Skip to main content

The family of Mrs. Leola Anderson put away Utah newspaper clippings. These are obituaries that provide first-hand accounts of Mitt Romney's condition in hospital on the Monday after an automobile accident that took Mrs. Anderson's life.

The accident happened on the afternoon of Sunday, June 16th 1968 in Beaulac France.

Mitt Romney and his supporters claim repeatedly in print that he was close to death at the scene. Romney recounts repeatedly that a police officer wrote "Il est morte" in his passport thinking that Romney was dead. Also that he was in a coma for two days. This heroic tale made Mitt Romney a favorite with the senior men of the Mormon church. It appears in long form at NY Times, Boston Globe, the Examiner, and in his biography "The Real Romney."

However, as the clipping relates eye witness observation of his injuries and mental status on that Monday morning:

Willard (Mitt) Romney, 21, son of Governor George Romney of Michigan, who is serving as a missionary in France and who was driving the car, suffered minor head injuries and torn ligaments to one elbow. He was expected to leave hospital in about two days.

-- text reported by Andre Salarnier, reporter/photographer

We should ask whether candidate Romney is a lifetime fabulist. That is, is he a narcissist? Or is he delusional?

Is his grip on reality so weak that he invented a complicated imaginary version of this fatal accident from 1968, plus a fictional aftermath, and even now presents his fiction as the defining episode of his life?

For a less serious mental irregularity, a bout with Depression, Senator Thomas Eagleton was removed from the Democratic Party ticket in 1972 some 18 days after that nominating convention. No one presented evidence that Senator Eagleton was mentally disordered. More below....

This is mental disorder. It parallels the disability of Jayson Blair, who invented quotes and false-facts while writing for the New York Times. A similar case presented with Jonah Lehrer, who invented imaginary interviews and wrote up spectacular false prose in his book Imagine.

"Obviously, in my case there was a little bit of mental illness at play...."

"David Carr, who’s a friend of mine and a columnist at the Times, he said for whatever reason I wrapped a rope around my neck, tied it to everyone else and then threw myself off the side of the building. Self-sabotage? I think there’s some real truth to that."

-- Jayson Blair, in The Gothamist and Salon

Mitt Romney became the hero of the moment by doing roughly what Jayson Blair and Jonah Lehrer did.

Later in life Mitt Romney got rich by playing Wall Street Liar's Poker. (The Bain prospectus statements stretch any connection with facts.) He played quite well using borrowed money. Then he wrapped himself in more money to get the Republican presidential nomination.

No one shouold be surprised at this. The GOP Top Dogs open worship Ayn Rand. So of course they are prey to the financial world versions of Jayson Blair and Jonah Lehrer.

Quality control is impossible a world ruled by lies and false-god dreams.

Production of the news item --

The eye-witness account is from Andre Salarnier, a French Mormon living in Bordeaux.
He had rushed down to the Bazas Hospital immediately after Bertin Farel telephoned him at his home.

The depiction of Mitt Romney's condition is included in a straightforward newspaper-text description:

Mrs. Leola S. Anderson, 57, wife of H. Duane Anderson, president of the French Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was killed Sunday in a head-on collision near Bordeaux.

Pres. Anderson, 55, suffered eight broken ribs and a broken wrist in the accident.

Willard (Mitt) Romney, 21, son of Governor George Romney of Michigan, who is serving as a missionary in France and who was driving the car, suffered minor head injuries and torn ligaments to one elbow. He was expected to leave hospital in about two days.

You can see Romney in a ward bed that same Monday morning. This is not an ICU. There are no monitoring devices attached either for heartbeat or for seizure.

He appears to be wide awake. Responding to Salarnier, the photographer.

You can also see the elbow with ligament damage in what appears to be a cast. The injury is immobilized.

So here's what NY Times presented in 2007:

Romney said he had to be pried out of the car - he was so seriously injured that the police officer who first responded believed him to be dead and wrote "Il est mort" - he is dead - in Romney's passport.

-- reported by Michael Paulson (June 24, 2007)

There is more and it gets stranger:
[Byron W.] Hansen, now a Chevrolet dealer in Brigham City, Utah, recalled that "when we initially arrived [on Monday morning, June 17th], they thought Mitt had been killed - the nurses told us that was the initial report." [Joel H.] McKinnon, now a mission president in Montreal, recalls that the young men had to inform Anderson that his wife had died; the doctors had declined to do so.

-- reported by Michael Paulson (June 24, 2007)

Hansen and McKinnon were in the Bazas Hospital at the same time Andre Salarnier was getting the photo of Mitt Romney with his right arm up in cast. Salarnier also remembered meeting the other driver, Bishop Jean Vilnet, and getting his picture sitting up for breakfast.

McKinnon's comment about the doctors not conveying news of Mrs. Anderson's death to H. Duane Anderson, her husband, comes off as artificial. Mr. Anderson had suffered eight broken ribs and extensive bruising so he was still sedated. The injury list included a crushed chest, fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, and injuries to his liver and spleen based on the statement by Romney's brother-in-law Bruce Robinson who had flown over from Michigan. Standard course of treatment would have had the patient out for two or three days or even more to support recovery.

In fact, the death of Leola Anderson had been reported on Sunday to Bertin Farel within minutes, as he was the only one of the party of Americans uninjured.

Farel was the one who contacted Salarnier, because of his newspaper experience, and asked him to get word out. Salarnier drove to Bazas (a short drive from his house), got the facts together, made his photographs, then got back to Bordeaux where he had first-rate telephone connections.

We have covered the accident itself, earlier. A diary appeared here at

Mitt Romney's Driving Killed Leola Anderson. His Cover-Up Tale is Proved Dishonest

One astonishing complaint from rightie whiners is that the photo of Bishop Vilnet is actually the poor man with the crushed chest, H. Duane Anderson. Be assured that this Duane Anderson was in no shape to sit up and chow down. He was flat out, fighting for his life.

That is Bishop Vilnet. Actually, Bishop Jean-Felix-Albert-Marie Vilnet, b. Chaumont in 1922. When this photo circulated via French and German Occupy resources, we did not know he was Vilnet. Turns out he is one helluva guy.

One more zinger from Mitt Romney: a further claim to Boston Globe in 2007 that this other driver was dead. But he's not. The old man is 90. He's not driving any more, so Romney can't hit him again.

Bad driving is one thing. Being scared of Daddy George Romney is understandable.

Making himself out to be a hero for surviving a drunk-on-Sunday priest ??? That's crazy as a loon.

At least Eagleton got psychiatric help. He recovered.

Romney consigned himself to the Republican Party and the likes of Rush Limbaugh for a counselor. Romney's prognosis is less positive.

Republicans ??? The professionals at the top see lying as a virtue. Fabulist in Chief -- no problem.

* * * * * * *

When you get to the comments section, look for complaints that object to quality control. More than one will tell you that "QC" should never be applied to the mental statuses of politicians. It's not polite.

They believe this: that no one should criticize individuals who are high up in an authoritarian structure -- the like of the Republican Party or, for that matter, the Mormon church. But they are wrong.

No Quality Control, No Quality. They need strong "QC" to avoid ugly, damaging moral consequences.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site