He is. And he's also a dick when it's his oppotunistic ass on the line (i.e., presidential ambitions).
Now, I don't think there's anything wrong with having presidential ambitions. But Romney's ambition translates to a single-minded, almost robotic, calculation about how things will look for his political chances. Of course, politicians need to calculate how things will look and then act accordingly. But, it shouldn't be at the expense of others. Case in point: Romney's record, or lack of, in granting pardons or commutations as governor of Masschusetts. He granted exactly 0 (zero).
Many of us recall the Willie Horton ad that created doubt about Michael Dukakis. It was racially based, slanted the truth, and showed how badly Republicans wanted George Bush I in office. Horton had been granted weekend privileges. They blamed Dukakis for letting dangerous prisoners out on weekend furloughs. Horton committed rape and battery on one of his furloughs and Dukakis took the blame.
Governor Romney would have none of that. He fashioned a zero defect policy with regard to pardons and paroles (excerpted story by ProPublica reporter Lois Beckett, from a pro-Rick Perry blog):
Romney, who served as Massachusetts governor from 2003 to 2007, has proudly advertised his record of granting no pardons at all, saying he did not want to overturn the decision of a jury. Romney received requests for 172 pardons and 100 commutations. The state2019s Advisory Board of Pardons recommended that he approve more than a dozen, according to the Associated Press.The dick part comes in when he also refused to pardon an Iraqi war veteran who had a conviction as a 13 year old misusing a BB gun.
Approving a pardon can be a risky move for a governor with national ambitions. A Massachusetts furlough program that released a convicted murderer, Willie Horton, who went on to rape a woman and beat her fiancé, became a major point of attack against former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis in his 1988 presidential contest with Bush2019s father.
From Beckett's article:
The veteran, Anthony Circosta, had been awarded a Bronze Star and wanted a pardon so he could become a policeman. Romney denied Circosta2019s pardon application twice, according to an Associated Press article.But, guess what the dick gets for this? He gets no blame for pardoning anyone who might come back and bite him. It's that fear that Romney has about anyone "fishing" for opposition stories about him. Another interesting thing about Romney's tenure as governor. He allowed his staff to purchase their government hard drives, presumably to deny anyone access to internal deliberations of his administration. Here's a wiki paragraph about this incident:
At the end of Romney's term, several of his staffers purchased the hard drives from their state-issued computers, and emails were deleted from the server. The amounts expended purchasing the drives came to nearly $100,000. Under the Massachusetts Public Records Law, the emails did not have to be made public but did have to be preserved. Terry Dolan, who worked as director of administration under Romney and several other governors, has said that scrubbing the servers was a common practice but that selling the hard drives was not. When news of the actions became widely known in 2011, a Romney spokesperson said that the purchase of the computer equipment "complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice." State government officials and aides to Romney's three predecessors as governor said that they did not know of any prior sales of hard drives to staffers. When questioned on the subject in 2011, Romney responded that he had not wanted the information to be available to "opposition research teams".He has an inordinate fear of opposition research teams. That's why he won't also release any more tax records.
Romney's whole purpose in attainng the governor's seat in Massachusetts was to use it as a launching pad to the presidency. Yes, he's a dick.