The Romney Paradox

posted at 5:10 pm on February 1, 2008 by Bryan

I have come around to trust Mitt Romney more than John McCain or any of the other presidential candidates, and I think he is a smart and decent man who would be a fine president. He’s a leader who has shown that he knows how to fix things, and by associating himself with real conservatives from the very beginning of his campaign, he shows what kind of leader he’ll ultimately be. I’ll happily cast my vote for him when the time comes.

But I didn’t get to this point overnight, and it’s not just a rebound effect from discontent with John McCain. It’s an affirmative vote for Mitt Romney because I respect his resume, one of the finest we’ve had in a presidential contender in a long, long time. He is the most qualified candidate to take on the world’s most difficult job, by far.

As things stand right now, Romney has a tough hill to climb just to become the GOP nominee. He’s done what he could to get there, spending millions of dollars of his own money that could have been spent on yachts or small countries or whatever it is that the super-rich buy, and making the difficult but absolutely necessary transition from business to politics. But the path he took to make himself a viable candidate is also his chief weakness as a candidate. It’s the Romney Paradox, in this case the counterintuitive outcome of two very successful careers that ought to help reinforce each other, but don’t.

As a rule, Americans don’t elect business leaders straight to the presidency no matter how successful they have been. We just don’t. We elect governors, we elect generals, we elect former vice presidents and very occasionally we elect senators. We didn’t elect billionaire Ross Perot, though he did help elect Bill Clinton. We didn’t even nominate Steve Forbes, though his economic conservatism probably made a lot of sense to most Republicans when he ran and he was certainly one of the more intellectually interesting candidates available at the time. We also don’t elect congressmen, which is one of the major reasons that Duncan Hunter’s effort never took off. He had all the right ideas but none of the resume.

The reliable routes to the presidency run through governor’s mansions and the upper echelons of the Pentagon. That’s the way it is and nothing is likely to change it, because we tend to see politics and business and entirely separate spheres, and our government’s best executives either run states or win wars. That’s not an unreasonable way to see the world, since government spends much of its time regulating business, but it does produce an inherent difficulty for business leaders to make the crossover from enterprise to politics. On the left, the inherent distrust of private enterprise crosses over into unreasonableness, whether it’s John Edwards’ faux and thankfully failed populism or bashing Hillary Clinton for serving on the Wal-Mart directors board. Of all the many things that could be held against the Clintons, Wal-Mart must be the least important by several orders of magnitude. But even on the right there’s distrust of business, among some social conservatives and border security hawks. And Maverick John McCain, at least if you take his “led for patriotism, not profit” line at face value.

What does this have to do with Mitt Romney? I’m getting to that.

It should be obvious to most Americans that some amount of business acumen would be helpful to have around the White House. After last night’s Democrat debate, it’s obvious that there’s no real business sense among their contenders. Business experience would help an administration understand the role of business success and economic freedom in America’s global influence. It’s clear that many politicians, especially on the left, spend their entire lives in government and do not understand business at all. See the clip linked above. They don’t seem to grasp that you can’t be a military superpower without strong economic fundamentals, at least not for very long, and you can’t keep your military at the cutting edge without robust R&D on the business side (government-backed or not), and you can’t spread freedom by prying open markets if you don’t have healthy markets of your own. But because we don’t elect business leaders directly to the White House, we seldom have strong business sense at the top of any ticket in either party. Good presidents bring that knowledge into the cabinet with them, bad presidents don’t. Some presidents get lucky and inheret a strong economy that they get to ride while they’re in office.

This year, we do have the chance to put a serious business leader with political experience in the White House, in Mitt Romney. He is one of America’s most successful businessmen. Having been a governor, he has also taken one of the most reliable routes to the White House. Having won as a Republican in deep blue Massachusetts, on paper Romney would seem to be a very very strong candidate for the presidency. Add some national security credentials and he’s the man to beat.

But he isn’t the man to beat right now, and therein lies the Romney Paradox, the reason many conservatives haven’t embraced him. He is a Mormon, which some unreasonably hold against him (we’re electing a president, not choosing a pastor, a difference that I wish many of my fellow evangelicals understood), but which also says that he is probably a natural and instinctive social conservative. Most Mormons are, if anything, on the right end of social conservatism. That also ought to endear him to the GOP base, but because he ran for the governorship in Massachusetts he had to tack far to the left of the party to become a viable candidate there. If he had run in, say, Tennessee or Texas, he would have run a very different race on a very different set of issues than he ran and won on in Massachusetts. That’s not a knock on him, so much as it’s a reflection of the different politics at play in different states. Romney didn’t live in Texas or Tennessee.

Because he ran far to the left of the party in Massachusetts, he has had to spend the last two years or so tacking back to the right to get back into the GOP mainstream. I happen to think that that’s where he started out (including, unfortunately, his iffy stance on the 2nd Amendment), which means two things. First, that his current conservative stances represent who he really is. Second, that he is indeed a flip-flopper, having flipped toward liberalism to win Massachusetts but now flopping back to the right to win elsewhere. Being a businessman before a politician, he probably didn’t foresee how much mistrust that all of this would create among the conservative base. He’s a pragmatic fixer, not an ideologue. That mistrust plus anti-Mormon animus among my fellow evangelicals explains both the rise of Huckabee and the stasis of Romney. Add in Fred’s gravitational pull to the Reaganite right and you have yet one more drag on Romney’s campaign. He has been stuck wearing a pair of cement shoes, one named Fred and one named Mike.

