In This Corner…Mitt Romney

2012 Contender Series: Willard Mitt Romney

or … Dreams from My Father

MittRomney.com is live!

On Monday, April 11, 2011, “Mitt” Romney announced the formation of an exploratory committee to help him pursue the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

I have a theory that all modern politics can trace its direct lineage to the 1968 Presidential election.

George Romney, American Motors President, 1959

In 1967, Michigan Governor George Romney announced his intention to run for the Republican nomination for President. George Romney had a past that would seem to both qualify him, and disqualify him, to be President. He was born in 1907 in Mexico, so if he had been the successful candidate, it’s almost certain that questions regarding his eligibility — with or without a Certificate of Live Birth — would have arisen. His family were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (“Mormon”). The Fourth Prophet of the Church, Wilford Woodruff, proclaimed that the church was opposed to polygamy in 1890. Five years later, Utah became a state, its path to statehood having been cleared by Woodruff’s prophecy. Many faithful LDS adherents disagreed with this, and fled to Mexico, Canada, Brazil and other countries where polygamy was not necessarily legal, but at least, overlooked.

In 1910, when the Mexican Revolution threatened the Romney family, they moved from Mexico to Idaho and then to Utah. George Romney graduated from the University of Utah and moved his family to Michigan. Mitt Romney was born in Michigan on March 12, 1947.

Mitt Romney, George Romney, and Lenore Romney announce the senior Romney's candidacy for Michigan governor, February, 1962. Source: sparklepony.blogspot.com

George Romney rose rapidly in the ranks of industrialists, becoming chairman and CEO of American Motors in 1954, shortly after its formation as a merger of the Nash and Hudson nameplates. (AMC struggled throughout its 30 year existence, and eventually became the Jeep-Eagle Division of Chrysler in 1985.) He helmed AMC until 1962, when he fought for, and won, election as Governor of Michigan. Mitt was then 15.

Governor George Romney was a serious contender for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1968. Recall that the Republicans had suffered a crushing and humiliating defeat with Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater as their standard-bearer in 1964. The Republicans were in disarray and few looked strong enough to unseat incumbent President Lyndon Johnson. The nation was deeply divided by the Vietnam War. Then, in March 1968, President Johnson made a surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election. The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy later that year, and riots in most major American cities, further destabilized the political situation.

From George Romney’s 1968 campaign announcement:

Our magnificent economy, which offers an impoverished and hungry world the only model that can head off greater deprivation and unprecedented famine, is being systematically jammed by inflation.

The richest nation in the world is in a fiscal mess.

As we have drifted away from principle at home, we have undermined the foundation of our position in the world.  Once a beacon of hope for people everywhere, America is now widely regarded as belligerent and domineering.

We are mired in an Asian land war which sacrifices our young men and drains our resources, with no end in sight.  Time and again we have been taken toward the mountaintop of hope only to fall back into the crevices of sickening reality.  False optimism and lack of candor on the part of our leaders have confused our citizens and sapped their resolve.

Our foreign policy has no clear positive purpose.  NATO and the United Nations are in disarray, subversion threatens Latin America, and the have-not nations are losing ground.

This has a familiar ring — substitute “recession” for “inflation” and “the Islamic World” for “Latin America” in the above position paper. As I said, everything traces back to 1968.

Mitt Romney and Ann Davies as high school sweethearts, about 1965.

Mitt Romney met Ann Davies in a private prep school in Michigan, and she converted to the LDS Church in 1966. They were married in 1969. Ann Davies Romney suffers from multiple sclerosis which is mostly controlled by medical therapies and exercise. The couple’s five children were born between 1970 and 1981. Mitt Romney graduated from Brigham Young University in 1971. In 1975, he also earned an MBA and JD (cum laude) from Harvard.

After a career in finance and corporate governance, most notably at Bain Capital, he was asked to step in and fix the horrible financial and ethical mess that had been made of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. The 2002 Olympics were a tremendous success, even more so because they were the first major international event held in the United States following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and the abortive attack on the Capital which ended in a field in Shanksburg, Pennsylvania.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at the Massachusetts Highway Patrol graduation ceremony, 2005.

In November 2002, Mitt Romney was elected Governor of Massachusetts, continuing a strong tradition in that state of electing moderate Republicans to statewide offices (Sen. Edward Brooke, the first African-American Senator since Reconstruction and the first African-American elected to the Senate by popular vote; Gov. William Weld; Sen. Scott Brown).

As Governor, Romney spearheaded a massive health care reform package that has since been dubbed “Romneycare”. The Massachusetts health care reform, on which PPACA has been modeled, was passed and signed by Governor Romney in 2006. Only Massachusetts and Utah have a currently functioning insurance exchange as provided for in PPACA. While the Massachusetts plan differs from PPACA guidelines in key respects, it is likely that Massachusetts will be the first state to have its insurance exchange certified under the PPACA provisions. (That is, if PPACA survives the current legal challenges, which seems likely.) You can rest assured that if Romney is the front-runner or nominee, Massachusetts’ certification will be announced with great fanfare by the Obama Administration at a time calibrated to produce maximum discomfort for Gov. Romney.

