Posts Tagged ‘duplicity’
[...] “Glover Park Group, founded by and stocked with some of Washington’s best-known Democrats, is suddenly going bipartisan despite the possibility of a Republican wipeout in November,” writes Mike Allen of politico.com in a story titled Democratic firm adding Republicans—not terribly bright, nominal Republicans, anyway.
The strategy firm announced Wednesday that it is hiring Kevin Madden, 36, who appears frequently on television as a Republican analyst and was a top official in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign [...]
[...] “Lots of talk in the media about McCain vs. The Mighty Wombats of Talk Radio,” writes the insipid Richelieu in an insipid Campaign Standard blog burst titled Richelieu: Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene
Ask President Tancredo about that one. The talkers can raise an issue to prominence, they can entertain, but they do not really deliver actual votes. Sorry Rush [...]
That should be “Sorry Romney.“
Still, however, Romney wants to capitalize on the new love radiating from talk radio
[...] “It might be preaching to the choir, but the members of this choir are precisely the people Mitt Romney needs to stop John McCain from getting a stranglehold on the Republican nomination on Super Tuesday,” writes the estimable Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor, ina http://www.boston.com blog burst titled Romney puts ad on Limbaugh show
Romney aired an ad today on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show that excoriates McCain’s record on taxes and immigration.
“John McCain, he’s been in Washington a long time,” the announcer says, before the ad cites conservative commentators and the National Review.
Limbaugh, while not explicitly endorsing Romney, has been warning his listeners for weeks that McCain’s nomination would destroy the Republican Party. He repeated those warnings again today. Romney and McCain have been sparring over who is the true conservative [...]
The always a little baffled and befuddled Ed Morrissey laments what he foresees as a growing rift between the media figure of the right-wing shock jock and the Republican Party:
[...] But this showdown isn’t just about the media. It looks like the first really open GOP primary in decades will test a couple of widespread assumptions. First, does conservative talk radio have the influence that many presume to impact an election? Second, if it does not, what will that say about the future of conservative talk radio?
The answer to the first question will, I think, demonstrate that listeners have never been the monolithic, Clone Army style force that its critics presume. While they appreciate and enjoy the programs, listeners think for themselves. Anyone who spends any time at all listening knows the diversity of opinion unleashed through the call-in lines. Having spent time behind the mike as Hugh’s replacement on occasion, I can tell you that the callers are smart, informed, and sometimes have a much different opinion than me or Hugh.
So the answer to the second question follows from there. People will continue to listen to talk radio as they always have — for entertainment, information, and debate. The hosts will influence the opinions of the listeners, but they’re independent and will go their own way.
I expect that the hosts will change some minds before Tuesday. I expect the endorsements of the party’s establishment figures to do the same. In the end, most of the voters will make their decision based on their own logic, as they usually do. However, there will be one part of the showdown that may not survive, and that is the affinity of the conservative hosts for the Republican Party as an entity for conservative values. For that, High Noon has been a long time coming, and a McCain win may have some activists feeling very forsaken [...]
We grieve for those forsaken activists. We truly do.
Morrissey does understand the distinction between the activities of corporate content providers and the task of political parties, right?—the one is not the propaganda arm of the other. And if the one—or elements among the one—elect to promote a faction within the GOP at the expense of a governing coalition, then it deserves whatever it gets. The party is not the movement; the movement is not the party. And talk radio is neither party nor movement; it is information, entertainment, and opinion provided by organizations whose business is business.
Our prediction: our brothers and sisters in talk radio will soon learn why journalists and other media figures cherish the integrity that a sense of independence confers on them.
Meanwhile, Michael Graham of the NRO muses on the Sen. John McCain nomination that hasn’t happened yet, and answers the question that Morissey never posed but should have:
[...] John McCain didn’t win this nomination. Everyone else lost it. Mitt Romney had every chance — and then some — to win this nomination. He campaigned hard, and with lots of money, in every key primary state. And in every key state where his father never served as governor, he lost. He came, he saw (and was seen), and he got 31% of the vote. He wasn’t defeated by McCain. He’s just a mediocre candidate” [...]
