Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Willard Mitt Romney
Willard Mitt Romney (born March 12, 1947) is an American businessman and the Republican Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2012 election. From 2003 to 2007, he served as the 70th Governor of Massachusetts.
Raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan by his parents Lenore and George W. Romney, Mitt Romney spent thirty months inFrance as a Mormon missionary beginning in 1966. Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery
He married Ann Davies in 1969, with whom he has had five children. By 1971, Romney had participated in the political campaigns of both his parents. In that year, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young and in 1975, a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Business Administration from Harvard. Romney then entered the management consulting industry and in 1977 he secured a position at Bain & Company.Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery
Later serving as its chief executive officer, he helped lead the company out of financial crisis. In 1984, he cofounded and led the spin-off company Bain Capital, a highly profitable private equity investment firm that became one of the largest of its kind in the nation. His considerable net worth, estimated in 2012 at $190–250 million, helped finance his prior political campaigns. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery
Active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Romney served during his business career as the bishop of his ward (head of his local congregation) and then stake president in his home area near Boston. After stepping down from Bain Capital and his local leadership role in the church, he ran as the Republican candidate in the 1994 Massachusetts election for U.S. Senate. Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery
Losing to longtime incumbent Ted Kennedy, he resumed his position at Bain Capital. Hired as the President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Romney succeeded in that role, and the resulting visibility enabled him to relaunch his political career. Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery
Romney won the 2002 gubernatorial election in Massachusetts, and as governor helped develop and enact into law theMassachusetts health care reform legislation, the first of its kind in the nation, which provided near-universal health insurance access through state-level subsidies and individual mandates to purchase insurance. Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery
He also presided over the elimination of a projected $1.2–1.5 billion deficit through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and the closure of corporate tax loopholes. Romney did not seek re-election in 2006, instead focusing on his campaign for theRepublican nomination in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery
He won several primaries and caucuses but lost the nomination to John McCain. In 2011, he began campaigning for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, eventually winning enough caucuses and primaries to be nominated with his chosen running mate, Representative Paul Ryan. Romney faces incumbent President Barack Obama in the November 2012 general election. Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery
Willard Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947, at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest child of automobile executive George W. Romney and homemaker Lenore Romney (née LaFount). His mother was a native of Logan, Utah, and his father was born to American parents in a Mormon colony in Chihuahua, Mexico. Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery
Mitt is of primarily English descent, with distant Scottish and German ancestry. A fifth-generation member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), his great-great-grandfather Miles Romney converted to the faith in its first decade, and another great-great-grandfather, Parley P. Pratt, helped lead the early Church. Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery
Younger than his three siblings – Margo Lynn, Jane LaFount, and G. Scott – Mitt followed them after a gap of nearly six years. His parents named him after a family friend, businessman J. Willard Marriott, and his father's cousin, Milton "Mitt" Romney, a former quarterback for the Chicago Bears. Mitt was referred to as "Billy" until kindergarten, when he indicated a preference for the former. Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery
In 1953, the family moved from Detroit to the affluent suburb ofBloomfield Hills. His father became the chairman and CEO of American Motors the following year, soon helping the company avoid bankruptcy and return to profitability. By 1959, his father had become a nationally known figure in print and on television, and Mitt idolized him. Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery
Romney attended public elementary schools until the seventh grade, when he enrolled as one of only a few Mormon students atCranbrook School in Bloomfield Hills, a traditional private boys' preparatory school. Many students there came from backgrounds even more privileged than his. Not particularly athletic, he also did not distinguish himself academically. Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery
He participated in his father's successful 1962 Michigan gubernatorial campaign, and later worked for him as an intern in the Governor's office. Mitt took up residence at Cranbrook when his newly elected father began spending most of his time at the state capitol.
At Cranbrook, Romney helped manage the ice hockey team, and he joined the pep squad. Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery
During his senior year, he joined the cross country running team. He belonged to eleven school organizations and school clubs overall, including the Blue Key Club, a booster group he had started. During his final year there, he improved academically but fell short of excellence. Romney became involved in several pranks while attending Cranbrook. Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery
He has since apologized, stating that some of the pranks may have gone too far.[nb 1] In March of his senior year, he began dating Ann Davies; she attended the private Kingswood School, the sister school to Cranbrook.The two became informally engaged around the time of his June 1965 graduation. Romney attended Stanford University during the academic year of 1965–66. Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery
He was not part of the counterculture of the 1960s then taking form in the San Francisco Bay Area. In May 1966, he joined a counter-protest against a group staging a sit-in at the university administration building in opposition to draft status tests. He continued to enjoy occasional pranks.