Mitt and Ann Romney, photographed at a rakish yet dynamic angle for maximum visual effect.

In 2007, following in his father’s footsteps, Mitt Romney announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.

Romney’s 2008 candidacy was a strong one. He was an early front-runner, but often seemed “robotic” and ill-at-ease on the campaign trail. In one famous incident, a Boston Globe profile meant to cast him as a cool-headed leader who solved problems under pressure had the undesired effect of angering hundreds of thousands of dog lovers.  Time’s account of the 1983 family vacation incident:

The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier — with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it — to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus’s rather visceral protest.

Amid questions about Romney’s judgment and character, particularly centered around his LDS faith, John McCain eventually won the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination. In what was widely felt to be a knock on Romney, McCain passed over Romney as his vice-presidential running mate, selecting a then-unknown-Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.

Now it’s 2011, soon to be 2012, and Mitt Romney is running again. Generally regarded once again as the front-runner, he has racked up significant standings in April 2011 straw polls or opinion polls in the early caucus/primary states of Iowa (Huckabee 21%, Romney 14%), New Hampshire (Romney 27%, Trump 21%), Nevada (January: Romney 31%, Palin 18%, Gingrich 17%). He is profoundly weak in South Carolina, coming in a distant fourth to leader Mike Huckabee: Huckabee 23%, Gingrich 11%, Bachmann (!) 10%, Romney 8%. Note the absence of Tim Pawlenty from any front-runner position in these polls.

A February Public Policy Poll stacked the potential Republican nominees against President Obama. Relative to Obama, Gov. Huckabee scored the best at 47% Obama, 44% Huckabee (we’ll call this a –3). Romney was next at 46/41 for a –5. Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul were tied at –9, and Palin, Trump and Jeb Bush vs. President Obama produced a double-digit lead for the incumbent (–12 to –14).

One of our other contributors has noted that if you could roll Romney’s good looks and experience, Huckabee’s down-homeyness, Palin’s bravado, Gingrich’s cunning, and Rand Paul’s libertarianism into one candidate, you might have a chance of beating Obama.

Evangelicals may never warm to Mitt Romney. His LDS faith is still suspect to some. His support of Obamacare before it was Obamacare may well be used against him in the 2012 campaign no matter how much he tries to distance himself from that achievement. Still, given the shallow bench of contenders, he may well be the strongest candidate the Republicans have to run against President Obama.


About Monotreme

Monotreme is an unabashedly liberal dog lover, writer, and former scientist who now teaches at a University in an almost-square state out West somewhere. http://www.logarchism.com | http://www.sevendeadlysynapses.com
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63 Responses to In This Corner…Mitt Romney

  1. Kylopod says:

    >One of our other contributors has noted that if you could roll Romney’s good looks and experience, Huckabee’s down-homeyness, Palin’s bravado, Gingrich’s cunning, and Rand Paul’s libertarianism into one candidate, you might have a chance of beating Obama.

    I think that’s a common sort of feeling among the out-party when seeing an apparently weak field. Here is a quote from John Powers’ 2004 book Sore Winners (which I recommend):

    “I sometimes fantasized about the ideal Frankenstein candidate one could stitch together from the contenders. He would have the passion of Dean, the good looks and trial-lawyer eloquence of Edwards, the physical stature and gravitas of Kerry, the brains and record of Wesley Clark, and the left-wing dreams of Kucinich–topped off by the sharp wit, and incomparable hairdo, of Al Sharpton. But such daydreams all too easily turned into nightmares: I kept picturing Kerry’s yard-long face atop Dean’s ham of a neck, framed by Kucinich’s hairline and Wesley Clark’s sweaters, and talking about Tawana Brawley with all the moral smugness of Joe Lieberman. The scariest thing was, I thought even this second jerry-built Democrat would be a better president than George W. Bush. And I surely wouldn’t have been the only one.”

  2. filistro says:

    Hi kylopod, and welcome. Great post! 🙂

    I’ve always thought Mitt Romney could be elected president if he would cut that greasy, slicked-back, car-salesman hair and get a short, manly trim like George Clooney.

    But then I’m a very shallow person.

    In other news, from The Corner:

    Donald Trump is likely to run as a third-party candidate if he doesn’t win the GOP nomination.

    “I’m thinking about that. And that bothers me, because I’m very conservative,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview released last night, saying that if he ran as independent, he would probably take votes from the GOP candidate, unlike someone like New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who could win votes from Obama.

