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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 6, 2012/ 14 Nissan, 5772

Romneys not only family with embarrassing stories

By Michael Smerconish



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Despite my love for our miniature dachshund, Mr. Lucy, I refuse to pile-on the story concerning Mitt Romney's treatment of his Irish setter, Seamus. By now the facts have been widely circulated.

In 1983, then 36-year-old Romney packed his wife and five sons into the family station wagon for a 12-hour drive to his parents' cottage in Ontario, Canada. Romney fashioned a windshield to a dog carrier and then strapped the crate to the roof of the car. Midway into the drive, there was a cry "Gross!" from the eldest son, Tagg, who'd seen a brown liquid running down the rear window. Romney pulled over, hosed down the dog and car, and got back on the road.

We know this because Neil Swidey wrote about it in the Boston Globe as part of an election profile five years ago. (So often has the story been parroted that Swidey has written of his concern that the anecdote will be part of the lead of his obituary, like Watergate will surely be mentioned with regard to Messrs. Woodward and Bernstein.) But it was Swidey's recent explanation to me as to how he learned of the story that causes me to cut Mitt some slack. Swidey said he'd gone looking for the Romney versions of those stories that every family has that are both embarrassing and usually shared only among one another.

"I'd been talking at length with one family friend who knew them well," Swidey told me. "I come from a big family myself and I know when we get together as a family, there are the kind of family stories we tell and retell to transport us back in time. So, I asked him, 'What are the stories they tell each other when no one else is around?' He mentioned a couple, and then this one, and I said, 'Whoa, really?' And that is how it started."

Embarrassing family stories? Like the night when my mother didn't like the looks of the crowd outside a student dance where she'd just driven my brother. After circling the block, she decided to march inside wearing her bathrobe and remove him from his peers. Or when my dad got so excited while winning on "Wheel of Fortune" that host Chuck Woolery told him he was concerned he was going to have a heart attack. (We still shake our heads when, as the returning champion, he couldn't solve the puzzle that exposed nearly all the letters spelling the name of a then A-list actress - Victoria Principal.

Growing up Smerconish, the Romneys had nothing on me when it comes to such tales. And today, a family of my own means my embarrassments are still being recorded. Mention dogs to my brood and someone will surely tell you about the day we lost our cocker spaniel, Winston. I was devastated, totally overcome, so my wife wisely decided I needed some grieving room and she took the kids out for a drive. By the time they returned, I'd taken an antique chest that once belonged to her deceased mother out of our living room and used it to bury Winston in the back yard. She still complains about my use of a "family heirloom." I tell her not to worry, we know right where it is.

Our sons never let me forget the time I badly misjudged the opening-night demand for tickets to see "Talladega Nights." I was so sure the Will Farrell/Sasha Baron Cohen movie would sell out that I drove to the box office in advance to "beat the rush," later returning with my family - to a nearly empty theater.

According to our middle son, who has taken to writing down some of the more ridiculous things I often say, I give him plenty of material. I confess to once having tried to impress a gallery owner in SoHo who was trying to sell me album art by offering that I was a "nationally syndicated talk-show host." The man was a stranger and I was a blowhard. And I am reminded of it constantly.

If you think my stuff is simply embarrassing, where Romney's was potentially dangerous, my wife begs to differ. She reminds me that I once took our then 4-year-old on the Space Mountain ride at Walt Disney World even though the safety harness barely fit him. And, just last year, despite a storm, I was intent on taking a 27-foot pontoon boat with our kids aboard into the Gulf of Mexico until I saw fishermen standing on neighboring docks, swaddled in quilts and shaking their heads.

Neil Swidey told me that he printed Romney's dog story "for a particular reason, as part of a larger story as to how the guy operates in big ways and small."

I think some of us have plenty of our own material.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Michael Smerconish writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer.


Previously:


03/08/12 Here's an easy fix for King monument quote
02/28/12 Valor-medal lie as free speech
02/21/12 Now we know: Van Halen's M&M rider was just a test
02/14/12 Life inside the (class) bubble
02/09/12 Rethinking paths to wealth
01/17/12 Romney must face his work history head-on
01/11/12 Don't let those gift cards be a gift to retailers or the state
01/03/12 Headlines hoped for in 2012
11/09/11 Romney, beware: Cain may bob through the straits
11/02/11 Where there's ad smoke, there's … what?
10/20/11 After husband is murdered, 30 long years of phone calls
10/13/11 Black women should only marry out of their race?
08/31/11 Some political gaffes really say something
07/27/11 An overture of candidates' theme songs
06/28/11 Where's the app for common sense?
06/02/11 Over-scrutinizing lives costs us potential leaders
04/19/11 Taking a chance to say, ‘Hi’
04/06/11 Race policies should be altered to reflect new demographic reality
11/10/10 Delaware's independent, but short-lived, voice
11/03/10 Papers should leave endorsing to others
10/21/10 Media help to hype perception of bullying
09/23/10 Officer down, killer hyped up
08/04/10 Documents highlight Pakistan's shortcomings as a U.S. ally
07/06/10 On taking back Sept. 11
06/29/10 Name elite corps to develop energy independence?
04/21/10 New account reinforces a serviceman's valor
03/11/10 Medical profession must police itself better
02/18/10 One-trick athletes
02/09/10 Active, retired law officers should be able to carry guns on planes to help stop terrorists
02/04/10 How to bring tech up to speed
01/28/10 Campaign donations must be fully and immediately disclosed online
01/07/10 The flying emperor still has no clothes, and no one is willing to say so
12/24/09 A law to mandate college football playoffs?
12/17/09 Cheney's abuse of freedom of speech
11/26/09 The true cost of freedom from anxiety
10/27/09 If GOP wants to win in 2012, it must reshape its primary process
10/08/09 It's time to get smarter on extended school day
09/03/09 What a summer of eulogizing flawed public figures reveals about society
08/12/09 It's time for cyclists and motorists to reconcile
08/05/09 Faces have changed, but vitriol remains
06/25/09 Fair comment or foul? Warm up the Muzzle Meter
06/08/09 Believability is key in crime-hoax villains
05/14/09 Did Hollywood inspire the meltdown men?
04/20/09 Let's give killers their due: Anonymity
03/12/09 Uninsured who can't afford medical care lose a lot more
02/06/09 My debate with Musharraf on hunt for bin Laden
01/29/09 Torture must remain an option
01/15/09 Making a case for suing Madoff
12/22/08 A difficult but rational chat about ‘plans’
12/17/08 Facebook epidemic: More than 120 million have joined, many too old for this nonsense
12/01/08 The high price of downsizing the news biz
11/14/08 Prescience on greed, arrogance of a system
09/29/08 Closer look at party lines
08/26/08 Obama's pick creates GOP opportunity
08/21/08 Fishing with the Angry Everyman
07/31/08 The perils of e-mail: Ponder, then click
05/22/08 Two very different sides of the Internet
02/12/08 Sublimely ridiculous suits
11/28/08 Cell phones cut out secondary circle of kinship
09/26/07 What do we owe those who have died in Iraq?
08/30/07 A Navy SEAL's gut-wrenching tale of survival
07/30/07 First it was a faux pas, now it's a new word


© 2008, The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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