Could Romney be Mr. Good Enough?

posted at 12:15 pm on January 3, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

So argues Kimberly Strassel in today’s Wall Street Journal, where it probably … won’t convince many people who aren’t inclined to give Mitt Romney a shot anyway.  Strassel argues that Romney has improved as a candidate in both message and organization, and has had a good bit of luck behind him as well:

The governor lost the nomination in 2008 because of his lack of focus and a reputation for conveniently shifting message. Let’s just say he learned something.

Throughout this campaign, he’s resisted scattershot criticism of rivals, instead carefully pinpointing his biggest threats from the right and homing in on their biggest weaknesses. With Mr. Pawlenty, that job was relatively easy. Mr. Romney stepped back to allow the Minnesotan to implode, his restraint even earning him praise as “presidential.”

A greater insight into the Romney machine came with Mr. Perry, whose threat resided in his broad credentials with a conservative audience. Mr. Romney’s response was to target a relatively obscure liability—Mr. Perry’s modest policy of letting young illegals pay in-state college tuition—and then to elevate it and tear it apart. Romney ads were brutal, comparing Mr. Perry to Barack Obama and Mexican President Vicente Fox on immigration, suggesting that the Texas governor would open the illegal floodgates. It proved a deal killer for many conservatives.

Next up was Mr. Gingrich, whose December surge, particularly among tea party voters, posed a late-game threat. Team Romney was quick to drill into its rival’s “tons of baggage,” including marital infidelity, the money he accepted from Freddie Mac and, again, the accusation that he supports “amnesty for illegal aliens.” Between these and other attack ads, Mr. Gingrich’s support was halved in little more than a week.

Strassel cites his message discipline as the biggest improvement:

Mr. Romney has taken positions and stuck with them, even if it has meant defending the likes of RomneyCare. In Iowa, New Hampshire and everywhere else, voters have heard—again, and again, and again—the same two messages: He has the business and management experience to competently turn around the country, and he is the most electable against Mr. Obama.

Romney got lucky, Strassel argues, with the decisions by other potential candidates to sit out this cycle.  Hugh Hewitt doesn’t see that as luck, but as a rational calculation based in part on the strength of Romney:

Each of those might have won the nomination, but each of them made a calculation that they would not run, and Romney’s formidable skills as a candidate had a lot to do with the field being cleared.  Those GOP voters who would have preferred one of the above to run are not going to be as enthusiastic about Romney as they would have been had their own preferred candidate had run, but clearing most of the field of most of the formidable opposition tells us something of Romney’s strengths as perceived by his strongest competitors.  They didn’t want to get in the ring.  Many had very good reasons not to, but they are professionals, and professionals know when to fold the hand.

Perhaps a better demonstration of Romney’s improvement as a candidate comes from the Boston Herald, which highlights Romney’s changed approach to Iowa.  In 2008, Romney competed hard for the caucuses, only to lose to a more populist Mike Huckabee. This time around, Romney kept Iowa at arms-length in public, but quietly focused on building a much lighter, less costly organization that could seize the moment in the final days:

Mitt Romney flew beneath the radar in Iowa for months, appearing to distance himself from the first-in-the-nation caucus, before unleashing an 11th hour spending and campaigning blitz in a rope-a-dope strategy experts said could pay big dividends for the GOP presidential hopeful.

“It was definitely a purposeful strategy to campaign aggressively below the surface in Iowa while pretending it was all about New Hampshire,” Boston Republican strategist Rob Gray said. “The truth is, he’s been playing in Iowa all along, but the national media has let him get away with pretending that he’s not. We’ll see what the results are, but so far, the strategy seems to be working since many of the other candidates have broken down.”

Romney, who spent $10 million in a losing effort in Iowa in 2008, skipped the state’s August straw poll and reportedly spent just $200,000 before launching a $1.1 million ad blitz in the Hawkeye State in December. The former Massachusetts governor also has spent the past few days in Iowa while dispatching high-profile surrogates to stump for him in recent weeks, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota).

