Today the Boston Globe reports that it has discovered that Mitt Romney stayed at Bain Capital three years longer than he has stated. The Globe bases its report on government documents that bear Romney’s name, but the Globe is apparently confused about what the documents mean.
It’s common knowledge that Mitt Romney joined the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee in 1999. The story of Romney’s ultimately successful efforts to turn that Olympics around, avoiding disaster and finishing strong with a gangbusters winter games in 2000, forms the backbone of Romney’s fix-it man resume. Very few could have stepped in as Romney did and turned an almost certain disaster into a profitable national success.
The Olympics turnaround effort was all-consuming. According to a Fortune Magazine story from June 2007 supplied by the Romney campaign, Romney entered the picture faced with a massive task:
“As early as 1999, a financial crisis was looming: The Games were mired in a bribery scandal and were running a $379 million deficit. Romney was asked to step in, and he immediately slashed budgets and boosted sponsorships. And since the Games were held just months after Sept. 11, 2001, he oversaw a huge security apparatus. He now says it was one of the most difficult things he’d ever done, comparing it to ‘arranging 17 Super Bowls a day for 17 days.’ The Games ended up with a $100 million profit.”
That Olympics effort required Romney’s full attention, to the point that he even canceled personal travel with his wife who was ill at the time, so he transferred day-to-day control of Bain to 26 managing directors. They operated the company from February 1999 forward. From that point, as the Washington Post determined in its examination of Bain after the Obama campaign attempted to accuse Romney of using Bain to outsource jobs, Romney was a “passive, limited partner [with] no management capacity” in Bain. FactCheck.org agrees with the Post’s assessment, even dubbing the Obama claim “all wet.”