David Frum

01.23.12

Passionless Mitt?

This is Part 3 in a series about the new Mitt Romney biography. Click here for Part 2. Click here for Part 1.

For those who think of Romney as a passionless man, you have to read the story of the courtship of his wife Ann. He fell in love with her almost at first sight, jeopardized his academic standing at Stanford with repeated visits home to Michigan to see her (dodging his disapproving parents), and got engaged without religious preconditions (the Mormon conversion was her idea). For Ann's sake, he even resisted going on his Mormon mission:

"Countless missionaries before him had left behind girlfriends, only to learn in a letter that the relationship was over. He told her he might not go. But she was insistent. If he didn't, she told him, he would always regret it. Mitt, having sneaked home on many weekends from Stanford to see Ann, now faced the prospect of having to spend two and a half years apart from her. He would live in a location to be determined by the Mormon Church and try to convince strangers to convert to his faith. While his classmates rushed fraternities and prepared for sophomore year, and as a growing number of people his age were being shipped to Vietnam, Romney's life was heading in a very different direction."