Romney’s win in Massachusetts is probably the single greatest bullet point for and against his candidacy in many conservatives’ minds. If Romney hadn’t won in Massachusetts and governed well, he would not be a viable presidential candidate. Period, full stop. It wouldn’t matter if he had saved ten Olympics. It wouldn’t matter if he had turned two dozen companies around from bankruptcy to profit. We elect governors and generals, not businessmen. Romney ran in Massachusetts because that’s where he lived, and he ran to the left because that’s what the state’s conditions demanded. He is, at least, not a carpetbagger.

But the Romney Paradox is a real and lingering problem: His victory in Massachusetts helped him cross over from business to government and made him a viable presidential candidate, but at a price that keeps conservatives from getting behind him and supporting him with full throat because many of us aren’t sure we can trust him. There’s no getting around that. It is what it is.

I’ve gotten past the Romney Paradox. I hope a majority of my fellow conservatives will do the same on Super Tuesday.


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Mitt is getting my vote on Tuesday in GA. Let’s hope it helps. I wish Huckabee was out.

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:11 AM

My biggest fear right now is a McCain presidency with a Huckabee vice-presidency. Hillary/Obama on the other side, and it’s poison all around.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:18 AM

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:17 AM

I agree he would be a great balance. My fear is the loss would doom him.

Great perspective on Cali. I haven’t lived there in quite some time and as a Conservative I don’t readily think it is in play. It would be great if it is.

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:22 AM

What about Mitt with Huck as VP?

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:23 AM

My biggest fear right now is a McCain presidency with a Huckabee vice-presidency. Hillary/Obama on the other side, and it’s poison all around.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:18 AM

Would be certain disaster. Huckabee and McCain together would be vile. I am going to give John the benefit of the doubt on that one. I don’t think he will pick him. I do think Huckabee will help campaign for him if it comes to that.

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:24 AM

What about Mitt with Huck as VP?

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:23 AM

The cognitive dissonance is……

Shattering.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 12:24 AM

The cognitive dissonance is……

Shattering.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 12:24 AM

That’s unfortunately the only hope for saving this country from an Amnesty-based slide to a slow death.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:26 AM

That’s unfortunately the only hope for saving this country from an Amnesty-based slide to a slow death.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:26 AM

Plese don’t wake apacalyps and H. Hardrada. It’s pretty peaceful without them in here. There is nothing in Huckabees experience and pontifications, until very recently, which indicate that he’s be any different than Jimmy Carter on immigration, and most all else. As a VP he wouldn’t bring much to the table. Better he just goes preaching, and leave us all alone.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:30 AM

What about Mitt with Huck as VP?

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:23 AM

No can do my friend. I may be in the minority in that opinion. I think Huckabee is poison. The media loves him now, but not if he is VP Nom. I would rather see Michael Steele, Haley Barbour, or Rick Santorum. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:30 AM

Plese don’t wake apacalyps and H. Hardrada. It’s pretty peaceful without them in here. There is nothing in Huckabees experience and pontifications, until very recently, which indicate that he’s be any different than Jimmy Carter on immigration, and most all else. As a VP he wouldn’t bring much to the table. Better he just goes preaching, and leave us all alone.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:30 AM

Trust me, I like Huck even less than you do. The cold, hard truth is that while there is nothing IN him that indicates anything good, he’s got what Mitt needs: delegates. After Super Tuesday the situation will likely be such that Huck will be the king maker. At this point the only hope for this country is to keep McCain/Hillobama out of power. This is 1933 and the storm troopers are marching.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:33 AM

No can do my friend. I may be in the minority in that opinion. I think Huckabee is poison. The media loves him now, but not if he is VP Nom. I would rather see Michael Steele, Haley Barbour, or Rick Santorum. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:30 AM

See my other comment. I’m done with denial believing Fred could win until the end. Mitt will loose on ST, the hope is he will only lose by 300 delegates or so. Under these conditions Huck can make up the differences if McCain passes him up. McCain is preferable for Huck because he is likely to croak or go totally senile in less than four years, but Mitt HAS GOT to try to get his delegates.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:35 AM

Trust me, I like Huck even less than you do.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:33 AM

Dear Igor, your rationale aside, this is not possible :)

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:41 AM

See my other comment. I’m done with denial believing Fred could win until the end. Mitt will loose on ST, the hope is he will only lose by 300 delegates or so. Under these conditions Huck can make up the differences if McCain passes him up. McCain is preferable for Huck because he is likely to croak or go totally senile in less than four years, but Mitt HAS GOT to try to get his delegates.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:35 AM

Let’s assume for a second that McCain does pick Huck and wins the general election. Is that not the worst case scenario for the Republican Party that picks the next guy in line? McCain makes this whole thing a riddle wrapped in an enigma.

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:41 AM

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:41 AM

Excellent point. :)

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:42 AM

Trust me, I like Huck even less than you do.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:33 AM

Dear Igor, your rationale aside, this is not possible :)

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:41 AM

OK, I’ll grant you that. But I’m not a fan of his, although I hate McCain more.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:43 AM

If McCain is the nominee, I can see him picking: Romney, Giuliani, Michael Steele, Crist/FL.

If Romney is the nominee, I haven’t a clue who he’d consider.

I sure hope none go close to Huckabee.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:44 AM

Let’s assume for a second that McCain does pick Huck and wins the general election. Is that not the worst case scenario for the Republican Party that picks the next guy in line? McCain makes this whole thing a riddle wrapped in an enigma.

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:41 AM

The point I keep making is that if it’s McCain vs. either Hil or Obama, the game is over FOREVER, as in at least 50 years. The resultant 40 million illegals + relatives will never again allow a Republican, a Conservative, or anyone not a fan of massive income redistribution to be elected.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:46 AM

If McCain is the nominee, I can see him picking: Romney, Giuliani, Michael Steele, Crist/FL.

If Romney is the nominee, I haven’t a clue who he’d consider.

I sure hope none go close to Huckabee.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:44 AM

But these are not independent events. At this point THE ONLY chance Romney has is to pool delegates with Huck or to pray for a miracle at a brokered convention with Huck refusing to pledge his delegates to anyone and the party picking Romney (yeah, really) or McCain dropping out for health reasons.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:48 AM

If McCain is the nominee, I can see him picking: Romney, Giuliani, Michael Steele, Crist/FL.

If Romney is the nominee, I haven’t a clue who he’d consider.

I sure hope none go close to Huckabee.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:44 AM

I read Christ would be his man. I should have mentioned it earlier. It would make sense. McCain could probably carry FL with him. What other states could he carry with him? He hasn’t even served a full term a Governor.

Exit Question: How do you run a General Elecion campaign with a liberal Republican?

JDH on February 2, 2008 at 12:49 AM

Vote for Juan and learn Spanish, if you know what is good for you.

VinyFoxy on February 2, 2008 at 12:08 AM

I’ve mentioned to you before that my Spanish is acceptable. That aside, though, I know what’s good for this country, and for self, and it isn’t McCain, Hillary or Obama.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:50 AM

You can pretend that McCain’s horrible performance in the debate, or Hannity singing love songs to Romney, or Romney’s appearance and ads can make a difference, but that’s like pretending that Fred was about to win South Carolina. Ain’t gonna to happen.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:51 AM

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:51 AM

On the one hand you could be right, on the other, in politics 4 days is an eternity.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:52 AM

If he were given the opportunity to choose I wonder which way Huckabee, the “strongest pro-life candidate” in the running would go.

Mitt Romney, the Governor who vetoed a stem-cell research bill or McCain the Senator who supports federal funding for stem cell research?

P.S.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:30 AM,

HH was banned and last I saw alpacalips was skating awfully close.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 12:54 AM

HH was banned and last I saw alpacalips was skating awfully close.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 12:54 AM

Thanks Deety – I missed that event.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:55 AM

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:51 AM

On the one hand you could be right, on the other, in politics 4 days is an eternity.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 12:52 AM

Well, it’s just too many states. McCain would have to be filmed by every broadcast and cable network screaming “I hate Republicans” and “Viva la Raza” for the trends to reverse.

Igor R. on February 2, 2008 at 12:59 AM

HH was banned and last I saw alpacalips was skating awfully close.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 12:54 AM

When did that happen? Damn, I missed it. I would have loved to see the thread where that pompous ass finally got it.

BacaDog on February 2, 2008 at 1:25 AM

BacaDog on February 2, 2008 at 1:25 AM

Check out the thread about the D.J. who releases his inner Paulnut after his interview with Romney.

BTW it was a good post and could have been a good thread had it not been jacked by HH. I got disgusted and checked back in hours later otherwise I wouldn’t have known either.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 1:31 AM

Wonderful thread start Bryan.

You are right on the money.

Romney isn’t my first choice, but amongst the remaining contenders… he is, by far, superior.

Vanbasten on February 2, 2008 at 2:02 AM

HH was banned and last I saw alpacalips was skating awfully close.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 12:54 AM

Please, please someone link the thread, or tell me what was in the headline.

JustTruth101 on February 2, 2008 at 2:04 AM

JustTruth, here is the good deed.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 2:13 AM

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/29/audio-mitt-romney-laughs-at-ron-paul-interviewer-morphs-into-full-blown-paulnut/

Bryan on January 29, 2008 at 8:34 PM

Just for you JustTruth

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 2:15 AM

Hey Entelechy, that was pretty slick. I wasn’t sure how to make sure that the link would go directly to the relevant comment.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 2:17 AM

Deety, for future…if you wish to link a comment, just click on the time stamp (in blue), copy from top/left, as any other link, paste…

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 2:27 AM

Thanks.

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 2:44 AM

Thank you Deety, that was a riot!

Also, I agree with too many clueless newbies spouting endless nonsense. I will try to control myself and not feed the trolls.

JustTruth101 on February 2, 2008 at 3:56 AM

We also don’t elect congressmen, which is one of the major reasons that Duncan Hunter’s effort never took off.

Wouldn’t that also include – McCain?

I agree with Bryan that Romney’s instincts have always been at root conservative, not liberal. His albatross has been, not so much his faith, but the way his faith will inevitably be used as a nuclear bomb against him by the nefarious MSM as soon as he’s the nominee. Still, it’s now a risk worth taking, given the totally unacceptable McCain alternative.

Whatever happens, there is going to be a lot of soul searching among the more intelligent on the Right, about how we’ve ended up with an electorate with so very little grasp of sound principles. The less intelligent have already seen to it that McCain and Huckabee have had booms, and Thompson and Giuliani have had to concede.

Halley on February 2, 2008 at 6:12 AM

thoughtful and well-stated, Byran. With all the anti-McCain blather, I’d forgotten that Romney actually had bona fides.

Potfry on February 2, 2008 at 9:22 AM

Here’s something with a little passion for your early morning viewing… it’s illustrative of some clear thinking, IMAO.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKqNMxl_BgM

Without the MSM and sycophants in the establishment, Juan would be back to backstabbing in the cloak room.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 9:28 AM

Cold Steel- good link.

Bryan-

You might want to up that to a “Rant” at the top of the page.

Short, passionate, and droll.

profitsbeard on February 2, 2008 at 9:40 AM

Uh oh. Politico is reporting that since Mitt became the head of the Governor’s association, he has been shaking down other governors for support while using his position for leverage. Other state leaders felt that any request on behalf of the association would have “strings attatched” politically. Since then only two governors have supported him(Nebraska, Rhode Island). If this is his ability to bring people together, then it’s obvious this is and has been over since florida.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 2, 2008 at 9:58 AM

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 2, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Still getting paid the post? Other than finger exercise, what exactly is your point? The current crop of RGA are attempting to hijack portions of the Republican platform. Mitt gets them bankrolled, and they return the favor with a twist of the knife. Governors like Crist/Schwarzenegger/Huckabee and others have a different take on the Republican party. A successful leader who turns things around scares them. His example teaches us/them, we don’t need compassionate nannies to wipe our noses when markets turn. It’s en vogue to hate a successful businessman. It’s easier to embrace mythologies like global warming. Thank you RGA for your well timed hit. It’s scripture for chosen one.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 10:09 AM

I’ve gotten past the Romney Paradox. I hope a majority of my fellow conservatives will do the same on Super Tuesday.

To quote Ted Kennedy, Romney is “multiple choice” when it comes to abortion. Being the hallmark conservative issue, I can’t for the life of me understand why this is not even brought up anymore.
I used to dream of a candidate that the entire GOP could support. But now I see that is not even possible. I’ve never tried to be a far right wing conservative, so if that makes me not conservative at all in the eyes of some, so be it. If we’re not careful, conservative will soon be relegated to an insult the way liberal is. Is that what we want?
If Romney was a truly princopled candidate, I would proudly support him and suffer the consequences of losing to the dems, but I see McCain as alot more principled, even though on some issues, he is not the most conservative. With a strong veep selection, I think McCain could actually achieve the elusive “Reaganesque” stature. Give Mac a chance, we really have nothing to lose since there are no “real conservative” contenders, and everything to gain.

myamphibian on February 2, 2008 at 10:17 AM

It’s funny how Huckabee’s name is not mentioned on this blog anymore.

justinok on February 2, 2008 at 10:22 AM

myamphibian on February 2, 2008 at 10:17 AM

More like Napoleonesque stature. And which principle is lying? Where does that fit into the pantheon of presidential principles? Is class envy also in Bennett’s Book of Virtues? Point these out to me, I want to really know what I can build on with McCain. Is unpredictability a virtue? How about disloyalty? Cursing and animus? McCain is a paragon of virtue. I can’t wait to not vote for him.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 10:23 AM

I’m for Mitt, too…at least by default.

But while getting elected governor as a Republican in leftist Massachusetts was a great accomplishment, you have to realize that the governor in Massachusetts has nowhere near the power of a governor in other states. Local (city, township) governments are the most powerful bodies in that state: then county, and then lastly state government. So the most powerful public official in Massachusetts is the Mayor of Boston: he manages more money and wields more power than the governor.

Maybe this makes any of Mitt’s accomplishments in Massachusetts even more amazing.

landlines on February 2, 2008 at 10:23 AM

justinok on February 2, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Huckabee is implied in any McCain argument. The two have become Siamese Twins. Huckabee is McCain’s hitman… he can string together homespun diatribes for the media while McCain slob-knobs with his celebrities.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Good post Bryan. Well written and stated.

We are looking the best leader in the eyes for this country and the the Cons know that. The Blue Bloods (BB) are c**ksukers and they despise Romney. He WILL shake up DC and that scares the Crap out of them. Just look at how much time McC has been given by the DriveBys. He’s their darlin’ we know UNTIL the conventions are over and then its TRASH the hell out him. Romney is the man.

And many people are forgetting–THEY CAN WRITE IN WHOME THEY WANT! I have been a Mitt man from the beginning and I’ve been right. If he doesn’t get the nomination he wil be my write in.

auspatriotman on February 2, 2008 at 10:33 AM

The NY Times back Clinton and McCain.

Some maverick.

More like a gelding.

profitsbeard on February 2, 2008 at 10:34 AM

auspatriotman on February 2, 2008 at 10:33 AM

We’re doing the same here. We’re writing in Mitt if he’s not on the ticket. Many in my circle are contemplating the same. We’re holding out hope for our Super Tuesday friends. Keep fighting.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 10:40 AM

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Still not defending Mitts flip on abortion I see. The conservative line in the sand keeps getting redrawn. Before long, it truly will be an exclusive club, congrats.

myamphibian on February 2, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Thanks Bryan for eliminating HH altogether and apocolyps’s comments!

That was great and swift!

Sure is peaceful in here. Wow!

Mcguyver on February 2, 2008 at 10:54 AM

myamphibian on February 2, 2008 at 10:45 AM

My post was to the point and specific. Sorry you can’t stay on point. Your off point topic, abortion, is a talking point. You have no depth on the issue. Regurgitation isn’t a defense against what I posted. It’s typical of McCain sycophants. Point out serious character issues….and then the canned response is “Mitt’s a flip-flopper.” Good times my amphibian, good times.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 11:02 AM

Good post Bryan. My daughter’s and I voted early yesterday for Mitt.

moonsbreath on February 2, 2008 at 11:03 AM

Maybe we all need to create a pact on HA to write Mitt in if he is not the nominee. In this way we dont give the lection to that democrat McCain, or to one of those other democrats.

paulsur on February 2, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Mcguyver on February 2, 2008 at 10:54 AM

I echo that. HH had a massive random generator of off-topic hate and names that he would cut and paste from. There was nothing constructive.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 11:04 AM

I echo that. HH had a massive random generator of off-topic hate and names that he would cut and paste from. There was nothing constructive.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 11:04 AM

Sultry Beauty spotted him after just a handful of posts. She’s got a really sharp eye.

I think there are some more HHouseflies stalking the picnic.

RushBaby on February 2, 2008 at 11:12 AM

paulsur on February 2, 2008 at 11:04 AM

I will sign that pact. I’ve been putting my money and efforts into that pact. I’m not rolling over for McCain.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 11:13 AM

mitt is being over powered by mC’s senate contacts and all of those who want something.
with mC in a leadership role, the republican party is officially in generational rebuild mode.
and it happened so quickly…

jimmer on February 2, 2008 at 11:15 AM

jimmer on February 2, 2008 at 11:15 AM

The Revolutionary Foot Soldier is leading a coup to implement his own brand. It will be the Juan Junta.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 11:18 AM

Mitt’s a goner. Now he just needs to decide if he goes out with class or in a blaze of pointless spending.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 2, 2008 at 11:21 AM

Cold, I’m sorry you’re not going to be able to vote for the likely republican nominee, and will have to vote against McCain. We have all been there and it does suck. Being a glass half full type of guy, I can find something good in all of the republican candidates. My point is simply, if you’re going to bash McCain on principled grounds, at least show me where Mitt is a more principled choice. You called McCain a liar, how about some posts to back up that claim? Of course since i’m a McCain “sycohpant” (former Fredhead fyi), I don’t expect you to do anything other than try to dismiss me like some of the other holier than thou commenters.

myamphibian on February 2, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Oh and Cold, as far as being “off point”. When Bryan says “because many of us aren’t sure we can trust him” I assumed he was referring to abortion, or at least that issue was part of it. My apologies if i’m off base.

myamphibian on February 2, 2008 at 11:41 AM

There’s room for all our candidates.

Pres – Romney w/Thompson or Hunter for veep
John McCain – SecDef
Giuliani – AG
Tancredo – ICE
Paul – Hillary’s personal OB
Huckabee – WalMart Greeter.

There’s an administration I could support.

Wingo on February 2, 2008 at 11:48 AM

And I have never had anything bad to say about Romney. I like him a great deal and if by some chance he becomes our nominee, I will work my butt off for him. But guys….. This is the way it is looking:
Rightwingsparkle on February 1, 2008 at 7:03 PM

There you go… projecting with your bias, again.

I will take you to task just like I did, DS, when she was so certain that the ole ‘Cain will definitely win Michigan, her home state. She knew – in her words – everything about elections in MI.

I told her she is wrong and will lose her election punditry respect. She has.

Now you are projecting because of your bias.

This is not a personal issue here, I’m just pointing out the facts.

DS is biased for the ole ‘Cain.

RWS, (you) are biased for the ole ‘Cain.

Allahpundit is biased for the ole ‘Cain if for no other reason than to see a conservative crack up – his sub title: Conservative crack-up mania!, on the tammy-bruce-come-to-think-of-it-i-might-vote-for-hillary-over-mccain-too blog – is worse than pathetic, for shame really.

Allah’s bias has been blatantly – however somewhat nuanced – biased against Mitt for some time. I remember vividly left-out-context blog subjects on Mitt.
One just as recent as yesterday – which sealed my suspicion of his bias – flashback-mccains-immigration-proposal-is-reasonable-quite-different-from-amnesty-says-mitt blog of yesterday was a blatant biased piece of snark because it was addressed in a debate between Mitt and McCain. I took him to task for it here.

I remember well, Bill O’ Reilly saying way back in the spring of ’07: “Mitt Romney looks the most presidential, but is he electable?”

I remember a piece by Dr. James Dobson saying very similar things way back then, but then followed it up with, “But I don’t know if the American people will vote for him.” (paraphrasing)

That kind of rhetoric is pure unadulterated bullshit!
And frankly, there are not enough cuss words in the English or the French language to describe my disgust with those people for doing such!

Because here they all sit in a seat of media distributing power of some form or less, and they refuse to go out and stand up for what they believe, and say, “Mitt is electable if the American people vote their conscience not based on religion, but on his competence”.

Just as an example, to show that all the above mentioned have a bias….. our resident blogger/deity always says that us peon bloggers/commentators have zero influence on the outcome of these elections…. if he really believes that or if that is true.. then why did he post an obvious biased blog yesterday (as noted above)? Was he afraid that if he posted a truthful blog that it would influence somebody?
Furthermore, why was he so bent out of shape about Matt Drudge posting a ten month old story of the ole ‘Cain?

It’s the same for Bill O’Reilly, Dr. Dobson, RWS, DS (and BS).

Why does Rightwingsparkle on February 1, 2008 at 7:20 PM focus on what someone emailed to the NRO on why “Christians” can’t vote for Mitt, because of his religion?

When, what RWS, Dr. Dobson et al, could be doing, is, writing rebuttals to such poppycock, but instead focus they on obstacles, it is far more than pathetic!

I’M COMPLETELY SICK OF IT AND I’VE HAD IT WITH SUCH BULLSHIT!

SCREW ALL OF YOU!

Look at Bryan having to post – as I’m writing this – the old story of Kerry chumming up to the ole ‘Cain!

Mcguyver on February 2, 2008 at 11:58 AM

myamphibian on February 2, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Point taken, and I do take back the McCain sycophant stereotype. Thank you for the clarification and background. Sometimes it’s easy to extrapolate and infer when two people debate back and forth in this forum. I’m not ready to concede this fight during the primary season, that’s my motivation and background. Thank you for the discussion.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Let’s enjoy the picnic for now anyway.

Mcguyver on February 2, 2008 at 12:05 PM

Mcguyver on February 2, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Thank you for your rants McG. I do love how you turn a thread of a topic into a full on thermonuclear rant. Sort of like fashioning a weapon out of paper clips, chewing gum, and iocane powder. Very McGuyver.

Cold Steel on February 2, 2008 at 12:20 PM

Well said Bryan. A relief to read such an article–regardless of candidate.

I am tired of the “snark” I see in the blogs.

Montana on February 2, 2008 at 12:22 PM

I’m very late to this thread, but that piece is very well written Bryan. Just wish all the Mitt support would have come before Florida.

lan astaslem on February 2, 2008 at 12:45 PM

Bryan,

That you have decided to endorse and support Mitt Romney is fine by me, Bryan. You are in good company. In your post, however, I detected some less than credible points.

I could not find in your MSNBC FirstRead link the accounting of your anti-Mormon voter rejection of Romney’s candidacy. There are other aspects to Romney the candidate besides his Mormonism that influence voters pro and con. That some will never vote for a Mormon is not disputed. To say that there is no reason to withhold one’s vote from a specific candidate who happens to be Mormon is simply another dogma as problematic as any other in the PC book. To accuse any one who refuses to vote for Mitt of bigotry is that very act of bigotry, whether accurate or not of the one being judged, accurate of the one judging. Finally, that Romney will propagandize “anti-Mormon” propaganda to excuse a defeat is not advisable for a man who presumes to have the full character required of an American President as he claims to possess. Mitt’ns do Romney no favor by hoisting their unreasonable chants of bigotry towards any criticism, and blaming America of bigotry for their own shortcoming. That will certainly not prove anything reasonable, and injures their future as well.

Being a businessman before a politician, he probably didn’t foresee how much mistrust that all of this would create among the conservative base. He’s a pragmatic fixer, not an ideolog

I beg to differ, as Mitt is most definitely an ideolog. He knew exactly what he was up against, and how he planned to win. His entire reimagery profession looks into ideas to abuse in order to elicit a desired response. He is called upon to prove himself now. He may well just be the image without the substance. Only he can prove himself, and he may not have the time he requires in order to meet the given “time table” this elec tion.

The Romney’s have been plotting to make a POTUS for two generations. Every move for business and for politics has been predicated upon establishing Mitt’s presidential bid. Mitt chose Massachusettes, and Mitt chose to be what he was in Massachusettes. For Mitt’ns to blame Massachusettes for ruining Mitt’s conservative credentials is folly, akin to blaming those who will not vote for Mitt of bigotry against Mormons.

maverick muse on February 2, 2008 at 1:02 PM

It’s funny how Huckabee’s name is not mentioned on this blog anymore.

justinok on February 2, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Shhhhhhhhhh!

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 2:14 PM

Most Mormons are, if anything, on the right end of social conservatism.

So, we shouldn’t use religion when picking Huck. But it’s A-OK when picking Mitt because, as we all know, Mormons are the best.

huckfan on February 2, 2008 at 2:23 PM

So, we shouldn’t use religion when picking Huck. But it’s A-OK when picking Mitt because, as we all know, Mormons are the best.

huckfan on February 2, 2008 at 2:23 PM

We shouldn’t use religion when picking either.

Entelechy on February 2, 2008 at 2:41 PM

So, we shouldn’t use religion when picking Huck. But it’s A-OK when picking Mitt because, as we all know, Mormons are the best.

huckfan on February 2, 2008 at 2:23 PM

Really classy Huckfan, let’s see can I play your game too. Because we all know Baptists are the best.

lan astaslem on February 2, 2008 at 2:53 PM

that should be Baptists are the best.

lan astaslem on February 2, 2008 at 2:54 PM

lan astaslem on February 2, 2008 at 2:53 PM

The difference is that I’ve never said all Baptists were good, because I know that they aren’t.

Nor have I picked a candidate because he was Baptist.

Just pointing out the irony of the post.

huckfan on February 2, 2008 at 3:07 PM

No one said all mormons are good, the quote is “most”.

Most Mormons are, if anything, on the right end of social conservatism.

In my opinion most baptist are good people too, and like mormons are on the right end of social conservatism. The irony among all the religious in fighting is that we all have a lot more in common than we are different, but some have to focus it all on the differences.

lan astaslem on February 2, 2008 at 3:16 PM

And most Baptists, Catholics, Pentecostals, etc. are “good”. We do have a lot in common, more than not.

That doesn’t have anything to do with Romney’s lack of core political convictions. Fact is that he will do and say whatever it takes to get whichever political audience he is speaking to on his side.

And it isn’t just a one or two year old thing. He’s done it in this campiagn – Michigan ring a bell.

Yesterday on Hannity, Santorum actually said that Romney’s conversion is about two weeks old but he is certain it is heart felt. Wish I could find the transcripts or audio. Any suggestions on where to look? Not up on Hannity.com.

huckfan on February 2, 2008 at 3:20 PM

I feel your pain Bryan. I’ve been dealing with many of the same questions on Mitt. I don’t think he’s an expert at every issue he will face as President, but I think he knows how to put the right people in the right place, and he knows how to choose those people. He has fixed companies and olympics by pulling up his boot straps and getting things done. He knew what had to be done but he also didn’t forget about the human issue. (ala, not laying off people) On Tuesday I will caucus for Mitt, here in Minnesota, because I believe his agenda is helping and protecting America with his eyes wide open, not facing up to political deals he has made.

oakpack on February 2, 2008 at 5:07 PM

Have always agreed with your level headed postings Bryan but am bewildered at your lack of understanding the hearts and minds of your evangelical freinds as you put it. If you understood us..you’d understand it goes against all our natural grain to vote for a President over our beloved nation..a contender who happens to worship a false God…one other than the One True God who has blessed this country for 200 plus years for his god, if you’ve read up on their doctrine..is not in any remote way the same God we know in our hearts that is God of the Bible. Why would we trust someone to run this country, regardless of how handsome, how financially smart and well spoken he is if doesn’t know the difference between the one true God of the Bible and a deceiver? I find this fascinating that there are those that don’t understand the spiritual significance in this being a detremental factor in wanting this otherwise very “presidential” looking man to serve as leader and commander in chief of this great nation. With McCain as being the only other choice..it’ll take a miracle and I do believe in miracles..that maybe Huckabee might come back out of the shuffle and come on top again. Here’s praying and eyes wide open.

hotvol on February 2, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Bryan I am bewildered at your lack of understanding the hearts and minds of your evangelical friends as you put it.

If you understood us..you’d understand it goes against all our natural grain to vote for a President over our beloved nation..a contender who happens to worship a false God…one other than the One True God who has blessed this country for 200 plus years for his god, if you’ve read up on their doctrine..is not in any remote way the same God we know in our hearts that is God of the Bible.
hotvol on February 2, 2008 at 5:35 PM

It’s real simple……

You wanted (speaking to Americans) a country in where you have complete religious freedom to worship however you please.

Because of this, this country has had the greatest expression of religious varieties out the wahzoo.

As such, from this very basic premise, one cannot use religion as the basis for electing someone fairly, everything else being equal.

That is the most fundamental point that you “Christians” are missing.

But apparently you’d rather vote for one of the ten most corrupt politicians.

As such you will further ruin the respect that “Christians” have, even at this point, because you are so biased towards Huckabee exclusively because of his religion.

Which in turn, will repel more people away from your religion and assist in making you irrelevant, not because you stood on principle mind you, but because you are being a hypocrite, in that, you sacrificed your Christian principles, voting for a corrupt politician in the likes of Bil Clinton.

Does that make sense to you?

Mcguyver on February 2, 2008 at 6:30 PM

Well, I just spent an afternoon dancing around like a lunatic on a street corner here in AZ holding up a Mitt sign to rally support on Tues. Man, it would be so sweet to see McCain defeated right here in his home state.
Lots of positive feedback over all. Only negatives were shrieks from Cankels supporters and some stern sour-pusses shaking their heads in bitter disapproval.
I did notice the cottony hue of the head shaker’s heads and that they tended to be driving cars w/ out of state plates.
D’ya think it would have been too over the top to scream ” RESIST THE GERONTOCRACY!!!!”?

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 7:21 PM

There are Americans who do not approve of the idea that a multi-millionaire or billionaire can effectively buy himself the Presidency of the United States. Mitt is not the only one with big bucks. Others with less integrity are observing his every move, preparing for their own coup.

maverick muse on February 2, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Please…..let’s not pretend of deny that this site has been a commercial for Mitt for months. Was he a good business man, absolutely! Does it matter what his religion is, of course NOT! Does it matter that one year he is a liberal Republican in the Pataki, Whitman model….heck yes! Does it matter that suddenly many of his views changed? Yes! I still do not know why the very people who rightly went after Kerry for flip flopping, support this guy. Don’t bite your nose to spite your face.

arizonateacher on February 2, 2008 at 7:34 PM

arizonateacher on February 2, 2008 at 7:34 PM

And what about Huckabee changing his views depending on the polls?

Mcguyver on February 2, 2008 at 7:39 PM

Hey, all you St. Louis fans, Mitt will be at Dave ‘n Buster’s in Maryland Heights tomorrow at 4:30 pm….bring signs.

On a side note, I can’t believe how easy it is to talk people into voting for Mitt! Geez, i wish I didn’t have so much studying to do…today I convinced 3 gals at the nail salon, I convinced the cashier in Walgreen’s, really pissed off some chick in line at Walgreen’s (Mitt ain’t getting her vote!) and I even convinced a wildly liberal family member to vote for Mitt in the primary Tuesday. So how many is that for today…5…I know it won’t make a difference, but I feel like I gotta try.

Gooooo Mitt!

JustTruth101 on February 2, 2008 at 8:51 PM

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 7:21 PM

I hear that – I got a friendly honk when I was putting out signs in NW Tucson. 10 down, 5 more accounted for, getting more soon.

