Posts Tagged ‘endorsement’

“If you were building a Republican presidential candidate from a kit, imagine what pieces you might use: an athletic build, ramrod posture, Reaganesque hair, a charismatic speaking style and a crisp dark suit,” writes the monitor staff in an editorial titled Romney should not be the next president

You’d add a beautiful wife and family, a wildly successful business career and just enough executive government experience. You’d pour in some old GOP bromides – spending cuts and lower taxes – plus some new positions for 2008: anti-immigrant rhetoric and a focus on faith.

Add it all up and you get Mitt Romney, a disquieting figure who sure looks like the next president and most surely must be stopped.

Romney’s main business experience is as a management consultant, a field in which smart, fast-moving specialists often advise corporations on how to reinvent themselves. His memoir is called Turnaround – the story of his successful rescue of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City – but the most stunning turnaround he has engineered is his own political career.

If you followed only his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, you might imagine Romney as a pragmatic moderate with liberal positions on numerous social issues and an ability to work well with Democrats. If you followed only his campaign for president, you’d swear he was a red-meat conservative, pandering to the religious right, whatever the cost. Pay attention to both, and you’re left to wonder if there’s anything at all at his core …

… In the 2008 campaign for president, there are numerous issues on which Romney has no record, and so voters must take him at his word. On these issues, those words are often chilling. While other candidates of both parties speak of restoring America’s moral leadership in the world, Romney has said he’d like to “double” the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, where inmates have been held for years without formal charge or access to the courts. He dodges the issue of torture – unable to say, simply, that waterboarding is torture and America won’t do it.

When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state’s first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney. If a candidate is a phony, we assure ourselves and the rest of the world, we’ll know it.

Mitt Romney is such a candidate. New Hampshire Republicans and independents must vote no …

Commentary:

“The Monitor editorial board leans left, and the paper is often viewed as a liberal counterweight to the conservative Union Leader of Manchester,” writes Alec MacGillis for Wapo’s The Trail in a post titled Concord Monitor: Romney “Must Be Stopped”

But with its anti-Romney assault the paper finds itself on the same page as the Union Leader, which has endorsed John McCain for the Republican nomination and followed that up with harsh editorial critiques of Romney. For Romney, this may be a case of familiarity breeding contempt — while his years as governor in the state next door may benefit him with some voters in New Hampshire, his proximity also means that close observers of his governorship are more aware than most of the discrepancies between his moderate record in Massachusetts and his rightward tilt on the campaign trail.

Romney’s rough handling from the New Hampshire press is coming as he is sees his months-long steady lead in the New Hampshire polls shrinking with the resurgence of McCain in New Hampshire, and the rise of Mike Huckabee in Iowa.

This weekend’s broadside from the Monitor is all the more striking given that Romney appeared to leave a good initial impression in his interview with the editorial board last month. An editorial that followed that meeting declared, under the headline “Romney has good grasp of nation’s problems”:
“At campaign events, Mitt Romney can come across as insincere. In presidential debates, his performance has been uneven. In his television ads, he seems too good to be true – too handsome, too rich, too articulate and too wholesome to have much in common with the people whose votes he seeks. But put him in a boardroom and Romney shines.

The former Massachusetts governor recently met with the Monitor’s editorial board. His performance was impressive. He is articulate and knowledgeable. He doesn’t come across as an ideologue – that would be tough given his history of changed positions – but as a pragmatist, a guy who gets things done. None of that was surprising. The surprise was that Romney, whose Mormon faith and mega-millions isolate him from the experience of many Americans, came across as a pretty regular guy.”

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden responded to the broadside by saying: “The Monitor’s editorial board is regarded as a liberal one on many issues, so it is not surprising that they would criticize Governor Romney for his conservative views and platform” … etc.

Only here is the problem, Madden. The Monitor criticizes Romney for his duplicity, not his alleged and oft-disputed “conservatism”.

This is a pattern for Romey: his F2F appearances tend to backfire on the hapless candidate. 2 other examples:

yours &c.
dr. d.g.

“Senator John McCain who had previously been endorsed by the New Hampshire Manchester Union Leader was today endorsed by the Boston Globe and Des Moines Register,” writes FullosseousFlap in a FullosseousFlap Dental Blog post titled John McCain Watch: McCain Endorsed by Boston Globe and Des Moines Register

In a direct slap (or more like a knife in the back) at Mitt Romney – Romney was the Governor and is long time resident of Massachusetts, the Boston Globe played it safe with McCain and by its endorsement hopes to deny a New Hampshire victory to Romney.

The Des Moines Register disagrees with John McCain on a number of issues (including abortion rights) but denied the endorsement to Romney who has spent over $7 million in Iowa and who desperately needs a win in Iowa and New Hampshire to gather momentum to win later primary/caucus states.

Will these endorsements help John McCain?

Certainly.

But, McCain is short on campaign cash and organization. It is doubtful his campaign could parlay these endorsements into wins besides New Hamsphire and perhaps Michigan.

If anyone is a major beneficiary of these endorsements it is Rudy Giuliani. A muddled primary season with various winners in early states plays to his big state Super Duper Tuesday February 5th strategy … etc.

We concur. See:

Romney’s early-state von Schlieffen plan stalls and sputters—what does this mean for Mayor Giuliani?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“It isn’t surprising, really, that the NRO has decided to annoint Romney as the next Bush (and what a compliment!),” writes John Cole for Balloon Juice in a post titled Romney, The Establishment Candidate

yours &c.
dr. d.g.