This isn’t about talk radio. Nor should it ever have been. This is not even about the conservative movement. Note to Morrissey: Romney is not the conservative movement. The conservative movement is not Romney. Conservatism is for Romney a means to an end and that end is power.
This is, and has always been, about Romney, a surpassingly mediocre candidate.
“I predict we’re going to hear a growing conversation on the right about whether it’s better for America, conservatism, etc to have a president who feels he has to placate the conservative base versus having a president who claims to be a member of it,” writes Jonah Goldberg in a National Review TheCorner Blogburst titled One of Us Vs. One Who Owes Us
Goldberg issues a safe prediction.
Every candidate proposes a theory of representation whether explicitly or otherwise, i.e. an account of not just how the candidate as an elected official will advance the issues of his or her constituencies, but an explanation of why he or she would want to do so consonant with the candidate’s values, biography etc.—e.g. I am one of you, I believe as you believe etc.
Romney’s theory of representation is a unique one in our experience. Romney proposes to represent you by becoming you. See:
WSJ: “Plenty of politicians attune their positions to new constituencies—The larger danger is that Mr. Romney’s conversions are not motivated by expediency or mere pandering but may represent his real governing philosophy”
Back to Goldberg
President Bush won enormous good faith — no pun intended — from evangelicals and other social conservatives by saying, in effect, “I’m one of you.” A case could be made that some of Bush’s problems stem from the fact that the White House was internally confused about whether conservatives were simply another constituency or if they were more like a loyal army. I don’t think the distinctions are clean and neat, since there isn’t a monolithic conservative base and the Bush White House has been itself divided between Nixonians (i.e. the Poppa Bush crowd) and Reaganites. But I think we’ll see the conversation emerge as candidates like Giuliani and McCain make “transactional” overtures to the conservative base, saying something like “Support me and I’ll support what you care about” rather than “support me because I am one of you.”
National Review had a similar conversation over Richard Nixon. That didn’t turn out great.
In other news from the frantic flunkies of the GOP establishment, Hugh Hewitt announces a talk-radio counter-strike against Sen John McCain as he attempts to consolidate his gains.
[...] Expect the talkers, led by Rush but seconded by Ingraham, Bennett, Prager, Beck, Hannity, Levin and me to spend the next few days putting down a marker: McCain is a very weak general election candidate, and if he was to win, would not govern as a conservative in any significant way. Our audiences are not, as MSMers like to imply, not only shrinking but mindless. They are growing, but they are incredibly independent of thought. They also take in and respond to good information, and now the information will be focused on John McCain and the choice before them.
MSM will of course be sending a very different set of talking points into the general population, one that obscures McCain’s record and which refuses to remind voters of the immigration fiasco etc. MSM will focus on Rudy and Arnold and leave the impression of a coalescing around McCain. Romney will battle to keep the issues out front, McCain the process.
But the new media is at work. We’ll see how it plays out [...]
So far this hasn’t played out well either. See:
- the air-war over Iowa: Rush Limbaugh savages Gov. Huckabee; Romney gets eviscerated by Iowa’s Jan Mickelson
- Rush Limbaugh shills for Romney, continues Romney’s viciously negative campaign against Gov. Huckabee and Sen. McCain AND against those who support them—BTW: Bain Capital recently acquired Clear Channel Communications
Our question: What possible theory of representation justifies Limbaugh, Ingraham, Bennett, Prager, Beck, Hannity, Levin, and Hewitt himself, denouncing Sen. John McCain and advocating for Willard Milton Romney? Also: what is Hewitt’s object? It is this: To persuade Gov. Mike Huckabee voters to vote for Romney.
[...] If the Huckabee supporters are conservatives, they will recognize the peril to their party’s core beliefs and abandon their favorite who has no chance of winning in favor of Mitt Romney who does [...]
