MITT ROMNEY (R) v. SENATOR TED KENNEDY (D)
Mitt Romney was far from politically naive. He grew up in politics. His father, George W. Romney, former head of American Motors Corporation, was governor of Michigan in the 1960s and made a brief run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968. His mother had tried for a U.S. Senate seat in Michigan and, later, a former sister-in-law did the same.
Unlike some candidates featured in this book, Romney was not recruited by party elders to run. He decided on his own to challenge Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy of Massachusetts. Romney was inspired in part by the "man in the arena" quotation from President Theodore Roosevelt, who said a fighter deserves our admiration even if he stumbles, however much critics might fault him. A script of this passage hangs on Romney's office wall. Richard M. Nixon quoted it in letters to friends after losing the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy; it is something like holy writ for Republicans and closes as follows: "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."