After leaving her acting career at the altar, Romney was a stay-at-home mom for the remainder of her life, although she was extremely active politically as both the first lady of Michigan and the wife of a cabinet secretary.
"The role of women today doesn't begin and end with homemaking," Romney told a group of students in 1971. "A woman needs to contribute to society to make her life worthwhile."
Romney raised four children: two older daughters Jane and Lynn and two younger sons Scott and Mitt. When the Romneys entered the Michigan governor's mansion, only Mitt, as the baby of the family, was young enough to move with them.
Mr. Romney told a crowd of well-heeled donors at a Tuesday fundraiser in Chicago about how, as a young man in his late-teens or early-20s, he discovered a certificate in his father’s dresser that that promised the elder Romney free McDonald’s hamburgers for life.
“You know how boys liked to go through their dad’s top drawer, just sort of to see what he has in there, maybe find an old coin he might not miss?” Mr. Romney asked a group of donors that had given his election effort at least $5,000. “I found a little paper card, a little pink card, and it said this entitles George W. Romney to a lifetime of a hamburger, a shake and French fries at McDonald’s.”
Mitt Romney’s father was born in a small Mormon enclave where family members still live, surrounded by rugged beauty and violent drug cartels
Forty years ago, George Romney, Mitt’s father, resigned as secretary of Housing and Urban Development after unsuccessfully attempting to force homogenous white middle-class suburbs to integrate by race. Secretary Romney withheld federal funds from suburbs that did not accept scatter-site public and subsidized low and moderate income housing and that did not repeal exclusionary zoning laws that prohibited multi-unit dwellings or modest single family homes— laws adopted with the barely disguised purpose of ensuring that suburbs would remain white and middle class.
Confronted at a press conference about his cabinet secretary’s actions, President Richard Nixon undercut Romney, responding, “I believe that forced integration of the suburbs is not in the national interest.”
A onetime Hollywood starlet who quit acting to get married, Lenore Romney had few political credentials. But she had been a popular first lady, and her husband was tied up in Washington as President Richard M. Nixon’s new housing secretary. Top Michigan Republicans were wooing her to run for a United States Senate seat.
“The children laughed about it,” Elly Peterson, a Romney confidante and party strategist, later wrote in a private memoir. “Then Mitt, first, and gradually the others, began to change their minds. They finally decided she should go with it.”