Based on analysis by Patrick Ruffini, we discuss why this will not be a simple proposition here:
[...] “McCain isn’t a prohibitive favorite, but he’s a strong one,” writes William Kirstol in a weeklystandard blog burst titled Kristol: The Next 12 Hours
What could change the situation? It’s hard to believe paid advertising across 22 states (even if Romney’s willing to splurge) could fundamentally change the dynamic. There could always be some sort of scandal, revelation, or gaffe, or course – though that would be far more likely if there were a new, suddenly-emerged frontrunner, than with the most veteran and best-known candidate in the field. So the most likely game-changer, if there were to be one, would be tonight’s debate. It’s likely to be Romney’s last direct shot at McCain. If Romney were to land a really telling blow, it could shape the narrative for the rest of this week. If not, if this debate follows the course of almost all its predecessors and has no decisive moment, then all attention turns to Clinton-Obama, and McCain should have a pretty clear path.
The Romney camp has twelve hours to come up with a startling factoid, formulation, or revelation. The McCain camp has twelve hours to prepare for any such eventuality. If McCain does well tonight, he should be the GOP nominee [...]
Sen. McCain can win. But Romney cannot be defeated, at least not decisively, and at least not yet. Romney’s vast personal fortune, Sen. McCain’s ceiling of 36% in the earlier primaries according to Kristol, alleged conservative disaffection—all these things suggest that Romney could stick it out. However:
“Two questions come to mind” for Matt Lewis in a townhall.com blog burst titled Romney after Tsunami Tuesday?
- Would this shrewd business man, who has already spent well-over 20 million dollars of his own money, continue spending money on what could be a losing cause? Smart businessmen don’t throw away money.
- Would Mitt Romney want to be blamed for a Republican loss in the General Election. Fair or not, if he prolongs the race too long, that’s what some people would say …
Ronald Reagan went all the way to the Convention in ’76, and was rewarded with the nomination in ’80. That could happen for Mitt, too. Or, he could be more like Ted Kennedy — who was blamed for costing Jimmy Carter the election that same year [...]
Our comments and reflections: Romney’s shrewdness does not extend to the management of his political operations. Evidence: his appallingly low ROI for his every campaign dollar.
And whether or for what Romney gets blamed will affect Romney’s decision not in the least—recent history alone predicts this. Romney had it within his power to attempt to repair the damage that his negative advertising wrought in Iowa and New Hampshire; he has had the chance to reach out to Gov. Huckabee and Sen. McCain supporters. But he never has, and he probably never will. Conclusion: the man simply does not care what people think of him, he does not care how much his arrogant behavior costs him in polling numbers or at the ballot box, and he has no loyalty to either party or principle to moderate his behavior.
Our prediction: Romney will stick it out to the end. When the GOP collapses into a smoking wreck, Romney will turn and blame conservatives for failing to support him in sufficient strength, intensity, or depth.
[...] “It’s the perfect opportunity for a Wall Street Republican to make the case that what the country needs now is good business mind, not a former war hero,” writes Rex Nutting, Washington bureau chief of MarketWatch, in a MarketWatch article titled Romney running for tycoon in chief; Commentary: Will business background be a plus?
Unfortunately for Romney, that appeal isn’t working in the Republican primaries.
Polls show that national security concerns continue to rank much higher among Republican voters, even if worries about the economy are growing. According to the Rasmussen Poll, Republican voters in Florida would rather pick a commander in chief than a chief executive for the U.S. economy.
Romney’s support has soared over the past two weeks, especially in Florida. He’s tied with Sen. John McCain in the latest polls ahead of Tuesday’s vote. But the Romney surge isn’t related to the bad news about the economy; rather, he’s picking up conservative voters stranded by Fred Thompson’s withdrawal from the race and Huckabee’s partial pullback from Florida.
Romney leads McCain among conservative voters, and he’s hoping that his message of economic competence could gain him support among voters who see themselves as moderates, where McCain holds a sizable lead.
Romney has been going directly after McCain, his chief rival for the nomination, accusing him of being out of touch on the economy. He has mocked McCain for saying “economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.”
McCain has fired back, saying that while Romney was making millions and working for “profit,” he was serving “patriotism.”
So far, the economic themes haven’t been registering for Romney.
According to pollster Scott Rasmussen, “McCain actually holds a slight lead over Romney among voters who name the economy as the top issue.” Seven of 10 Republicans say the best thing the government can do to help the economy is get out of the way, which is more McCain’s view than Romney’s.
