Posts Tagged ‘evangelicals for mitt’
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:
“Romney leads in the delegate count, but I think this weekend’s results show astounding weakness in the candidate who was supposed to be the most electable conservative in the race,” writes Jonahtan Andler in an NRO The Corner blog burst titled Is Romney Viable?
Consider two things: 1) Romney spent $4 million and 22 days in South Carolina, and still finished behind Fred. 2) Romney has not one any seriously contested constest. Nevada? Wyoming? Please. Where Romney has made a major investment (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina) he has failed. Michigan? No other candidate made a comparable investment or effort to winning the state, so I’m not sure that helps the case.What’s Romney’s problem? For many folks (my self included), it is a perceived insincerity. I too often get the sense that Romney is saying what he thinks folks want to hear instead of what he believes. It isn’t just the “evolution” of his views, it is also the small things: The small, subtle exaggerations that arise when Romney is trying to ingratiate himself with various groups. (Remember Romney the life-long hunter?) The blatant pandering to the auto industry in Michigan in a way that suggests some very unconservative views. Romney’s MBA style does not help much here, as it reinforces the perception of Romney as someone who solves problems without much regard to underlying ideological principle […]
Yuh-huh. We concur. However: what impresses us are the numbers: US$4 million and 22 days, numbers consistent with every other contest that Romney has participated in, win or lose. Romney always-always draws the most pitiable ROI for his massive expenditures.
When Adler generalizes from his own perceptions we are sympathetic but less impressed. Yes, Romney excites our gag reflex too. But so did Pres. Clinton and he served two full terms. Our gag reflex is an unrealiable predictor. And so, we assume, is Adler’s.
The non-Evangelicals at the astroturfing flak-claque fraud-blog preposterously titled Evangelicals for Mitt issue this painfully honest rejoinder:
“Governor Romney did best in Michigan, the biggest and most urbanized of the major early states,” writes Charles Mitchell in a blog burst titled THE GOOD PROFESSOR MISFIRES
Now, ask yourself this question: Which of those states most closely resembles the battles to come? Unquestionably it’s Michigan. If you compare the size (big) and demographics (diverse) of Florida to any of these other places, Michigan’s the only reasonable answer. And then after Florida we have February 5th — where there are numerous contests across the country.
Florida, California, New York etc., resemble Michigan to the degree that they are big and urban? This is the point?
In both cases — Florida and February 5th — the candidates simply are not going to be able to reach most voters one-on-one (Senator McCain’s specialty) or prevail by appealing to a select set of religious believers (Governor Huckabee’s only recourse). They are going to have to do a lot of TV and use messages that resonate with a lot of people. That’s Governor Romney’s strength, and Michigan is the proof. He didn’t win there on account of his dad — if you look at the exit polls, he actually lost among the older voters who’d actually remember George Romney’s 1960s governorship. He won because he reached a huge number of voters on a topic they care about (the economy) with a message that was both conservative and forward looking (a.k.a. non-Huckabeean).
Retail (F2F) politics—as in the early primaries—is no longer possible let alone practicable, argues Mitchell. Targeting select demographics or communities of interest—Evangelicals, home-schoolers—is no longer as feasible, nor will it be as effective, he continues. In other words, expect less dialog (with voters and voter groups in shared spaces or various fora), and more dissemination (to the masses through media channels).
So: broadcast media become dominant in these later primaries, e.g. television.
This line is reasonable on its face.
This is the argument that interests us, yet another variation on the dejected, and despairing theme of “the voters will default to Romney!”
Those who — like Professor Adler — don’t think Governor Romney can connect with primary voters are misjudging this race. This isn’t 2000, 1996, 1992, or any of the other recent campaigns — where you won by doing well in a large number of diners early on. That happened, but it didn’t prove decisive. Given that, we’re now in a different type of campaign — one where the primary weapons are broad-based, public appeals. And we’re also now at the stage of the campaign where the options available to conservatives who don’t want to find themselves making a choice in November between two people who might have been on the Democratic ticket in 2004 — Senators Clinton and McCain — are narrowing. As things start to settle, I think they’ll like what they see — mainly on TV, and addressing the range of issues we care about — from Governor Romney […]
Follow the argument—we have paraphrased it, and enumerated the points, for clarity:
(1) Those who think Romney cannot connect with primary voters have misjudged this race.
