Posts Tagged ‘The Campaign Spot’

“Ha-ha! Boy, that Rudy Giuliani, what a loser! Boy, did his strategy backfire! The man’s an afterthought! Barely got fourth place, barely ahead of Ron Paul, not expected to be much of a player in Michigan, not expected to be a player in South Carolina,” writes writes Jim Geraghty in a Campaign Spot blog burst titled Meanwhile, Down in Florida …

… he’s going to have to be desperate, and hope that in Florida he can… he can…

…he can, uh, keep his lead in Florida. Where he’s up, 24 percent to 19 percent for Huckabee, 19 percent for McCain, 13 percent for Romney, 8 percent for Thompson.

Where there are 57 delegates, winner take all; 114 delegates if the RNC doesn’t enforce the penalty.

Hmmmm [...]

Yuh-huh. We predicted all this—precisely this—weeks and weeks ago.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“I’m told the exit polls indicate voters didn’t like Mitt Romney’s ads, thought he went too negative,” writes Jim Geraghty in a Campaign Spot blog burst titled It’s called for McCain, which must have been terribly painful for Geraghty what with his fawning and obsequious devotion to Romney

New Hampshire didn’t have the “play nice” attitude that Iowa had, but I wonder if Romney stood out a little too much with his contrast ads, compared to everyone else [...]

Um, that may be part of it, but it’s a little more complicated than that:

Rasmussen Reports: Romney has the least core support, and the most core opposition of all the leading candidates, Republican or Democrat—these findings predict the sudden and fierce backlash against Romney’s negative attacks on other candidates

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“‘Going to war is the most serious decision a president can make,’ said Adm. Robert J. Natter, former commander in chief of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet and an adviser to Giuliani. ‘Lawyers should not debate while our national security is on the line. In these momentous decisions, we need leadership, not litigation,’” as quoted by the estimable Jake Tapper in an ABCnews.go.com transmission titled
Giuliani Camp Slams Romney Over ‘Lawyers Test’; New York Mayor Takes Aim at Iowa, New Hampshire Front-Runner

Thompson, Paul Get In on the Act

Aides to former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson also challenged the Romney response, telling the National Review’s Byron York after the debate, “When it comes to our nation’s security, it will be our generals that Fred Thompson sits down with first, not our attorneys” more

Geraghty of NRO—probably still smarting over the hilariously mis-executed pasting he took from an angry and inarticulate “friend of Mitt”—reproduces the entire Giuliani press release in a Campaign Spot post titled Giuliani Sees an Echo of Kerry in Romney’s Lawyer Answer

It’s a Republican pile-on, with Romney at the bottom. Or is it?—well, it could be. Question: Will the Romneys take the bait and respond in kind? We predict they will. And if they do, they will pay for their mistake most dearly. For Romney to be seen attacking—yes, attacking—e.g. America’s mayor or 9.11 fame would be damaging in itself. But here is the real problem for the Romneys: Romney’s negatives are too high to go negative without self-destructing.

We explore the issue of Romney’s negatives elsewhere:

Here is what we concluded then, and what we still hold to now:

Again, see:

Rasmussen poll: Romney unelectable in general election; polarizing figure; 25% of republicans say they would definately vote against Romney

Allow us to articulate our argument in more familiar terms. It is common wisdom that a candidate whose negatives are high should not go negative. The negative campaigner may bring down her rival or rivals, but not without bringing herself down as well. Does any remember Dick Gephardt’s bitter attacks on Howard Dean and how they backfired on him? Neither do we. But the same was once said about Gephardt as is now said about Romney by Geraghty and others. Gephardt, however, was at least limited by the poverty of his campaign and Gephardt’s own loyalty to the interests of his party.

Romney has high negatives and has clearly gone negative. He has a far smaller-narrower base of support but far, far more resources than Gephardt ever had. And: Romney has far less of a commitment to the success of the GOP than Gephardt, a loyal soldier to the end, had to the DNC.

So: Imagine a Republican Dick Gephardt, on steroids, angry, alienated, estranged, adrift, and with no larger sense of party loyalty to restrain him, a man surrounded by hirelings, contractors, and highly-paid specialists, as opposed to the usual politicos, interest group players, and party insiders that surround other candidates, i.e. people with larger and longer term interests at stake. Now imagine that this hypothetical Republican Gephardt with nothing to lose but everything to gain has both the will and the resources necessary to slime and vilify whatever candidate or candidates he chooses.

This is Willard Milton Romney.

And this is where we are at this historical moment.

These are interesting times for the GOP … more

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“Jim, Mitt Romney was asked if he thought the president would need congressional approval before striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, and Romney’s exact words were “let the lawyers sort that out.” Then he repeated that phrase when Matthews asked him AGAIN. Each time he said it very fast and jumped the subject to something more palatable to the audience. He’s a curdled skank,” writes the eloquent Karen DeCoster for LRC Blog’s BREAKING NEWS in a post titled “let the lawyers sort that out”

race42008.com provides a transcript and notes on context in a Justin Hart post titled Romney on Iran Hypothetical—we have no idea what that strange title is supposed to mean. This is Byron York’s transcript of Romney’s “gotta-check-with-the-lawyers answer on Iran,” available in an NRO The Corner post titled Romney and the Lawyers:

MATTHEWS: Governor Romney…if you were president of the United States, would you need to go to Congress to get authorization to take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities?

ROMNEY: You sit down with your attorneys and tell you what you have to do, but obviously the president of the United States has to do what’s in the best interest of the United States to protect us against a potential threat. The president did that as he was planning on moving into Iraq and received the authorization of Congress…

MATTHEWS: Did he need it?

ROMNEY: You know, we’re going to let the lawyers sort out what he needed to do and what he didn’t need to do. But, certainly, what you want to do is to have the agreement of all the people — leadership of our government as well as our friends around the world where those circumstances are availablemore

Mark Hemingway glosses York’s transcript in an NRO The Corner post titled The Wrap-Up:

—Upon reflection, Byron’s transcript helped put Romney’s “First, kill all the terrorists and let the lawyers sort ‘em out” answer about where to derive National Security authority in a better light. But it’s still mindbogglingly awful more [emphasis ours]

We concur. But what interests us is Romney’s personal evolution on the issue of Iran.

First, Romney issues this scarily confused policy formula:

” … there’s no question, says Romney, that people understand that the reason that we have the thousands upon thousands of nuclear warheads we have is that we intend to protect ourselves. And I would never shrink from protecting the American nation, the American people, nor shrink from retaliation if somebody used something as awful as a nuclear device. We will be safe.”

We interrogate the Romney Doctrine in a post titled Romney dangerously confused on issues of deterrence and defense

Second, Romney experiences a rare moment of lucidity, retreats from the Romney Doctrine, and issues a redaction of the Bush doctrine. See: Romney retreats from the Romney doctrine; now recapitulates the Bush doctrine

Third, Romney issues his 5 bullet point powerpoint slide plan, his favoured means of expression. See: Mulhern: Romney’s “5 point plan” for Iran is “drivel.” He also continues to grandstand: the reviews are in: Romney’s “grandstanding” about Ahmadinejad ineffective, counterproductive

Now, Romney retreats yet further. He wants to call his lawyer. What leadership. What stern resolve. What presence of mind. What moral courage. Translation: What a mess!

Dear, dear precious little Willard Milton Romney. Please take a stand, will you?—i.e. please develop in advance a position that you can defend with consistency, or at least with a straight face.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. UPDATE: Romney’s “gotta-call-my-laywer” response to the Iran question object of scorn, derision, and belly-laughs among other GOP candidates—how will Romney respond?





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