Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney did not wait for instructions from Washington or the Department of Homeland Security when hearing of the recently foiled terrorist attempt on what he should do as the state’s chief executive. Rather, he immediately took action as governor to do what he could to protect Massachusetts’ citizens.
He immediately activiated the state’s national guard (the first governor nationwide to do this) to help law enforcment and security personnel at Logan International Airport. He beat George Bush to the airwaves to inform Massachusetts’ citizens of the current status and news. He canceled a trip to a republican fundraiser in Wisconson to say on the job and direct the state’s response.
Members of the Massachusetts National Guard were sworn in as deputy sheriffs Thursday to help ease congestion at Logan International Airport, where news of a foiled terror plot in Britain targeting U.S.-bound flights prompted heightened security measures.
Gov. Mitt Romney spoke to about 50 members of the 972nd Military Police Company who were deployed to the airport to man new Logan security checkpoints — at each departure gate — where passengers will be screened again, after going through terminal security.
“I appreciate your honor and integrity,” he said, “your willingness to respond so quickly to the emergency that we face.”
As deputies, the guard members will screen baggage for blacklisted items, which now include almost all liquids. They will also have the power to make arrests.
Romney cited Logan’s involvement in the Sept. 11 attack in his decision to deploy the Guard.
“Logan has a specific history with regards to the initiation of terrorist activity on airlines, and therefore we have a heightened degree of concern here,” said Romney, a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2008 who canceled a planned political fundraising trip to Wisconsin.
The Boston Herald reported:
Just as he did after the fatal Big Dig collapse, Gov. Mitt Romney sprang into action yesterday following news of a possible terror attack, taking firm control while scoring praise from political pundits and even some Democrats.
The possible 2008 presidential contender was the first governor nationwide to launch the National Guard – even though none of the terror-targeted planes were headed to Boston. He also called a 10 a.m. press conference, beating even President Bush to the airwaves, and abruptly canceled a trip to Wisconsin for a Republican fund-raiser.
“I think the governor’s actions were most appropriate, under the cirumstances,” said U.S. Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Lowell). Asked how Romney’s take-charge persona is playing out on the national political scene, Meehan replied: “Anytime an executive makes the right decisions under pressure, voters respond.”
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton) agreed, saying: “I think what he’s done is appropriate. We have bad guys trying to kill people and you’ve got to respond.”
Alexander Lamis, a political professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, said Romney’s response to the Big Dig collapse and the latest terror plot make him “somebody who certainly has to be taken seriously in the presidential race.”
Contrast Romney’s response with George Bush’s initial response after 9/11 where he sat reading The Pet Goat for several minutes after having been advised that America was under attack. Governor Romney’s response demonstrated real leadership ability. This guy is the real deal. He will bring a breath of fresh air to Washington, unlike any of the current potential Presidential hopefuls talked about regularly in the press. Mitt Romney becomes more and more impressive as time goes along.