(2) This is not like earlier races where you win by visiting lots of diners—Romney did this, but it did not prove decisive
(3) Given that we’re not in one of these earlier races, we’re now in a different kind of campaign (?)
(4) In this new kind of campaign the weapons are broad-based, public appeals
(5) And we’re at a stage in this new kind of campaign where the options for conservatives are growing fewer.
(6) As things start to settle [become more coherent? intelligible?] people will like what they see on television, and what they will see on television is Romney addressing the issues that they care about.
Mitchell’s conclusion as we understand it: Whether Romney can connect with voters or not will not decide the primaries. (Mitchell clearly assumes that Romney cannot connect with voters, otherwise we presume he would argue the point and provide evidence, but he doesn’t.) Other factors obtain: the size of the states, the sprawling urban battlegrounds, the nationally dispersed scope of the contests. So Romney need not connect with anyone in the concrete; he need only do so in the abstract. He need only connect with a television camera and say what people want to hear, as in Michigan.
Romney will prevail as he passes into the distributed and abstracted form of a talking-head, available only behind the prophylactic of a glowing screen.
Is the converse also true?—i.e. As a flesh-and-blood creature Romney loses. We would answer yes, and here is where we agree most heartily with Mitchell’s grim and despairing reasoning.
Problems with Mitchell’s line of argument:
(a) Romney’s use of television has delivered a wildly low ROI even where Romney has won. And Romney’s saturation tactics have more often than not backfired on the candidate. Question: Has Romney learned how to use the medium effectively in so short a time? Was Michigan a special case? Perhaps, perhaps not. See:
Zogby: “Iowan Republicans may have long ago grown tired of Mr. Romney’s ubiquitous presence. ‘You can advertise too much,’ he said. ‘People get tired of seeing the same old face, and he went negative. Iowans didn’t like it’”
(b) Romney’s message to Michigan was clearly and distinctly not just non-conservative, but counter-conservative. See:
- Romney in MI champions big business and big government partnership for the purpose of economic nationalism even as he funds Club for Growth attacks on Gov. Huckabee—oh, the cynicism
- in MI Romney spends more on paid media than both his rivals combined, but the real cost of Romney’s MI campaign will be paid by the US taxpayer
Will Romney follow or develop this model? And: how much will it cost the US treasury if he does?
(c) And isn’t it odd that the chief argument emitted by Romney supporters is always “When Republicans have no choices, Republicans will choose Romney!” Here would be our favorite example:
(d) What about the South? What does SC predict for Romney in the South?
What Mitchell leaves unsaid is that Romney is a fabulously wealthy self-funder who has already squandered upwards of US$20 million on his own campaign: he is on the only candidate disposed to take full advantage of the new terrain as Mitchell describes it, as he is the only candidate with the money—his own—to pay for the expensive television ad buys. This is yet another aspect of Romneyism.
For the record: We predict that Romney wins the GOP nomination, but at tremendous cost to himself and, especially, the GOP. Our conclusion: Romney is viable only because the GOP is not. Think of Romney like a carrion beetle. A healthy organism only need crush it like a bug. A sick organism, on the other hand …
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 Jason Bonham.
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.
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:
Aside: Cramer’s endorsement reversal is also available at the so-called Evangelicals for Mitt blog under the title Rigor, Acumen, Ability—do 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.
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:
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:
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.
“After a great debate performance by all the leading Republicans and Mike Huckabee’s second-place finish at the Values Voter straw poll, Byron York and others are now saying that there’s a ‘five-man race,'” writes the bilious and befuddled David French in an Evangelicals for Mitt post titled IT’S A TWO-MAN RACE, NOT A FIVE-MAN RACE
False. It’s a two-man race. It could be a three-man race if Thompson is able to build a better organization and get more funding, but right now it’s still a two-man show–with Rudy and Governor Romney battling for the lead … etc., etc.