Maybe Romney understands the economy, but it looks as if it’s McCain who understands Republicans.
If Romney can get past McCain and win the nomination, he’ll try to persuade independents and hesitant Democrats that his business background qualifies him to be president.
But if he does make it past the convention, it’ll be an uphill struggle to run as a tycoon after the mess Wall Street has made of the economy, with its overhyped dotcoms, its phony accounting, its bloated bonuses, and its toxic mortgages [...]
The emphases are ours, all ours.
We heartily concur. See:
- Gavin: “Throughout his 15-year career at Bain Capital, which bought, sold, and merged dozens of companies, Romney had other chances to fight to save jobs, but didn’t—His ultimate responsibility was to make money for Bain’s investors, former partners said.”
- Flaherty: “Layoffs are a common result of private equity takeovers, with [Romney’s] Bain Capital no exception”
- Romney in FL wants credit for being a major player in the financial services sector—at the very moment that that sector is crashing and taking the US economy down with it
On January 25th the astroturf flak-claque fraud-blog laughably titled Evangelicals for Mitt touted the newly released Focus on the Family video voters guide in a blog burst titled FOCUS ON THE FAMILY’S ASSESSMENT
Charles Mitchell, the author, cites Time’s account of the voters guide and emphasizes how the voters guide is said to criticizes Gov. Huckabee. Mitchell also quotes, but allows to pass without comment, this particular claim:
[...] “Mitt Romney has acknowledged that Mormonism is not a Christian faith,” Minnery adds. “But on the social issues we are so similar” [...]
About Time’s account of the Focus on the Family voters guide, Mitchell issues this strange disclaimer: “I’m not saying the TIME story is right—and Minnery denies that it is.”
Precisely what Minnery denies Mitchell leaves unspecified. But could it have something to do with Minnery’s preposterous claim that Romney had, at any time, acknowledged that he is not a Christian?
“Last week, the political arm of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family released an online video voter guide to help Christians sort through the “pro-family” records of the presidential candidate,” writes Michael Scherer for http://www.time-blog.com’s Swampland in a blog burst titled Focus on the Family Voter Guide Wrong About Romney
The guide offers largely negative appraisals of Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mike Huckabee, and a far more glowing description of Mitt Romney.
But not everything the voter guide says about Romney is true. In one key part, Tom Minnery, a public policy expert at Focus on the Family, says the following:
Mitt Romney has acknowledged that Mormonism is not a Christian faith, and I appreciate his acknowledging that.
On Saturday, I read this quote to Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney’s traveling press secretary. He did not hesitate or mince his words. “The governor has not made that acknowledgment,” Fehrnstrom told me. “He has said that his belief is not the same as others. But there is no doubt that Jesus Christ is at the center of the LDS church’s worship.”
In fact, the Church of Latter Day Saints, also know as the Mormon church, holds as a central belief that it is a Christian faith. This belief is a concern for some evangelical Christians, who see Mormonism as a competing religion. On the campaign trail, Romney has avoided discussing his faith in depth, and he has acknowledged that there are differences between his faith and others. But he has not been quoted saying Mormonism is not a Christian faith [...]
Romney’s own claims on this issue have been vexed and misleading. See:
Romney retreats from “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind” blur-the-distinctions line, falls back to weaker, compromising, pragmatic, “different faiths, same values” line delivered through screen of Evangelical surrogates—conclusion: Romney’s “speech” failed completely
Dr. Dobson’s publicly articulated—or often disarticulated—attitude toward Romney has also been vexed and varied:
[...] “That’s why the GOP’s other post-Florida choice, Mitt Romney, troubles me so,” opines race42008‘s DaveG in an editorial discursis titled Uniters and Dividers
Ultimately a sane, empirical, good government Northeastern Republican, Romney has spent the past few years letting the GOP Pharisees know that they can push him around. He’ll change his views on anything and everything in order to please the Pharisees. Instead of running to lead the GOP, he’s running to be the proxy candidate of the dividers. And the sad part is, that sort of strategy might actually work due to the cocoon mentality of today’s Republican base. Conservatives who react with dismay at the Independents that cross the aisle to vote for McCain in GOP primaries need to step back and think about what they’re saying — that no new voters are welcome in today’s Republican Party. We’ve seen this attitude before in places like California and New Jersey, where similarly terrified conservatives destroyed their respective state parties rather than allow them to be modernized. Sadly, the GOP may have to lose a couple of more elections before the base finally learns that fifty-one percent, and not moral certitude or a sense of entitlement, is what makes a majority [...]