In July 1966, he left the U.S. for a thirty-month stay in France as a Mormon missionary, ] a traditional rite of passage in his family. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery
He arrived inLe Havre, where he faced physical and economic deprivation in cramped quarters. Rules against drinking, smoking, and dating were strictly enforced.Most individual Mormon missionaries do not gain many converts[nb 4] and Romney was no exception: he later estimated ten to twenty for his entire mission. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery
He initially became demoralized and later recalled it as the only time when "most of what I was trying to do was rejected." He soon gained recognition within the mission for the many homes he called on and the repeat visits he was granted. He was promoted to zone leader in Bordeaux in early 1968, and soon thereafter became assistant to the mission president in Paris. Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery
At the Mission Home, he enjoyed far more comfortable accommodations than he previously had elsewhere in the country. When the French expressed opposition to the U.S. role in the Vietnam War, Romney debated them in return, and their hostility on the subject reinforced Romney's support for the U.S. effort. Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery
In June 1968, an automobile he was driving in southern France was hit by another vehicle, seriously injuring him and killing one of his passengers, the wife of the mission president.[nb 6] Romney was not at fault in the accident.[nb 6] He became co-president of a mission that had become demoralized and disorganized after the May 1968 general strike and student uprisings and the car accident. Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery
With Romney rallying the others, the mission met a goal of 200 baptisms for the year, the most for them in a decade. By the end of his stint in December 1968, he was overseeing the work of 175 others.As a result of his stay, Romney developed a lifelong affection for France and its people, and continued to be fluent in French. Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery
At their first meeting following his return, Romney and Ann Davies reconnected and decided to get married. Romney began attending Brigham Young University (BYU), where she had been studying. The couple married on March 21, 1969, in a civil ceremony in Bloomfield Hills.Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery
The following day, they flew to Utah for a Mormon wedding ceremony at the Salt Lake Temple(Ann had converted to the faith while he was away).
Mitt had missed much of the tumultuous American anti-Vietnam War movement while away in France.Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery
Upon his return, it surprised him to learn that his father had joined the movement during his unsuccessful 1968 presidential campaign. George was nowserving in President Richard Nixon's cabinet as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. In a June 1970 newspaper profile of children of cabinet members, Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery
Mitt said that U.S. involvement in the war had been misguided – "If it wasn't a political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don't know what is" – but supported Nixon's ongoing Cambodian Incursion as a sincere attempt to bring the war to a conclusion. At that time there was a military draft; Romney had initially received two2-S student deferments, then, like most Mormon missionaries, Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery
a 4-D ministerial deferment while in France, and then two more student deferments.When those ran out, the result of the December 1969 draft lottery ensured he would not be selected.
At culturally conservative BYU, Romney remained isolated from much of the upheaval of that era. Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery
He became president of the Cougar Club booster organization and showed a new-found discipline in his studies. During his senior year, he took a leave to work as driver and advance man for his mother Lenore Romney's eventually unsuccessful 1970 campaign for U.S. Senator from Michigan; together, they visited all 83 Michigan counties. Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English withhighest honors, in 1971, giving commencement addresses to both the College of Humanities and to the whole of BYU.[nb 7]
The Romneys' first son, Taggart, was born in 1970 while they were undergraduates at BYU and living in a basement apartment. Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery
Ann subsequently gave birth to Matthew (1971) and Joshua (1975). Benjamin (1978) and Craig (1981) would arrive later, after Romney began his business career.
Mitt Romney wanted to pursue a business path, but his father advised him that a law degree would be valuable to his career even if he did not become a lawyer. Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery
Thus, he enrolled in the recently created joint Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration four-year program coordinated between Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. He readily adapted to the business school's pragmatic, data-driven case study method of teaching. Living in aBelmont, Massachusetts house with Ann and their two children, Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery
his social experience differed from most of his classmates'. He was nonideological and did not involve himself in the political issues of the day. He graduated in 1975 cum laude from the law school, in the top third of that class, and was named a Baker Scholar for graduating in the top five percent of his business school class. Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery
Recruited by several firms, Romney joined Boston Consulting Group (BCG), reasoning that working as a management consultant for a variety of companies would better prepare him for a future position as a chief executive. Part of a 1970s wave of top graduates who chose to go into consulting rather than join a large company directly, he found his legal and business education useful in his job. Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery
He applied BCG principles such as the growth-share matrix, and executives viewed him as having a bright future there.