That was still a risky strategy, and it may not yet pay off in an outright win.  The other Iowa leaders have all broken down — Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich have all plummeted from their polling peaks — but both Rick Santorum and Ron Paul remain.  That’s not a bad outcome for Romney, though.  Santorum still doesn’t have much of an organization outside of Iowa yet, and Paul is not going to win anything outside of Iowa, either.  Even if Romney comes in a close second or third to either or both men, his main competition will be weak, and the early primary schedule favors Romney with stops in New Hampshire, Michigan, and Florida, and perhaps even Nevada.

For most of us, Romney has been “Mr. Good Enough” all along, if he wins the nomination.  He hasn’t been the first choice for many, nor even the second choice, but he’s much better than the current incumbent.  Until now, talk of “good enough” has been premature, since primaries exist to allow voters to support the candidate who best fits their own political perspective and goals.  It’s still not too late to do that — we haven’t even gotten to a binding contest yet that produces delegate assignments — but it won’t be long before Republicans ask themselves whether the candidates in a narrowed field are “good enough,” and support one of them as the party’s nominee.

In my column for The Week, I handicap the results for the most likely top three finishers in Iowa tonight:

Let’s start with the near dead heat for win, place, and show in this horse race. Take Mitt Romney. Given the polling over the last week and the organization that his campaign has quietly built, Romney is likely to either win this or finish very close to the top. After being shocked by Mike Huckabee in 2008, Romney has managed expectations this cycle by limiting his time in Iowa. But all along, he’s known that a strong Iowa finish leading into a big win next week in New Hampshire would only cement the impression that his nomination is inevitable. Don’t be surprised to see Romney come in first.

Ron Paul’s grassroots support is legendary, but it’s also outside the mainstream in a couple of important ways. It tends to skew more to the college students who may be out of Iowa on winter break, and to independents and Democrats who may or may not reliably show up to the caucuses. Paul’s past has also caught up with him, as the media has recently taken a serious look at the controversial content of his newsletters from the 1990s and the foreign policy positions that put Paul outside of the mainstream of the GOP. Polling from the Des Moines Register, considered the gold standard for surveying Iowa caucusgoers, showed a significant drop in Paul’s support late last week. He could drop to third, but probably no further, and that will be good enough to keep Paul’s organization in high spirits.

Two weeks ago, Rick Santorum languished near the bottom of the polls. One week ago, Iowans began to align themselves with the candidate who has spent the most time in their state, tirelessly visiting every county and seemingly greeting every voter. Over the weekend, every pollster put Santorum into second or third place — but within the margin of error of the lead. An outright win by Santorum would be a long shot, but no longer an impossibility. A finish in the top three probably raises his chances in socially-conservative South Carolina, but don’t expect Santorum to spend any time in New Hampshire outside of the debates this weekend, as he’ll need to conserve his resources. Santorum could end up becoming a rallying point for social conservatives if the other candidates begin to withdraw.

Unless Romney’s support simply fails to show tonight, he’s going to have significant momentum against a weakened field moving forward, unless the field narrows very quickly.


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See, this is why you should get all context before sticking your nose into a discussion. Go back and read what the context of my remark is and then explain tom the group why you are against eliminating fraud and waste.

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 3:06 PM

You tell me why you need a 2000 page bill to cut fraud. Can’t you just, gee I dunno, increase eforcement or something? No, let’s instead spend $1T to save $1B in fraud. Brilliant.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

LevinFan who do you like?

PaleoRider on January 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM

Bachmann and Santorum. The two best conservatives in the race.

MB is my first choice.

If Santorum keeps surging I will support him. All good conservatives need to rally to beat Mittens and RuPaul.

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 3:09 PM

“Like the Union Leader, your critics charge that you make decisions based on political expediency and not core conviction,” said Baier. “You have been on the both sides of some issues, and there’s videotape of you going back years, speaking about different issues, climate change, abortion, immigration, gay rights. How can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you will believe if you win the White House?”

“Well, Bret, your list is just not accurate,” Romney responded. “So, one, we’re going to have to be better informed about my views on issues. My view is, you can look at what I’ve written in my book. You can look at a person who has devoted his life to his family, to his faith, to his country, and I’m running for president because of the things I believe I think I can do to help this country.”

