One part of Ann Romney’s speech before the GOP Convention which has struck people was the part she devoted to her husband’s generosity. She said, “Mitt does not like to talk about how he has helped others because he sees it as privilege, not a political talking point.”
In this sense, Mitt Romney reminds me of Ted Williams. The Splendid Splinter had a taciturn relationship with both Red Sox fans and the media to whom he referred as “the knights of the keyboard.” Yet despite Williams’ sour disposition, he devoted countless hours to visiting sick children afflicted with cancer on behalf of the Jimmy Fund. If the public had known about these deeds, he would have surely been more popular. But Williams insisted that these visits not be publicized. He told one reporter who was unwise enough to pry, “What I do for the Jimmy Fund, I do for the kids.” Those visits were for the children, not his personal glory.
Of course, Ted Williams never sought public office. Like it or not, an election is a popularity contest and one has to toot one’s horn when running for office. I’m sure Romney’s generosity trumps President Obama’s governmental version of compassion. Modesty might prevent Romney from talking about his good deeds but if there’s a perception that he doesn’t care about his fellow man then he won’t have a chance to good deeds in the White House.
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