This is the Romney-fantasy wish-fulfullment take on the data.
Here would be a more objective take: “The latest tracking poll from Rasmussen Reports shows the Republican nomination contest tighter than ever, with only an 11% spread from first place to fifth,” writes Jim Addison in a WizBang post titled Poll: GOP race tighter than ever. Addison quotes Rasmussen:
Rudy Giuliani is now supported by 21% while Fred Thompson is the top choice for 19%. Seventeen percent (17%) are undecided while John McCain moves into third place among the candidates with at 14% of the vote. Mitt Romney’s support is back down to 12%, Mike Huckabee reaches double digits for the first time at 10%, and Ron Paul earns the vote from 3%. (see recent daily numbers). The more you look at the numbers, the more you realize how wide open the race has become.
For those who have not yet begun to fight—Giuliani, McCain, Huckabee, Thompson, and Paul—this is both unsurprising and uninteresting news—it is precisely what you would expect. But if you happen to be Willard Milton “I have aired over 10,000 television commercials” Romney, then you have a lot to answer for.
Moral: it should be a 2 man race given Romney’s spending. But: it isn’t. This should give Team Romney grounds to pause and reflect. Consider: the Romney campaign has yet to accomplish even one of the goals it set for itself in that notorious powerpoint: Romney’s right flank remains perilously exposed; Evangelicals and social conservatives remain woefully divided; Romney sags in the national polls; despite Romney’s early leads, Iowa and New Hampshire remain up for grabs etc., etc.
So the Romney’s cling tenaciously to their so-called “early state strategy”—which was never a part of their so-called plan until everything else fell apart!—but this election will play out in ’08, not ’04; the primary calendar has changed.
“I am seeing a lot of conservatives out there buying some ridiculous spin about this weekend’s straw poll,” writes a cranky Charles Mitchell in a transparent attempt to spin the latest Romney debacle titled, petulantly, YOU GUYS DON’T GET IT
Given the state of the Huckabee campaign, I don’t think they can get the credit; more likely, all Governor Romney’s rivals are deploying their press teams to try and deny him a victory.
Basically, people are saying that Governor Romney got swamped by the people who actually attended the FRC conference. Now, in point of fact, I do not contest that Governor Huckabee did get more votes from the people with whom we spent this weekend. But some folks are blowing this way out of proportion, claiming that the published margin of “on-site” votes invalidates Governor Romney’s victory in the total margin …
… I’d bet you a jelly donut that a disproportionate number of Romney voters clicked over from that e-mail and voted right away. Why? Well frankly, I saw the folks at this conference, and many of the folks who were voting for Huckabee weren’t exactly computer savvy. That’s not a slam on them–good for them for not spending all their time on blogs!–but it would contribute to more Huckabee votes being cast at the event … etc., etc.
Huckabee supporters are computer illiterates argues Mitchell? Let us set aside the desperation, dejection, and ugly tone of condescension that taints this bizarre claim. (Way to reach out to Huckabee supporters, you super-geniuses!) The confound in the data that Mitchell argues for makes Huckabee’s online numbers—almost as many as Romney—even more significant. Erick of Redstate writes:
In the online poll that the Romney campaign pushed hard to win, he only managed to get thirty more votes than Mike Huckabee — 1595 to 1565 or 27.62% to 27.10% … etc., etc.
The consensus is that Huckabee ruled the event—you can read about it here:
Conclusion: We think we do get it. We think we get it all too well. Which is precisely why Charles Mitchell has a problem with “[us] guys.”
P.S. How would the so-called Evangelicals for Mitt know about the Huckabee supporters and their variable levels of computer literacy?—by their own admission they got “banned” from the event for their unseemly behavior! Way to front for Romney, dudes.
The imbroglio begins at the last debate; a dispute ensues between Romney and Guiliani; see:
Then McCain—yes, the honourable Sen. John McCain, a decorated combat veteran—blindsides Romney with a brilliant rejoinder:
Now suddenly others leap into the fray—e.g. the estimable former Sen. Fred Thompson.