    “To be honest with you, I think it would be very, very bad for the Republican party,” Trump said, talking about how some polls showed him getting as much as 29 percent of votes if he ran as Independent. “I’m sort of convinced that I could win as an Independent.”

    “I hate what’s happening with the country. We’re not respected by anybody. Our leadership is not respected,” said Trump on his reasons for considering a presidential run.

    I wonder how thrilled the GOP will be with Donald’s birther nonsense when he’s out there sucking the whole crazy vote away from their already weak candidate.

  3. filistro says:

    kylopod’s avatar reminds me of my favorite cartoon of all time. It’s by Gary Larson, and shows a dog on a high wire above a circus crowd. He’s balanced on a unicycle, juggling several balls in the air. The caption reads: “High above the hushed crowd, Rex tried to remain focused. Still, he couldn’t shake one nagging thought: He was an old dog, and this was a new trick.”

    That’s actually the way I often feel about my participation in this blog 😉

  4. Monotreme says:

    Welcome, kylopod. Reading your blog, I’m thinking we may already have moved into the Max Headroom world.

  5. Mainer says:

    kylopod I had seen that quote and had no idea where it came from but my sons and I have had way too much fun with it designing our own candidates. Thanks for the source.

    Fili, if I find this whole Trump thing fascinating. The Republican gamers are now in it with some one that does know how to play all sorts of games. If there is not a camera crew following the Donald 24/7 already there soon will be for I smell a new reality show. You know some kind of a mix between Lets make a deal, the art of the Deal and Beverly Hillbillies mixed with Green Acres.

    If the Donald is developing a following on the far SoCon teaper right then I double down on an earlier posted opinion…….The Republican Party is doomed. Mitt has to be seething, how the hell do you get any traction when the carnival is in town and the Midway Barkers are sucking all the oxygen out of the political air as well as the money.

  6. Monotreme says:

    The Gary Larson cartoon that best describes me on this blog is the snake handler who, after 30 years, has a cumulative attack of the willies.

  7. filistro says:

    Mainer… you think Donald isn’t thrilled? At this stage in his life, he’s suddenly discovered.. “Hey, I just have to go around saying crazy things, and thousands of crazy people will send me money!

    The sideshow happens to any political party at the point in its downward spiral when it becomes fundamentally unserious. Nature abhors a vacuum, so in the absence of sound policy and sensible aspirations, craziness flows in to fill up the empty spaces.

    You’re right about poor Mitt. He’s defeated by the old “get off my lawn!” guy, passed over for VP in favor of Sarah Palin, and eclipsed on his announcement day by Donald Trump. Makes you wonder why he even stays in this party.

  8. filistro says:

    I didn’t realize Mitt chose to announce on the 5th anniversary of the signing of Mittcare in MA.

    Pre-emptive strike… or disastrous oversight?

    Dems all over the country are throwing birthday celebrations, cake and all, to honor the occasion.

    Calling him the “founding father of health-care reform,” the group is urging supporters to send Romney a thank-you tweet, with a link that automatically sends a message to his Twitter feed that reads: “Thanks @mittromney, founding father of health care reform, on its 5th bday! B/c of you, nat’l health care reform is a reality!”

    Ouch.

  9. WA7th says:

    To respond to a comment from yesterday, I think it’s still premature to predict the permanent implosion of the Republican Party any time soon. This round it simply promises to be a field of weak candidates for the secod time in a row. For that party to die, they would have to fall apart at the level of individual states, to the point where they couldn’t field a candidate for a national election at all. I don’t see that happeneing until another viable party is poised to take its place, which I doubt would be the Tea Party, and not in the next four years.

  10. Brian says:

    2 things,

    1, trailing by -3 points means you’re leading by 3. Double negatives and such.

    2, the Freepers, whom I have also taken an interest in, absolutely despise Romney. They would rather go 3rd party or just sit home if he’s nominated. I really have no idea what % of the Republican party they represent, but they’re vocal enough to give him an awful lot of trouble. This is going to be one of the more interesting primaries I’ve seen in my short life.

  11. Kylopod says:

    I chose my avatar because I’m a juggler. I found it by putting the word “juggler” into Google Images.

    A lot of the craziness going on in the GOP right now makes me question the typical poli-sci theories about how elections are determined by fundamentals, not by candidates. I just can’t see this doing anything but turning off huge swaths of voters, even if Obama is in bad shape by 2012.

    As I like to say, if one of the crazies gets nominated, and the economy goes south, it might lead to the political equivalent of the irresistible force versus the immovable object: the doomed incumbent versus the unelectable challenger.

    On the other hand, if Romney gets nominated (as I suspect will happen), the craziness of the other candidates might have the effect of making him seem more reasonable than is warranted. Despite all his rightward flipping, he is the only mainstream candidate who has so far completely avoided birther territory. (Next in line is T-Paw, who cracked a birther joke at CPAC but distanced himself from birtherism on Fox.) There’s a possibility that “moderate” will come to be a synonym for “non-birther” in this election, and that will naturally help the Republicans.