“[Romney] still has some convincing to do with other conservatives,” write the buffoons at National Review in an “editorial” titled Romney for President

Well, duh.

We suppose Romney could convince the rest of us the way he “convinced” the goofball-sycophants at National Review. Only we would be far, far more expensive.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

You can read it about here: Romney Scores Major Endorsement

Typically Team Romney times the release of its endorsements to coordinate with other events, e.g. the value voters summit. See:

Hart: Romney campaign unmatched in its ability to execute

The timing of this release seems odd to us. What what could it possibly be coordinated?—it also seems out-of-synch with other themes the Romneys are currently developing etc. OTOH: It is at least consistent with Romney’s general project of accumulating endorsements etc. We just hope that Mr. Weyrich received consideration—e.g. funding for his research and education outreaches—commensurate with whatever his reputation for sound judgment may have been before he squandered it.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg will throw his support to Mitt Romney today, backers of the former Massachusetts governor confirm,” writes Jonathan Martin for politico.com in a post titled Gregg to endorse Romney

… Gregg — whose father was governor and whose last name retains considerable cache in the state — is the prize get in New Hampshire for any GOP presidential hopeful. But enthusiasm for his endorsement will be tempered by reminders that he also got behind then-Gov. George W. Bush in the 2000 race, only to see Bush lose by 19 points to McCain … etc.

The emphasis is ours.

Perhaps Sen. Judd can work that same “lose by 19 points” magic for the befuddled Mr. Romney.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

The video of Cramer damning Romney with faint praise even as he backpedals furiously from his earlier “endorsement” of the man is available at race42008.com in a post titled More Cramer on Romney, courtesy of the estimable

MetroRepublican comments:

So, Cramer makes a special announcement to clarify he is NOT endorsing this man, and that he was an intimidating figure he didn’t want to be around.

Nobody doubts Mitt was a successful venture capitalist. Nobody doubts John Edwards was a successful plaintiff’s lawyer. They are essentially the same man: phony power lusters.

UA Razerback comments:

What is the deal with Romney and his “so-called” endorsements?? Does this make three now that say they are not supporting him?

The last Romney-endorsement-retraction that we detected was Dr. Don Wilton:

Dr. Don Wilton comes to his senses: retracts endorsement of Romney—this is the same Wilton that Justin Hart boasted of in his mymanmitt post titled The Ability to Execute

Aside: Cramer’s endorsement reversal is also available at the so-called Evangelicals for Mitt blog under the title Rigor, Acumen, Abilitydo these people hear only what they want to hear?

Question: Did the Romneys jump the shark at the value voters summit?—We mean, what with all of these defections?—We would argue no. Or: we would argue that even if they did jump the shark, it really doesn’t matter. Follow our speculations:

1. Romney’s vast resources confer upon the candidate neither strength nor standing. Romney’s negatives are historically-unprecedentedly high. Hence: other campaigns can afford to laugh off or ignore Romney’s negative attacks. And they do.

Romney has the most negative image at this point of any of the major candidates for president, claims Newport of USA Today’s GallupGuru; the Romney campaign’s death-by-internal-memo part (ii)

2. But: Romney’s resources do render him resilient. Almost daily Team Romney suffers blows—self-inflicted and otherwise—that would be fatal to a campaign organized on a more rational, and less personal, basis; i.e. a campaign more closely coupled with—more intimately dependent upon—its donors, supporters, interest groups, clients etc. The primitive and steeply vertical character of Romney’s oft-touted organization renders it almost immune to moral challenge or collapse: the consultants, the professionals, the armies of sub-contracters and other hirelings who attend upon Romney—they all know that they will get paid whatever comes.

3. Romney’s campaign therefore assumes the character of a terror cell or a militia—an organization optimized for long-term, low-intensity conflict—it can never concentrate enough force at the right moment to seriously threaten any other campaign, but it still reserves a limited power to harass, delay, provoke, and distract. The limit upon its power to harass etc. is precisely its powerlessness, i.e. its over-reliance on relatively expensive instruments of direct influence. See:

positioned to fail: Team Romney’s over-reliance on instruments of direct influence and its consequences

4. Hence: the Romney’s plot from their posh, waterfront headquarters the political equivalent of asymmetrical strikes, single, highly targeted, highly planned blows that they pray will radically alter the balance of forces that confront them in their favor, whether through targeted strikes like the value voters summit, or through the so-called Early States Strategy, the notion that if they can win one or more of the early state primaries then many of the undecideds in later state primaries will decide for Romney.

The problem is this: asymmetrical strikes produce unintended consequences—the more successful the strike, the more difficult it is to contain or control. See:

out-of-touch Evangelical “leaders” stunned by Huckabee upset at the value voters summit—prepared to sigh, shrug, and coronate Romney as their Lord, G_d, and King—oh, the irony!

So, we would conclude that despite the insults and humiliations that the Romneys have endured and continue to endure, and despite even a thousand more defections, the Romneys will press their claims right up to the GOP convention. It is the same species of hope-against-the-despair that illuminates the fevered dreams of the fugitive Bin Laden—not Sen. Barack Obama, Mr. Romney—but Osama Bin Laden—please try to keep them straight.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.





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