith and family are an integral part of Governor Romney’s makeup.  He has a strong support system in his wife, Ann, his children and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon).  His father, George Romney, served three terms as governor of Michigan and then lost his bid for the presidency.

The book recounts Governor Romney’s business qualifications and knowledge of our economy, with its enormous debt, deficits, obsolete tax system and a bloated government; it is time for an amazing rescue by Governor Romney, a man who loves a challenge.  He sums up his message in a way that I consider quite honest and desperately needed:  “I know how business works…(and)… why jobs come and why they go.”  I don’t believe President Obama could sincerely make that claim.

Mitt was born five years after his brother Scott, becoming the fourth and last child of George and Lenore Romney.  A gap like that, five years and more, makes him, I’ve been told, another “oldest child” (psychologically).

George Romney became Chairman and CEO of American Motors Corporation.  He was able to turn around the company, partly using his own funds.  George advised Mitt, to “dream big and work hard and pray always….”  As far as Mitt is concerned he had a strong and beneficial relationship with both his father and mother.  It appears Mitt’s tact came from his mother.

There were some unusual aspects of George and Mitt’s lives.  When George was governor, he liked getting advice from Mitt, and generally liked when his son was with him in the governor’s office and elsewhere.  And when Mitt graduated from high school, his father was the speaker.

Mitt met Ann when he was still in his teens and described falling in love with her at first sight.  He was smitten, finding her smart, beautiful and independent, and he pursued her until she returned his love.  When she was just sixteen years old Mitt asked her whether she might someday marry him.  She said “yes” but quizzed him about his Mormon faith as she was a traditional Protestant.  He gave her a brief explanation, after which he noticed she was crying.  Later with George Romney’s help Ann learned about the Moorman faith and converted.

Mitt is justly proud of his Mormon ancestry.  And although generations ago, some of his ancestors had multiple wives—outsiders considered polygamy one of the biggest objections to the faith—Mitt and his father had traditional marriages and family lives.

Mitt started his college career at Stanford University.  One of his classmates was impressed by Mitt’s dedication.  A classmate commented that Mitt was “wanted… on whatever committee or group you were doing.  He would take charge or lead it.”  Another complimented that Mitt was down to earth and did not put on airs.  This last comment was particularly revealing in that his father was at the time governor of Michigan.

Other things that stood out with his classmates were his closeness to his father and his loyalty to Ann—he often flew home to see her.

As are most nineteen-year-old men of the Mormon faith, he was called to missionary work.  His main reason for being reluctant to go was his fear of losing Ann.  But he acquiesced and was sent to France.  There, as always, he was very dedicated and remembered as “… charming, charismatic and passionate.”  Mitt would later explain that he had converted ten to twenty people during his mission work, which was an impressive feat.

One fellow missionary said of Romney, “You saw this exceptional leadership …to inspire, uplift, bring people to focus, remember what they’re about.”  Another admired his “drive.”  Throughout his two years as a missionary, Mitt remained dedicated to Ann.

After returning from France, Mitt transferred to BYU to be with his new missionary friends, but mostly in pursuit of Ann.  In 1969, Mitt and Ann married—a match that seems to have been made in heaven.

The BYU Cougar Club invited Mitt to join and by 1970 he became president.  He started a major drive to raise money for university athletics.  The club has since become a financial booster for the University and it was Mitt’s vision that made this happen.

Mitt watched his father’s political career, as he was re-elected as Michigan’s governor, featured in a Lifemagazine story, and in 1967 was ranked as a “leading presidential candidate.”  George Romney lost his bid for the presidency with one public statement, “… I just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get.”  He was talking about a trip to Vietnam where he had been extensively briefed about the war.  But the “brainwashing” statement drove him out of the presidential race.

Perhaps the most important thing now is that Mitt saw his father win the Michigan governorship three times and lose his bid for the presidency.  What is also important is that his father was his hero and he watched closely the ups and downs of his career.

In 1971, Mitt earned a degree in English literature with highest honors.  He gave an address in which he said, “I pray that this graduating class will choose a different kind of life, that we may develop an attitude of restlessness and discomfort, not self-satisfaction.”  George sat down with Mitt and encouraged him to take his next step in life—a dual endeavor—law and business degrees from Harvard.  So, Mitt and Ann moved to Massachusetts.

