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Insulting a Romney

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AMC's Mad Men taking a swipe at Mitt Romney's father, Governor George Romney of Michigan was a historically inaccurate cheap shot. In the series, an advertising executive tells Mayor John Lindsay to avoid meeting with [George] Romney in Michigan.

First elected governor of Michigan in 1966, George Romney bought reform and integrity to Michigan State government. He was a true moderate Republican who had roots in big business. He was clean living, honest, enthusiastic, dogged, stubborn, energetic, principled, and sometimes a little too exuberant.

George Romney was not a particularly skillful politician and was sometimes blunt and too brutally honest. His campaign for president in 1968 was already in trouble when he said he had been "brainwashed" by the Generals in Vietnam and that he was rethinking his support for the war. Impolitic at the time Romney, of course, turned out to be right. His campaign imploded.

Romney went on to serve in President Richard Nixon's cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. His politics were not mine but he was most definitely not "a clown" as the writers at Mad Men on AMC would have us believe.