Tales from the Trail

Romney goes after the South Pacific vote

March 9, 2012

If Republican Mitt Romney is playing his “away game” in the southern United States this weekend, his son Matt is playing the “really, really away” game as he looks to prop up his dad’s support in the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, which hold their caucuses on Saturday. Romney is truly leaving no delegate unturned in his quest for the magic 1,144 needed to clinch his party’s nomination.

Matt (the second oldest Romney son, said to be known within family circles as “the smart one”) attended a lunch on Friday with the Northern Marianas Republican leadership on the island of Saipan, and on Saturday will hold a meet-and-greet and address caucus-goers at the Sheraton Hotel in Tamuning, Guam.

Matt’s winter junket evidently stirred up some sibling rivalry. Tagg, the oldest Romney son, said on Twitter: “Matt pulls all the tough assignments. Check him and wife Laurie out in this photo in the N Mariana Islands.” Tagg’s hometown of Boston is forecast to be 42F on Saturday, so Tamuning, at 86F and sunny, would presumably sound intriguing.

Guam’s governor, Eddie Calvo, has endorsed Romney, which is likely to help the former Massachusetts governor lock up most of the island’s nine delegates. The Northern Mariana Islands also have nine delegates up for grabs.

“He’s a business guy, so he understands how federal regulations can really hamper economic growth. When I told him about all these different federal regulations that make no sense for an isolated island like ours, he got it. He understands. … He didn’t have to call. He didn’t even have to send his son here. But, he’s going out of his way to let us know that we count as well,” Calvo said.

The Northern Marianas are home to about 54,000 people on 15 islands located in the Pacific Ocean between the Philippines and Hawaii. Guam, an unincorporated territory of the United States slightly southwest of the Northern Marianas, has a population of about 159,000. Its economy is supported mostly by the U.S. military and by tourists from Japan, who can enjoy secluded beaches, Las Vegas-style shows and a replica of the Statue of Liberty

Photo credit: Tagg Romney’s Twitter page

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