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Mitt Romney has an impressive personal, educational, and professional background.
Born in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan, he attended an all-boys' school and then Stanford before serving as a Mormon missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France. After his mission he attended Brigham Young University where he was valedictorian of his class in 1971. He then went on to receive his MBA from Harvard and was named a Baker Scholar. He also received his JD (law degree) from Harvard Law School.
In 1969, while attending BYU, Mitt Romney married his wife Ann, whom he met in high school. They are still happily married. They have raised five sons together and have ten grandchildren, with more on the way.
After finishing school, Mitt Romney was "a co-founder and managing partner of Bain Capital, a Boston Private Equity firm; the 1994 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Massachusetts… and from 1999 to 2002 the CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in charge of planning the 2002 Winter Olympics, taking charge after the bribery scandal. He also sat on the board of office supply giant Staples."
In November 2002, Mitt Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts as a Republican. Mitt Romney ran on a reform platform, since the state budget was in serious crisis. "Supporters of Romney hailed his business record, especially his success with the 2002 Olympics, as that of one who would be able to bring in a new era of efficiency into Massachusetts politics." His opponents claimed that his lack of previous government experience made him unequal to the task but voters disagreed.
Mitt Romney worked to reduce spending through government consolidation and reform and did not increase taxes. Through his efforts and helped by a reviving economy he turned the $3 billion dollar deficit into a $700 million surplus by 2004.
Opponents of Mitt Romney claim that he supports big business over the average man and has been more interested in traveling to promote his political career than in being governor of the state.
Mitt Romney was a candidate for the 2008 Presidential Elections. After the February 5, 2008, "Super Tuesday" primaries, he had won 4 million votes to John McCain's 4.7 million. However, John McCain had garnered over half the votes needed to win the Republican nomination to Romney's one-sixth. Romney had promised to take the election all the way to the convention, refusing to bow out. However, he gave a stirring speech shortly after the primaries, declaring that for the good of the party, he was suspending his campaign. Conservatives had barely caught his vision and were just beginning to rally around him. His final address was given at an assembly of the Conservative Political Action Committee "describing challenges to our national security, to the economy, and to the culture." It was a fearless call for conservative cultural values to be upheld, and a warning that America stands on the brink of losing its greatness, if conservative values are abandoned. (For the text of Romney's final speech, click here.)
Mitt Romney's greatest obstacle, as well as his greatest asset, is his membership in the Mormon Church. Because of the conservative beliefs of the Mormon Church, he appeals to the conservative Christians of the nation. For the same reason many Christians would not vote for Mitt Romney because he is Mormon, and the Mormon religion is considered by many to be outside mainstream Christianity.
Many evangelical leaders felt that they could support Mitt Romney, despite religious differences, as a presidential candidate depending on who was running and where each candidate stood. "Romney's appeal to evangelicals might slacken if a competent evangelical or Catholic with social views similar to Romney's were in the race; on the other hand, Romney's stock with evangelicals might go up if he were pitted against candidates holding more liberal social views, regardless of their religion." The entrance of Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister, into the presidential race galvanized evangelicals. Though he failed to garner as many delegates as Romney, he remained in the race when Romney dropped out. Huckabee won delegates in states with large populations of evangelical Christians.
Commentaries on Romney's decision to abandon the 2008 race for the presidency commented that conservative support came too late to catapult him to the forefront of the race. His name recognition increased remarkably during the early months of the campaign, and conservative figures were just beginning to rally around him when he dropped out. Commentators have speculated that Romney has established himself well enough to create a base for a future run for the Presidency.
Will the United States see it's first Mormon President in Mitt Romney? Only time will tell.
- Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
- Eastland, Terry. "In 2008, Will It Be Mormon in America?" 06/06/2005, Volume 010, Issue 36
Other interesting articles about Mitt Romney:
- Video:The Impact of Religion on Mitt Romney's campaign 
- Romney accepts "Canterbury Medal for Religious Freedom"
- Address "Freedom requires religion" delivered at Metropolitan Club NYC May 8, 2008