We heartily concur.
Regard: Political power requires developing the issues—living issues, felt issues, current issues—that can form the basis of a coalition. After you have developed your issues coalition, or at least its basis, and after you have tested its themes at the ballot box or other performance indicators (e.g. fund raising, attendance at rallies, play in the media), then and only then you can begin the slow, patient, and often painful process of popular education through political action and calls to action or calls for support, through policy proposals, and through the pursuit of a positive program to consolidate and continually renew your coalition. You will suffer reverses, setbacks, take a lot of beatings, and you will be forced to compromise at every turn, but this is the way the game is played.
In other words, you begin from the experience of the people, especially the people who vote, by acting on their self-interest, which you identify with the national interest because, after all, they are the nation or at least an important part of it. Then you begin the slow, painful process of drawing them closer to your point of view—this is when ideologies form—after, and not before, political labor, action, and thorough self-criticism and review.
This is where the center-right and the conservative movement have failed most critically, and probably fatally at least in the short term.
In the person of Willard Milton Romney, however, the GOP establishment and its institutions propose another path to power, only it isn’t popular power but their own power, a path predicted by the iron law of institutions.
We call it Romneyism.
Here is our question. Is the Romney candidacy
(a) the case of a corrupt party establishment bilking a super-rich ingenue of his many millions?
(b) the case of a super-rich Richard III purchasing a morally, deologically, as well as financially bankrupt GOP establishment to pursue his own advantage?
Or could both (a) and (b) be true? To be honest, we don’t yet know.
“MIAMI — As the economy takes center stage in the Republican presidential race, Mitt Romney spoke in unusually personal terms about his own business experience during remarks to the Latin Builders Association this morning,” writes the credulous Scott Conroy in a cbsnews blog burst titled Romney: Making Layoffs “An Awful Feeling”
“I’ve had settings where I’ve had to lay people off,” Romney said. “It’s an awful feeling. No one likes laying people off. Someone who thinks you’re a bad person if you lay someone off doesn’t understand. You feel bad. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve done in business was asking a person to be let go.”
(1) Follow Romney’s “reasoning”
(a) Someone who thinks you’re a bad person if you lay someone off doesn’t understand.
(b) You feel bad.
(c) It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve done in business was asking a person to be let go.
Note the passive voice in (c)—Romney’s awkward attempt to obscure his own agency—not lay a person off, or let a person go, but “ask a person to be let go.” But this bizarre locution implies consent, as if those “to be” laid off were given a choice!
(2) So we should not resent those who like Romney lay people off because they feel bad about it? Is Romney serious? Is Romney really making the case that his feelings are more important that peoples’ jobs?
(3) Does it not follow that Romney can excuse himself of any act by referring to his hurt feelings? Yes, I campaigned negatively against McCain and Huckabee—I lied, and I distorted their records—but anyone who would call me a bad person just doesn’t understand—I felt really bad about it.
(4) How do you reconcile Romney’s appeal to the sufferings of fund managers who engineer layoffs to benefit investors at the expense of workers with Romney’s repeated promise “to fight for every job”:
[...] [Romney:] “You’ve seen it here, in furniture. You’ve seen the textile industry, where Washington watched, saw the jobs go and go,” the Republican presidential contender told a group of senior citizens at the Sun City Hilton Head Retirement Center.
“I’m not willing to declare defeat on any industry where we can be competitive. I’m going to fight for every job,” Romney said […]
Answer: You can’t. The two positions cannot be reconciled.