“Hypocrites. People who accuse someone of something, only to turn around and do the same thing themselves. People who lie through their teeth for personal gain. People John McCain and Fred Thompson,” writes a peeved and pensive Matt A. in an Act Blog post awkwardly titled Hipocrites 1 and 2 (Also Known as John and Fred).
(Aside: Imagine for a moment a Romney supporter with either ignorance or audacity enough to refer to anyone else as a hypocrite.)
It all started yesterday when Mitt Romney in an attempt to highlight the difference between himself and the more liberal Rudy Giuliani, assured Nevada Republicans that he “stood for the Republican wing of the Republican Party”. Virtually everyone knew he was taking a swipe at Giuliani, yet Giuliani was not the first to respond. Instead, John McCain lashed out at Romney, making the following statement (from The Politico … more rage and urgent remonstrations … more
“Where I come from, we have a word (a phrase, actually) for this kind of thing. I won’t repeat it, because this is a family blog, but for a hint, see the title of this post. Given that, I was going to let it go” … begins a typically turbid Evangelicals for Mitt post, reproduced in the American Federalist’s Romney Ramblings feed, titled P____ contest.
But then I saw this from another campaign, and I can’t let it pass without comment. Saying Governor Romney “ran for Senate to the left of Ted Kennedy” in 1994 is just ridiculous … more whining and sniveling …
We ask again: What will Romney do?—what can Romney do?—we mean, beyond all the despairing cries and shrieks of rage among Romney’s flaks and surrogates—Romney’s own negatives are too high to support a negative campaign. See:
- 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)
- Romney’s negative attacks on others and his negatives in the polls–what is the link?
Kevin McCullough reacts to Mark DeMoss’s letter, in an Evangelicals for Mitt post titled, without a trace of irony, “GREATER MORAL CLARITY”
However, having said that should the choice come down to it as a contest of Mitt v. Rudy – responsible Christians HAVE to vote Mitt. Simply because he has greater moral clarity than Rudy. And while Rudy may in fact be willing to bomb Iran if the need arises, I believe Mitt would too – but with a greater moral code in place – Mitt’s basis for such a decision would be with less question than a man who has had less than absolute integrity in his marriage(S), on the issue of innocent life, on the issue of marriage, and whether or not we even have the right to own guns to defend ourselves … more
Charles Mitchell correctly describes the McCullough excerpt as a “reaction”—it certainly isn’t a reflection or an instance of reason.
Here is McCullough’s argument:
[grounds] Because he has greater moral clarity than Rudy
[qualifier] should the choice come down to a contest of Mitt v. Rudy –
[conclusion] responsible Christians HAVE to vote Mitt
McCullough bases his conclusion on a distinction that, strangely, results in no practical difference:
- Rudy may in fact be willing to bomb Iran if the need arises,
- I believe Mitt would too – but with a greater moral code in place –
- Mitt’s basis for such a decision would be with less question than a man who has had less than
- absolute integrity in his marriage(S),
- on the issue of innocent life,
- on the issue of marriage,
- and whether or not we even have the right to own guns to defend ourselves.
So: both Romney and Rudy would, presumably, bomb Iran—there is no practical difference in result. But Romney would bomb Iran with “greater moral clarity.”
That make sense, right?—yeah, well, um, no—The withering “Well, so what!?” question springs to mind—does ordnance released with “greater moral clarity” leave deeper smoking craters?—but even if we were to accept this risible non-argument on its face, the sad fact is that Romney has demonstrated absolutely no clarity on the issue of Iraq, moral or otherwise. See:
- debate performance: Romney flip-flops on Iran—again!—how many positions can one man have on the issue of Iran?
- Romney’s “gotta-call-my-lawyer” response to the Iran question object of scorn, derision, and belly-laughs among other GOP candidates—how will Romney respond?
Nor has Romney demonstrated “absolute integrity”—whatever that is—on the issues of marriage, innocent life, or guns.
