USA | I media utgår man ofta ifrån att den största influensen i Mitt Romneys liv har varit hans far, George Romney.
Efter fem månaders efterforskning har Barton Gellman kommit fram till en annan slutsats.
Gellman argumenterar för att hans mor, Lenore Romney, är den som kanske mer än någon annan har påverkat Mitts politiska utveckling och inställning till valkampanjer.
”It was Lenore who gave Mitt a model for engaging in public life.”
Ingen presidentkandidat har tidigare växt upp med föräldrar där båda har sökt höga politiska ämbeten. Lenore var en föregångare inom det republikanska partiet.
Barton Gellman skriver i Time:
Mitt Romney, the youngest of four children, was deeply engaged in his mother’s campaign, far more than the ones his father ran when Mitt was young. He accompanied her on hundreds of campaign stops, driving together across all 83 Michigan counties in a blue truck festooned with lenore signs.
No presidential nominee until now has grown up with two parents who ran for high office or so much early exposure to the craft. Their public ruin seared him and schooled him. The lessons he drew have shaped his ambitions, his calculations of risk and his strategy for achieving what his mother and father could not. Bluntly put, Mitt learned from each of his parents how to lose an election. He found much to emulate as well, but longtime associates and family members say it became his prime concern to avoid their mistakes. As he constructed a political persona, they say, his father’s career loomed large–but his choices owed more to Lenore than to George.
He had little of George’s appetite for war. It was Lenore who gave Mitt a model for engaging in public life. She was poised, articulate, strikingly good-looking and able to deflect unpleasant questions with a reproachful ”Good grief!” She lived in an age when women in politics still released their glove and shoe sizes (6½ and 7AAA), but she valued her privacy, holding the public at arm’s length behind an unruffled facade. Whereas her husband relished a good fight, she sidestepped and looked for common ground with her critics. Mitt displayed much the same temperament as he grew up–cautious and increasingly self-controlled. In politics he adopted his mother’s practice of melting away from battle whenever possible. He had learned to take a punch but seldom threw one.
”In 1970, he saw his mother subjected to just a brutal campaign, where she got as much opposition from the far-right wing of her own party as Mitt is getting this time from the Tea Party and the hardcore conservatives 42 years later. He’s trying to avoid confrontation, much the way she did.”
Läs mer: Artikeln ”Run, Little Mitt, Run” av Robert Draper kan rekommenderas om man vill läsa om George Romneys betydelse för Mitts politiska utveckling.
Se mer: Time har unika bilder på Lenore Romneys valkampanj 1970.
Övrigt: Artikeln i Time finns i den amerikanska utgåvan. På sajten Baidu finns dock en kopia. (Tidskriftsomslaget ovan är från den 4 juni 2012.)