Mitt Romney is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. He’s also short tempered and can’t take the pressure.

mike_NC9 on January 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 2:40 PM

Did you know that Thomas Sowell has cooties, and just pales in awesomeness next to Willard Mittens Coddington Van Voorhees VIII!

MNHawk on January 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

You tell me why you need a 2000 page bill to cut fraud. Can’t you just, gee I dunno, increase eforcement or something? No, let’s instead spend $1T to save $1B in fraud. Brilliant.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

csdeven is a hopeless Mittbot.

Why don’t Mittens and all his supporters just support the real thing in Maobama?

I mean the 2 big gov’t Progressives are pretty close on big gov’t solutions such as mandates and carbon caps.

Enough of the charade. Just support the real thing and get it over with!

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

LOL Obama’s approval average is at 47%. Poor Mittens, looks like his dream of being called Mr. President will never be fulfilled. Too bad, so sad.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

That’s great. But I don’t know you, just like I don’t know Romney.

Before I would vote for either of you, I require FAR MORE than simply your word that you’ve changed- especially when the change came at the exact time it became more advantageous for you to espouse more conservative “beliefs”.

makattak on January 3, 2012 at 2:58 PM

None of us know each other vis a vis Internet musings. I am a conservative, but nothing I might say will ever be enough for someone who can so easily transfer their incredulity for a Presidential candidate onto a fellow HA commenter. I echo the sentiments of WolvenOne– It’s disgusting and puerile how the antipathy for Mittens is assigned to anyone else who dares not to trash him.

Slainte on January 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Those laws already exist – are you for creating doubled federal bureaucracies – otherwise known as fraud and waste?

batterup on January 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Those laws aren’t effective. Why are you against eliminating fraud and waste?

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Straw man. Go back and reread the context of MY remarks and then if you want a rational discussion, come on back with a comment in context.

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Mitt Romney is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. He’s also short tempered and can’t take the pressure.

mike_NC9 on January 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Well said.

This wimp Mittens can’t handle Bret Baier and won’t even call Maobama a socialist.

I’m sure he’d stand up really well to the vile left!!

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Why don’t Mittens and all his supporters just support the real thing in Maobama?

I mean the 2 big gov’t Progressives are pretty close on big gov’t solutions such as mandates and carbon caps.

Enough of the charade. Just support the real thing and get it over with!

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

To them it’s not so much about what’s good for the country. It’s more of a team sport. They want their liberal to be in power rather than the other team’s liberal. CS couldn’t give a rat’s ass about America. He just wants his crony in there.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Did Levin give you his seal of approval?

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 3:14 PM

I’m still waiting to hear from CSDEVEN why we need 2000 pages, crafted in backrooms, to get rid of fraud from Medicare. Is this really the new Mittbot position? We need Obamacare to get rid of fraud? These guys get more pathetic daily.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Apparently he has fooled you, though. Wise up, guy and check out his posts. I am not sure a Moby is…but I think its what this guy is. He is not what he claims to be.

Jailbreak on January 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Dude. I’ve encountered leftist garbage on message boards for many years. If there’s one thing in common, is that they’re cowards. They in no way, have what it takes to just express what they’re FOR. Just as pu$$y4life is all about.

Yes, he’s a leftist piece of garbage, no doubt quite proud of himself. He’s here as a troll, just to fan the flames of us being pretty much anti-Romney. That’s all he is here to do. That’s how he gets his jollies in life. He wouldn’t be the first leftist with that particular mental condition, either.

Why he’s still here is unknown to me, as pure trolls get the boot pretty quickly.