Back to the credulous Conroy:
Throughout the campaign, Romney has touted his success in the consulting and venture capital fields in contrast to the “lifelong politicians” in the race. But yesterday, Mike Huckabee alluded to a negative impact of Romney’s days at Bain Capital, as the former Arkansas governor continues to brandish his own brand of economic populism.
“And I would also suggest one needs to look very carefully at what exactly the business record is,” Huckabee said. “If it’s taking companies who are in serious trouble, buying them when they are in pain, selling off their assets, and then making a huge profit off of it, that’s not something a lot of Americans can relate to, except those who have lost their jobs because of those kinds of transactions. If that’s the turnaround, there are a lot of Americans who would really not like to see their own lives turned around quite like that” [...]
Yes. We have harped on these finely tuned strings for a long, long time:
- Flaherty: “Layoffs are a common result of private equity takeovers, with [Romney’s] Bain Capital no exception”
- Samuelson: “it is becoming clear that capitalism’s most dangerous enemies are capitalists”—our conclusion: capitalists like Romney
Back to the credulous Conroy:
[...] “If you haven’t changed and improved the way you provide your product to the marketplace, your competitor will, and ultimately you’ll be gone,” Romney said. “Constant improvement, constant change is called for. And that’s where I spent my life, where you have, in the private sector” [...]
Here is the problem: the marketplace operates according to different rules than the state. Citizens have a right to expect continuity from the decisions and operations of a state. Citizens also have a right to expect continuity from their elected officials. For example, Romney’s sudden conversion to the notion of Washington supervising industry, here neatly summarized and commented upon by the estimable Daniel Larison:
[...] There is a developing conventional wisdom that Mitt Romney primarily appeals to and represents “economic conservatives” within the Republican coalition, a view that has not been shaken very much by the candidate’s interventionist promises to quintuple government spending on technology research to benefit Michigan’s battered auto industry. Romney backers seem to be unfazed by this, just as his record of signing universal, government-mandated health care into law did not deter them from labeling him sound on economic and fiscal policy, but among those not already declared for the former governor, Romney’s latest round of telling his audience whatever they wanted to hear has gone over very badly.
Romney must be one of the first Republican candidates ever to be likened to a Soviet premier on account of his economic proposals [...]
[...] There are two things particularly striking about Romney’s appeal to Washington for the solution to Michigan’s economic woes. The first is that Romney has partly built his “transformation” campaign around the argument that the federal government has been overspending, but has vowed to increase spending within the “first 100 days” in a transparent (and successful) effort to buy votes in Michigan—his own fortune is no longer sufficient to buy supporters, so now he must draw on our money as well. The second, more telling problem is that Romney embodies not only the image of corporate America, but also possesses the mentality and ideology of the free-trading globalists who policies have worked to reduce manufacturing in Michigan and across the Midwest and the country to its present state. Even if Romney’s proposals were sincere (doubtful) and even if they were efficacious (unlikely) in ameliorating some of the damage of broader trade policy, he has stated that he has every intention of pushing for additional free-trade agreements and exacerbating the causes of de-industrialization and job losses. It is therefore all the more disturbing that someone who embraces the policies that have contributed to the economic ravaging of his home state can win over a plurality of voters based on little more than sentiment and promises to make them more dependent on the government that has failed them [...]
[...] “TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney lost three of the first five big Republican contests and lags behind in most major state and national polls. Yet he is still widely seen as a credible contender for the nomination thanks mainly to one trait: his wallet,” writes ELIZABETH HOLMES for online.wsj.com in an article titled Romney’s Wallet Keeps Him in the Race
A senior aide to Mr. Romney says the millionaire investor plans to spend as much as $40 million in the campaign. Mr. Romney spent $17.4 million of his own money on his campaign through the third quarter of last year, according to the Federal Election Commission.
At a time when some campaigns are running dangerously low on funds, Mr. Romney’s ability to self-finance will make it difficult to count him out of the race until the very end [...]