    As for Trump, part of me still wonders if this is all some kind of demented Sacha Baron Cohen act.

  12. rgbact says:

    Pretty intriguing how the media spins the “weak GOP field”. It almost as if it straight off White House talking points. I guess if you measure a candidate by celebrity status–that may be so. Presumably, a well known wife of a former president and a hip junior senator neither with executive experience–is far stronger than any of the boring old governors that the GOP has to offer. Hello media—-the GOP is the “outside DC” party—-the fact the noone running is a DC celebrity doesn’t make them weak.

    At this point, I think there’s a fair chance of a GOP landslide in 2012. Either Obama barely skates by or things stay bad and its a Carter type blowout for the GOP.

  13. shortchain says:

    The Republican Party won’t implode, or disappear. It will be re-branded. We’ve seen this happening already. The party will lose mass, like a red giant in a binary system with a white dwarf (that would be the metaphorical tea party), but at some point the white dwarf will gain enough Hydrogen to go nova (type Ia), and blow. The surrounding area will be fried, and then the system will stabilize again, with the red giant stable, a little smaller, and the white dwarf circling it in obscurity again.

    Modify this by having material get added on a regular basis, and you have a decent, first-order model of the political system on the right.

    This is the natural consequence of a party that has adopted the strategy of pandering to the divisive forces in society.

    My Gary Larson cartoon is the one with the guy pushing a wheelbarrow in Hell, whistling, as one of the devils on the side says to the other, “you know, we’re just not reaching that guy.”

  14. filistro says:

    Excellent analysis, shortchain. I just wish the process weren’t so slow. I’m anxiously awaiting the emergence of the new, serious conservative party, because it’s essential for the country and the world. The thrashing comi-tragic death throes of this iteration are terribly destructive.

    Over my coffee I’ve just been pondering what killed the GOP, and i think you’re rigth when you say: This is the natural consequence of a party that has adopted the strategy of pandering to the divisive forces in society.

    The Republicans are now wholly defined by all the people they dislike… minorities, immigrants, gay people, poor people, poor women who get pregnant, people who aren’t “Christian”, people who look or talk different… and you simply can’t survive on non-stop negativity. Positivity and caring are what supply forward momentum. Without that impetus, eventually you just wobble to a stop and spiral down into the ground.

  15. rgbact says:

    I suspect Romneycare could actually be a big plus for Mitt. He can say “I passed a plan for my state so its doable. Therefore, I plan to repeal PPACA and let states follow Mass.’s lead”

    Romney’s big hurdle is obviously the primary. Anyone not from the South is always in danger of being outflanked in state’s like SC. I am beginning to think the GOP establishment has decided to have him win though. GOP nominations seem to follow more of a “establishment backed” approach.

  16. filistro says:

    rgb… the “weakness” of a political field is determined not by competence, qualifications, etc, but entirely by the enthusiasm of the electorate. If nobody is excited about any of the candidates, it’s a weak field no matter who those candidates may be.

    For any candidate to get the electorate fired up, s/he has to have a vision and a plan to get there. Just hating Obama’s guts, questioning his legitimacy and telling people you could do better is not enough. It will never be enough.

  17. filistro says:

    rgb… Anyone not from the South is always in danger of being outflanked in state’s like SC.

    Oh, so true.

    (When I first read that sentence, I thought it read “outflaked”… which made me chuckle.. :-))

  18. rgbact says:

    Fili-

    Was anyone excited by John Kerry? Or Al Gore? Or Bush 41? Or Nixon? Early primary excitement usually comes from nameID/saying crazy stuff–see Trump. Its not exactly a sign of one’s electability.

    Anyway, GOP nominations aren’t about excitement typically. Whats the saying about “Democrats fall in love, Republican…..don’t”.

  19. Kylopod says:

    >Anyway, GOP nominations aren’t about excitement typically. Whats the saying about “Democrats fall in love, Republican…..don’t”.

    That’s true. The Repubs can never bring themselves to cheat on Saint Ronnie, in His all-knowing wisdom, and love another.

  20. shortchain says:

    rgbact,

    When you say “Republicans don’t fall in love” — ever hear of Sarah Palin?

    The problem the Republicans have is that there are so darned few of them in positions of power that are not either bloated, hypocritical, and three-times divorced gas-bags, or shriveled, intellectually dishonest, and cold-as-a-dead fish empty suits, or young, telegenic, and borderline insane wackos.

    “Hard to love” about covers it for the reason Republicans have trouble that way.

