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Sunday, December 23, 2007
posted by My Klob | 4:52 PM | permalink

Romney Vindicated?

By Eric Schulzke
Dec 22nd 2007 1:28AM

Filed Under:eBreaking News, Mitt Romney, 2008 President

Update: OH MY, I just looked up a map, at the suggestion of a reader. Grosse Point is Detroit, just like Georgetown is DC and Queens is NYC. It's 8.6 miles from center to center, and the map clearly shows it as part of the same metropolitan mass. What a tempest in a teapot!

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I've argued below that the whole whoop dedo about Romney's recollection of his father marching with MLK is a tempest in a teapot, because the memory -- though it may be been an understandable conflation of childhood memories -- was absolutely true to the essence of Romney's father's courageous behavior in 1963, when precious few white politicians were on board with the movement.

Politico is reporting a witness who claims to have seen Romney and MLK marching hand in hand at Grosse Point, Michigan in 1963. Her memory is so distinctive, it is hard to imagine it being a case of false memory:
Shirley Basore, 72, says she was sitting in the hairdresser's chair in wealthy Grosse Pointe, Mich., back in 1963 when a rumpus started and she discovered that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and her governor, George Romney, were marching for civil rights - right past the window.

With the cape still around her neck, Basore went outside and joined the parade.

"They were hand in hand," recalled Basore, a former high-school English teacher. "They led the march. We all swung our hands, and they held their hands up above everybody else's."

She remembered the late governor as "extremely handsome."

Until this week, that was just a vivid memory for a sweet retiree who now lives in Pompano Beach, Fla.
This may explain why Romney didn't bother to run a fact check on his own personal memory and familial mythology. Maybe the mythology stuck so deep because it actually happened?

UPDATE: David Knowles below asks whether Mitt's recollection that the event occurred in Detroit undermines the vindication of this woman's distinct recollection. Not in the least. Imagine this: Let's say we weren't playing gotcha in politics or the courtroom -- we were just having a polite conversation at a party, and someone recalled that their dad had marched with MLK in the streets of Detroit 45 years ago, when he was 16. Then let's imagine that someone else in the conversation says, no, I think that was actually at Grosse Point. Would anyone in the conversation think anything of it? Not in any company I keep.
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