In 1977, he was hired by Bain & Company, a management consulting firm in Boston formed a few years earlier by Bill Bain and other ex-BCG employees. Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery
Bain would later say of the thirty-year-old Romney, "He had the appearance of confidence of a guy who was maybe ten years older." Unlike other consulting firms, which issued recommendations and then departed, Bain & Company immersed itself in a client's business and worked with them until changes were implemented. Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery
Romney became a vice-president of the firm in 1978, and worked with clients such as theMonsanto Company, Outboard Marine Corporation, Burlington Industries, and Corning Incorporated. Within a few years, the firm considered him one of their best consultants and clients sometimes sought to use him over more senior partners. Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery
Two family incidents during this time later came to light during Romney's political career. A confrontation with a park ranger in 1981 became public in 1994. and from 2007 on there has been persistent interest in a 1983 family road trip with a dog on the roof.
In 1984, Romney left Bain & Company to cofound the spin-off private equity investment firm, Bain Capital. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery
He had initially refrained from accepting Bill Bain's offer to head the new venture, until Bain rearranged the terms in a complicated partnership structure so that there was no financial or professional risk to Romney.Bain and Romney raised the $37 million in funds needed to start the new operation, which had seven employees. Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery
Romney held the titles of president and managing general partner.The sole shareholder of the firm, publications also referred to him as managing director or CEO.
Initially, Bain Capital focused on venture capital investments. Romney set up a system in which any partner could veto one of these potential opportunities, and he personally saw so many weaknesses that few venture capital investments were approved in the initial two years. Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery
The firm's first significant success was a 1986 investment to help start Staples Inc., after founder Thomas G. Stemberg convinced Romney of the market size for office supplies and Romney convinced others; Bain Capital eventually reaped a nearly sevenfold return on its investment, and Romney sat on the Staples board of directors for over a decade. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery
Romney soon switched Bain Capital's focus from startups to the relatively new business of leveraged buyouts: buying existing companies with money mostly borrowed from banking institutions using the newly bought companies' assets as collateral, then taking steps to improve the companies' value, and finally selling those companies once their value peaked, usually within a few years. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery
Bain Capital lost money in many of its early leveraged buyouts, but then found deals that made large returns. The firm invested in or acquired Accuride, Brookstone, Domino's Pizza, Sealy Corporation, Sports Authority, and Artisan Entertainment, as well as some lesser-known companies in the industrial and medical sectors. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery
Much of the firm's profit was earned from a relatively small number of deals; Bain Capital's overall success-to-failure ratio was about even.
Romney discovered few investment opportunities himself (and those that he did, often failed to make money for the firm). Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery
Instead, he focused on analyzing the merits of possible deals that others brought forward and on recruiting investors to participate in them once approved. Within Bain Capital, Romney spread profits from deals widely within the firm to keep people motivated, often keeping less than ten percent for himself. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
Data-driven, Romney often played the role of a devil's advocate during exhaustive analysis of whether to go forward with a deal.He wanted to drop a Bain Capital hedge fund that initially lost money, but other partners disagreed with him and it eventually gained billions. He opted out of the Artisan Entertainment deal, not wanting to profit from a studio that produced R-rated films. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery
Romney served on the board of directors of Damon Corporation, a medical testing company later found guilty of defrauding the government; Bain Capital tripled its investment before selling off the company, and the fraud was discovered by the new owners (Romney was never implicated). In some cases, Romney had little involvement with a company once acquired. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery
Bain Capital's leveraged buyouts sometimes led to layoffs, either soon after acquisition or later after the firm had concluded its role. Exactly how many jobs Bain Capital added compared to those lost because of these investments and buyouts is unknown, owing to a lack of records and Bain Capital's penchant for privacy on behalf of itself and its investors. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/R Battery
Maximizing the value of acquired companies and the return to Bain's investors, not job creation, was the firm's fundamental goal.Bain Capital's acquisition of Ampad exemplified a deal where it profited handsomely from early payments and management fees, even though the subject company itself ended up going into bankruptcy. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/W Battery
Dade Behring was another case where Bain Capital received an eightfold return on its investment, but the company itself was saddled with debt and laid off over a thousand employees before Bain Capital exited (the company subsequently went into bankruptcy, with more layoffs, before recovering and prospering). Sony VAIO VPCCW19FJ/W Battery
Referring to the layoffs that happened, Romney said in 2007: "Sometimes the medicine is a little bitter but it is necessary to save the life of the patient. My job was to try and make the enterprise successful, and in my view the best security a family can have is that the business they work for is strong."
