Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney has completed the highly coveted ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, along with his wife Ann. The two took to Facebook early Friday morning to share their experience completing the task.
Romney was nominated by Creighton Rider who lives in Salt Lake City and who suffers from ALS, Meg Whitman who is the CEO of Hewlett-Packard and by Republican Senator Rob Portman to take part in the icy event. Upon accepting their enlistment, he recorded himself being drenched by none other than his right hand man, U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan, who would have been his Vice President had he won the presidency back in 2012. Ryan found it hard to suppress his giggles upon initiating the drenching, but Romney took it in stride, giving no reaction other than to confirm that the water was, indeed, cold. He also made a point to remind those watching that donating to the cause was essential, and confirmed that he was doing so following the completion of his participation. He ended his post by providing a direct link to that of the foundation’s website, in order to better provide his fans with the means to contribute to the cause themselves.
The 67-year-old Michigan native then enlisted wife Ann Romney to take part in the event, followed by actor Jason Sudeikis. While Sudeikis has yet to accept the challenge, Romney’s wife was quick to accept the invitation. Shortly after receiving notice of her husband’s invitation, the 65-year-old mother of five posted her own video on social media detailing her experience. Before taking on the drenching, Romney’s wife expressed her support for the cause, explaining that she herself was a victim of another life affecting disease, that being multiple sclerosis. She expressed a little more about the discomfort of the soaking, outwardly expressing her feelings towards the experience and laughing while she tried to shake off the cold water. She went on to nominate her doctor at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Howard Weiner, as well three of her good friends.
Romney is so far the only presidential figure to fully go through with the challenge, at least voluntarily. Just a few days ago, former president George W. Bush shared a video in which he expressed his support for the cause, but stated that he did not feel it was presidential to be drenched with ice water on film. Instead, he stated that he would write a substantial cheque to the organization in place of the actual activity itself. While he was writing out the aforementioned cheque, however, his wife Barbara snuck up behind him and doused him with a bucket of ice water. Bush went on to challenge fellow former United States president Bill Clinton, who has yet to respond to the challenge. Current president Barack Obama has been challenged by several celebrities, most notably Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, but has since declined to participate in the actual ice water pouring itself, instead opting to simply donate to the foundation. This response to the challenge was given by way of a public statement, rather than a message recorded on video.
Mitt Romney is the first and only presidential figure to fully, willingly participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It remains to be seen whether more members of political society will rise to the challenge, including Bill Clinton.
by Rebecca Grace