A closer look at Mitt Romney’s private views and inner conflicts
In the long-awaited biography, “Romney: A Reckoning,” author McKay Coppins presents a comprehensive and revealing portrait of former Massachusetts governor and Utah senator, Mitt Romney. Drawing from 45 interviews with Romney, the book sheds light on his thoughts, ambitions, and conflicts. While some revelations may garner fresh respect for the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, others may provoke scorn. Here are six key takeaways that offer insights into the complexities of Mitt Romney’s character.
1: A Reflective Man
Romney emerges as a deeply reflective individual, contemplating his role in the divisions that led to the January 6, 2021 insurrection. He questions his own culpability and expresses a desire to live to the age of 120, eager to witness the unfolding of future events. From his missionary experience in France to his understanding of how others perceive him, Romney demonstrates a self-awareness that sets him apart.
2: Blind Spots
Despite his critical stance on Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s “dynastic advantage,” Romney himself comes from a political dynasty. He also championed a healthcare plan in Massachusetts that bore striking similarities to Obamacare, only to later criticize it when it became his opponent’s signature program. Romney’s ability to navigate political waters while maintaining consistency raises questions about his authenticity.
3: Capacity for Idealism
Romney’s idealism often prompts skeptics to question the sincerity of his beliefs. He claims that if other Republican candidates had a better chance of defeating Barack Obama in 2012, he would have willingly stepped aside. This sense of prioritizing the greater good over personal ambition is further exemplified by his decision to vote for Trump’s impeachment, making him the lone Republican senator to do so.
4: Political Guile
Behind his public persona, Romney exhibits a shrewdness that surprises many. He worked quietly to prevent Trump from securing the 2016 GOP nomination, orchestrating a potential ticket of Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. He also attempted to sideline Governor John Kasich and explored the possibility of a third-party candidacy. These actions reveal a strategic side to Romney that contrasts with his outward image.
5: A Complicated Relationship with Trump
Romney’s early relationship with Donald Trump was more nuanced than previously understood. Despite warnings from Nancy Reagan, Romney found Trump amusing and expressed admiration for him. However, as he pursued his own ambitions, particularly the desire to become secretary of state, his views on Trump evolved. Ultimately, Romney drew the line when Trump demanded public praise.
6: The Line in the Sand
Romney’s decision to stand against Trump’s demands for public adulation marked a turning point in their relationship. It showcased Romney’s commitment to his own integrity and character, even at the cost of potential political advancement. This act solidified his position as a unique figure within the Republican Party.
“Romney: A Reckoning” offers readers a multifaceted view of Mitt Romney, revealing a man who is both reflective and strategic, with a capacity for idealism and a willingness to challenge the status quo. While his actions and decisions may elicit mixed reactions, they underscore Romney’s commitment to his own principles and the pursuit of a better future. As Romney continues to navigate the political landscape, his complex persona will undoubtedly shape his legacy.