Posts Tagged ‘Peter Baker’

“One of President Bush’s closest advisers has a brutally candid analysis of the Republican nomination battle: Fred Thompson is the campaign’s “biggest dud,” Mitt Romney has “a real problem in the South” because people will not vote for a Mormon, Mike Huckabee’s last name is too hick and John McCain could end up repeating 2000 by winning New Hampshire but losing the nomination,” writes the estimable Peter Baker in a post to Wapo’s The Trail titled Bartlett on the GOP Field: A Hick, a “Dud” and a “Flip-Flopper”

[Bartlett’s] judgment of Romney was only somewhat less negative [than his judgment of Fred Thompson]. While crediting the former Massachusetts governor with the “best strategy and organization” born out of his “business acumen,” Bartlett said “the flip-flopping on positions” stemmed from a miscalculation that the primary field would be more conservative than it proved to be. “They were trying to solidify his conservative credentials.” Bartlett added: “He’s getting a narrative in the national media as somebody that is too much trying to position himself, trying to hedge himself, almost too mechanical about the issues. Authenticity is going to be a very important principle in this campaign. And right now that?s their biggest danger” more

You don’t have to be Dan Bartlett to figure this one out. We have harped upon the string of Romney’s ridiculous “miscalculation of the primary field” for weeks now:

Back to Bartlett:

The flip-flopping issue, Bartlett added, provides an outlet for another big reason why Republican voters will not back Romney — his religion. “The Mormon issue is a real problem in the South, it’s a real problem in other parts of the country,” he said. “But people are not going to say it. People are not going to step out and say, ‘I have a problem with Romney because he’s Mormon.’ What they’re going to say is he’s a flip-flopper. … It’s a fact, it’s reality. I don’t know if it’s one that will keep him from becoming the nominee for the party but it’s something they clearly understand they’ve got to deal with.”

The only top-tier candidate Bartlett did not criticize was Rudy Giuliani, whom he credited with the “best message,” particularly because the former New York mayor has kept his focus on attacking Democrats, not fellow Republicans, which serves as an effective distraction from his own liberal positions on guns, gays and abortion. “He’s doing it particularly with Hillary,” Bartlett said. “There’s headlines the other day. He wants to engage in this debate. And there’s a very practical aspect of it because if he’s engaged with the Democrats, he’s not engaged on … his own positions, whatever those that would not be very receptive in a typical Republican primary”more

This is yet another string upon which we harp: Romney has no message. What he emits is often very angry noise. See:

yours &c.
dr. g.d.





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