In 1990, facing financial collapse, Bain & Company asked Romney to return.[ Sony VAIO VPCCW1AFJ Battery
Announced as its new CEO in January 1991,he drew a symbolic salary of one dollar (remaining managing general partner of Bain Capital during this time).He oversaw an effort to restructure Bain & Company's employee stock-ownership plan and real-estate deals, while rallying the firm's one thousand employees, Sony VAIO VPCCW1AHJ Battery
imposing a new governing structure that excluded Bain and the other founding partners from control, and increasing fiscal transparency.He got Bain and other initial owners who had removed excessive amounts of money from the firm to return a substantial amount, and persuaded creditors, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to accept less than full payment. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E Battery
Within about a year, he had led Bain & Company through a turnaround and returned the firm to profitability.He turned Bain & Company over to new leadership and returned to Bain Capital in December 1992.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/B Battery
Romney took a leave of absence from Bain Capital from November 1993 to November 1994 to run for the U.S. Senate. During that time, Ampad workers went on strike, and asked Romney to intervene. Against the advice of Bain Capital lawyers, Romney met the strikers, but told them he had no position of active authority in the matter.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/L Battery
By 1999, Bain Capital was on its way towards becoming one of the foremost private equity firms in the nation, having increased its number of partners from 5 to 18, with 115 employees overall, and $4 billion under its management. The firm's average annual return on investments was 113 percent.Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/P Battery
Romney took a paid leave of absence from Bain Capital in February 1999 to serve as the President and CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Games Organizing Committee.Billed in some public statements as keeping a part-time role, Romney remained the firm's sole shareholder, managing director, CEO, and president, signing corporate and legal documents, Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/R Battery
attending to his interests within the firm, and conducting prolonged negotiations for the terms of his departure.He did not involve himself in day-to-day operations of the firm or investment decisions for Bain Capital's new private equity funds. He retained his position on several boards of directors during this time and regularly returned to Massachusetts to attend meetings. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/W Battery
In August 2001, Romney announced that he would not return to Bain Capital. His separation from the firm concluded in early 2002; he transferred his ownership to other partners and negotiated an agreement that allowed him to receive a passive profit share as a retired partner in some Bain Capital entities, including buyout and investment funds.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/B Battery
The private equity business continued to thrive, earning him millions of dollars in annual income.
As a result of his business career, Romney and his wife have a net worth of between $190 and $250 million, including their retirement account, worth between $20 and $100 million.Most of that wealth has been held in blind trusts since 2003, some of it offshore. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/L Battery
An additional blind trust, valued at $100 million in 2012, exists in the name of their children. In 2010, Romney and his wife received about $22 million in income, almost all of it from investments such as dividends, capital gains, and carried interest; and they paid about $3 million in federal income taxes, for an effective tax rate of 14 percent. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/R Battery
For the years 1990–2010, their effective federal tax rates were above 13 percent with an average rate of about 20 percent.
Romney has tithed to the LDS Church regularly, and donated to LDS Church-owned BYU.In 2010, for example, he and his wife gave $1.5 million to the church.Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/W Battery
The Romney family's Tyler Charitable Foundation gave out about $650,000 in that year, some of which went to organizations that fight diseases.For the years 1990–2010, the Romneys' total charitable donations as portions of their income averaged 14 percent.
During his business career, Romney held several positions in the local lay clergy. Sony VAIO VPCCW26EC Battery
In 1977, he became a counselor to the president of the Boston Stake. He served as bishop of the ward (ecclesiastical and administrative head of his congregation) at Belmont, Massachusetts, from 1981 to 1986.As such, in addition to home teaching, he also formulated Sunday services and classes using LDS scriptures to guide the congregation. Sony VAIO VPCCW26FX/B Battery
After the destruction of the Belmont meetinghouse by a fire of suspicious origins in 1984, he forged links with other religious institutions, allowing the congregation to rotate its meetings to other houses of worship during the reconstruction of their building.