- Kornacki: Not the first time Romney has changed public position on abortion
- Romney on guns: Romney supports tougher victim disarmament laws
- “Romney did no more or less than create the first homosexual marriages recognized in the nation … “
“‘That’s a phony issue,’ Romney told reporters,” as reported by an anonymous retailer of facts and sparkling wit for abcnews.com’s blog Political Radar in a post titled More Rudy-Romney back and forth
Romney continues: “I’d make a decision based on the safety of the American people. But of course we’d also check to make sure what our legal and constitutional responsibilities are, that’s why we swear an oath of office.”
“But if there’s anybody with a propensity to go to lawsuits . . . it’s the mayor,” Romney continued. “The Mayor’s the one who sued Governor Pataki to keep the commuter tax in place. It’s the mayor who sued the government of the United States over the line item veto. The mayor’s the one who shows the propensity to want to put in place a legal tax. . . . He’s been the one suing. Suing on the line item veto, suing on the commuter tax. . . . I think he also brought a suit to try and keep the federal welfare law from applying to the city of New York.”
Summed up Romney: “he gets first place when it comes to suing and lawyering.”
In response, Giuliani campaign communications director Katie Levinson, issued a statement saying, “hopefully, Mitt Romney isn’t going to check with the same group of lawyers who told him the Bill Clinton line item veto was constitutional” … more
Observation: Romney has gone negative—and he’s angry—well, he’s always angry. He’s also gotten himself wrangled in a tit-for-tat contest of attrition with a more intelligent, more agile player. The problem for Romney: his negatives are way, way higher than Giuliani’s. We explore that issue here:
Even Romney’s own supporters realize the campaign-killing insanity of attacking Giuliani. Example: A tedious and tired David French issues a veiled warning to the Romneys in an Evangelicals for Mitt post titled third party?
… Here at EFM we have long considered Rudy to be far more of a threat to capture the nomination than John McCain or Fred Thompson. He’s a great campaigner. He shines in the debates, he has all the right enemies (the New York left just hates the guy), since 9/11 he’s cornered the market on public perceptions of effective leadership in the face of horrific terror, and there’s a deep reservoir of affection for him. Cold-blooded political consultants have long discounted the power of the visceral bond he formed with much of America on the afternoon of September 11, 2001. And those kinds of bonds matter in politics.
The challenge for Governor Romney is to persuade the ordinary American voter that they can love and respect Rudy for all that he did . . . and still vote for someone else. You don’t beat Rudy by trashing him. You beat him by presenting a better alternative … more [Emphasis ours]
Events have proven that Romney was not equal to this challenge either—the simple challenge of not self-immolating. Question: Has there been a challenge yet that Romney could meet on its own terms? We mean, a challenge that could not be met with a personal check drawn on Romney’s personal funds?
Some are trying to spin the dispute as a Rudy-Romney passion play, i.e. as dispute in which the parties enjoy a certain moral equivalence, e.g. Justin Hart’s race42008.com post strangely titled The Rudy-Romney Shadow, in which Hart, a Romney partisan, quotes approvingly the Thompson campaign:
Yesterday, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani continued their partisan bickering, this time over things like the constitutionality of the line item veto. While they played politics, Fred Thompson rose above it and took his conservative, small government, tax cutting message straight to the American people … more
This argument allows Romney supporters to claim that Romney stands at the same level as the former mayor. Only he doesn’t—the two parties are not equal, and they will not be perceived as equal. To demonstrate, let us ask the same question in different terms: When people hear the name Giuliani they think of the courage and heroism of New York and New Yorkers on 9.11 and in its aftermath—or they think of how NYC became livable during his tenure as NYC’s mayor. When people hear the name Romney—if they have ever heard of him at all—they think of gay marriage. Question: So who do you think is going to win this dispute?—or, more to the point: who does Romney or his crack staff of hirelings and hangers-on think is going to win this dispute? Conclusion: Team Romney desperately needs some adult supervision.
The maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden—Romney’s chief helper-monkey in times of distress—had better immediately issue lots of conciliatory noise about the former mayer of NYC and about how much the Romneys respect his years of public service etc., etc.—and he had better do so before the next news-cycle.