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Now that the smoke is clearing following the Michigan primary we see that Mitt is still standing.  He won, but not by enough to yet be entirely rid of Santorum, and Newt is still in the game too, but given the mess Santorum made of his golden chance of destroying Romney’s chances in Michigan Romney remains the Republican front runner.  Tonight I thought I would look at the possibility that come Convention the delegates may have a very difficult decision.

Is there anything in Mitt’s family that might suggest to an outsider how matters will fall? Can we second guess the Convention and can Mitt’s family history give a clue as to his chances in November?  Is there something in Romney’s family background that might guide us?  I believe there is – and it’s not a history of greatest success.

Well, the first tree above is the one that I ran along with my article on Mitt 2012?  It shows some only of the immediate connections of this very political family. The family are no strangers to the establishment, albeit that establishment is Mormon, but my submission is still that they fall firmly into the oligarchical family mould.   Despite the fact that they have been in America since their ancestors came to Connecticut in the seventeenth century, they don’t have quite the necessary sheer weight of ancestry behind them.  Yes, his father George Romney was a Governor; yes they are Mormon royalty through Parley Pratt and Joseph Smith, and yes they are connected by blood with other political families like Jon Huntsman’s, and yes there is indeed a Mayflower descent from Joseph Rodgers, all of which counts.  I have always said, and continue to say that Mitt is in pole position for Republican Nominee for President.  But Mitt’s family, solidly oligarch that they are, have never been quite stellar enough to go President.

Let’s look at his immediate family.  Over on the left hand side we find granny Alma Luella, a member of old, old Mormon establishment who marries papa Harold Le Fount who worked for the Federal Radio Commission.  Their daughter Lenore marries George Romney the one time Governor of Michigan, and in 1968 the Republican Party’s nomination for that year’s presidential campaign.  George lost rather heavily.

Lenore had political ambitions of her own which she launched a couple of years after George failed to get to be President.  Playing hard on genial George’s local popularity she took a shot in the 1970 Senate race which she then lost in equally spectacular fashion.  But not of course before having denied some other possibly more electable candidate to try out.

George of course was not the only Romney in politics, his cousin Vernon was Attorney General in Utah.

George had a modest family of four, and their foibles and fancies political and personal are depicted in loving detail by Ronald B Scott’s latest unauthorised (which means independent) biography “Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and his politics” available through Amazon for $11.22.

The family, Scott assures us, is littered “with loose cannons all over the deck”.

Brother G Scott Romney, is a lawyer who has worked with Computaware Corp and Blue Health care bank.  Like so many of the family who make the Mormon church a power base he is also a Mormon Bishop.  A candidate for Michigan’s Attorney General he lost. (Are we seeing a pattern emerging here perhaps, a sort of political Peter Principal where Romneys rise to their level of incompetence and stop, blocking the routes for other more talented people)?

Bishop or not his home life was varied, with his being married twice, and divorced twice too.  His taste seems to have been in strong minded politically aware women as Ronna a local talk show host and member of the Republican National Committee stood for US Senator in 1994.  In the fractious family tradition, Scott campaigned against her!

What I see in Romney’s family is that they have undoubted political talent.  They have risen to the oligarchy and maintained a position within it.  But, and it is a big but, they just don’t strike for the final lap.  They succeed at local state level but just do not translate outside of home territory.  George stalled at Governor – has Mitt done the same?

The Problem for American Politics is that the oligarchy clogs up the arteries of political life.  The fact that Mitt is still there, as uninspiring as always, condemns the Republicans who could have, should have, chosen someone else to carry the banner.  Add the fact that Jon Huntsman a cousin was also there cluttering up the field shows clearly that allowing the oligarchy to field its candidates first denies the country access to the best candidates.

In a season where by Convention time no one candidate may have struck out suffciently ahead of the others to be thought of as a clear leader, the Convention may choose the candidate themselves.  I fear they will choose the oligarch Romney.

Mitt is a classic oligarch, a political bed-blocker of the first water.  And since Santorum failed to capitalise on his appeal to blue collar working class Americans, choosing instead to push his abhorrent version of Christianity, it looks like the republicans and everyone else are stuck with him.

 Copyright David Macadam 2012

 

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