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Posts Tagged ‘primary’

Revising the Book of Romney

In Business, Economy, Jobs, National News, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Uncategorized on April 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

Mitt Romney will have to work hard to earn the 'regular guy' vote in November. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines

Presidential GOP front runner Mitt Romney has been repeatedly criticized as being elitist, out of touch, self-aggrandizing and focused only on his capitalist endeavors for gaining wealth. Critics say that he has absolutely no idea what the average American has to go through just to make ends meet in today’s economy, and, unfortunately, his own words have reinforced that image.

During a speech on theMichigan campaign trail, Romney commented that his wife had two Cadillacs. He was attempting to show people that his family owned American-built cars, trying to relate to theDetroit audience. Instead, he left the impression that he thinks that every stay-at-home mom can afford to own two luxury vehicles. Out of touch, or just bad speech preparation?

During the run of the GOP primaries, Romney has often presented himself as snobby, elitist and completely misunderstanding of the challenges faced by today’s worker. His multi-million-dollar income affords him at least two homes, vacations all over the world and much more. But while people are criticizing that kind of success, it’s important to remember that President Obama has also spent a great deal of his adult life in the lap of luxury.

As he finished his first year in office the president reported more than $5 million in personal income; not bad for a junior senator fromIllinois. Like Romney, his fortunes have accumulated because of good financial decisions and investments in the capitalist system – a fact Democrats like to downplay whenever possible.

The truth is, neither man can truly grasp what it’s like to have to scrape together enough money to feed a family or worry that his paycheck won’t be enough to keep the electricity on for another month. But some are working to help change Romney’s image.

Author Jeff Benedict has just released an updated edition of his 2007 book, The Mormon Way of Doing Business, featuring a new chapter about Republican front runner Mitt Romney. Benedict touts a lifetime of the formerMassachusetts governor’s selfless good deeds; from his church-going youth to his big-business adulthood.

No doubt the author added the chapter to use Romney’s fame as a way to refresh book sales, but whatever the motive he does reveal a softer side to the Mormon candidate. In one story Romney grabbed a shovel to assist a family friend after a wildfire nearly destroyed their home. In another, he mobilized a city to search for a missing girl.

In 1996, when the 14-year-old daughter of a business partner disappeared, Romney mobilized the business community and local authorities, creating a command post at his office and utilizing his position to leverage assistance wherever possible. Thankfully, the girl was found, but relatively few know of Romney’s involvement in the incident.

While these stories are emotionally compelling and help to humanize a man who is often seen as cold and without compassion, the timing of their release is precarious. At this point, trying to throw out selfless tales of heroism and personal generosity will likely be reflected by critics as grandstanding from the Romney camp in an effort to win over a few bleeding hearts.

Romney’s business savvy is without question, but can the same be said for his integrity and commitment to working on behalf of a country shackled by an ever-increasing deficit and floundering economy? It’s hard to imagine that a few kind anecdotes will be enough to change his harsh, all-business image enough to sway voters to unseat the president in November.

Given the number of delegates he’s earned in the primaries, the former governor certainly seems a shoe-in for the GOP nomination. If he is chosen to run on the Republican ticket, the challenge will be to convince the majority of the country to give up Obama-ism and follow the book of Romney. It’s too bad the Prophet Moroni didn’t leave behind another golden book to guide his way like the one Joseph Smith found. Romney will simply have to rely on opinion polls and CNN, just like everyone else.


Appreciating the Buckeye State

In Local News on February 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

By Gery L. Deer

Deer In Headlines


Because of the different kinds of work I do, from writing to my involvement in film and television projects, I am asked regularly why I remain in Ohio, rather than moving to New York or the West Coast. The way people ask, it’s almost as if my skills aren’t worthy of recognition or my work’s value is somehow reduced because I choose to live where my family has its roots. In fact, if you pay attention to how Ohio is treated by Hollywood, one might think all we produce here are backwoods rednecks and serial killers. Of course, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth.

My diverse career has taken me from the stages of Las Vegas resorts to the decks of oil tankers. I’ve seen Hollywood Blvd. at midnight and worked alongside stars like Bonnie Hunt and Steve Harvey. I’ve watched as cranes placed the giant Oscar statues and workers rolled out the red carpets outside the Kodak Theatre the day before the Academy Awards. Suffice to say, I’ve seen a lot. But nothing has ever made me want to leave Ohio permanently.

I’ve known people living in the Buckeye State who can’t wait to get out of it, longing for the greener grass somewhere else; Florida, South Carolina, California. But they never seem to go. They just continue to complain. In fact, most of the people I know who behave this way have never really been anywhere else.

Most people forget what Ohio has produced since it was added to the Union in 1803. Even if we overlook the obvious contributions Ohioans have made, like powered flight, the advancement of minority rights, the first electric starter for automobiles and more U.S. Presidents than you can shake a buckeye branch at (8 in all), Ohio still has much to offer.

While we may not be surrounded by oceans or have perfect weather year around, Ohio offers some of the most amazing country anyone has ever seen. The name “Ohio” comes from an Iroquoian word meaning “great river” and that would certainly be hard to argue. The Ohio River connects the eastern states to the Missouri and finally the Mississippi, making it vital to trade and commerce for many regions. Other major waterways such as the Scioto and Great Miami Rivers also provided opportunities for growth to Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus.

Incidentally, everyone who just cleaned up after a Superbowl party owes a world of debt to the never-ending ingenuity of Ohioans. If not for Dayton engineer Ermal Cleon Fraze, your guests would still have been fighting over the can opener! On a sleepless night in 1959, “Ernie” Fraze invented the pop-top opener, now common on beer and soft drink cans.

With the Oscars coming up, it wouldn’t be right to ignore Ohio’s contribution to Hollywood, seeing as how that’s where most of the glib remarks about our fare state originate. Oscar winners Paul Newman and Halle Berry both called Ohio home, as did MASH’s Jamie Farr, comedian Drew Carey, film director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter),  Jerry Siegel and Joe Schumacher (the creators of Superman),  and Jack Warner, founder of Warner Brothers Studios. My father even grew up with country and western star Bobby Bare, not far from Roy Rogers’ childhood home near Portsmouth, on the banks of the Ohio River. The list is practically endless.

No place is perfect and, like anyone else, I have my share of complaints about how things are run here. In my experience there is far too much small-town, good old boy politics, and little doubt that the people we have sent to Columbus need to be reminded that they work for us, not the other way around, as seems to be the case lately.

But in spite of these shortcomings, Ohio is a good place to call home. We have weathered floods, tornados, a Great Depression and numerous recessions. But Ohioans are of America’s most creative, innovative and intelligent people and we always seem to come out on top. So the next time you start your car, pop open a soda or fly away to your favorite vacation spot, give a little nod to the Buckeye State, truly, the Heart of it All.