Mitt Romney — life after high school

What kind of man – not teenager, but man – is Mitt Romney? Consider this episode, recounted by Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman in their book The Real Romney:

It was shaping up to be a hard Christmas for Mark and Sheryl Nixon. They had recently moved their family to the Boston area. . .and didn’t know many people. And then. . .they got the kind of phone call every parent dreads. [Their sons] Rob and Reed had been driving back from a youth gathering at the Mormon meeting house. . .Shortly after leaving the parking lot, Reed lost control of the red Oldsmobile minivan. The car sideswiped a utility pole, struck two trees, and. . .flipped over. . . .In a flash, the two Nixon boys, standouts on the high school cross-country team, became quadriplegics. . . .

The family suddenly needed a major addition to their house. They needed a special van to transport their sons. Their financial and emotional burdens were vast. Shortly before the holidays. . .Mark Nixon, a professor of accounting at Bentley University outside Boston, got a call at his office. It was Mitt Romney. He said he wanted to help. Would they be home on Christmas eve?

That morning. . .the Nixons opened their door to find not just Mitt but Ann Romney and their sons. They held large boxes. Inside were a massive stereo system for Rob. . .and a VCR for Reed. They’d also brought Reed a check, not knowing what else to get him. The Romneys stayed for a while. Their sons helped set up Rob’s new stereo. “What a Christmas surprise for the boys,” Sheryl wrote in her journal at the time.

The Nixons were floored. They shared a faith with Romney but didn’t really know him – they weren’t strangers, but neither were they friends. At that point, Romney held no formal leadership position in the Mormon church. He bore no direct ecclesiastical obligation to help. . . .What impressed the Nixons more than anything was that Mitt and Ann, despite their own packed holiday calendars, made a point of delivering the gifts themselves, spending time with family, and, by bringing their children with them, leading by example. . . .

That wasn’t all. Romney had also told Mark not to worry about Rob’s or Reed’s college education; he would pay for it. The Nixons, in the end, didn’t need to help. But Romney continued to quietly lend his hand. He participated in a 5K road race and fund-raiser for Rob and Reed at Bentley the next spring. He contributed substantial financial gifts toward golf tournament fund-raisers in subsequent years. Then, in 2007, when Reed graduated from Bentley with a degree in finance. . .Romney sent him a Bentley desk clock engraved with a special message of congratulation. “It wasn’t, Mark said, a onetime thing.”

This story, which begins in 1995, certainly is more telling than stories from the 1960s of Romney’s teenage hijinks gone too far How much coverage will it get from the MSM, though? My google search found almost no MSM coverage so far of Romney’s acts of kindness and charity towards the Nixons.

Recommend this Power Line article to your Facebook friends.

Responses