Saturday, May 14, 2011
Getting to Know President Mitt Romney - Why Mitt Hates to Drive in France
Romney to the Rescue: By Ronald Kessler
Mitt Romney was faced with a crisis in July 1996. The 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner in Romney's new venture capital firm, Bain Capital, had disappeared. As it turned out, she had attended a rave party in New York City and had become high on ecstasy. 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 try to find Gay's daughter.
Romney set up a command center in a conference room at the LaGuardia Marriott just outside Manhattan. He hired a private detective firm to assist with the search and established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the New York City Police Department, but he still wasn't satisfied. He raced through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York. He asked them to help his company find their friend's missing daughter.
The company's accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and its law firm, put up posters on street poles with a photo of the missing teenager. Cashiers at Duane Reade Pharmacies, which was owned by Bain Capital, put fliers in the bag of each shopper.
Romney and others from the Bain Capital posse trudged through every part of New York, even scouring Central Park, and talked with everyone they could - prostitutes, drug addicts - anyone who may have seen her. They also made rounds at the local nightclubs at 3 a.m., hoping someone somewhere could identify her.
The same day the Romney team came to New York, the hunt made the evening news. Television cameras showed photos of the girl and video of investment banker types prowling through Central Park.
The next day, a teenage boy she was with phoned in. He asked if there was a reward. But the boy got nervous and quickly hung up. Luckily, the police traced the call to a home in Montville Township, N.J.
Gay's daughter, when they found her in the basement of that home, was shivering through detox after a massive dose of ecstasy. Doctors later told Gay that he was indeed fortunate - his daughter probably would not have lasted another day.
"It was the most amazing thing, and I'll never forget this to the day I die," Gay says, adding of Romney's intervention, "I'm not sure we would have gotten her back without him."
It is often during a crisis that we gain insight into a person's real character. Romney's action demonstrated leadership, loyalty, and selflessness - attributes that Americans just might like to see in a president of the United States.
Massachusetts Governor Helps Rescue Boaters
Published: July 08, 2003, New York Times
Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and two of his sons helped rescue a New Jersey family from a sinking boat over the weekend, a New Hampshire official said today.
The 19-foot vintage wooden boat with six people and a dog on board started taking on water Saturday evening about 300 yards from the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, in central New Hampshire, Sgt. Eric Robertson of the New Hampshire State Marine Patrol said.
"It took on water very quickly and they donned their life vests and jumped out," Sergeant Robertson said. One passenger tried to dial 911, but water soaked the cellphone, he said.
The Romneys, who were at their lakeside summer home in Wolfeboro, and other people in the area quickly came to the rescue.
"The Romneys took two of the passengers and brought them back to shore," Sergeant Robertson said. "There were other people, Good Samaritans, out there, about three vessels including the Romneys', helping out."
The governor's spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said today that Governor Romney was vacationing at the lake for a week with his family.
"He's not looking for any special attention," Mr. Fehrnstrom said. "I think he's just grateful he was in the right place at the right time to be able to offer some assistance."
Josh Romney, one of the governor's sons, told The Boston Herald that he and his brother were cleaning the beach when they heard "a whole bunch of screaming" from the lake.
Mr. Fehrnstrom, who spoke to Governor Romney on Sunday about the incident, said the governor's two sons hopped on a motorized water scooter, while the governor got on another. They went to the sinking boat, and Governor Romney brought people to shore while his sons stood by at the scene. The Romneys also saved the family's dog, he said.
The boat was operated by Robert Morrissey, 57, of Tewksbury Township, N.J. Melinda Morrissey, 56, Mr. Morrissey's wife, was also rescued, as were Ross, 29, and Rebecca, 25, their children, and two of their friends, along with McKenzie, a Scotty, the family dog.
"This happened really, really fast," Mr. Morrissey said today in a telephone interview from New Hampshire. He said that when the boat began to sink, he dialed 911 on his cellphone. "As I'm making the call, the boat is going down under my feet."
He said the family was in the water for about a half-hour.
Mr. Fehrnstrom said the passengers were wearing life vests but added that "I think the larger danger would have been from other boats going by."
A boat motoring by as the survivors paddled in the water in the dark had come "close enough to cause some concern," he said.
Mr. Robertson said the passengers were uninjured and were fine after the rescue, because of the ''good response of the people nearby."
"It's the rules of the high seas," Mr. Robertson said. "You help out who you can because you're on your own when you're in the water."
Going Back in Time, June 16, 1968 - The Day Mitt Romney Almost Died - Mitt's Terrible Car Accident in France - The car Mitt Romney was driving, a Citroen DS, was hit head-on by a Mercedes driven by a possibly inebriated Catholic priest. Romney's car was totaled, and all six occupants were injured, one fatally. Mitt was knocked unconscious in the crash. The witnesses describe Romney as a cautious driver and he was not in any way responsible for the accident. The police officer who first responded believed him to be dead and wrote "Il est mort'' - he is dead - in Romney's passport. In December 1968, Mitt was in another accident in France, in which the Peugeot Romney was driving through Le Mons was hit from behind by a dump truck. "I looked in the rearview mirror, and there was a garbage truck coming quickly behind us, with people in the front seat, all laughing and talking, and it was a snowy day,'' Romney said. "He ... slammed into the back of my vehicle, which caused it to slam into the car in front of us, and they kept going - bang, bang, bang, bang!":
Following video, courtesy of the Romney campaign, Mitt knows French!:
The Life and Times of Willard Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney’s life has taken a number of twists and turns on the road to his presidential candidacy.
1947: Willard Mitt Romney born in Detroit on March 12. His middle name is the nickname of an NFL player.
1965: Meets 15-year-old Ann Davies at a party. They would wed four years later.
1968: In June 1968 nearly killed in an auto accident while serving as a Mormon missionary in France. In December a garbage truck crashes into the back of his car in France. Mitt gives up driving in France.
1971: Graduates from Brigham Young University at the top of his class.
1975: Graduates from a joint program at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. George Romney told his son would become a future president.
1978: Named vice president of management consulting firm Bain & Co.
1984: Founds Bain Capital, a venture capital firm.
1990: Returns to Bain & Co. as interim CEO.
1994: Runs unsuccessfully for the Senate against Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts; makes statements in support of abortion and gay rights that will later come back to haunt him.
1998: Wife Ann diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
1999: Takes over the debt-ridden 2002 Winter Olympics; goes on to spearhead turnaround of the Salt Lake Olympics Organizing Committee.
2002: Elected governor of Massachusetts with 50 percent of the vote.
2003: Pushes for a constitutional amendment in Massachusetts that would outlaw gay marriage.
2004: Publishes the book Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games.
2005: Elected chairman of the Republican Governors Association on Dec. 2.
2005: On Dec. 14, announces that he will not seek re-election as governor.
2007: On Jan. 8, raises $6.5 million in a single day for his presidential exploratory committee.
2007: Formally announces his candidacy for the White House at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on Feb. 13
2012: Elected the 45th President of the United States in a close election defeating President Obama.
Washington Post article on Romney