Thursday, June 28, 2007

Strapped to the Roof of a White Station Wagon

This story is from the Boston Globe:

The white Chevy station wagon with the wood paneling was overstuffed with suitcases, supplies, and sons when Mitt Romney climbed behind the wheel to begin the annual 12-hour family trek from Boston to Ontario.

As with most ventures in his life, he had left little to chance, mapping out the route and planning each stop. The destination for this journey in the summer of 1983 was his parents' cottage on the Canadian shores of Lake Huron. Romney would be returning to the place of his most cherished childhood memories.
Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family's hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon's roof rack. He'd built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.

Then Romney put his boys on notice: He would be making predetermined stops for gas, and that was it

The ride was largely what you'd expect with five brothers, ages 13 and under, packed into a wagon they called the ''white whale.''

As the oldest son, Tagg Romney commandeered the way-back of the wagon, keeping his eyes fixed out the rear window, where he glimpsed the first sign of trouble. ''Dad!'' he yelled. ''Gross!'' A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who'd been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.

As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.

Now, I am not a dog lover or hater. My wife has two dogs. I feed and water them daily, take them to the vet, buy their food and flea medicine and take them to the groomers.

When I do transport them, it is in the front seat of my pickup. I would NEVER strap a dog to the roof of a station wagon.

This is a tiny preview of a trait Romney is famous for, emotion-free crisis management?

I think it is a tiny preview of a trait of a man who is more concerned about his comfort and well-being than that of others. A preview of a trait of a man who is cold and calculating to the expense of others.

Strapping a dog to the top of a car? Telling his sons that no stopping except at pre-determined stops? I bet those trips were fun!

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