By Gabriella Levine
On October 30, Senior Advisor to the Romney campaign Beth Myers visited Union to talk about her role in the 2012 presidential race to a Presidential Elections class of approximately 150 students. Prior to her speech, Myers had lunch with a group of students and Political Science Professor Zoe Oxley.
Myers has worked closely with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for ten years.
“I did debate prep with him in his gubernatorial race in 2002. I was his chief of staff when he took over the governor’s office of Massachusetts in January of 2003. I’ve worked with him full-time ever since then,” Myers explained.
Myers has maintained a significant position thus far in the Romney campaign, spearheading responsibilities such as the search for Romney’s vice presidential candidate, as well as assuming other tasks that include debate prep. But Myers’ duties do not stop there— she has even weighed in on which ties Romney wore during the three presidential debates.
Myers gained high-profile publicity when she led the quest for the Republican vice presidential nominee.
In her summary of the process, Myers described, “I started in April gathering names and putting together a very broad list…Mitt looked at it, and we cut it down to about 15 [people], and then to eight [people], and it kept getting smaller and smaller.”
“We did full vetting on a number of people and then presented them to him, and he then made his decision,” Myers continued.
Myers emphasized that the decision to choose Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential nominee belonged to Romney. “I didn’t come to any decision, that was 100% Mitt’s decision…I did not share my opinions with him,” Myers clarified.
Myers’ responsibilities also lie outside of the campaign trail; she is a mother of two and her son, Curt Myers ’14, attends Union and is a student in the Presidential Elections class that she spoke in.
Myers pointed out that her position on the campaign involves a grueling work schedule: “Really, we’re never off. The minute you wake up, the first thing you do is check your blackberry or your iPad…There’s really no time of day or night that you’re not on call or working.”
In regards to balancing her role as both a parent and a major campaign advisor, Myers said, “It’s always a challenge for working moms to balance their out-of-the-house work with raising families.” But in this election, Myers believes “that’s one of the things that every women needs to be concerned about—flexibility in the workplace and the ability to figure ways to weave in and out of jobs that are interesting and challenging while raising kids.”
During her presentation to the class, Myers showed a PowerPoint detailing the many aspects of the presidential campaign. The class is taught by Chair of the Political Science Department Professor Cliff Brown and Professor Oxley.
According to Professor Brown, Myers is “obviously a key aid to Governor Romney.”
“I thought her presentation was very fair, very accurate. I found it, personally, very interesting,” Brown continued.
Professor Oxley agreed: “Beth Myers’ comments in class were great to give some depth to what we’ve been discussing in class. As for the lunch, I thought she was quite frank in her discussion and open in talking about some behind the scenes activities…it was very informative and entertaining for those of us that were there.”
The students in attendance at the lunch were Joe Bradlee ’14, Nick D’Angelo ’14, Curt Myers ’14, Gabriella Levine ’14, Morgan Muggia ’15 and Gillian Slavitt ’15.
Myers noted, “Romney hasn’t been outside of his role as a presidential candidate for a year and a half.” However, she was able to provide a personal insider’s look at the Republican nominee for president.
“He is very funny, his humor is very self-deprecating, and he’s a very committed family man…his wife, his kids and his grandkids are what give him the most joy in life,” Myers remarked.
Additionally, Myers also explained that Romney is, “very committed to community involvement through his church.”
“I think it’s exciting to hear from somebody so high up in the Romney campaign. It’s not everyday that someone of her stature comes to Union,” said Bradlee, a political science major as well as a student in the class.
President of College Republicans Nick D’Angelo surmised that Myers’ visit is the “closest any of us may ever get to a nominee for president, and one can’t help but wonder what Ms. Myers’ role may be if Governor Romney is successful next week.”
Looking to the future, Myers noted that she is “absolutely” optimistic about the prospects of a Romney win: “The race is going to come down to 9, 10, 11 swing states. In each of those states, the race is one to two points difference. We’ve seen a lot of momentum in the last couple of weeks, all moving toward Mitt’s direction, so we feel very optimistic about Election Day.”
Until then, Myers values her time spent on the campaign. “It’s challenging, it’s fun, it’s frustrating, it’s exhilarating—all wrapped into one. Depending on the day, some of those are more dominant than others. In total, it’s been the most incredible experience of a lifetime,” she said.