  21. rgbact says:

    SC-

    My point is “excitement” is usually a product of knowing very little about someone and projecting your hopes onto them (see Obama/Palin). Just because that was a path for Obama’s victory—doesn’t mean its one that is standard for presidential races. Frankly, I hope we get candidates with less “excitement” and more “competence”.

  22. Mainer says:

    rgb, most of what I would have said already has been said but don’t lament the media for the weak field memo. Listen to Republicans. You have some folks that could run and maybe well but they already see the trap and are avoiding it, think Christy or Daniels. I’m not sure they could get elected but they could maybe make it a race before things catch up to them. I think Romney could make a race out of it but if he can even get the nomination he will have been pushed so far to the right as to be unelectable but he is at least a competent individual, that I don’t much care for him does not change that. Boss Hog in Mississippi? Oh there is a non DC insider……not!!! Newt the toot? Another hard one to sell as non DC. Palin, Bachmann, yeah right it that is going no where and you and I both know it.

    So it would appear that other than maybe Mitt you are locked into the bottom of the order. You can not get elected president in this country and appeal to just 1/3 or less of the electorate. I’m not sure the nation could survive it if it were to happen, hell we are seeing in my own state what having a 38% gov is good for and it already isn’t pretty for any one but the well to do.

    Rgb please undestand that no one thinking that the Republican party is heading down likes the prospect for I certainly do not but I know damned well I am watching it happen which is hard for some one born and raised a Republican to view. There is no joy in watching the ugly side of our society try to turn the nations back on every progressive things that has happened in this country for my entire life time for the benefit of the few. I wore a uniform of this nation for over 32 years of my life and answered to both Republican and Democratic CIC’s. I was proud to serve under Bush the senior and to even have provided security for him and his wonderful wife I was much less so for his son but of course did it. I have a hard time thinking of a current Republican wanna be that I has some one that have worn the uniform could feel comfortable with as CIC other than maybe Mitt and I’m still not sure the teaper world has any intention of him getting it, no I don’t think the Republican establishment is in charge of this, not any more. You unfortunately have a weak line up that is getting weaker and you may not have noticed but the pitches are not even being made to what passes for your serious candidates. Most of the pitches are now going to the mascots, the beer salesman and the cheeleaders while the actual candidates are left standing at the plate wondering when they will get a swing at the ball.

  23. filistro says:

    rgb… your problem is that you are a smart, sane, sensible conservative, mainly concerned with fiscal issues. I don’t think you even realize the depth of craziness out there on the extremes of your own party… at least not in the same way as those of us who study that extreme.

    Brian mentioned how much the Freepers loathe Mitt Romney. He certainly wasn’t overstating the issue. It’s easy to dismiss the Freepers and the birthers as “fringe”… but they are the ones who vote in primaries.

    I’d like to be proven wrong, I really would (it might restore some sanity to the political process) but I don’t think Mitt Romney can win a GOP primary. He has a triple albatross around his neck… Mittcare, Mormonism and flip flops on abortion and gay rights. Any one of those could be a deal breaker, but this is a trifecta.

    Add to that the winger’s still-simmering anger over the “establishment’s” anointing of John McCain, and the success of the Teapers’ effort to convince them the key to winning is to go even harder right.

    This is the portion of the party that nominated Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle, thus taking almost-certain Senate wins off the table .. and are still GLAD they did it, because (as they constantly assure each other) “killing RINO’s is more important than winning elections.” Is that group really going to nominate Mitt Romney?

    I don’t think so.

  24. Mainer says:

    Fili RINO season is in full swing. They are already setting up the blinds and setting out the decoys up here to get rid of Snowe. They quite likely take her out of the R column but put her in the I column or she says screw it and you get some one else in the D column………..hard to understand some of this but you don’t go tilting at political wind mills that can continue to turn and beat you senseless with the next blade coming round.

  25. filistro says:

    Mainer… you’d think those RINO hunters would take an object lesson from LePage and back off a bit.

    But who knows? There are probably people up there who are crazy enough to LIKE your insane governor.

    It’s a mad mad mad mad world.

  26. Mule Rider says:

    “This is the natural consequence of a party that has adopted the strategy of pandering to the divisive forces in society.”

    And it boggles my mind every day that you and so many others can’t see the Democrats’ similar strategy of pandering to the divisive forces in society….the fact that it’s to different groups doesn’t make it any less pandering or any less divisive, but I guess pure blind partisanship helps cover that up….

  27. Mule Rider says:

    “Frankly, I hope we get candidates with less “excitement” and more “competence”.”

    Very well put….agree 100%.

  28. rgbact says:

    Fili

    If we ever debate social issues–you’ll probably find me as batshit as most of the people you decry. I agree that the primaries are a tough sled for Romney. Course, once he wins them—the GOP will quickly rally around him. Romney is nowhere near as hated as McCain was by “Freepers” and he still won and I’m sure they all supported him in the general. Once in the general—Romney’s South weakness becomes his strength, as he’s sure to win all those states and challenge strongly in northern states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.

