Via Cassandra

In July 1996, the 14-year-old daughter of Robert Gay, a partner at Bain Capital, had disappeared. She had attended a rave party in New York City and gotten high on ecstasy. 
Three days later, her distraught father had no idea where she was. Romney took immediate action. He closed down the entire firm and asked all 30 partners and employees to fly to New York to help find Gay's daughter. Romney set up a command center at the LaGuardia Marriott and hired a private detective firm to assist with the search. He established a toll-free number for tips, coordinating the effort with the NYPD, and went through his Rolodex and called everyone Bain did business with in New York, and asked them to help find his friend's missing daughter. Romney's accountants at Price Waterhouse Cooper put up posters on street poles, while cashiers at a pharmacy owned by Bain put fliers in the bag of every shopper. Romney and the other Bain employees scoured every part of New York and talked with everyone they could, prostitutes, drug addicts, anyone. 
That day, their hunt made the evening news, which featured photos of the girl and the Bain employees searching for her. As a result, a teenage boy phoned in, asked if there was a reward, and then hung up abruptly. The NYPD traced the call to a home in New Jersey, where they found the girl in the basement, shivering and experiencing withdrawal symptoms from a massive ecstasy dose. Doctors later said the girl might not have survived another day. Romney's former partner credits Mitt Romney with saving his daughter's life, saying, "It was the most amazing thing, and I'll never forget this to the day I die."...
Gay says Romney helped "save" his daughter, though previous reports have differed on the condition she was in. The line in the retelling now circulating -- that doctors told Gay she might not have lived another day -- comes from a Boston Globe report in 2002.

Newsday, for its part, reported in July 1996 that "Melissa's parents said she was physically unharmed though she appeared 'very fragile.' The family's doctor had examined the girl and pronounced her in fairly good condition. ..."

"She was not harmed," Robert Gay said at news conference after she was found, according to the New York Daily News. "She was in tears. We just gave her hugs and brought her back home." 
It's of no matter whether she was close to death or in 'fairly good condition,' since no one knew that until she was found.  The point is that this was a damn decent thing to do.  I'm going to rescind my absolute objection to voting for Romney on the basis of this, the story checking out as it appears to do.  It's a fit way for a man to have behaved toward his fellows, and it provides an answer to a question that has bothered me.  I think we now know whom he takes for his brother.

He's still not my candidate, on account of positive reasons to prefer Mr. Santorum, and other objections to Mr. Romney's approach that I reserve.  Nevertheless, such work should be rewarded, and it would be wrong not to recognize where a man has done a worthy thing.


douglas said...

Mr. Romney was also found helping victims of the two thousand seven San Diego fires. He had no press entourage in tow, and it only made the news because there were people who took pictures and video and shared it with the news. I should have thought to mention that earlier. I' ve never doubted he's a good man, heck his being a Mormon made that a pretty good bet, and there really doesn't seem to be any dirt on him at all. Like you, Grim, it's policies and do I think he is persuasive enough that have me still leaning toward Santorum.

Cass said...


You have made my morning. Which candidate you back is a matter for you to decide, not me. But I appreciate your willingness to entertain another way of looking at things.

You and I have vastly different criteria for evaluating candidates. I am not terribly interested in words because they are unreliable and nowhere is this more true than in politics. I am VERY interested in actions.

Promises without the proven ability to execute them are worthless to me, and if promises are to be made I prefer that a candidate not promise me that which he knows (and I know) he cannot deliver.

To me, this isn't timidity. It's honesty, coupled with respect for my intelligence. I cannot for the life of me understand how not promising what you can't deliver is taken for lack of conviction. When I look at Romney's life, I see a man who keeps his promises, day in and day out. I see a man who is steady and dependable, who is in control of his emotions, who clearly has the focus and the ability to succeed in whatever he does (business, running the Olympics, running a liberal state).

People like that are rare. Extremely rare.

That ought to mean more than words, but sadly I'm watching my party go gaga over flashiness over substance. I get that there's something about Romney that people don't care for. He's not a crowd pleaser, but then I never thought that was an important quality in a president.

Texan99 said...

I love hearing this about a man's whose character will be so important to us. I wish I could conclude that he drew the same lessons from this exercise in mercy as I do, concerning the area where he makes me the most nervous, which is his philosophy (vel non) of the proper role of government.

Romney and his friends and business partners put their own money and time into a mission of mercy that they personally supported. To me this is an example of how the private sector should work. To someone with more leftist tendencies, this is an argument for the public sector, because no one person could have such an impact acting alone. What does Romney believe about the proper limits on the role of the public sector? Who knows? But he seems a fine man, and if he gets the nomination I will certainly vote for him, because I know very well what pernicious views the incumbent has on these issues.

Grim said...

You give me too much credit, Cassandra. I have only one way of looking at things. This was an act of chivalry. I have no power but to praise it.

Cass said...

I wish I could conclude that he drew the same lessons from this exercise in mercy as I do, concerning the area where he makes me the most nervous, which is his philosophy (vel non) of the proper role of government.

If small government is so important to you T99, I'm not sure how you can support Santorum. The last time he ran for office, he ran as anything but a small government fiscal conservative.

I just don't get it.

Grim said...

It's true that Santorum is much closer to an old-style Southern Democrat than he is a libertarian. He favors government help to blue-collar workers, manufacturing, families, and a strong religious/social message -- actually, fifteen years ago he could have been a Democrat if he'd come from the South. (Of course, he could have been a Republican in the South with that message too.)

The importance of small government is why I favored Rep. Bachmann at first: she really does seem to understand the constitutional critique better than any of the others.

Texan99 said...

Oh, believe me, Cassandra, I agree! I do worry about Santorum on that exact ground. Life is difficult for small-government enthusiasts deciding for whom they can bear to pull the lever. Sometimes I have to consider whether to support a big-government guy who agrees with me on some things or a big-government guy who scarcely agrees with me on anything.

My consolation is that any of these GOP guys will be closer to (though still very far from) my ideal of small government than will the present occupant of the White House.

Cass said...

Well, FWIW I've been wrestling with the same thing. I don't know what the right answer is.

For me the choice was simple because I've always applied pretty much the same criteria every election and it's kind of weird to me that we have so many candidates who have never run anything.

I suspect that no matter who we nominate, we're not going to see a sea change in the size of government. That's part of my mystification about the debates.

It has not been explained to me how the President can unilaterally reduce the size of the federal government... which makes the insistence on not compromising with the other party downright bizarre.

Grim said...

A president alone can't do that anymore, for this reason; but note that it would require only a simple act of Congress, without supermajority, to change that. It also has had wide bipartisan support among presidents and presidential candidates, although Congress has chosen to prefer to mandate that the President spend however much money they appropriate.

Bob's Blog said...