MNHawk on January 3, 2012 at 3:19 PM

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:07 PM

True. Ideological changes do frequently happen in our thirties and forties. Still, it isn’t impossible to develop and grow experientially at any age. Whether or not in earnest, Mittens indicated that his experiences as Gov helped to deepen his conservative convictions. On this, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Slainte on January 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Mitt got his clock cleaned by McCain for pete’s sake. Nominating Romney would be insane. Don’t do it Iowa, Go with Newt!

mike_NC9 on January 3, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Actually he got his, “clocked cleaned,” by Huckabee, who played the Mormon Card in Iowa to galvanize the evangelical vote. Huckabee however was not acceptable to either the establishment or small government conservatives, so McCain got the nomination largely by benefit of being the last man standing.

The situation is markedly different this time around however. The evangelical vote is split, and the Mormon Card cannot be played without hurting a candidate nationally. (See: The Anti-Mormon Comment made by a paster at a Rick Perry event.)

Not that Romney is an unassailable titan without weaknesses, but your assessment doesn’t exactly mesh with reality either.

WolvenOne on January 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Or how about funding for abortions and planned parenthood IN ROMNEYCARE!!!

Mittbots, you agree with funding for abortions and planned parenthood???

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM

@ WolvenOne

LOL! Newt can’t even get on the ballot in his home state and you expect him to carry the nation?!?

MoreTeaPlease on January 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM

To them it’s not so much about what’s good for the country. It’s more of a team sport. They want their liberal to be in power rather than the other team’s liberal. CS couldn’t give a rat’s ass about America. He just wants his crony in there.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Bingo!!

And that’s exactly why I find every one of these Mittbots DISGUSTING!!

They could care less about this country, as long as their guy is in power!

Thanks for nothing!!

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Mark Levin said,

Let’s face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president.

Gunlock Bill on January 3, 2012 at 3:28 PM

True. Ideological changes do frequently happen in our thirties and forties. Still, it isn’t impossible to develop and grow experientially at any age. Whether or not in earnest, Mittens indicated that his experiences as Gov helped to deepen his conservative convictions. On this, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Slainte on January 3, 2012 at 3:20 PM

So he governed to the left of Obama as governor 2003-2006 and that woke him up to the greatness of conservatism in 2007, just in time to run for president? A little too convenient donthca think?

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Gunlock Bill on January 3, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Shorter version

McCain is a shit sandwich. Romney is a shit sandwich with mayonnaise. You’re still eating shit dude.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM

@ WolvenOne

LOL! Newt can’t even get on the ballot in his home state and you expect him to carry the nation?!?

MoreTeaPlease on January 3, 2012 at 3:25 PM

How’d you get the idea I was supporting Gingrich?

I’ve never thought for a moment that Gingrich could carry the nation. He’s not my nominee of choice, amongst other things he’s too far to the left for my taste. That’s ignoring of course his ego, his petulant attitude, and his recent rampant whining.

… seriously, what did I say to give you the impression that I was supporting Newt!? O_o;

WolvenOne on January 3, 2012 at 3:39 PM

Shorter version

McCain is a shit sandwich. Romney is a shit sandwich with mayonnaise. You’re still eating shit dude.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM

well, since you’re full of it most of the time, eating more of said matter can’t be that bad, can it? lol :-)

jimver on January 3, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I know that Levinfan does not pay attention to anyone who disagrees with him; but I will give him a clue anyway.

You will never have credibility on a forum of educated, thinking people if your idea of discussion is to incessantly repeat hackneyed, and false, cliches. Nor does it help your position to keep referring to a Presidential candidate by childish names; i.e. “Mittens”. The man has a name, he deserves to have his name respected, even by those who hide behind anonymity.

You and others here have made it clear that you really know nothing of Romney’s record. It is obvious that you were too lazy to click on the link I provided earlier to John Hinderaker, who wrote an article which actually summarizes many facets of Romney’s tenure as Governor of a very liberal state.

So, to sum up my point. Grow up or shut up!

Oldflyer on January 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM

I always thought Levin was an okay guy, but if this LevinFan is accurate, I don’t think I will ever take the time to listen to Levin ever again.

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 2:41 PM

..Levin is not so bad. Although, regrettably, his histrionics have fallen just short of my relegating him to the same category as that terminally annoying Michael Savage.

It’s all theater and done to garner ratings.

Commenting here on HA is not and one should expect a little civility given that we all essentially have a common opponent and fundamentally believe in most of the same principles.