    For every Sharron Angle there was a Marco Rubio—so purging RINO’s was indeed a huge success. The talent pool just isn’t as deep in teeny states unfortunately.

  29. filistro says:

    @rgb… Romney is nowhere near as hated as McCain was by “Freepers”

    Nope, not true. Their hatred for Romney is much more intense, mostly because of the Mormon thing. To the American Taliban, Romney is an “infidel.” They could never, under any circumstances, vote for him. Never. It would be a betrayal of their religion… and they’re very devout.

    …and he still won and I’m sure they all supported him in the general.

    Also not true. The Freepers were opposing McCain right up till August and campaigned strongly against him, encouraging everybody to vote write-in. Ultimately many did vote for him, but only because of the word “Palin” on the ballot.

    If we ever debate social issues–you’ll probably find me as batshit as most of the people you decry.

    Well damn, that’s a shame… because I’m actually getting quite fond of you.

  30. Brian says:

    Romney is probably the Republicans’ best chance if he were to survive the primary and get the nomination. He’s smart enough that he can hold his own in a debate, he’s telegenic, he can appeal to the independents and moderates. The biggest problem I see if Romney gets the nomination is a third party candidate, like Trump, Bachman, or anyone else the fringe loves. They would sacrifice a RINO presidency to prove a point.

    rgbact, you might be as passionate about those issues, but it seems like you’re capable of discussing them intelligently, which is why we like you over here. The Freepers are unable (or unwilling?) to doing so. Seriously, if you think we’ve got an echo chamber going on over here, take a look at their comments.

  31. Monotreme says:

    Brian said:

    1, trailing by -3 points means you’re leading by 3. Double negatives and such.

    Thanks for catching that. It was an editorial error. I fixed it.

  32. shortchain says:

    MR,

    Standing up for the civil rights of everyone is not “pandering”, except in the eyes of a person for whom the rights of others is anathema.

  33. Mule Rider says:

    “Standing up for the civil rights of everyone is not “pandering”, except in the eyes of a person for whom the rights of others is anathema.”

    If you had a clear head and fresh eyes to see things like I do without the cloud of a mindset beholden to a political party or warped ideology, you’d see that oftentimes they’re not just “standing up for civil rights”; they’re just as divisive as the Republicans with some of their strategies.

  34. WA7th says:

    Taking into account fili’s contention that freeper sympathizers could keep Romney from winning the primary, what I’ve seen in the past is that what happens in the primaries stays in the primaries. If he gets the nomination, I would think he’d get a better boost in pollings numbers following the convention than any of the others would, for precisely the same traits that would have harmed him with the freepers in the primaries. The instant he gets the nomination, freepers go back to being insignificant players in the equation and he can flip-flop back to being more moderate, and it wouldn’t cost him one net iota of credibility. Every nominee gets a free pass for a post-convention flip-flop towards the middle, so Romney would be nothing special in that regard.

  35. filistro says:

    The Freepers weigh in on Romney.

    They even surprise me a bit with the level of vitriol. Usually this kind of attack is reserved for Obama.

  36. rgbact says:

    Fili-

    What crazy blogs are you reading? Got me thinking I’m now one of the hated RINO’s

    Anyway I too was anti-McCain until the Palin pick. So Romney just does the same thing and picks Nicki Haley or Jindal as VP and solves his Freeper problem.

  37. Mainer says:

    Brian, yup but let us dig a little deeper. “Romney is probably the Republicans’ best chance if he were to survive the primary and get the nomination.( now that is still a question to answer. Can he survive the process? Right now I think that is at best a maybe and I’m thinking a good bookie wouldn’t touch it) He’s smart enough that he can hold his own in a debate (hell he can go one better than that, take old interviews with him and then cut in new ones and he can debate himself and I’m not even sure which Mitt would win), he’s telegenic (other than that I’d buy a car from any one but him look), he can appeal to the independents and moderates (and yet again while he might have appealed to the indies and mods at one point to get the nomination he is going to have to go so far right that those groups will most likely be gone for him). The biggest problem I see if Romney gets the nomination is a third party candidate, like Trump, Bachman, or anyone else the fringe loves. They would sacrifice a RINO presidency to prove a point. (hell Brian they would sacrifice the country to prove the point that they don’t get it, don’t go getting your knickers in a knot rgb over that Brian is right)

    I love the comment a friend said recently. Pawlenty is Dukaksis with out a helmet.

  38. WA7th says:

    I haven’t seen any indication that the number of fringe voters on the right who would vote third party is much greater the number of their counterparts on the left who will do the same thing, so I don’t see a third party candidate from either side making a meaningful difference in 2012. Palin would have at one time, but unless she makes a comeback, she’s already toast.

