In the News
The Romney Campaign: It's All In The Family
By: Ron Claiborne
"Josh Romney is tired.
"For most of the last four months, he has lived in a Winnebago – dubbed the Mitt Mobile – stopping at least once in every one of Iowa's 99 counties, campaigning on behalf of his father, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
"Now he can rest – for a while. Romney won the crucial Iowa Straw Poll this weekend, and the Mitt Mobile is temporarily idle, parked next to a hotel in Ames. Josh can take a day off, maybe two. But soon, he will be back in the super-sized camper, and off to Nevada, or maybe Florida, or perhaps, New Hampshire. And so it will go for at least the next six months, and maybe the next 15 months.
"Josh, 31, is one of Romney's five sons, four of whom are regularly out on the campaign trail."
"When Romney stresses 'the family' as one leg in the three-legged stool that is his analogy for his main campaign themes (the other legs are the military and the economy), he can back it up by producing his own nuclear family, including his adult sons and Ann Romney, his wife of 38 years."
"For the Romney brothers, it means a lot of time on the road away from home, friends, and often family.
"'It's not easy, but it's well worth it,' said Craig Romney, 26, who lives in New York City. 'I'm willing to do whatever I can to help get my dad elected.'
"'I tried to convince them not to do it,' Mitt Romney told me during a campaign stop in Hampton, Iowa. 'I said, "you've got your lives, you've got your families." They said, "Dad, you're running for president of the United States. We want to help you. We want to be part of it." It's a very moving thing, very humbling.'
"Two other sons, Tagg, 37, and Matt, 35, are also frequently campaigning on the road. Tagg is a top campaign advisor in the campaign's Boston headquarters."
"Ben Romney, a medical student in the Boston area, campaigns infrequently because of school. He did fly in to Iowa for the Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 11, a rare reunion of the entire clan. In fact, with five brothers spread across the map, they say the campaign has actually brought them together more often.
"'We get together now as a family more than we did before,' said Matt, a commercial real estate developer in San Diego. 'So, honestly, it's a lot of fun to get together and share this experience.'"
"The five brothers have a personal blog on the Romney campaign Web site, which contains their observations, reflections and musing from the campaign trail. None of them is quite sure who's idea it was."
"The Romneys admit the prospect of possibly spending the next 15 months campaigning is daunting. And if, after all the time and effort and energy, their father doesn't win?
"'It would be crushing to me if he didn't make it all the way,' Craig said. 'but I'll love my dad all the same.'"
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mitt romney, ann romney, republican, conservative, 2008 election, romney,GOP,republicans,politics,presidential election,Utah