Sadly, WolvenOne was correct in opining:

No, you know absolutely nothing about me, but are fully prepared to descend into pathetic immature name calling over a small difference of opinion on an internet comment board.

It is perfectly o.k. to differ in ideas and opinions. It is great to engage in debate. But sometimes, I grow weary of those who are intractable and obdurate — and, especially, shrill. Attempting discourse with them is a waste of time.

The War Planner on January 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Short version.

Romney is the most conservative of the viable candidates.

Gunlock Bill on January 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

So, to sum up my point. Grow up or shut up!

Oldflyer on January 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM

..extremely well put. But, er, could I retain my right of referring to Obama as The Pantload or The Chicago Jesus, etc.?

Otherwise, it just would not be the same.

The War Planner on January 3, 2012 at 3:49 PM

None of us know each other vis a vis Internet musings. I am a conservative, but nothing I might say will ever be enough for someone who can so easily transfer their incredulity for a Presidential candidate onto a fellow HA commenter. I echo the sentiments of WolvenOne– It’s disgusting and puerile how the antipathy for Mittens is assigned to anyone else who dares not to trash him.

Slainte on January 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

What!??

I used you as an example, not in spite.

I’m not transferring incredulity to you. I believe what you said. What I’m explaining is that I wouldn’t vote for you (or anyone else!!) on your word alone, just as I am unwilling to vote for Mr. Romney on his word alone.

makattak on January 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Romney is the most convenient conservative of the viable candidates.

Gunlock Bill on January 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Sorry, that needed fixing.

mike_NC9 on January 3, 2012 at 3:57 PM

Nor does it help your position to keep referring to a Presidential candidate by childish names; i.e. “Mittens”. The man has a name, he deserves to have his name respected, even by those who hide behind anonymity.

Oldflyer on January 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM

So Mitty-pooh cries like a little girl if someone calls him a name yet he is Mr. Tough Guy who will take on Harry Reid? BWA HA HA. OK that is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. Thanks.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 4:14 PM

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:14 PM

When you ask questions in the context of my comment then you’ll get a response. But unfortunately for you, you are committed to straw man discussion and therefore will not receive the credibility that a response from me would give you.

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Let’s face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president.
Gunlock Bill on January 3, 2012 at 3:28 PM

What’s your point Mittbot??

Even in hindsight I would still pick Mittens over McCain and Huckleberry ….. and I HATE Mittens!

Politics is about picking the lesser of two evils. We need the most conservative candidate and Mittens has never been a conservative!

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Shorter version

McCain is a shit sandwich. Romney is a shit sandwich with mayonnaise. You’re still eating shit dude.

angryed on January 3, 2012 at 3:34 PM

South Park nailed this one.

Their high school election was between a Douche and a Turd sandwich!

That would be Mittens vs Maobama.

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 4:18 PM

It’s all theater and done to garner ratings.

The War Planner on January 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

That is what I was gleaning from that Levin fan dude. Levin has changed his position since 2008 and it appears that it is solely to keep his audience in a permanent state of agitation. Which in turn keeps them listening. Thanks for confirming.

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 4:20 PM

I know that Levinfan does not pay attention to anyone who disagrees with him; but I will give him a clue anyway.

You will never have credibility on a forum of educated, thinking people if your idea of discussion is to incessantly repeat hackneyed, and false, cliches. Nor does it help your position to keep referring to a Presidential candidate by childish names; i.e. “Mittens”. The man has a name, he deserves to have his name respected, even by those who hide behind anonymity.

You and others here have made it clear that you really know nothing of Romney’s record. It is obvious that you were too lazy to click on the link I provided earlier to John Hinderaker, who wrote an article which actually summarizes many facets of Romney’s tenure as Governor of a very liberal state.

So, to sum up my point. Grow up or shut up!

Oldflyer on January 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Why don’t you try to make me shut up?

Talking to Mittbots is like talking to a wall.