    On the other hand, I’m so perplexed by the CNN Trump poll released today showing him tied with Huckabee, that I’m reluctant to believe anything about it. The only explanation I can come up with is that they polled viewers of his TV show while the show was on-air. I have such a hard time believing that any Republican would ever take Trump seriously, that I don’t even believe that HE believes it.

  39. Rorgg says:

    Mitt’s dad was born in Mexico? Does that make Mittens an anchor baby?

  40. Mr. Universe says:

    RE: Frankencandidate. Fili made the observation awhile back but journalist Kim Stassel also made a similar observation.

    RE: Larson cartoon: “Feelers, Nothing more than feelers”. That one cracked me up so much that to this day we always refer to getting one’s ‘feelers hurt’. Guy was a genius. And like Watterston (Calvin and Hobbes), why do they stop?

    RE: New Strategy for Romney. Announce that he’s running as an independent because he thinks the heart of the Republican party has been lost. He can own health care, speak his mind without fear of Teaper backlash, and possibly pull votes from both parties. (Jeez, what am I saying? That actually night work).

  41. rgbact,

    I hope we get candidates with less “excitement” and more “competence”.

    Excitement draws people to the polls, and that can overcome a competence deficit. That’s not to say that an exciting person with extreme competence deficit syndrome would be elected over someone with moderate excitement and high competence; quite the contrary, in fact. But additional mythical units of “excitement” are worth more votes than an equivalent number of mythical units of “competence.”

    By the way, I wish that weren’t the case. I’d prefer that we had more elected officials with less excitement and more competence. But given that elections are by definition popularity contests, the deck is stacked in favor of excitement.

  42. Mule,

    it boggles my mind every day that you and so many others can’t see the Democrats’ similar strategy of pandering to the divisive forces in society

    Which divisive forces, in particular? Different people I’ve talked to have different takes on it; I’d like to know yours.

  43. shortchain says:

    MR,

    If you had a clear head and fresh eyes to see things like I do without the cloud of a mindset beholden to a political party or warped ideology, you’d see that oftentimes they’re not just “standing up for civil rights”; they’re just as divisive as the Republicans with some of their strategies.

    Frankly, I’m grateful that I don’t see things like you do, because you apparently lack an ability to count or any sense of proportion, as well as an understanding of history since the 1960’s.

  44. WA7th says:

    For 2012 the excitement is already there, so there’s no need to manufacture any this time, but that won’t stop the msm from trying to paint lipstick on whatever they’re given. I think Romney’s best chances are to tell the teapers and freepers anything they need to hear until he wins the nomination, then quietly back the bus over them and risk their staying home because there aren’t enough of them to be a big factor in the general once they’ve lost the primary. I don’t even see a need to pick a VP to appease them. On the contrary, once the nomination is in hand he should screw them in favor of appeasing moderates who would otherwise hold their noses to vote for Obama.

  45. Whatevs says:

    I’ve got a new name for Trump: Sideshow Don

    Whatdya think?

  46. filistro says:

    @whatevs: I’ve got a new name for Trump: Sideshow Don

    I think considering the long, arduous journey that lies between Trump and a nomination of any kind, he should probably be called “Odyssey Don.”

  47. rgbact says:

    So far, looks like Trump is blowing Romney away in terms of tacking right. Seems he’s now troubled by the Koran. I expect he’ll be breaking bread with Pat Robertson soon. C’mon Mitt–would one NASCAR event kill you?

  48. shiloh says:

    Voters, as a rule, come “home” on election day ie Hillary’s PUMA’s. Remember when Obama had absolutely no chance of winning PA, OH, FL etc. Fond memories! 😀

    But of course 2008 was a different dynamic ie no incumbent president and (8) years of cheney/bush. Just ask Kerry, an aloof wannabe, how hard to is to beat an incumbent “wartime” president ~ even as god awful as cheney/bush were, the power of incumbency is huge! Which is why many Rep wannabes have been reluctant to get in the race so far, whereas 2008 brought out all the yahoos early 2007 ~ I digress.

    And yes Reps “fall in line” ie mittens will be their nominee and if not mittens Huckabee by default.

    As always America gets what it deserves and survives despite itself.

    You bet’cha!

    btw, an incumbent “wartime” president has never lost re-election. Which is why presidents “can” be reluctant to end any war, however stupid said war may be.

  49. mclever says:

    OK, Mitt at NASCAR made me laugh. 🙂

    I’ll say this, if he is the Republican nominee, I won’t fear for the future of our country like I would if some of the others got the nod.

  50. shiloh says:

    OK, Mitt at NASCAR made me laugh.

    Junior Johnson supported Obama in 2008 🙂 whereas DW is a die-hard Rep and long time Bush family supporter. Most Sprint Cup drivers are political conservatives which is a tad oxymoronish.