Here is the problem with Holmes’ account: the US$17.4 million figure goes back 2 months. How much Romney actually spent of his own money in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, and now Florida, is unknown, and will remain unknown:
“In recent months Mitt Romney, whose personal fortune is estimated to be as much as a quarter of a billion dollars, blanketed the airwaves of Iowa and New Hampshire with dozens of campaign advertisements,” write the editors of the Washington Times in an article titled Romney and his money
[Romney] clearly has spent tens of millions of dollars of his own money in Iowa and New Hampshire, but he steadfastly declines to say how much. The Romney campaign suffers from a glaring transparency deficiency, which it should address at once.
Mr. Romney has every right to bankroll his presidential campaign with his own money. No argument here. But why has he refused to tell voters how much of his personal fortune he has funneled to his campaign since the end of the third quarter?
On Jan. 4, the day after Mike Huckabee defeated Mr. Romney in Iowa, this newspaper asked the Romney campaign to say how much Mr. Romney had personally contributed since Sept. 30. During the first nine months of last year, Mr. Romney had given his campaign $17.4 million, about 90 percent more than the $9.2 million in the campaign’s cash-on-hand on Sept. 30 [...]
Yet the Romneys refuse to release their fourth quarter numbers until the filing deadline of Jan. 31. This date falls after the primary contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, and Florida.
Also from the article, Romney’s fund raising “declined from US$20.8 million in the first quarter to US$13.9 million in the second, to less than US$10 million in the third.”
Romney increased his own contributions to compensate.
Transparency issues? Is this how Romney will run our government?
[...] “Many professional conservatives do not regard Mike Huckabee or John McCain as true conservatives,” writes David Brooks in a NYT editorial titled The Voters Revolt
“I’m here to tell you, if either of these two guys get the nomination, it’s going to destroy the Republican Party,” Rush Limbaugh said recently on his radio show. “It’s going to change it forever, be the end of it.”
Some of the contributors to The National Review’s highly influential blog, The Corner, look to Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney to save the conservative movement. Their hatred of McCain is so strong, it’s earned its own name: McCain Derangement Syndrome.
Yet a funny thing has happened this primary season. Conservative voters have not followed their conservative leaders. Conservative voters are much more diverse than the image you’d get from conservative officialdom.
In South Carolina, 34 percent of the Republican voters called themselves “very conservative,” but another 34 percent called themselves only “somewhat conservative” and another 24 percent called themselves “moderate.” Only 28 percent of the primary voters there said that abortion should be “always illegal.” This, I repeat, was in South Carolina, one of the most right-wing places in the country.
While various conservative poobahs threaten to move to Idaho if Huckabee or McCain gets the nomination, the silent majority of conservative voters seem to like these candidates. Huckabee has done very well among evangelical voters while loudly deviating from conservative economic orthodoxy. John McCain leads among Republicans nationally. He has a 71 percent favorable rating and a 23 percent unfavorable rating. He has a 63 percent favorability rating among Huckabee supporters, 66 percent favorability among Romney supporters and 81 percent favorability among supporters of Rudy Giuliani. These are much higher second choice ratings than any other candidate.
McCain’s winning coalition in South Carolina was pretty broad. He lost among the extremely conservative but won among the somewhat conservative and the moderates. He lost among those who go to church more than once a week, but won among weekly churchgoers. He won among those who strongly support the Bush administration and among those who are angry at the Bush administration, among those who strongly support the war and among those who strongly oppose it. He won every income group over $30,000.
Even among people who want to deport every immigrant, McCain only lost to Huckabee by 34 percent to 26 percent.
The fact is, this has been a bad year for the conservative establishment. Fred Thompson was supposed to embody the party line, but he has fizzled (despite being a good campaigner the past month). Rudy Giuliani proposes deep tax cuts that do not seem to excite. Mitt Romney ran as the movement candidate in Iowa and New Hampshire and grossly underperformed. Now he’s running as a nonideological business pragmatist for the exurban office parks, and his campaign has possibilities.
The lesson is not that the conservative establishment is headed for the ash heap. The lesson is that the Republican Party, even in its shrunken state, is diverse. Regular Republican voters don’t seem to mind independent thinking. There’s room for moderates as well as orthodox conservatives. Limbaugh, Grover Norquist and James Dobson have influence, but they are not arbiters of conservative doctrine [...]
The emphases are ours, all ours.