One striking aspect of the path that George and Mitt chose, mentioned by the authors, was that out of the hundreds of business and law school classmates, only fifteen earned this joint JD/MBA degree, students who were considered the “elite of the elite”.  Mitt excelled in both law and business.  Romney left Harvard in 1975, graduating with honors from both law and business school.  He was selected as a Baker Scholar, which signified that he was in the top five percent of his business school class.  This is the sort of academic background, combined with his later rich experience, not to mention his other profound qualities, that makes him superbly suited for the presidency.

Charles Faris courted Romney for years, and upon graduation hired him for the Boston Consulting Group.  This business consulting company analyzed extensive amounts of financial data seeking to “lower costs, improve productivity and gain market share.”  This is the type of background that can lead to a necessary streamlining of our government.   Faris, his mentor at the firm, commented about how hard Mitt worked.  I believe that as president he would do the same.  He would be hard-working, unlike President Obama with his frequent golf games and vacations while the national debt rises rapidly.

The authors note that Mitt and Ann’s “faith, as they began building a life together, formed a deep foundation…(in)  their marriage, their parenting, their social live…”  To me that foundation will serve the family well in the White House.  The biographers note that the Romneys always maintained a solid, functional family life.  They reared five sons, each of whom in turn served as a missionary.

Romney held important leadership positions in his church, which exposed him to “personal and institutional crises, human tragedies, immigrant cultures, social forces, and organizational challenges.”  One church colleague said, “… he was warm, accessible, and a good listener… reasonable, accommodating, and imaginative.”  A friend, who is a Democrat, said, “His leadership has been obvious to the people who know him best…”  Romney grew as a leader throughout his life, whereas President Obama is a political science follower.

After two years with Boston Consulting Group, he continued as a business consultant for about six years with Bain and Company.  When Romney was only thirty-six years old he walked into the offices of Bill Bain, his mentor and boss.  Mitt was already sought after by clients, always calm and collected, analytical and effective.  But this time, Bill Bain didn’t have a consulting assignment.  He proposed the formation of a new venture, Bain Capital.  Bain’s idea was to raise some money and invest in start-up, new companies as well as troubled companies.  This way Bain Capital could both advise them as consultants and also share in their growth.  Mitt was to head the firm.  But Mitt stunned Bain by driving a stiff bargain for him to take the risk in his career.  Bain eventually sweetened the deal until Mitt agreed.

The next fifteen years proved not only that Mitt was a superb business and investment practitioner, but a wonderful leader as well.

Mitt presided over approximately one hundred transactions.  He attempted to be very prudent and careful.  After a time he found the risk was less in troubled companies already operating rather than new ventures.  He learned, from the bottom up and top down, business and investing with great success.  He came to understand very well how jobs were created and why they were lost.  That depth can be of tremendous help in the presidency.

To do this Romney had to peer into the future over and over again, which can be of tremendous benefit in controlling the budget, reforming entitlements as well as simplifying and remaking our tax system.  President Obama lacks any such vision.

Romney and his team averaged significant returns during the time that he lead Bain Capital.  Most of this astounding success came from a relatively few companies.  That’s somewhat characteristic of small cap companies.  But Bain Capital was a pioneer in leveraged buyouts and applying intense management consulting.

Romney engaged in leveraged buyouts in which a troubled company would be purchased with funds from Bain Capital and much more money from debt supported by the company’s business.  Romney favored friendly takeovers in order to get the cooperation of management in the endeavors.  Intense analysis, possibly restructuring, would follow.  Some businesses would involve layoffs while others were roaring successes.  The debt and dividends to Bain Capital at times led to bankruptcy of the companies,  but in other cases the risk was highly rewarding, sometimes to all, sometimes mainly to Bain Capital.

Perhaps the greatest lesson from Romney’s two years with Boston Consulting Group, six years with Bain and Company, and fifteen years as head of Bain Capital was a deep top-down, bottom-up knowledge of business and investment.  Another very important aspect of Romney’s record was that he “surrounded himself with great people who know how to execute his vision,” as expressed by Thomas G. Stemberg, co-founder of office supply giant Staples, later a Bain Capital investment.

The story of how Romney saved his previous consulting firm was a superb example of his executive abilities.  He was called back from Bain Capital because of severe financial problems in his old employer, Bain and Company.  He intensely analyzed the problem, did some restructuring and then called all the partners (about forty of them) into a meeting.  He expressed confidence that the firm could survive and thrive if they would take a pay cut even though at the time many of these partners could earn higher salaries elsewhere.  He left the room and gave them thirty minutes to decide, saying anyone who wanted to leave the firm should vacate the room.  Only one partner left the room.  The book describes this as “one of his most impressive displays of executive talent and toughness.”

