Mitt Romney: The Absentee Governor

The New York Times continues to tear into Mitt Romney today, this time focusing on the amount of time he spent away from his duties as governor.

BOSTON — When the ceiling collapsed in the Big Dig tunnel here, Gov. Mitt Romney was at his vacation home in New Hampshire. When the Bush administration warned that the nation was at high risk of a terror attack in December 2003, he was at his Utah retreat. And for much of the time the legislature was negotiating changes to his landmark health care bill, he was on the road.

During Mr. Romney’s four-year term as governor of Massachusetts, he cumulatively spent more than a year — part or all of 417 days — out of the state, according to a review of his schedule and other records. More than 70 percent of that time was spent on personal or political trips unrelated to his job, a New York Times analysis found. [...]

The Times compiled an itinerary of Mr. Romney’s travels by analyzing the governor’s public schedules, reviewing news accounts of his travels and the responses to public records requests made during his time in office by news organizations — including The Boston Globe, The Herald and The Associated Press — that were available at the Massachusetts State Archives. The figure is probably higher than 417 days because Mr. Romney’s vacations were often not recorded on his public schedules.

Mitt Romney spent approximately 1 out of every 4 days of his tenure outside of Massachusetts.

Sound familiar? George W. Bush spent literally one third of his entire two-term presidency away from his duties in Crawford, Texas. Over 1,000 days.

There’s every reason to suspect Romney would continue this trend if he were elected.

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  • trgahan

    My guess is that to Romney just “being” the governor was more important than actually doing what governors do. A political check box he needed to fill on his way to win the White House.

    I think Bush was just an electicable figure head for a poltical machine. Day to day governoring was Rove, Cheney, etcs. job. Bush was just there to sell whatever to the American people…wait, maybe Bush and Ronmey ARE the same.

    • Brutlyhonest

      We should also never forget that bushCo often talked about ruling, not governing.

    • D_C_Wilson

      That’s sums up his motivation for running for president as well: Mitt wants to be president for the sake of being president. He doesn’t have any vision, plan, or even idea about how we would govern. He just wants the prestige and his name in the history books that comes with being president. We don’t live in a country where he can aspire to a knighthood or some noble title bestowed by the queen, so being president is the closest thing he can get to becoming royalty.

      I suspect the only real difference between Bush and Romney was that Bush really was a figurehead and left the actual day-to-day governing chores to Cheney, Rove, Rice, etc. I suspect Romney, though, spent most of term as governor laying the groundwork and making the contacts that were needed for his run for the presidency. Governor was never a job he wanted. It was just something to put on his resume on the road to becoming president. Just as president is just the means to get the historical renown he wants.

    • muselet

      Sounds a little like Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to pad his resume for a run for senator.

      –alopecia

  • D_C_Wilson

    And yet wingnuts are still pushing the lie that Obama has spent more time on vacation than Bush did.