Posts Tagged ‘Mike Allen’

[…] “Glover Park Group, founded by and stocked with some of Washington’s best-known Democrats, is suddenly going bipartisan despite the possibility of a Republican wipeout in November,” writes Mike Allen of politico.com in a story titled Democratic firm adding Republicans—not terribly bright, nominal Republicans, anyway.

The strategy firm announced Wednesday that it is hiring Kevin Madden, 36, who appears frequently on television as a Republican analyst and was a top official in Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign […]

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dr. g.d.

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When someone lies to us unabashedly it offends us. It is an insult to our intelligence when someone tells us that up is down or darkness is light. Now: Imagine the plight of the poor journalists assigned to follow the Romney campaign—those forced to endure one assault upon brute fact after another—as you watch this painful video.

From CBS News’ Scott Conroy:

“I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign,” Romney said. “I don’t have lobbyists that are tied to my … ”

“That’s not true, governor!” Johnson suddenly interjected. “That is not true. Ron Kaufman is a lobbyist.”

Romney then issues a strained distinction to resolve the contradiction, a distinction that hinges on the term “run” (this quote is from Mike Allen of the Politico.com—the emphasis is ours, all ours):

“Did you hear what I said — did you hear what I said, Glen?” Romney replied. “I said, ‘I don’t have lobbyists running my campaign,’ and he’s not running my campaign. He’s an adviser. And the person who runs my campaign is [campaign manager] Beth Myers, and I have a whole staff of deputy campaign managers.”

Apparently some woman named Beth Myers and her many deputies run Romney’s campaign, as she is Romney’s campaign director. And apparently what Romney meant by “running” was “running” in the technical sense of campaign administration.

Here be the problem: If this technical sense of the term “running”—as in plotting strategy, scheduling appearances etc., the sort of work that a campaign director would do—is the sense in which Romney meant that he had no lobbyists “running his campaign,” then no one, not anyone whether Republican or Democrat has lobbyists “running” their campaigns and Romney’s claim is meaningless on its face. It would be as meaningful saying that bears do not ride bicycles in the Romney campaign. (Well, do bears ride bicycles in any campaign?)

The Boston Herald’s Ms. Jessica Van Sack makes the case more elegantly:

[…] Romney’s argument basically came down to this: Kaufman’s not running my campaign – therefore, lobbyists don’t run my campaign. So, following Romney’s logic, if his campaign director isn’t a lobbyist, and every other campaign worker is a lobbyist, lobbyists still don’t aren’t running his campaign.

Folks, you can’t make this stuff up […]

So Johnson’s rejoinder clearly has merit. Lobbyists do hold positions of influence in the Romney campaign—for example, Ron Kaufman. To insist that lobbyists are not running the Romney campaign in some technical sense is like saying that generals never fight wars; only soldiers fight wars.

We would like to offer a special blessing for the parents, the children, and the loved ones of one Mr. Glen Johnson of the Associated Press, a man possessed of integrity, a man who possesses soul.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

… “[Voters] have fallen out of love with a Republican Party that was supposed to be carrying the banner of traditional values and limited government, whom they no longer trust to do so,” writes the estimable Star Parker in an Urban Cure post titled Romney symptomatic of Republican problems; Americans have fallen out of love with a Republican Party that was supposed to be carrying the banner of traditional values and limited government, whom they no longer trust to do so

When Reagan ran against the entrenched political establishment in 1980, the sentiment toward him was similar to what we hear today about Mike Huckabee. How could this guy — a class B actor, former sportscaster, with a bachelor’s degree from Eureka College in Illinois — be running for President of the United States?

But Reagan had been traveling and speaking around the country for years. He knew the country and he knew its people. When he ran against government and the establishment, these folks felt he was representing them.

But now Republicans have become a detached ruling elite like the Democrats that Reagan ran against. And they have alienated a chunk of the grass roots within their own party, and independents that Reagan had wooed in.

Republicans can win back the hearts and minds of Americans. But they have to get real and get honest. Unlike the former governor of Massachusetts … etc.

