Unwanted victories for Mitt Romney

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The victories are piling up for Mitt Romney, but they’re not the sort he had in mind when he was in the thick of the presidential race.


Fred Shapiro, an associate librarian at Yale Law School, recently unveiled his seventh annual list of the most notable quotes of the year, according to an Associated Press report, and topping the list was this one, recorded secretly at a private Romney fundraiser in May:


“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what ... who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. ... These are people who pay no income tax ... and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said.


Well, that went over like a lead balloon with a lot of folks when Mother Jones magazine posted it online a few months later, and it proved to be a turning point in the race for the White House, cementing in the minds of many the belief that Romney had little or no connection or empathy for those struggling to get by in life.


And, interestingly enough, when all the votes were counted, it was Romney who got 47 percent of the popular vote nationwide.


The Republican candidate also claimed the second spot on the list when he commented in the second presidential debate about his efforts to make women part of his administration when he took office as governor of Massachusetts.


Said Romney, “We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”


And if those two “victories” weren’t enough, it was just days later that PolitiFact, the fact-checking project operated by the Tampa Bay Times, gave Romney credit for the “lie of the year.”


The winning “entry” was Romney’s campaign advertisement alleging that President Obama “sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China.” The ad was an attempt to paint the president as someone who was shipping American jobs overseas, but it came as quite a surprise to the folks at Chrysler, who promptly labeled it a falsehood.


And this may not be the last recognition Romney receives as events of the past year are reviewed. If Barbers Only magazine doles out awards, we have him as a frontrunner in the race for “best hair by a leading candidate.”


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