Friday, August 31, 2012

A decent man

It's a shame that some of the most powerful moments of the convention were ones that probably few people saw. Earlier in the evening, people who had experienced Mitt Romney's help when he was leading his Mormon community in Boston. One couple, Ted and Pat Oparowski, talked of Mitt coming to visit their young son as he was sick in the hospital and then helped him write his will so that he could leave his few treasures to his friends when he died. As the mother asked,
“How many men do you know would take the time out of their busy lives to visit a terminally ill 14 year old and help him settle his affairs?”
And Mitt's life was a lot busier than most people's.

Pam Finlayson talked about how Mitt and Ann helped her when her newborn baby was sick in the hospital. Mitt showed up with a full Thanksgiving dinner for the family and babysat their other child.
“It seems to me when it comes to loving our neighbor, we can talk about it, or we can live it,” she said. “The Romneys live it every single day.”
I don't think there could have been a dry eye in the house. It was a side of Mitt Romney that we really hadn't heard about except for a few anecdotes from the book about Romney by Boston Globe writers.

But I had to watch this on C-Span. The media would prefer to talk about whether being a Mormon hurts Mitt instead of having actual Mormons talk about what Mitt has done for them.

I kept thinking that, if Bill Clinton or Barack Obama had such stories in their back pocket about their selfless efforts to help those suffering, we would be hearing about those helped every single day. Those anecdotes would be front page stories that spread to a couple of full pages deeper in the paper. Clinton would be buying his lip and telling us all about the times that he gave his free time to help those suffering family crises. But we had to wait until the last night of the convention and turn to C-Span. I don't even see videos of those speakers on the GOP's youtube channel.

If I had been in charge of the convention, I would have put the people telling those stories on in the one hour that the networks begrudgingly offer the conventions and stuck Clint Eastwood's awkward appearance earlier in the night. You know the media will replay the Eastwood shtick, but we don't know that they'll replay these touching moments that let us see a whole other side of Mitt Romney, one that he's been too modest or too reserved to share before.

Take a few minutes to watch these moments and see if they don't change your view of Mitt Romney.

Earlier, a fellow Mormon leader talked about Romney's service as a pastor in his church.
Imagine spending all that time helping others while working to build his business and raise his young family. I know few who are so generous with their time to help others though I will say that such kindness to others is in accord with other Mormons I have known in my life. The media would rather make repellent and bigoted jokes about "magic underwear" than show this side to the Mormon community. It was illuminating to learn this last night. I just wish more would see and hear that side of Mitt Romney.