August 30th, 2011
I suspect the Romney-Perry showdown will get increasingly unfriendly for all sorts of reasons, but one of them, I suspect, is that Perry–like most of the self-made politicians Romney has bumped elbows with–probably disdains Romney’s view that people without independent wealth have no business running for elective office. I’ve always marveled at how this line from Sridhar Pappu’s excellent 2005 profile of Romney hasn’t come back to haunt him:
As governor of Massachusetts he draws no salary at all. A lesson he says his father taught him is that one shouldn’t get involved in public life until it is a question of service rather than employment.
Maybe there’s wisdom in that maxim, though it does, at least on its face, seem to run counter to the American democratic experience. I’d like to hear him unpack it a bit.
To the extent that America is a democracy, you have a point. But it’s a democratic republic, and to the extent that it’s a republic, well, this Bay State native makes a good case:
“As governor of Massachusetts he draws no salary at all. A lesson he says his father taught him is that one shouldn’t get involved in public life until it is a question of service rather than employment.”
I love this quote and it represents Romney’s do-good nature. Mitt reminds me a bit of Jimmy Stewart. Mild mannered unless challenged and then he’s passionate yet respectful. Examples seen on the trail in Iowa and New Hampshire. Romney has a first rate temperment.
BTW, Mitt didn’t take a salary either for rescuing the Olympics or when we went back to Bain Consulting to help them out of a rough patch.
The guy just isn’t greedy. Romney shut down his company Bain for a week to help find an employees daughter who went missing in New York.
You are reaching. In the infinite world of legit criticisms of Romney, you shouldn’t need to manufacture a non-controversy like this one.
I think Romney’s view on public service salaries makes a lot more sense when applied to executive positions such as Governor or President. It’s a somewhat noble sentiment, but it becomes a little problematic when you think about the House of Representatives.