In addition to having an impressive business and government resume, Mitt Romney’s life also provides evidence of altruistic behavior, which is certainly not a bad thing in a candidate for public office.
In the summer of 2003, two of Mitt’s sons were cleaning the beach at Lake Winnipesaukee when they heard screams from the lake. Romney’s sons raced toward the screams on their Jet Skis, while Mitt — who had been in the garage of the family’s summer home — followed his sons.
The Romneys found six people floating in their life jackets, along with a Scottish terrier. Their boat had sunk, and they were scared that they might be hit by another boat in the darkness. Mitt shuttled two of them to safety, while his sons stayed near the others. Mitt then made two more trips to ferry the rest to shore. All of them, including the dog, were successfully rescued. One of Romney’s sons had kept the dog on his Jet Ski during the recue operation, since the dog was the only one wihout a life jacket.
Sgt. Robertson [of the New Hampshire State Marine Patrol] said he wasn’t surprised at the Good Samaritan behavior by the Romneys, who are well known to the neighbors.
A few years earlier, at the same lake, the Romneys had performed another water rescue. In the previous incident, the Romneys had rescued a group of kayakers who had been threatened by wind and rocks.
And, before that rescue effort, Romney had also led the effort to locate the daughter of a business colleague, Robert Gay, who had gone missing. Gay told about the search operation that Romney organized:
My 14-year-old daughter had disappeared in New York City for three days. No one could find her. My business partner stepped forward to take charge. He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York. He said, “I don’t care how long it takes. We’re going to find her”…. He set up a command center and searched through the night. The man who helped save my daughter was Mitt Romney. Mitt’s done a lot of things that people say are nearly impossible. But for me, the most important thing he’s ever done is to help save my daughter.
Romney asked employees of Bain’s law firm and accounting firm to help out. The sight of all these professionals in suits walking around New York’s rough neighborhoods finally prompted media to cover the story, which helped generate the lead that allowed the rescuers to locate the missing daughter.
In addition to these rescue efforts, Romney has donated much of his time in church volunteer work, as mentioned in a previous post, and he has also donated much of his money to charity.
It seems to me that when you combine these examples of altruism with his track record in business, Olympics, and politics, the overall result is that Romney appears to be someone who can be trusted. It seems that someone who is willing to drop whatever he’s doing to run off and rescue people can be entrusted with the incredibly responsible job of being President … a job where decisions often affect the lives of many others.