Parker’s case in point: Romney’s obscene gyrations about whether, or (unbelievably) in what sense, he “saw” his father, George Romney, march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., when the historical record argues otherwise:

It’s doubtful that anyone needs any more reasons to explain why Americans are fed up with politics as usual. Nevertheless, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has given us one more.

Apparently when Romney said, “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King,” in his much publicized “Faith in America” speech, this was not exactly true.

It appears that not only did Romney not see this, but there is serious doubt whether his father ever indeed did march with Dr. King.

Romney now says that he meant this “figuratively.”

According to the former Massachusetts governor, “If you look at the literature or the dictionary the term ‘saw’ includes being aware of in the sense I have described. It is a figure of speech….”

We haven’t seen a politician parse a sentence like this since Bill Clinton dissected the meaning of the verb “is” and explained that it was Monica who had sex with him and not the other way around.

The next sentence in the speech following the King claim was, “I saw my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways nearby….” Also figuratively?

The Detroit Free Press says that it has no record of Romney’s father, onetime Michigan Governor George Romney, ever marching with King. According to the Free Press, when Dr. King marched in Detroit, their archives show that Romney’s father did not participate because he said his religion prohibited him from public appearances on Sunday.

How ironic that Romney chose to insert this apparent whopper in his “Faith in America” speech. Perhaps the governor’s idea of faith is what Groucho Marx had in mind with his line, “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes.”

This kind of casualness with the truth is what has alienated good citizens across the country from the elites who are running our political machinery … etc.

Just so. For Jon Ponder—in a Pensito Review release titled Politico.com Was Duped by Team Romney on Mitt’s Dad Marching with Martin Luther King—Romney’s transparent lie raises the question of Mike Allen’s complicity:

Nothing gets reporter Mike Allen hyperventilating like sticking it to the libs. Last week, Allen — former White House stenographer on the payroll of the Washington Post, now taking GOP dictation for Politico.com — reported a big gotcha on lefties who accused Mitt Romney of lying when he claimed he “saw” his father, the late liberal Republican governor of Michigan, George Romney, marching with Martin Luther King.

All of this evidence is important to present to the general public, but it is unnecessary for the Romney campaign — it has been clear for some time that they know perfectly well that the two men never marched together.

Allen “found” two eyewitnesses — probably with the help of the Romney campaign — who claim to remember seeing Gov. George Romney with King in Grosse Point, a wealthy enclave outside Detroit. One remembers the two men walking hand in hand …

… Another woman told Allen she remembers it vividly: “I was only 15 or 20 feet from where both of them were.”

It is possible that these two women saw Martin Luther King in Grosse Point in 1968, and they may have seen Gov. Romney at a civil rights march there in 1963. But, according to David Bernstein at the Phoenix, the historical record shows that the two men were never in Grosse Point — or anywhere else — at the same time …

… The Romney team is, simply put, lying about this episode, Bernstein says …

Which brings us to a familiar question: Was Mike Allen complicit in the campaign’s deception, or was he simply lazy about checking the facts?

Mitt Romney has already had to backtrack on the claim that he actually saw his father with Martin Luther King. Mitt actually had the chutzpah to say that he was using a secondary definition of the verb “to see,” insisting that he “figuratively,” not literally, saw his father marching with Dr. King.

Politically, it’s a puzzle what Mitt hopes to gain from this. All this palaver about his support of civil rights for African-Americans might help him with his country-club base: folks who don’t approve of racism even though they don’t personally socialize with anyone who has brown skin. But the image of Mitt’s father marching with Martin Luther King will cost him votes among Christian nationalist voters, the GOP base whose reactionary views he insists he shares.

And telling easily debunked lies like this one will get Mitt Romney nowhere with both constituencies, who are used to the Bushies’ Teflon coated prevarications … etc.

Let Allen’s example serve as a cautionary tale for all journalists covering the Romneys—even, or perhaps especially journalists sympathetic to the Romneys or their message—do not trust these people. Your reputation means nothing to them. In stronger terms: you mean nothing to them. Trust nothing that they say. Always check your facts; always verify their every claim.

yours &c.
dr. g. d.

“Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ today that he wept with relief when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormon church, announced a 1978 revelation that the priesthood would no longer be denied to persons of African descent,” writes Mike Allen for the Politico in a post titled Mitt wept when church ended discrimination

Romney’s eyes appeared to fill with tears as he discussed the emotional subject during a high-stakes appearance that he handled with no major blunders …… Moderator Tim Russert asked if “it was wrong for your faith to exclude them for as long as it did.”

“I told you exactly where I stand,” Romney said. “My view is that there’s no discrimination in the eyes of God. And I could not have been more pleased than to see the change that occurred” … etc.

A typical Romney-dodge. Note the bold assertion of intention—articulated in the past tense, as if the question had been asked and answered—followed by a flat non-sequitor in the form of an inarguable truism.

Question: What is Romney afraid of? Why can he not simply admit that his church was in error? Does the Mormon confession forbid critical reflection?

Also:

… Russert brought up an old issue of Sunstone magazine, a Mormon publication, which said that Romney discussed his possible Presidential run with the ‘man he admires most in the world: Mormon president Gordon Bitner Hinckley.’

Russert asked if voters should be concerned that he was seeking advice from the leader of the Mormon Church. Romney said he made the decision to run by himself and his family. He talked about our nation’s problems and how he had experience outside government, but that he’s happy to get as much advice as he can from anyone he can. He never mentioned the man he most admires …

Romney needs to release his notes from this interview. Note the assonance between the names Willard Milton Romney and Gordon Bitner Hinckley.

And:

“Maybe it was the pressure of the moment. Being under the Tim Russert spotlight can get to anyone,” writes Michael D. Shear in a Wapo The Trail post titled Romney Claims NRA Endorsement He Didn’t Receive

Comment: Russert broke Romney? How odd. He never broke Mayor Giuliani.

Under Russert’s grilling about guns on this morning’s “Meet the Press,” former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney claimed an endorsement he’d never won.

In answer to questions about whether he would sign an assault weapons ban, Romney said: “Just as the president said, he would have, he would have signed that bill if it came to his desk, and so would have I. And, and, and yet I also was pleased to have the support of the NRA when I ran for governor. I sought it, I seek it now. I’d love to have their support.”

Later in the interview, he added the following:

“I just talked about, about guns. I told you what my position was, and what I, what I did as governor; the fact that I received the endorsement of the NRA.”

The problem?

He was never endorsed by the NRA, and didn’t have their official support during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. The NRA declined to endorse in that race, as was acknowledged by Romney’s spokesman this morning … etc.

Yuh-huh. But the big lie is Romney himself, Romney2.0, as argued by Amspec’s Jen Rubin:

… “One exchange stands out. He was asked about running as a moderate against [Ted] Kennedy. The sequence is long but you can read it for yourself. He repeatedly rejects the ‘premise’ that he ran in 1994 or in 2002 as anything other than a rock ribbed conservative. If you have spent any time studying those races, watching the debates or reading press accounts you know that’s just hooey. Not even Romney claimed at the time to be a conservative…Given the voluminous public record nicely preserved for all of us via Google and YouTube, it’s unclear why he hasn’t been more candid on all of this and just come right out and said: ‘I was trying to get elected in Massachusetts for goodness sakes’ or ‘I really have changed on a bunch of issues in the last few years.’ It is the pretense of consistency that is so unsettling. Does he not remember or he thinks we’re too dim to ‘look it up’?” …

The governing assumption—and essential premise—of Romney’s candidacy is that conservatives are knuckle-dragging rubes.

We hope to prove him wrong.

yours &c
dr. g.d.

“Sensing weakness, Sen. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have formed an unspoken alliance to try to torpedo Mitt Romney just as many voters are tuning in to the Republican presidential race,” writes the estimable if a little too literary Mike Allen in a politico post titled Romney gets joint drubbing; Mitt Romney is fighting off assaults from both Rudy Giuliani and John McCain.

“I’m not going to con you,” McCain said Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” when asked about Romney. “It’s important to be honest with people.”

The two are teaming up at a time when the heat is escalating in both nominating contests. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) started attacking Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) by name last week after resisting for months in the service of his “new kind of politics.”