Romney’s experiences at Bain Capital might be mined from Democratic viewpoints for evidence of jobs lost or business failures.  But I certainly don’t expect them to be fair.  The reality is that Romney gained superb background throughout his academic and business career, in contrast to President Obama who is sorely lacking in practical or academic business or investment experience.

In 1993, Romney decided to run against Senator Ted Kennedy, unsuccessfully.  But in defeat he learned.  George Romney commented about his son during the race, stating that Mitt had a better education, more success in business and that he had made much more money. That’s high praise, especially considering the source.

After the loss, Romney returned to Bain Capital and helped guide it to some of its biggest negotiations,  as “… a confident, comfortable deal-maker.”  At this point, Bain Capital was established as “one of the country’s elite leveraged buyout firms.”

In 1998, Romney’s dearly-loved wife, Ann, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  The good news is that Ann discovered, over time, treatments that worked, including exercise, a special diet and riding horses.

Romney’s next venture was the 2002 Winter Olympics.  It was rocked by the scandal of unethical gifts to secure the games in Salt Lake City and serious financial shortfalls.

Of her husband, Ann said, “He loves emergencies and catastrophes….  He would never have considered doing it [the 2002 Olympics] if it weren’t a big mess.”  This is an echo from the past as Romney seeks and is well-suited for the most enormous challenge of his life.

Romney was instrumental in saving the games, generating a tremendous budget surplus.  He also created a path to his next try for political office, the governorship of Massachusetts.  Mitt was elected governor forty years after his father had been elected governor of Michigan.

Romney used his prior career as a guide, as the book annunciated his credo, “… surround yourself with smart, aggressive players and let them go to work.”  This sounds like President Reagan.

Immediately upon assuming office Romney and his staffdiscovered a budget deficit of $650 million which was projected to go into the billions in the following year.  Undaunted, he lead the state through a balancing of this wide gap.  I believe what he did at the state level prepared him for proactive fiscal discipline in the presidency, unlike anything in President Obama’s background.  A major part in Romney’s turnaround was his team’s analysis of fiscal data to identify and eliminate inefficiencies and waste, direly needed in the federal government.

A Democratic state senator said of Romney that he “brought out the best of us.” Of government, Romney said that he did not “think (it) is about doing favors for people.  I think it’s doing the right thing for the folks we represent.”  His desire to do the right thing was echoed by his advisors and others with whom worked closely.

Romney decided to try to achieve universal healthcare in Massachusetts.  In doing so he showed “creativity and confidence, a gift for framing a problem and seeking a solution through, and the courage to disregard some political risk.”  These characteristics are needed now nationally to repeal and replace Obama care.

It was easier to achieve universal healthcare in Massachusetts because the percentage of uninsured residents was among the lowest in our country.  The assessment I make of Massachusetts’ healthcare program is, as Romney has said, suitable for that state, but not for the nation.

However, I believe Romney’s experience as a business consultant examining hospital costs, as well as his Massachusetts success, his academic training, deep business career and moral persistence will help him determine a way to achieve universal healthcare nationally in a sound way, not Obamacare.

In 2008, Romney campaigned for the presidency, having proven a successful businessman and governor.  But he made a series of political mistakes and in the end Senator McCain got the Republican nomination.  I still believe that Senator McCain might have won the 2008 election if he had picked Governor Romney as his running mate.

Romney learned from his 2008 loss, his successful governor’s race and his loss to Senator Kennedy.  So, in the 2012 campaign he knows to focus on the three most vital issues:  the economy, the economy and the economy.  He wrote a book, No Apology, which outlined his policies.  He raised money in an effective manner.  Romney has superb persistence, drive, stamina and a strong underlying moral bend to do the right thing.

Romney stated that “The United States … must remain a beacon of strength and liberty in an uncertain world.  If we don’t, freedom itself is at risk.”  I agree.  We must remain strong militarily and regain our economic growth, not only for our own good, but for the good of the world.

I believe Governor Romney is ideally suited to lead our country out of our unsustainable spending and entitlements which are dragging our economy down.  I believe Governor Romney and a host of Republicans can fix the economy in a kind, moral way.

No Apology

No Apology:  The Case for American Greatness

by Governor Mitt Romney

 

Review by John E. Wade II

This is a frank and genuine book, pointing in authoritative fashion to America’s enormous problems and opportunities.  Governor Romney recognizes that these are difficult times with millions out of work.

I believe we are in the Innovation Age, and Governor Romney is the leader we need to convince Americans to act within and outside our government, using American ingenuity, hard work, faith and courage.  America must remain a strong force in the world—powerful in economic and military terms—a force for peace, freedom, democracies and prosperity worldwide.

America is unique in history, as we have expended blood and treasure for our ideals—freedom, democracies and prosperity.  We have not, in modern history, used our military victories to acquire territories.  Our economic and military strength are a very necessary force for good in the world, such force being greatly diminished by the Obama administration.

Governor Romney and I are genuinely optimistic that China will eventually join the free, democratic family of nations.  Russia may become more dangerous than China largely because of their history of imperialism, wars within their country, and the autocratic rule of Putin.  The militant Muslims must be taken into account very seriously, unlike with President Obama’s weak approach.

Since World War II the United States, in Democratic and Republican administrations, has stood for the concept that America is a force for good in the world.  That has brought about the spread of freedom, democracies and prosperity, along with more capitalism tempered by democracy.  Free trade has helped engender business globally.  On the other hand, “… President Obama’s presuppositions is that America is in a state of inevitable decline.”  And I now believe he is in the process of consciously engineering that fall, indicated by his enormous deficits and dangerous national debt.

A world full of stable, robust, prosperous democracies would be a world of permanent peace.  President Reagan did and Governor Romney will seek policies to promote that goal with America in the lead.  President Obama calls for the decline of America.

But decline is not a given if a great Republican victory brings the right turn.  Governor Romney explained how Rome avoided a collapse in Nero’s time and “thrived under ‘Five Good Emperors,’” how “the Ottomans overcame an eleven-year civil war,” and Great Britain was led to “… victory—victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be,” sterling words and leadership by Winston Churchill during World War II.

Numerous leaders have had a dramatic influence on history:  “Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Golda Meier, Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin … and Ronald Reagan.”

The decline of America can be avoided.  “But doing so will require uncommon truthfulness, candor, decisiveness and sacrifice from citizens and leaders alike.”

Governor Romney writes, “The best ally world peace has ever known is a strong America.”  I’m sure President Reagan would agree with that statement as I do.  Governor Romney explains simply that it is good for America to be strong because we are good and that power is a force for good in the world.  It can and has prevented war, as during President Reagan’s time.

China has been building up its military might, most notably in submarines, as well as space warfare and cyber-warfare capabilities.  But China’s main problem is not of a military nature.  “President Hu [stated] that his greatest concern was whether twenty million rural Chinese who move to the cities each year will be able to find work.”  China needs peace and prosperity very much, perhaps even more than we do.

“Putin is taking Russia in a different and worrisome direction.”  I fully agree.  He has said that the “dissolution of the Soviet Union was the ‘greatest political catastrophe of the twentieth century.’”  He is choking off freedom of speech, free enterprise, and democracy.  It’s estimated that Putin’s personal and political friends occupy the position of chairman of the board on companies representing as much as “eighty percent of Russia’s economy.”  He is allying Russia with the world’s non-democratic countries.  “Russia has returned ‘not to the Cold War but to a thuggish, indeed czarist, approach to former dominions.’”

Putin is rebuilding Russia’s military.  But Russia has a demographic problem, with a male life expectancy of sixty-one, which, combined with a low birthrate, has created a population decline of seven million people in just fifteen years.

Governor Romney concludes that “both China and Russia pose threats to the United States, but the likelihood of near-term head-to-head war with either is low.”  I agree.  However, he does not believe that to be the case with the violent Muslims.  It’s quite shocking that, “Radical, fundamentalist Muslims—Islamists—are estimated by Indonesia’s former president to number about two hundred million people.”  And to think, President Obama has been conducting a very weak, amateurish policy toward this huge menace to America and the world.

Hassan al-Bana, the 1928 founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, said, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations, and to extend its power to the entire planet.”  That’s scary, and is particularly alarming with only President Obama’s “leadership” to combat this large movement, one that has carried out violent attacks throughout a great deal of our planet.

Governor Romney expands on what he calls “soft power,” economic, diplomatic and persuasive influences.  He refers to the Pentagon strategist and author, Thomas P. M. Barnett.  I have read two of his books and I agree fully with Governor Romney that Barnett’s soft-powers doctrines can be quite effective.  Governor Romney has a great idea of dividing the world into regions and appointing “one individual—only one—per region who would lead in the promotion of democracy, freedom, stability and free enterprise.”  This would be a peaceful and relatively inexpensive initiative that could reap enormous benefits.

Governor Romney also explains how hard power—nuclear weapons in the hands of Russia and North Korea and the pursuit of them by Iran—can and does engender influence.  Governor Romney writes something that I certainly believe also:  “The stronger our army, the less likely that it will have to fight.”  President Reagan held the same point of view and it worked for him in winning the Cold War.

Perhaps it’s my background as a CPA for twenty-nine years and an investor for forty years, but I was particularly impressed with Governor Romney’s chapter, “A Free and Productive Economy.”  I have written that I believe we are in the “Innovation Age.”  It is certainly apparent that Governor Romney is fully aware of that concept.

Productivity is all important.  Governor Romney described a factory in China with very hard-working, diligent workers, but a similar factory in America had higher productivity because it was more automated.  He writes that “… the only way that American wealth will grow and our personal incomes and standards of living can be raised is by increasing national productivity.”

Innovation ignites productivity, with improvements to the old and inventing the new.  Robots and computer monitors at nursing stations are just two examples of the ingenuity of “… a consumer-driven, free-market economy.”  We must learn how to innovate in government.

Alan Greenspan said deep creative destruction—“the scrapping of old technologies and old ways of doing things for the new—is the only way to increase productivity and therefore the only way to raise average living standards on a sustained basis.”

Unions tend to oppose change.  The decline of unions in the private sector reflects people’s realization that unions can and do stifle the innovations needed for improvements, growth and sustainability.  Unfortunately, unions have grown in the public sector, partly because governments are monopolies, unlike companies that must compete efficiently.

“Protectionism stifles productivity.”  I agree.  We must, as Americans, realize that globalization is here to stay, barring a catastrophic war.  Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates told author Thomas Friedman that a research facility opened in Beijing in 1998 became, within a few years, more productive than those in India, England and the United States.

Governor Romney made an astute comment, “… those who study something in depth are the most likely to make discoveries about it.”  This education is crucial to innovation.  Over twelve percent of Americans are entrepreneurs of some sort.  We are not afraid to fail.  We must turn our immigration practices around and welcome talented people of all kinds because they increase jobs here, fill great needs and enhance innovation.

Governor Romney wrote, “The best course in the near term is to overhaul and to dramatically simplify our tax code, eliminate taxes on savings for the middle class, and recognize that because we tax investment at both the corporate and individual level, we should align our combined rates with those of competing nations.  Lower taxes and a simpler tax code will help families and create jobs.”

Governor Romney makes another important point, “Our government deficits … drain away capital.”  This capital is crucial to innovate and increase productivity.

Governor Romney explains that, “The rule of law and the establishment of regulations that are clear, fair and relevant to contemporary circumstances provide the predictability and stability that is needed for investment and risk-taking.”  The Obama administration has, on the other hand, acted as if more regulations are better.  Flexibility in hiring and firing leads to more hiring.

Governor Romney writes, “A growth agenda favors low taxes, dynamic regulation, achievement in education, investment in research, robust competition, free trade, energy security, and purposeful immigration.  And it seeks to eliminate government waste, excessive litigation, unsustainable entitlement liabilities, runaway healthcare costs, and dependence on foreign oil.  This, in a nutshell, ought to be the economic agenda for America.”

Entitlement liabilities—Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—have grown into a threat to our government viability and, in turn, to our overall economy.  President Obama has done nothing to address this problem despite opportunity after opportunity.  Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan would not ignore these programs, but would handle them in a kind, effective way on a bipartisan basis, unlike the inaction of President Obama.

I believe the reelection of President Obama would lead to a worldwide depression.  This point of view is echoed in the book; in the words of Lawrence Kadish inThe Wall Street Journal, “Left unchecked this destructive deficit-debt cycle will leave the White House and Congress with either having to default on the national debt or instruct the Treasury to run the printing presses into a policy of hyperinflation.”  And Governor Romney writes, “The consequences of either outcome for America and American families would exceed those of the Great Depression.”

Regarding healthcare, Governor Romney wrote of his experiences as a management consultant to hospitals at times.  This and his Massachusetts healthcare legislation provide an outstanding background to repeal and replace Obamacare, a poor, costly and ill-advised “copy” of the Massachusetts plan.

Technology can help, but not as much as touted.  Malpractice costs inflate medical costs with victims getting “… only twenty-eight percent of all the money that goes into our malpractice system.”

