Much has been written about Mitt Romney’s acumen as a politician. One
has to admire his flexibility, having taken just about every position
possible on any controversial issue (gays, abortion, immigration,
healthcare) -- the revolving door style of campaign rhetoric. He has
been the most active flip-flopper since Bill Clinton.
Look, a man can change, I say. Call it growth, a maturing, what you would want in a president.
What we should also like about him is his claim he isn’t just
another politician running for office, although his enemies point out he
has been running for president since 1994.
His greatest strength, it is said, has been his experience in the
business world. His term in office as a partner at Bain Capital is
currently being widely debated. He is either a Vulture Capitalist or a
hero of the capitalist wars, as Joe Scarborough says, awarding him a
medal of honor every morning on MSNBC.
Economics is in his DNA, Mitt has been bragging since 2008 and
earlier. He got his head for business, we are told, at his father’s
knee. This is what really worries me.
George Romney, Mitt’s father, was a captain of industry, a
three-time Governor of Michigan with presidential aspirations. He was
ahead of Richard Nixon early in the 1968 Republican presidential
Before wanting to become the first Mormon president, George Romney
was the head of Nash-Kelvinator, later folded into American Motors,
makers of the Rambler, a car that still sticks in the craw of some car
buyers of the 1960s.
Click on the image to see more "classic" cars.
The Nash Metropolitan
His greatest contribution to society, however, was the Nash
Metropolitan. Some of you may remember the Nash Metropolitan (1953-61):
the only small car that looked like a refrigerator on its side.
The Metropolitan was an amazing vehicle that gave great gas mileage,
despite it's weird appearance. A miniscule car with a tiny
four-cylinder engine, it could barely reach 75 mph with a tail wind.
It took courage in the middle of the post-war horsepower race to
bring out an alternative to the big gas-guzzling dinosaurs with the big
shark fin fenders, which looked as if they could fly or eat you.
The only problem is, Romney was ahead of his time with small car
marketing by 30 years, which did not help his company’s balance sheet.
He also helped destroy the Hudson Hornet, a popular muscle car that
was winning NASCAR races right and left. His idea was to put the Hudson
grille on the Nash Ambassador, and call it a “Hudson.” The public called
it a “Hash.” But that’s another story.
While the media is now digging into Romney family history in Mexico,
looking for ancestors involved in polygamy, smart investors might think
it wise to also look into the history of the Nash Metropolitan and
other car crashes of George Romney’s turn at the wheel of American
Mitt may have been brainwashed by his father, who was winning the
1968 race until he claimed to have been brainwashed on the Vietnam War
by LBJ and his military geniuses. For all we know, business acumen may
be the son’s Achilles Wheel.