On the Republican side, Romney must figure out how to retain his strength in Iowa and New Hampshire now that loyal Republicans are hearing a lot more about him than the soothing messages they were getting from his heavy schedule of television commercials.

McCain has been running a mostly positive race, even refusing at one point to read a text by his aides that included attacks on Clinton. So his joint barrage with Giuliani is enough of a departure that it is even sparking GOP speculation about whether they might form a future ticket.

The two are friends and Giuliani said that if he weren’t running, he’d support the senator from Arizona. If Giuliani were the nominee, though, he’d need someone to help him turn out the Republican base, and McCain wouldn’t be much help there.

Romney aides see they are facing a fight and are pushing back hard. Kevin Madden, Romney’s national press secretary, said: “Other campaigns will flail about and try and attempt to launch angry attacks on us, and we’re prepared for that.”

“Angry” is aimed at one of Giuliani’s big vulnerabilities – his volatile temperament and the mixed view that New Yorkers had of him when he was mayor. The Romney campaign plans to push that idea – at first subtly and perhaps later overtly – in coming daysetc., etc.

Kevin Madden!?—Giuliani can relax—the maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden is the singularly least successful “national press secretary” in the history of either secretaries or of a national press. Also: This is not the first time that the Romney people have expropriated Democrat talking points: “As this Peter J. Boyer report from August makes clear, there were a lot of New Yorkers who had problems with Giuliani by the time hizzoner left office,” writes Matthew Continetti in a Campaign Standard post titled Rudy’s Anger.

As the Allen report suggests, the Romney campaign seems to recognize this and is planning an attack on the grounds that Giuliani is “angry.”

Here’s the thing, though: Most of those New Yorkers who didn’t like Giuliani in 2001 were liberals who, once the mayor saved their city from them, were able to focus on those aspects of Rudy’s personality which they did not like. Those aspects of his personality, uncoincidentally, also allow him to achieve his desired results.

In other words: If Romney focuses on Giuliani’s “anger,” he once again will be borrowing rhetoric from the Democrats in order to bash a fellow Republican. It’s an audacious gambit. But is it necessarily the best strategy by which to win a Republican primary?etc., etc.

Does this argument work with Republicans?—do we value cold, bloodless, spineless, mindless drones.? Apparently the Romneys think we do. Hence: Romney.

Back to Allen’s Romney gets joint drubbing:

Giuliani and his campaign moved ruthlessly to capitalize on Romney’s statement in last week’s debate that a president should “sit down with your attorneys” in deciding whether congressional authorization was needed to strike Iran.

In a post-debate interview, Giuliani made sport of Romney. “That’s one of those moments in a debate where you say something and you go like this,” Giuliani told ABC’s Jake Tapper, cupping his hand over his mouth — ” ‘Wish I can get that one back.’ “

The former Massachusetts governor, trying to regain his footing, went on the offensive Friday in Sparks, Nev., saying: “Conservatives that have heard me time and again recognize that I do speak for the Republican wing of the Republican Party,” Romney said. That was an echo of a crowd-pleasing 2004 line by Howard Dean that he represented the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party”etc., etc.

That line went over brilliantly. See:

Romney gets owned by Ron Paul at Conservative Leadership Conference; defeated decisively in straw poll despite fawning in-person appeal to the crowd—also, Romney riffs on a line by Howard Dean and gets lashed and lampooned by DNC and other GOP candidates

VDS comments on Mike Allen’s reportage in Reply #: 2, Date: Oct. 15, 2007 – 8:39 AM EST:

Aside from the fact that most of what Rudy and McCain are saying about Mitt is true, this is a wise strategy. Romney’s poll numbers are stuck in the tank with no sign of improving, however much of his own money he spends. But he is a major distraction and a potential harm to the eventual nominee. Rudy needs to dispense with him quickly in order to further establish himself as the frontrunner. McCain needs to pick up major support ahead of the Thompson campaign’s pending collapse. (Where is he hiding anyway?) Romney is a mean-spirited fraud without credibility as a Republican. The sooner he is out, the better for everyone.

We concur. Emphasis ours.

yours &c.
dr.g.d.