How do you defend:

1. Romneycare with it’s funding for abortions and planned parenthood.

2. Waffling on global warming

3. Having John Holdren as an advisor for carbon caps in MA.

4. supporting Ethanol subsidies

5. Appointing liberal judges in MA.

6. MA being 49th in job creation under him.

7. Raising numerous fees as MA governor.

8. Refusing to call Maobama a socialist.

9. Not being able to handle a Bret Baier interview.

10. Being non existent on the issues of the day over the last 3 years.

11. Saying the era of Reagan was over while running against Ted Kennedy.

Apologies for anything I left off.

Seriously, this wimp is the best we can do???

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Romney is a whackadoodle liberal running as a Republican, just like Bloomberg.

tom daschle concerned on January 3, 2012 at 4:24 PM

csdeven you’re acting like a liberal by lying about Levin.

He NEVER changed his position. He endorsed and wanted Fred Thompson. When the only ones left were Mittens and McCain, he chose Mittens.

He would still do so til this day and so would I and most good conservatives.

You’re distorting the truth like the liberal you are.

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Gunlock Bill on January 3, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Complete BS.

The only way to lose is to nominate a moderate.

And I’d take Newt everyday and twice on Sunday over Mittens.

At least he’s done some conservative things and will actually challenge Maobama and RuPaul..

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 4:27 PM

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 4:25 PM

It’s clear by confirming with others what you are. But I wont tell Levin as I don’t want him to call you out on his radio show. But, I am forgiving…..when you’re ready to be rational, I’ll consider what you have to say.

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 4:32 PM

Why don’t you try to make me shut up?

Seriously, this wimp is the best we can do???

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 4:23 PM

..Jeeeez-us! You are getting both exceedingly annoying and shrill.

The War Planner on January 3, 2012 at 4:38 PM

So, to sum up my point. Grow up or shut up!

Oldflyer on January 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Read that at Power Line when it was posted. How does that change the metric that he is a conservative managerial progressive. Yes he managed an administrative state better than those before and after. But that is all that he did. We don’t just need the administrative state (federal government) managed well we also need it cut quite significantly. What is in his record to indicate he will do that?

chemman on January 3, 2012 at 4:47 PM

e War Planner on January 3, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Glad I annoyed you. I really could care less what you think.

Thanks to you and your ilk we may get another big gov’t liberal as our nominee.

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Glad I annoyed you. I really could care less what you think.

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 5:07 PM

So you admit you’re a troll then. Well, just so long as you’re honest about it I guess.

WolvenOne on January 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

What Levin said in 2008 was correct then, and is still correct.

Romney is the most conservative of the viable candidates.

Gunlock Bill on January 3, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Chemman, your interpretation of Hinderaker’s report is just not accurate.
Just to touch on one point; as Governor of a liberal state, with a Democrat legislature, Romney vetoed 800 bills over the four years. That is not the action of a “conservative managerial progressive”. Whatever that is supposed to mean. I presume you made up that meaningless (and contradictory by the way) term because it sounds intellectual if you don’t think about it.

By the way, one important aspect of electing an Executive is to manage the government. Effective management of the government would go a long way toward solving our problems. If your goal is to dismantle the government, then go ahead and vote for Ron Paul or someone of that ilk. Beyond that we need someone who has a positive view of the U.S. role in history, an understanding of the issues of the day, and the strength of character to make difficult decisions. No one ever discusses Romney’s fitness with regards to those requirements. It is just “Romenycare, Romneycare Romneycare”. After awhile the anti-Romeny crowd sounds like a chorus of puppets.

Oldflyer on January 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

M.omney Theme Song

REPO MEN

maverick muse on January 3, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Prior to Palin pulling her own plug, Levin denounced Mitt Romney’s potus run on the grounds that Romney’s a corporatist (Levin’s criticism).

maverick muse on January 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM

My bad WolvenOne. That was ment for Mike NC9. I apologize.

MoreTeaPlease on January 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Like him or not, Mitt is probably our best hope – the best we can get at this time. Which may be “good enough.” At least, it is more likely we can bully him into doing the right thing than is the case with Obama. That’s what Frank J said.