From 1986 to 1994, Romney presided over the Boston Stake, which included more than a dozen wards in eastern Massachusetts with almost 4,000 church members altogether. Sony VAIO VPCCW28EC Battery
He organized a team to handle financial and management issues, sought to counter anti-Mormon sentiments, and tried to solve social problems among poor Southeast Asian converts. An unpaid position, his local church leadership often took 30 or more hours a week of his time, and he became known for his considerable energy in the role. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/P Battery
He earned a reputation for avoiding any overnight travel that might interfere with his church responsibilities.
Romney took a hands-on role in general matters, helping in domestic maintenance efforts, visiting the sick, and counseling burdened church members. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/R Battery
A number of local church members later credited him with turning their lives around or helping them through difficult times.Others, rankled by his leadership style, desired a more consensus-based approach.Romney tried to balance the conservative directives from church leadership in Utah with the desire of some Massachusetts members to have a more flexible application of religious doctrine. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/W Battery
He agreed with some requests from the liberal women's publication Exponent II for changes in the way the church dealt with women, but clashed with women whom he felt were departing too much from doctrine.In particular, he counseled women to not have abortions even when they threatened the life of the mother, Sony VAIO VPCCW29FJ/W Battery
and encouraged single women facing unplanned pregnancies to give up their baby for adoption. Romney later said that the years spent as an LDS minister gave him direct exposure to people struggling financially and empathy for those with family problems.
For much of his business career, Romney did not take public, political stances. Sony VAIO VPCCW2AFJ Battery
He had kept abreast of national politics since college, though, and the circumstances of his father's presidential campaign loss had irked him for decades. He registered as an Independent and voted in the 1992 presidential primaries for the Democratic former senator from Massachusetts, Paul Tsongas. Sony VAIO VPCCW2AHJ Battery
By 1993, Romney had begun thinking about entering politics, partly based upon Ann's urging and partly to follow in his father's footsteps. He decided to challenge incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, seeking re-election for the sixth time. Political pundits viewed Kennedy as vulnerable that year – in part because of the unpopularity of the Democratic Congress as a whole, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E Battery
and in part because this was Kennedy's first election since the William Kennedy Smith trial in Florida, in which the senator had suffered some negative public relations regarding his character. Romney changed his affiliation toRepublican in October 1993 and formally announced his candidacy in February 1994. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/B Battery
In addition to his leave from Bain Capital, he stepped down from his church leadership role in 1994.
Radio personality Janet Jeghelian took an early lead in polls among candidates for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat, but Romney proved the most effective fundraiser.He won 68 percent of the vote at the May 1994 Massachusetts Republican Party convention; Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/L Battery
businessman John Lakian finished a distant second, eliminating Jeghelian. Romney defeated Lakian in the September 1994 primary with more than 80 percent of the vote.
In the general election, Kennedy faced the first serious re-election challenger of his career. The younger, telegenic, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/P Battery
and well-funded Romney ran as a businessman who stated he had created ten thousand jobs and as a Washington outsider with a solid family image and moderate stances on social issues.When Kennedy tried to tie Romney's policies to those of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, Romney responded, "Look, I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/R Battery
I'm not trying to take us back to Reagan-Bush." Romney stated, "Ultimately, this is a campaign about change."Romney's campaign was effective in portraying Kennedy as soft on crime, but had trouble establishing its own consistent positions.By mid-September 1994, polls showed the race to be approximately even. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/W Battery
Kennedy responded with a series of ads that focused on Romney's seemingly shifting political views on issues such as abortion; Romney would respond on the latter by stating, "I believe that abortion should be safe and legal in this country."Other Kennedy ads centered on layoffs of workers at the Ampad plant owned by Romney's Bain Capital. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery
The latter was effective in blunting Romney's momentum. Kennedy and Romney held a widely watched late October debate that had no clear winner, but by then, Kennedy had pulled ahead in polls and stayed ahead afterward Romney spent $3 million of his own money in the race and more than $7 million overall. Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery