Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics by R. B. Scott (Lyons Press, $16.95, 264 pages)
“Like the Kennedys, the Romneys believe they were born to serve and called to the work… Mormons are eager to put their money where their beliefs are.”
“In January 2008 it was becoming apparent that Mitt Romney might have spoken the truth months earlier when he said he had only himself to fear.”
This promised to be a balanced portrait of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as written by one of his cousins. However, upon finishing it, one knows little more about “the real Mitt” than one did earlier. Scott gives considerable attention to Romney’s perceived flip-flops on issues but never seems to acquire a position on the issue of whether Romney is deliberately deceptive, or simply a person who freely exercises the option of changing his mind. Scott, for example, cites Romney’s signing of the Grover Norquist pledge to never raise taxes; a pledge seemingly contradicted when, as governor of Massachusetts, Romney substantively boosted fees for government services in the state.
What’s frustrating – if not maddening – about this account is Scott’s repeated implication that voters would like Romney more if they knew the real man; the man who is supposedly kept hidden by his political handlers. Yet Scott fails to provide us with his own perspective on a relative he demeans (in a chapter title) as “The Designated Old White Guy.”
Scott quotes an old friend of Romney’s who stated, “He really doesn’t have time for personal relationships.” But the same old friend adds that he would vote for Romney for president, “in a heartbeat.” This account is just as confusing as that.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. R. B. Scott’s first novel, Closing Circles: Trapped in the Everlasting Mormon Movement, has been released by Gray Dog Press.