FogDog on January 3, 2012 at 5:58 PM

My bad WolvenOne. That was ment for Mike NC9. I apologize.

MoreTeaPlease on January 3, 2012 at 5:57 PM

It’s fine, it was an honest mistake. :)

WolvenOne on January 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I think Mitt Romney is like the grass and twigs that get embedded in a big pile of dog sh!t when you accidentally step in it at the park, but if he’s the nominee I’ll vote for him because he’s FAR preferable to Obama.

Spirit Crusher on January 3, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Bachmann and Santorum. The two best conservatives in the race.

Neither is electable. Besides, Santorum’s only a social conservative. His fiscal policies are not conservative.

writeblock on January 3, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Can Gov. Romney tell us who he would elevate to SCOTUS given the opportunity? Cindy Munford on January 3, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Not at this time. Because, unlike Newt, Mitt does nor pander. He’s not going to throw out a name just to reassure the non astute base, which doesn’t understand process. Romney won’t name someone until he’s had that person vetted and he knows that the person will accept an appointment.

As has been posted on this site numerous times, Robert Bork is one of Romney’s key Judicial advisers. Why is that not good enough for you?

Basilsbest on January 3, 2012 at 6:34 PM

WolvenOne on January 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I’m a conservative who’s sick of Progressive Liberal Repubicans.

Mittens would be a terrible president and just continue alot of the same gov’t can solve everything BS.

You on the other hand are clearly no conservative.

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Romney is articulate, intelligent, organized, has good business and executive experience, has no personal baggage, has very high favorables, is center-right ideologically (where most Americans are), polls strongly in the key central swing states, polls ahead of Obama with women, and is 6 pts. ahead of Obama in national Gallup Poll match-ups. Sounds good to me. He’s not perfect, but neither is anybody else who’s running.

writeblock on January 3, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Romney is articulate, intelligent, organized, has good business and executive experience, has no personal baggage, has very high favorables, is center-right ideologically (where most Americans are), polls strongly in the key central swing states, polls ahead of Obama with women, and is 6 pts. ahead of Obama in national Gallup Poll match-ups. Sounds good to me. He’s not perfect, but neither is anybody else who’s running.

writeblock on January 3, 2012 at 6:43 P

Romney is a moderate. A progressive who isn’t a Republican partisan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dMcjJEXt9To#!

ZGMF_Freedom on January 3, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I’m a conservative who’s sick of Progressive Liberal Repubicans.

Mittens would be a terrible president and just continue alot of the same gov’t can solve everything BS.

You on the other hand are clearly no conservative.

LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 6:38 PM

And once again you demonstrate that you know nothing about me, know none of my positions, none of my views on the proper role of government, but you are willing to openly insult me simply for having a different opinion on who is the most qualified candidate.

Real mature there fella.

As for whether or not I’m a conservative. I was speaking out against runaway government spending before the tea party was even around. I have numerous friends who are capital-L libertarians, and we agree on a ton of stuff, and we respect each other where we don’t agree because we recognize these are ultimately small differences in opinion. I’ve been politically active since before I could vote, have followed the decline of American liberty in dismay for over a decade, and regularly drag friends, family, and neighbors to the polls every election in hopes that I might make some small difference in things.

You wouldn’t know any of this, you never bothered to ask, you never bothered to get any idea what I think about anything. No, you were too busy calling me disgusting. At the very first sign that I had an opinion that differed from your own, you devolved into petulant, immature, uncreative name calling.

So guess what.

I don’t care if you’re tired of moderates. I don’t care what you think at all. I tried to engage you in some semblance of civil discourse and you threw that right back in my face.

So I’m done with you, finito, finished. I don’t care what you have to say, so just buzz off, you freaking troll.

WolvenOne on January 3, 2012 at 7:40 PM

He even said in 2010 “let’s repeal the bad parts and keep the good parts”!
LevinFan on January 3, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Why are you for fraud and waste in healthcare costs? csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Obamacare is 2000 pages. Newt said he liked stuff on 300 pages. Unlike LevinFanboy and angryed, who’ve never read the bill, Gingrich and Romney know that not everything on those 2000 pages is bad.

