John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Revenge of the Canadian Teachers

Posted on January 14, 2012
Revenge of the Canadian Teachers

Mitt Romney has been put through the ringer for something that a bunch of Canadian teachers did.

My question today is:  What did the Massachusetts Moderate ever do to those Canucks anyway?

In case you haven’t been following the story, Newt Gingrich has been running some very tough commercials against Mr. Romney about Romney’s involvement in Bain Capital, a private equity firm.

Gingrich has made the accusation that Romney was directly involved in  the closing of a plant in Gaffney, South Carolina.  According to the New York Times, that plant (which was so small that nobody in that small town could remember it) was indeed part of the Bain Capitol empire.  But Times asked the good folks of Gaffney about the plant and about the attack and it turns out that they blame Obama and not Romney for the flagging economy.

Another, more interesting accusation from Newt has to do with a washing machine company in Florida that closed down in the early 2000’s.  It turns out that that Bain Capital ha sold the business to the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, and it was the Ontario Teachers who closed down the plant.

Sounds fishy, eh?

Those Ontario Teachers must have known what they were doing.  They must have known that somehow they could buy a company that Mitt Romney once owned, and then close it down and then have the Massachusetts moderate get blamed for the destruction of the company.

There is no doubt that there is some sort of Canadian conspiracy here.  But the question is why?

I think I know why.  It has something to do with Romney snubbing the Canadians when he was governor of Massachusetts.

Thanks to the wonders of Google, I discovered what happened.

Here is a story from the Toronto Star:

“One example: Romney’s treatment of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, an annual gathering that mattered — until Romney arrived in September 2003 as the newly minted governor of Massachusetts.

His predecessors, Governors Paul Cellucci and Mike Dukakis, attached importance to the conference, where leaders of Quebec and the four Atlantic provinces shared ideas with counterparts from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts.

But as a marathon session in 2003 dragged on in Mystic, Conn., Romney grew exasperated, according to sources.

A Harvard Business School grad and co-founder of Bain Capital, Romney had been steeled in the private sector. He was a one-hour meeting kind of guy. All else was to be delegated. Yet there he was, eight hours into one of the longest meetings of his working life — and his eyes were glazing over.

“You never actually saw Romney angry. He had a presence as very bright and polished — engaged, to some extent — but also very reserved,” one Canadian delegate in attendance said on condition of anonymity.

The conference, as it turned out, would lose its big fish. Romney said he was skipping the following year’s meeting in Newfoundland, and lesser American fish followed. The meeting was cancelled.”

Now, there is another theory working out there about the revenge of the Canadians.  I call it the Gail Collins theory, because she is utterly fascinated with Romney’s dog Seamus.

This theory posits that the Canadian Teachers are going after Romney because their country will forever be linked to the story of Romney traveling with his dog on top of his car.  Here is a helpful primer on that story from the Toronto Star:

“But the Canadian component in the Romney narrative both gives and takes. Romney’s reputation for unbending rigidity is unfortunately well-known, and there is perhaps no better story that illustrates that than a 12-hour family car trip he made in 1983 from his home near Boston to the cottage in Grand Bend.

Reported in the Boston Globe in 2007, the story has become legendary.

Romney put Seamus, the family’s Irish setter, into a dog carrier that Romney had fashioned with a windshield for the dog’s comfort, then strapped the carrier to the roof of their Chevy station wagon and set off.

There would be pre-determined stops for gas only, Romney had told his boys. Nothing was to prevent them from arriving on time .But along the way one Romney son spied a brown liquid oozing from the roof down across the back windshield.

“Dad!” he shouted. “Gross!”

Romney promptly steered into a gas station, borrowed a hose to clean the dog, then the container, as well as the windshield, and they were back on the highway — with Seamus still on the roof. Everybody arrived in Canada safe and sound.”

Mitt Romney may well be our next President, and I would hope our Canadian friends would learn to love the Massachusetts moderate as much as our conservative friends have done.