It's rare that I post something twice on DailyKos, but I made the mistake of putting this up at 2AM Wednesday, and it slipped by. I do think people should see it:
"We — as president, I will sit down on day one — actually the day after I get elected, I'll sit down with leaders — the Democratic leaders as well as Republican leaders and — as we did in my state. We met every Monday for a couple hours, talked about the issues and the challenges in the — in the — in our state, in that case. We have to work on a collaborative basis — not because we're going to compromise our principle(s), but because there's common ground."
Let's take a look at Romney's collaborative efforts in Massachusetts. From the New York Times:
Mr. Romney’s struggle to tamp down resurgent opponents and secure the Republican presidential nomination, highlighted by his uneven performance on Super Tuesday, is bringing renewed focus to his sometimes awkward style and aloof manner, which have hampered his ability to connect with some voters. A review of his time as governor shows that those traits affected his relationship with another crucial constituency: the Massachusetts lawmakers he needed to pass legislation.
The Times begins their examination with an example:
Well into Mitt Romney’s tenure as governor of Massachusetts, a state legislator named Jay Kaufman developed a nagging suspicion: the governor had no idea who he was.Yeah, it seems this fantasy that Romney was so great at working with the Dems in Massachusetts -- well, just add it to the list of fantasies:
A committee chairman and a veteran Democrat in the State House of Representatives, Mr. Kaufman routinely waved to Mr. Romney from his capitol office, right above the governor’s parking spot. But when he crossed Mr. Romney’s path in the building’s marble corridors one day, his fears were confirmed.
“Hello, Senator,” Mr. Romney called to Mr. Kaufman.
Sitting in his office five years later, Mr. Kaufman still seemed wounded by the slight. “No name, wrong title,” he said. “Give me a break.”
Even though he worked just a few hundred feet from them for four years, Mr. Romney displayed little interest in getting to know lawmakers and never developed real relationships with most members of the Democratic-dominated body, according to interviews with two dozen current and former lawmakers of both parties and members of the governor’s staff.Romney keeps asking us to take a look at how he handled things in Massachusetts. Well, let's take that look:
Mr. Romney wielded his veto pen as no Massachusetts governor has before or since. He issued 844 vetoes, most of which the legislature overrode, sometimes unanimously, in marathon sessions.And here's some more on how wonderfully he worked with others on Beacon Hill:
“People often talk about Romney’s leadership ability, but a lot of it went unused because of his attitude toward the legislature,” said Maurice T. Cunningham, chairman of the political science department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. “With better relations, he would have been able to do so much more.”
Perhaps Mr. Romney’s most jarring break with precedent was his reluctance to engage with members of the legislature. He rarely socialized with them, eschewing both the workaday and after-hours mingling that had long greased the levers of Massachusetts government.And what about those weekly sessions Romney mentioned in the debate?
His immediate predecessors, Republicans with deeper ties to the state’s political world, had worked at their relationships with legislators. Gov. William F. Weld, for example, a former United States attorney for Massachusetts, was known to walk into senators’ offices unannounced. and Gov. Paul Cellucci, a former state senator, liked to play boccie with the members.
But lawmakers felt that Mr. Romney, reserved by nature, seemed to avoid casual conversations with them. In a move that provoked widespread grumbling, his staff cordoned off a capitol elevator for his exclusive use, preventing lawmakers from riding with him. “It did not convey much of an interest in people,” said Representative Kay Khan, a House member since 1995.
Mr. Romney did develop bonds with the legislature’s leaders, meeting weekly with the top Democrats and Republicans to discuss bills, as his predecessors did. “Once you had the leadership, they would round up everyone else,” Mr. Fehrnstrom said, or so went the thinking.Yeah, well, you get the idea. Read the whole thing here.
But even those relationships were not always smooth. In 2003, Thomas M. Finneran, the speaker of the House, thought that the governor supported his plan for pay raises for House committee chairmen, a popular move in the legislature, lawmakers said. When Mr. Romney vetoed the bill over a legal technicality — effectively killing the plan — it created a permanent rift. A former aide to the governor said that the fallout might have been avoided if Mr. Romney had sat down with Mr. Finneran and worked out a compromise.