The GOP electorate is composed of those simple minded people who live in a black and white world, and the rest of us who live in the real world.

Basilsbest on January 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM

They never rejected a single one of his appointments. In the debate he made it sound like there was no way for him to get a conservative through the process, but the fact is he has never tried. If we are stuck with a Democrat majority senate this is the track record we have to look at – never tried. batterup on January 3, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Don’t let the fact Romney was dealing with legislatures which were 85% Democrat interfere with your little fantasy.

Basilsbest on January 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Romney could be Mr. “Good Enough”.

or

He could be Mr. “It’s Come to This”

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 3, 2012 at 9:50 PM

csdeven on January 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

The Logical Fallacy argument you keep presenting is meant to shut down discussion much like “when did you stop beating your wife?”

Obamacare doesn’t do anything more to control fraud and abuses than existing laws, but you wouldn’t know that you’ve never read the bill. Obamacare is not about controlling fraud it is about controlling your life. You can’t fix a law – you say is not “working” by instituting a total life control bill. It’s absurd on it’s face.

Don’t let the fact Romney was dealing with legislatures which were 85% Democrat interfere with your little fantasy.

Basilsbest on January 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM

So what, the Legislature can be 100% Dem, the Governor appoints the Judicial nominee and then it goes to the Governors council which NEVER rejected a single appointment. What do you think the legislature in Mass has to do with judicial appointments? Romney wasn’t even running for a second term so he wasn’t protecting his chances to be a two term Governor. Why did Romney appoint Kathe Tuttman? Who is a real nightmare not a fantasy.

batterup on January 3, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Don’t let the fact Romney was dealing with legislatures which were 85% Democrat interfere with your little fantasy.

Basilsbest on January 3, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Yeah You’re right Romney can’t deal with a legislature that is majority Democrat – Romney didn’t veto the first ever in the nation regulation of CO2, he signed it. This shut down power plants and made it so Mass had to outsource almost 20% of their power.

And to your point if Romney is President he might have to “deal with” a majority Democrat Senate in SCOTUS appointments – so historically we have a 25% chance he will nominate a conservative judge and a 75% chance he will nominate at best a David Souter or at worst another Kathe Tuttman

batterup on January 3, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Romney is a moderate. A progressive who isn’t a Republican partisan.

Your thinking is muddled. A moderate is not the same as a progressive. Would you call Santorum a progressive? Yet he’s a fiscal moderate. Newt is a moderate on some issues as well–certainly given his involvement in the whole Fannie and Freddie fiasco and on global warming and on gun control and given his history of crony capitalism. Perry is a moderate on some social issues such as illegal immigration. He’s another crony capitalist as well. Red staters give Santorum a pass because he’s a social conservative. They ignore his legislative history as a big government fiscal moderate. Newt and Perry are native sons of the South–so they too get a pass as moderates. Only Romney as a blue stater has been taken to task–just as Rudy was, just as Christie is.

writeblock on January 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM

What we want is, ideally, a strong conservative congress with a moderately viewed president. The truth is that we will never see a situation like 2008 happen for us. The left’s domination of the media and entertainment culture makes that outcome extremely difficult. The Democrats have been playing a long game, with big moves while they control the reins, followed by insurgent obstructionism when they are out of power. Its been effective at getting the country headed in their direction, while also deflecting blame for the damage their policies are clearly creating.

The Republicans need to respond with a big win over Obama in 2012. Large margin of victory, similar to the Reagan wins. It has to be large enough to send the Democrats in Congress to the negotiating table and scare some of them away from their usual insurgencies. Since the president is largely the target of any administration criticism, having a moderate in place gives the Republicans a broader shield to operate behind too. They have some critical items to reform in order to straighten out the country. It isn’t going to be easy to get any of this done if the administration is viewed as partisan.

IMO right now Romney is the best bet to achieve all of our goals for the presidential race. We should be pushing to grab as many Congressional seats too.. and get some good conservatives in place there.

tflst5 on January 4, 2012 at 9:38 AM

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