The same Romney who said “I think we should come together and recognize the great work our president is doing” also said “I think we did a less than effective job in managing the conflict following the collapse of Saddam Hussein” and on the same day

“JOHNSTON, Iowa — As a new Des Moines Register poll showed him trailing Mike Huckabee in Iowa, Mitt Romney also launched a fresh attack, criticizing the former Arkansas governor for suggesting that President Bush did not read the National Intelligence Estimate for four years,” writes the estimable Michael Levenson of the Globe Staff in an article titled Romney opens new line of attack and dated 1, 2008 01:40 PM

“That’s obviously completely inaccurate and wrong.,” Romney said, unprompted by a question from reporters.

As opposed to inaccurate and right? Or accurate and wrong?

“The president has kept us safe over these last six years and is extraordinarily well-versed in matters of foreign policy. I’m not sure whether Governor Huckabee did the attack as a joke, but this is not a time to be mocking our president. And it was, I think, in bad taste. I think we should come together and recognize the great work our president is doing and not take on our rhetoric or our plays from the Democratic playbook.”

Meanwhile, on the same day:

“JOHNSTON, Iowa (Reuters) – Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on Tuesday the Bush administration mismanaged the Iraq war, distancing himself from his party’s unpopular president two days before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential contest,” writes Andy Sullivan in a Reuters release titled Romney says Bush mismanaged Iraq war and dated Jan 1, 2008 3:37pm EST.

“I think we did a less than effective job in managing the conflict following the collapse of Saddam Hussein,” the former Massachusetts governor said at a news conference. “I think we were under prepared for what occurred, understaffed, under planned, and, in some respects, under managed.”Romney’s comments echo those of his rival John McCain, who for years has criticized the way former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld handled the war. Polls show McCain and Romney locked in a tight battle for first place in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s second primary contest on January 8 … etc.

How do you reconcile

“I think we should come together and recognize the great work our president is doing and not take on our rhetoric or our plays from the Democratic playbook,” angry noise that Romney emits to scold Gov. Huckabee

-with-

“I think we were under prepared for what occurred, understaffed, under planned, and, in some respects, under managed,” angry noise that Romney emits to outflank Sen. McCain by aping his criticisms

Hence: Romney’s credibility issues.

From an article titled Credibility pounded, Romney wrestles with uncertainties, Michael Levenson writes: “A lot of Republicans were hit with these flip-flops and said, ‘We’ve got John Kerry, basically’ – he was for abortion before he was against it – and they were confused,” said Daron Shaw, a University of Texas political scientist who worked on President Bush’s campaign in 2000. “He’s had to work furiously to give them some context, to dirty up some of the other guys, to level the playing field a little bit. So, he’s in trench warfare” …

How does Romney intend to address his credibility issues?

He doesn’t.

Rather: Romney cherishes in his heart the absurd notion that his credibility issues will vanish in an instant once Iowa returns its verdict.

… Ron Kaufman, a Romney adviser who was George H.W. Bush’s White House political director, said questions about Romney’s character will disappear – if Romney can win the Republican nomination. A McClatchy/MSNBC poll released yesterday showed Romney has gained ground on Huckabee in Iowa and the two are now statistically tied, at 27 and 23 percent, respectively.

“Nothing changes the dynamic of races more than someone winning,” Kaufman said. “All of a sudden, they view you differently. It raises your stature. It changes the way people look at you” … etc.

Romney said he is doing all he can to win …

Even should you win, Romney, the truth may still catch up with you.

Not everyone will forget.

We certainly won’t.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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