Excerpt, 'The Real Romney': Romney's Exit from Bain Capital

Thursday morning the Boston Globe published a story alleging that Mitt Romney worked at Bain Capital three years longer than he has publicly claimed. The Obama campaign jumped on this with a conference call for reporters during which a senior campaign manager suggested Romney may be a felon.

Meanwhile, Fortune magazine revealed new documents which support Mitt Romney's contention that he was not an active part of the company after early 1999. Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post's fact checker, noted that he has already looked at the underlying issue and found nothing in the Globe story that would shift his opinion. He also mentioned another source that supported Romney's claim: "Interestingly,  'The Real Romney,' a book on the former Massachusetts governor, by Boston Globe reporters, states clearly that he left Bain when he went to run the Olympics and details the turmoil that ensued when he suddenly quit, nearly breaking up the partnership."

The Real Romney devotes one chapter to the story of Romney's involvement with the 2002 Olympics. Romney's involvement with the Games began after an embarrassing public scandal in which international executives received gifts from organizers. Utah civic leaders decided the Games needed a "turnaround artist" who could make sure things were being run properly and above board. 

The search quickly came down to two men, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman Jr. Huntsman eventually dropped out and Romney seized the opportunity, seeing it as a way to serve his state and also transition himself from a successful business career to public service. This paragraph describes Romney's rocky transition away from Bain:

His departure from Bain Capital, though, was not so neat. The partners squabbled over how the firm would operate without him. A power struggle ensued. Several partners made plans to leave. Suddenly, a company that relied on loyalty, long-term relationships, and Romney’s personal courtship of investors seemed to be at risk. And such a breakup could be messy. A Bain meltdown might mean lawsuits with tens of millions of dollars at stake. The potential existed for embarrassing disclosures of how much money Romney had made on certain deals. “It would have been a circus, and circuses over money are not good for politicians,” one Romney associate said. Romney grew worried that the company he had worked so hard to build would be destroyed. The anxiety escalated until finally, one Sunday afternoon, Romney and one of his fellow Mormons at Bain Capital, Bob Gay, knelt on the floor together and prayed for its survival. “We were facing a crucial event that threatened the very existence [of] our firm’s partnership,” Gay said later. In the end, the crisis abated. Romney left the firm, retaining a financial interest in it, and Bain Capital continued to thrive.

A couple pages later, having accepted the job, Romney is being introduced to the public -- "on February 11, 1999." The Obama campaign is hoping people don't care that this 1999 "departure" ever happened.


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