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    Mike Rowe’s letter strikes chord with Mitt Romney

    Mike Rowe’s letter strikes chord with Mitt Romney

    You probably know him as the star of the hit Discovery Channel series “Dirty Jobs,” a show which chronicled a day in the life of the “hardworking men and women, who earn an honest living doing the kinds of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us.”

    Recently, however, he has sparked some buzz in the political sphere because of a letter he wrote to Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney about the need for a renewed appreciation in America for hard work and skilled labor.

    In particular, Rowe’s letter was about the need to mend the systemic emotional disconnect many Americans have with jobs that society considers to be undesirable, and well, dirty.

    Below is an excerpt of the letter but I encourage you to read the entire thing, which can be found here.

    Certainly, we need more jobs, and you were clear about that in Tampa. But the Skills Gap proves that we need something else too. We need people who see opportunity where opportunity exists. We need enthusiasm for careers that have been overlooked and underappreciated by society at large. We need to have a really big national conversation about what we value in the workforce, and if I can be of help to you in that regard, I am at your service – assuming of course, you find yourself in a new address early next year.

    To be clear, mikeroweWORKS has no political agenda. I am not an apologist for Organized Labor or for Management. mikeroweWORKS is concerned only with encouraging a larger appreciation for skilled labor, and supporting those kids who are willing to learn a skill.

    After posting the letter on his website,, word eventually spread to the Romney campaign and the newly minted Republican nominee decided to give it a read.

    Twitchy has documented quite well how the letter went from Rowe’s website, to the twittersphere, blogosphere, and eventually, into the hands of Mitt Romney.

    After receiving news that Romney had indeed read the letter, Rowe tweeted his reaction:

    Rowe’s letter underscored a very real problem in the American workforce. Now that it has been heard by Romney, it might just get the attention it deserves.


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    I concur with many of the comments on this thread, but feel I must make my own comments.

    I am a degreed Engineer, with an MBA and a bunch of other letters all mashed up. I have a great job in Europe, and live a life I could only dream of in my youth.

    But I got here through 11 years of night school, working jobs where I got dirty because I had mouths to feed. My family’s blue collar tradition goes back to before the Industrial Age, including a grandfather who was a Master Pattern Maker – a job which almost doesn’t exist any more. I grew up making things work because there wasn’t always money to buy things new. It’s a habit I carry to this very day, and I pride myself on being able to take off my tie and actually work.

    I once ran a plant where I had a 70-year-old fabricator, who could make dang near anything. I would come to him with my crazy ideas, and he would find a way to make it work. Together, we did things the company thought impossible. We had our share of blowups, and he once told me to “get the f*@& out of here, and let me figure it out…sir”. He came back later and apologized saying “you understand what I do better than any of the other f*@&ers in Maintenance”.

    Two lessons here: 1) He was 70 years old!!!! and 2) the Maintenance team couldn’t do what he could. There’s the problem. We are so chock full of knowledge that we don’t know how to do things any more.

    My son could be a brilliant engineer, but he recently asked if I would mind if he became a great machinist because he likes to work with his hands. Hell no! Go make $100K a year! We need people like my son, who can put the engineer’s vision to reality. Not better or worse, but equal partners in the execution of creative progress. Give ’em hell, son!

    The thing is this – I believe Romney gets this, and Obama doesn’t. Obama simply can’t. He’s never had to work for any length of time in the private sector, and his Ivy League education has put him in a bubble away from reality. “He couldn’t work 3rd shift at a Dairy Queen”.

    PineBaroness | September 10, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I always thought Mike Rowe would make a great president. Besides having different perspective, he would bring new meaning to the term “a politician who gets his hands dirty.” Think of all the puns that could be made. 🙂

      ibuckshot in reply to PineBaroness. | September 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

      I’d rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.

      Mike Rowe seems like a great guy and its obvious that America needs a shot in the arm after all the division and bashing of markets and corporations by BHO.
      Mike could fill this need, Sarah too.
      Romney tour of America is great idea, to highlight what’s working and identify problem areas and needs, although visits from government officials many time disrupts commerce, maybe they could leverage private sector “cash mobs” to tour local businesses and offset.

    ibuckshot | September 10, 2012 at 9:25 am

    This blog in its support for Newt attacked Mr. Santorum, (Santorum was describing his US manufacturing policy) who is in support for those that “work with their hands.”
    While the attack was foisted upon the “Obama Is A Snob comment” and parlayed to mean he was anti-higher education.

    While Newt has stated he would require those receiving the 99 weeks of unemployment to work to continue receiving it, this is an effort to allow corporations to expand without making a commitment to hire while the taxpayer foots the social safety net bill.
    This is nothing new, Japan has a temporary workforce of 20 million who’s lifestyle (housing, food, education) is subsidized by gubmnt.
    Hey here’s an idea, let’s simply END paying people not to work for years instead of trying to be more like Japan.

    Additionally, if we are going lower taxes for corporations to spur economic growth and taxpayer funded “workforce training initiatives” (slush fund, that drives down wages for corps looking to hire), let’s make sure those corporation are not foreign entities like China

    China ups pace of US corporate raids
    02 Apr 2012
    Chinese conglomerates are swooping on distressed US companies in record numbers and often paying twice their domestic value.

    I’ve also seen liberals destroy a states corporate and small businesses and then Israel stepped in to raid those failing corps.
    I don’t care if its Ally or Enemy ..let’s make sure “We Built That” means Americans are the ones who benefit not some foreign country who wishes to plunder the US market and taxpayer gifts.

      ibuckshot in reply to ibuckshot. | September 10, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Lastly, Romney said he would take on China, a trade war would be devastating for exports, especially in the non-union south.
      A tricky prospect for “Mr. I like grits” .. these businesses would need help in transforming their customer base to maybe serving more domestic needs.

      I admire Romney’s effort here but let’s work smart not hard.

    TeaPartyPatriot4ever | September 11, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Romney is about as understanding, and relates to hard working middle class Americans as George Soros does, Warren Buffet does, and all the Wall Street Goldman Sach’s companies do..

    His attempt to seem, and to be seen as empathetic is pathetic.

    Romney really should stop his pretentiousness, as we are not as dumb as he thinks we are..

    This is more to what the real Romney is like, not a middle class working man..

    Segmented quotes from the article-
    “Mitt Romney is the Dorian Gray of 2012”
    By Robert Shrum

    “Romney’s image is set in his own stiffness, reflective of his remoteness, and nearly irreparable.”

    “This guy (Mitt Romney) is like the Earl in an English period piece who doesn’t understand why everybody doesn’t summer in the south of France. ”

    ” FDR and JFK were wealthy, but Americans thought they got it and they cared. In contrast, Romney now stands there as of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich.”

    “No wonder he’s the first presumptive nominee in either party with higher unfavorable than favorable ratings “in the [last] eight presidential primary seasons,”

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