Romney’s Olympics

Ken AshfordElection 2012Leave a Comment

Rings220It's Olympic time, and Romney is in London for the games.  This, he thinks, is good for him.  Because, after all, when the Olympics were in Salt Lake City in 2002, it was Mitt Romney who stepped in when the events were rocked by scandal and mismanagement.  It's one of the only items on his resume that he will discuss without hesitation. He's so proud of the accomplishment, he wrote a book about it called "Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, And The Olympic Games."

But there's something he doesn't want you to know.  

Romney wasn't just the head of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Romney was also a registered lobbyist for the organization, Utah state records show.

Romney last worked as a lobbyist on Dec. 31, 2000, according to a spokesman for the state lieutenant governor, who oversees the registry.

As a lobbyist and president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, Romney didn't just stabilize the balance sheet. He brought in a record $1.3 billion in federal dollars for Salt Lake City's games and more from Utah.   That is 1.5 times the amount spent by lawmakers to support all seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904 — combined.

So Romney's "success" came from government help.  LOTs of government help.  How does that fit into the "my success is my own" narrative?

By the way, Romney's rainbow tour is off to a bad start.  He's already insulted the British:

The prime minister has hit back at comments from the US presidential candidate Mitt Romney querying Britain's readiness for the Olympics, urging the country to "put its best foot forward" and ensure they are remembered as "the friendly Games".


Romney said the fallout from the G4S security fiasco and a threatened strike by immigration officials were "disconcerting" and questioned whether British people would get behind the Games.

 UPDATE:  The prime minister is still going after Romney:

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — After Mitt Romney called London's preparations for the Olympic Games were "disconcerting," British Prime Minister shot back with a defense of the British games — and a slam on the event Romney oversaw in 2002.

"We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere," snarked Cameron, apparently alluding to the Salt Lake City Games.