By Carol Cain
Mitt Romney: possible savior of the Motor City?
The suggestion isn’t as far fetched as its sounds as Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who was unsuccessful against Barack Obama in November, was born and raised in Detroit (so too his beloved wife, Ann).
Detroit is in major league financial duress and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to appoint someone as emergency financial manager in coming days to oversee its turnaround.
Few could dispute Romney has the pedigree to help.
The question – would Snyder ask Romney, and would Romney – now living in California with Ann – even consider?
Snyder isn’t say much about what he will do, or if he has someone in mind for the EFM job.
Nearly everyone on Snyder’s team, including State Treasurer Andy Dillon, has said that the EFM is the only path to Detroit’s financial salvation.
There has been a guessing game playing out as to who the EFM might be — which is where Romney’s name surfaced as some national pundits raised it in recent days for the job.
Romney, son of former Michigan Gov. George Romney, has a career immersed in turnarounds including saving the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and companies while at Bain Capital.
Romney has shown he isn’t afraid of making tough decisions.
That’s exactly what will be needed for the person who takes over Detroit’s Emergency Financial Manager job.
As Republican governor of Massachusetts, Romney worked with a Democratic state legislature in getting things done, including healthcare in the state.
With political silos deeply embedded in Detroit – which has seen its population shrink from two million a few decades ago to less than 700,000 today — Romney would need draw on all of his skills.
It will be a bruising assignment for anyone but one that could gain national acclaim if successful in stemming the tides of red ink and other woes of the Motor City.
Mitt for Michigan
There was a drumbeat in Michigan not long ago for Romney, a Republican, to consider a bid for governor after his first run for president (he lost GOP primary to Sen. John McCain).
Romney decided to run for president again.
The Romneys did a joint interview with Fox News on Sunday – their first since the recent election which they talked about.
“The weakness that our campaign had and that I had is we weren’t effective in taking my message primarily to minority voters, to Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, other minorities. That was a real weakness,” Mitt Romney said.
The couple talked with Fox about spending more time with their grandchildren and on their foundation.
“We’ve renamed our foundation The Romney Foundation for Children. We’re going to help the very poorest kids on the world. We’re going to help kids in this country with disease and great difficulty. And that’s taking more and more of our time,” Mitt Romney said.
In an exclusive CBS 62 Detroit “Michigan Matters” interview last year before Michigan’s GOP primary which Romney won, Ann Romney said she asked her husband if he thought he could fix what ails the U.S.
After he told her he could, she said she was in 100 percent on his second presidential run.
Which begs the question – if Snyder were to ask Romney to take on the EFM role, might Mitt – with Ann’s blessing — consider?
(Carol Cain is the Emmy winning Senior Producer and Host of “Michigan Matters” airing 11:30 am Sundays on CBS 62. She writes a column about politics and business in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.