JustTruth101 on February 2, 2008 at 8:51 PM

Yes, for the most part. I have a hard-a#$ friend of mine playing with me today saying he’s voting for John McCain. I tore him a new a-hole (all in a nice fun joking way). “If you want McCain, that’s fine I’ll let the air out of your tires on Tues so you’re not going anywhere biotch!”

SkinnerVic on February 2, 2008 at 9:28 PM

Well, I just spent an afternoon dancing around like a lunatic on a street corner here in AZ holding up a Mitt sign to rally support on Tues. Man, it would be so sweet to see McCain defeated right here in his home state.
Lots of positive feedback over all. Only negatives were shrieks from Cankels supporters and some stern sour-pusses shaking their heads in bitter disapproval.
I did notice the cottony hue of the head shaker’s heads and that they tended to be driving cars w/ out of state plates.
D’ya think it would have been too over the top to scream ” RESIST THE GERONTOCRACY!!!!”?

Deety on February 2, 2008 at 7:21 PM

Easy on the older folks, my father who is 77 supports Mitt Romney wholeheartedly. He even mentioned to me that Fox News was blasting Mitt while turning McCain into their golden boy and he refused to watch any longer.

This isn’t an age thing, it’s a common sense thing.

TexasBella on February 3, 2008 at 2:13 AM

TexasBella on February 3, 2008 at 2:13 AM

Meant no harm. My work used to center around the over 50 crowd here in AZ so I’ve become sensitized to the ways that our politicians communicate to an important constituency here in snow-bird country and how they respond in turn.

My dad has been having fun for years pushing my buttons on the issues of Soc. Sec. and Medicare.

He gets a pass though because when he retired he said he’d rather join the communist party than AARP.

Deety on February 3, 2008 at 3:05 AM

Does it matter that one year he is a liberal Republican in the Pataki, Whitman model….heck yes! Does it matter that suddenly many of his views changed? Yes! I still do not know why the very people who rightly went after Kerry for flip flopping, support this guy. Don’t bite your nose to spite your face. arizonateacher on February 2, 2008 at 7:34 PM

I believe Mitt was 100% sincere as a liberal. Now, I believe he’s 100% sincere as a conservative. I really do believe he is a conservative and would govern as such. Does his flip/flop bother me. Oh yah! This year is not about good choices though, it’s about the least bad one.

Mojave Mark on February 3, 2008 at 11:38 AM

McCain, at 71 and with a history of cancer, had better pick a qualified candidate for vice president.

NNtrancer on February 3, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Romney and McCain. Romney has the economy credibility and presentability, and McCain has the foreign affairs/ defense credibility and name recognition. Together they could cancel out each other’s specific weaknesses: McCain isn’t Mormon and the uninitiated don’t see him as a flipflopper (just be ready to use old MSM articles), and Romney eases some of the extreme anti-McCain types, giving them an out to vote for the ticket, and could in that national setting moderate some of McCain’s liberalism. We wouldn’t gain much, but we could hold the line better.

Regardless of who takes the lead, there is a chance there. C’mon! It would be them against Hildabeast and/or Hussein! Coulter is right on at least one thing: This is a gimme if we don’t mess it up.

Tommygun on February 3, 2008 at 3:23 PM

Mitt’s got my vote in Mass, I’ll say it again. He may be a long shot but he really is the best man for the job and I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t vote for him.
He did a really good job here considering the hard left political climate here.
It really is a shame that so many people have a problem with Mormons.

Geronimo on February 4, 2008 at 3:12 PM

MCGUYVER: As such, from this very basic premise, one cannot use religion as the basis for electing someone fairly, everything else being equal.
That is the most fundamental point that you “Christians” are missing.

McGuyver…the most fundamental point that a “non Christian” is missing is the fact that this great country was founded on fundamental Judeo/Christian values and I am and will not apologize for having my free will to express those beliefs. If I am further “ruining” the respect for Christians for my belief..am I suppose to shake rattle and shrival away because you don’t agree with me or respect my faith to begin with???? I think not… I will say what I believe in..which is the very thing you are trying to say I don’t have the right to say..so who’s being the hyprocrite here??? I’m not telling you or anyone else on this board to believe me…I simply addressing Bryan’s comment about why so many have a problem with his Mormonism…I just stated something that many on here are thinking but are too afraid to say it right out. Does that make sense to you now????!! I think not.

hotvol on February 4, 2008 at 8:06 PM

….and I think you’re “sensability” is a little wayward as to who voted for Clinton….

hotvol on February 4, 2008 at 8:47 PM

It’s an affirmative vote for Mitt Romney because I respect his resume, one of the finest we’ve had in a presidential contender in a long, long time.

WTF? I mean, seriously: WTF?!?!?!

I’m really baffled at how conservatives have gone all moon-eyed for Mitt.

I mean, think about it. As Governor this guy was pro-choice, pro-amnesty, pro-Ted Kennedy. Now that he’s running in a Prez primary, suddenly he’s Ann Coulter with balls.

So what does this tell us about Mitt? That he will pander to whatever will make him popular at the moment. Now take a second and think about what President Romney will do under the constant, daily pressure of the national MSM (in the unlikely event he could even win a general).

Do we want to nominate a windsock just because he blows our way at the moment?

It pains me to say this, but McCain would probably be a more conservative President than Romney, just because he’s ornery.

TallDave on February 5, 2008 at 11:25 AM

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