    Waltrip used to drive for Junior and when Waltrip became a car owner/driver Junior said Darrell finally had a car owner as smart as the driver! 😛

  51. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    I just don’t know, rg.

    Mitt at Darlington would be so far out of his element the dichotomy would be obvious!

  52. Mainer says:

    Send down Pawlenty to any NASCAR track and put him in a racing helmet and you will definetly will have a Republican Dukakis moment…..now Mitt the slick can just do a Winns Friction Proofing add and show its dual purpose use as a hair pomade and auto lube. Hells bells he would be the talk of the circuit. Sarah can get in the Sprint suit and stand around grinning at the winners area and Huck can do the invocation then play bass for the national anthem while The Donald can try to say Start your engines if you beleive the president is a Kenyan (hey any one want to sell this track and build condos?). Rick Sanatorium would make a semi useful set of wheel chocks while Herman the Conn or what ever his name is could wave the flag to get at least some identity. Newt the loot could argue about the rules and try to change NASCAR history to show there was never a need for Detroit big three involvement in the sport. Hell while we are at it Boss Hog would make a great crash barier for the pit entrance and Bachmann over drive can be the cheerleader for the teaper fans (I suggest she stand in the middle of the grandstand straight while doing same).

    I would try to do the same line up for professional bass fishing but I can’t seem to get past the bait stage for any of them and why demean both of my favorite non team professional sports.

    I think it may take a little more than NASCAR to make most of this crowd main stream any thing.

  53. WA7th says:

    Geez, Mainer, what’d you pour over your Wheaties this morning, and is there enough to share with the rest of the class?

  54. Mr. Universe says:

    I want some of what Mainer is having.

    Maybe Palin could be a GoDaddy Cougar.

  55. Todd Dugdale says:

    PPP just posted a poll showing Romney coming in fifth (out of 8) in GA.

    a href=”http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/PPP_Release_GA_04121023.pdf”>poll results
    Only 8% of “usual Republican primary voters” in Georgia say that they would vote for Romney.
    That puts him behind Palin and Cain.

    Romney has another poor showing in a Southern state, and it is his weakness with
    conservatives that, as ever, drags him down. He pulls 12% with moderates, but they
    make up only 19% of the electorate. That falls to 9% with the somewhat conservative
    and only 4%, behind even Bachmann’s 7%, with the very conservative.

  56. fopplssiegeparty says:

    Speaking of GoDaddy, any news on that front?

  57. Mr. Universe says:

    @foppsie

    Name clears this week. I’ll be posting an announcement.

  58. Mainer says:

    I’m in my busy season and that means I hang out most of the time with cops and firemen (you want sick humor then hang out at a fire station on precinct house, my kind of folks) and the like, airports and one star hotels. Kindergarden with guns I like to call it. I think it hasn’t effected me all that much, much, much, much……….beer and Cheerios just does not work but bourbon and Wheaties can be all right in a pinch. Nothing wrong here just finally watching the damned snow melt and it makes me giddy……..ok the bourbon probably helps too. Nap time all another fun filled day at the airports awaits.

    I would have had the Donald driving the pace car but how is that going to work when he is only interested in turning hard right when the field behind him knows the track needs a series of hard lefts? Just asking but Indy could be interesting.

  59. Mainer says:

    My next project will be to write the Donald Trump theme song to the music of Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble……….bet that has you all up on the edge of your seats……My lyrics, Universe music, how could it possibly go wrong? With a little luck it will go viral in a week……all I need now is wifi in the hotel this week and hot water, hot water hot water is always nice and no more chalk out lines in the parking lot when I go out for my morning cigar (kind of wrecks the ambiance of an early morning cigar and coffee those chalk outlines) oh and no bed bugs this time that would be good too. Ah the life of the low budget traveler one constant life experience after another……mother did you pack my extra magazine?

  60. Mainer says:

    oh and by the way how is it that this thread has not had one shread of the Mitt Romney business practices that made him his millions? Hell his record of ditching workers and closing factories should make him the poster child of modern Republicanism. Rape and pillage in the name of capitalism, screw the workers, slip and slide on any form of regulation. Yeah the type of dude in charge we need to finish off the American worker an middle class…………he and Sarah are a pair hell he even has a son named Tagg. It ain’t being a Mormon that is going to deep six this financial greese ball.

  61. TakingAmes says:

    Mmm, bourbon and Wheaties…

  62. Mr. Universe says:

    @Ames

    Wheaties are proof positive that cardboard recycles.

    Just pass me the Bourbon.

  63. Mr. Universe says:

    @Todd

    I’m an ex southerner. In the south they think Jews and Mormons are the anti-Christ or something akin to it. They’re wrong, of course, but I’m just sayin’.

    I would be shocked beyond belief if Romney carried the southern states.

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