“Business rewards innovation and risks.  Government rewards the status quo and the avoidance of risk.”

The book explains that “The best incentive for doctors and providers is to pay them for the quality of their work rather than the quantity of their work.  One method of doing this is to pay an entity for all the healthcare needs of a patient, such amount covering prevention-type work as well as such things as necessary surgery.”

The book describes that, of the twelve leading causes of death in our country, about forty percent are behavior-related, such as smoking and obesity.  His approach is to address health at the preventative stage rather than the treatment stage, a far better outcome for Americans and resulting in great savings as well.

In the book Governor Romney writes, “If I could wave a wand over American education and get one result, it would be a national rededication to the practice of writing.”

We are falling behind globally in education, whereas we led in the first three quarters of the twentieth century.  As Thomas Friedman writes in his books, if our American workforce receives a poor education, this will lead to inferior wages and an inferior economy.

African-American and Hispanic-American primary and secondary achievement is far below Anglo- or Asian-American students, and it’s even worse if the number of dropouts is factored in.  Governor Romney writes, “Our current failure to educate our minority populations is the foremost civil rights issue of our generation.”

Governor Romney explains, “There is no greater indictment of American government than the scary state of American education.  It is an epic failure.”

He believes bilingual education ought to be scrapped.  He points out that “… neither reduced class size nor increased spending will repair our broken education system.”  Children born out of wedlock represent a large percentage of students who don’t succeed in school.

The quality of each teacher is the biggest variable in successful education.  We hire from the bottom third of colleges on average, whereas school systems that recruit around the world recruit from the top third or higher.  We should pay new, top teachers better.  We also have too many administrators and non-teaching staff.

Teacher unions, which have a lot of political clout, oppose innovations.  The book explains that “… the two major teachers’ unions in the United States have over 6,000 members and annual revenues in excess of $1.5 billion, more than both political parties combined.”

The keys to improving our country’s education include excellent teachers drawn from our best students, paying them well and mentoring them, with accountability and school choice.  Class size and spending levels, up to a point, are less critical.  Innovation and technology will also be important.

As Thomas Friedman wrote, “America’s dependence on oil for transportation and consumer products is huge and dangerous.  It limits military and foreign policy options, handcuffs the economy, and generates a steady stream of revenue that helps finance Muslim terrorism.”  Vehicles must become more fuel efficient.

Renewable energy sources like wind and solar power should be exploited.  And nuclear power regulations ought to be simplified, updated and utilized in such a way that safe nuclear power can be created as it is in many other countries.  There is an enormous energy challenge and we must face it in a knowledgeable, practical and wise manner.

When speaking of the culture of our country, Governor Romney writes “Americans like to work.”  He also wrote, “I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur who didn’t like to work.”  He states that “… on average we’re on the job twenty-five percent more than the Germans, fifteen percent more than the French, and even slightly longer hours than the famously industrious Japanese.  And, “Americans work hard.”

We are a nation of risk-takers.  We are a religious, spiritual people.

As Governor Romney writes, “Faith, purpose greater than self, and willingness to sacrifice are part of what makes America, America.”  The book said Americans “… are the only people in the world who put their hand over their heart when [our] national anthem is played.”  Our own history must be taught.

But we have our problems.  In the 60’s the number of American children born out of wedlock was seven percent, and now it’s forty percent.  Ann Romney volunteered in an at-risk school, and asked a class of twenty 5th grade girls how many wanted to go to college.  Almost all raised their hands.  Then she asked how many wanted to have a baby before they graduated from high school.  Again, almost all raised their hands.  That’s a culture that must be reversed, someday, somehow.

We have been blessed with great resources, but our people make up our greatest asset.  Partly because of America’s leadership, the world’s democracies have increased from about twenty-five percent in 1975 to about half now.  But, “Freedom House reports that from 2007 to 2009, four times as many nations have experienced reductions in their freedom as those countries that saw advances.  That’s on President Obama’s weak watch.

Our national debt is $16 trillion and rising at an unsustainable level of over $1 trillion per year.  Governor Romney and fellow Republicans will reign in spending in a thoughtful, kind, and wise manner, whereas we can’t expect that result if the party of Obamacare wins in November.

Governor Romney writes, “Too often, I fear, the Democratic Party is focused less on the disadvantaged than on union bosses, trial lawyers, environmental extremists, and the self-interested who want higher government benefits for themselves paid for by higher taxes on others.”