Mitt Romney didn't stay in Massachusetts very much while he was governor, according to a new investigation by the New York Times. A common criticism of Governor Mitt Romney was that he was always leaving on a jet plane. So the Times' Danny Hakim decided to look back into his schedule and figure out how much time he spent out of state. The numbers don't look good. "During Mr. Romney’s four-year term as governor of Massachusetts, he cumulatively spent more than a year — part or all of 417 days — out of the state, according to a review of his schedule and other records," Hakim says. 417 days is a lot of days. It is, by our simple calculations, more than 25 percent of his term. (It is actually 28.6 percent.)
Hakim found that Romney's time away from Massachusetts was divided mainly between two things: vacation and campaigning for a failed presidential bid in 2008. (Romney was Governor from 2002 to 2006.) He spent Christmases in Utah, was "a regular attendee at Super Bowls," took a jaunt through Asia and vacationed in (gasp!) the Virgin Islands. But he also spent a bunch of time away speaking for other governors, spending time in Washington and going on foreign policy-bolstering trips abroad.
Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior Romney aide, was left to defend defending his boss to the Times. "Democrats who are carping about Mitt Romney’s travels also defended Mike Dukakis when he campaigned for president as a sitting governor," he said. "Their complaints come across as more than a bit hypocritical."
Still, 417 days is a lot, and the Times thinks it's a conservative estimate. "The figure is probably higher than 417 days because Mr. Romney’s vacations were often not recorded on his public schedules," Hakim writes.
What prompted this archive-digging isn't clear. It helps further the 'Romney gets bored easily' narrative that came around when everyone was talking about how he left Bain Capital. He left to run the 2002 Utah Olympics, but the controversy was over when he officially left Bain. He always said 1999, records show it wasn't until 2002. He "retired retroactively," remember? Once that was over, it was time to govern. Before he was finished that job, he moved onto a Presidential race.