Friday, March 31, 2006

Friday in the Mitt-osphere (for lack of a better word)

For possible GOP presidential hopeful Romney, a gift from an unlikely source

I came across a post on a blog called Excessive Catholicism where the author ruminates on Romney's pro-life stance:

Maybe he's faking pro-life beliefs in order to help himself in the Republican primaries. But he did stage huge battles with liberals in Massachusetts over not only same-sex marriage and religious freedom, but also embryonic stem cell research. Maybe he pretended to be "pro-choice" just to win in Massachusetts but now he's saying what he actually believes? It's hard to tell.
Looks like this is shaping up to be one of the big questions Americans will be asking themselves about Mitt Romney.

By the way, I notice that someone finally voted for Antics as their favorite work by Interpol in our poll. That took awhile.

And finally, there's an interesting article about Bill Frist in yesterday's Washington Post that talks about his immigration bill in the Senate. Basically it's the latest in a string of bad moves for him over the last year or so as he tries to be Senate Majority Leader and run for the White House at the same time. I think his case highlights why it's so hard for a Senator to become president.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today's News

As '08 race shapes up, is Romney for real?

Romney Targets Democrats' Turf on Health and Education for 2008

Good article...talks about his positions on the issues.

Rivalry Stirs Between McCain, Romney

Mitt's gotta be loving it when he hears about a Romney/McCain rivalry. I don't see a downside to it for him and you know McCain doesn't like it. Going to Arizona seems to have been a great move.

And finally, scroll down to the bottom of this link for this little tidbit (thanks to Marc for the link):

...Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stood on the ice during the second intermission wearing a Denver Broncos jersey to follow through on a bet he lost to Colorado Gov. Bill Owens when the Broncos beat the New England Patriots in the NFL playoffs earlier this year.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Quick Look Around The Mitt-osphere Reveals...

Ok, I'm going to have to work on a name for the Mitt Blogosphere...but for now, a quick look around the Mitt-osphere reveals some very intriguing gossip.

First, according to, the real reason Andy Card left the White House was not the standard WH shakeup, rather
Card is leaving to play a significant role in the presidential campaign of Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. This announcement will not be made for several months; perhaps not until after the 2006 election, but many of Card's associates have already been working for Romney behind the scenes.

If this is true it is excellent news for Romney. For general credibility and fundraising purposes it would be a coup. You have to assume that Card kept a few of those Bush Pioneer numbers in his rolodex. (On a side note, one of the comments to the anklebitingpundits post contained this line: "I would have thought the dim-wits would have at least learned that when you throw crap in a fan you don't stand in front of the fan. Have they proved me wrong again by not learning anything from the past or do they just enjoy spraying crap on themselves." In all the history of the Internet has there ever been a greater line written? That should be on a T-shirt.)

The next president?

I'll tell you right now, this column is not for everyone. But it's funny. Most of it. Heed the warning that precedes it, and beyond that, stay off my back.

A few of the highlights:

This guy is not losing any daily efficiency to cheap whiskey hangovers. He is in fact better than any of us, and is more qualified to be president of the United States than anyone who has ever lived.

Your dog does more drugs than Mitt Romney, and a typical American third-grader shows more signs of hard living.

Mitt Romney may or may not be human, but he has no human faults.

Five sons attest to his reproductive superiority. Everyone knows that you get boys if you try harder.

In another life, Mitt could be head of the Luftwaffe, or the Earth's human representative to the First Intergalactic All Species Congress.

Yes, Mormonism is freaky and weird, but what are the other choices? Islam? Talk about nuttier than Chinese chicken! Or how about Scientology? Sure Mormonism is freaky, but it's cuddly-freaky. Scientology is just creepy-freaky. Who doesn't love Mitt Romney? Who doesn't love Steve Young?

Think of Mormon as something as weird as Catholicism (how about those red satin pillbox hats at the recent cardinals' elevation ceremony), but lacking the patina of historical distance and the interior decorating skills of Michelangelo.

More importantly he discusses the problems Romney will have with the evangelical base of the Republican party, and I think this guy is dead on. It's strange to contemplate that for a fellow like Romney's his religiosity will pose more of a problem with the religious than with the less/nonreligious.

Also, National Journal has some interesting analysis of a recent poll examining Bush's support with his base. (I don't think this one requires registration).

Margin For Error: The Bush Base

Monday, March 27, 2006

"I think he's a very good man; I think he's extremely attractive"

Those are the words of John McCain. What he meant to say, though, was, "He's a very good man. I'm going to destroy him if he doesn't stop badmouthing my sweet, sweet baby BCRA!"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Mitt on C-SPAN's Q&A

Here's the link to Romney's interview on Q&A from last Sunday. I'm watching it right now, but I'll post some thoughts in the comments after I've seen it.

Romney 3rd in ABC "Invisible Primary"

ABC News Political Unit's 2008 Presidential Invisible Primary Ratings, Vol. 1

This is good news. Overall it ranks Mitt third behind McCain and George Allen. Not bad, all things considered. What I don't get is that they ranked him sixth in "Television Campaign Skills." Apparently they've not seen Mitt with his shirt off. I'm telling you, put him in a swimsuit contest with the rest of the field (Condoleezza included -- I hear she's been working out though) and he wins it going away.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

God Bless Toledo

Here's some food for thought on this utterly Mitt-less news day. This is a 1999 column by Jonathan Rauch (subscription required) from National Journal (no word yet on how he made the transition from political observer to Washington Nationals' pitcher) talking about how presidents have invoked God in their speeches and campaigns, from an atheist's point of view. One conclusion he draws is that "in public life, God's name is ubiquitous but his influence is nil." It's interesting in light of how George W. Bush has taken talking about God to a whole new level.

What could this mean for a Mitt Romney presidency? Rauch argues that level of devotion and mentioning God in speeches have an inverse relationship -- Jimmy Carter never mentioned God while Bill Clinton failed to "God Bless" at the end of only one State of the Union address. I'm not so sure how that argument holds up, but it would be interesting to see how Mitt would do it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Friday's Buzz Tuesday

Rich Lowry has a great article on the potential showdown between Romney and George Allen in the race to oppose John McCain. It's pretty good. It was all the buzz last week. But of course you get all your Romney news here so you didn't hear about it until now. You should really stop doing that.

Monday, March 20, 2006

All Mitt All the Time

There's a lot of good stuff about Mitt in the news...

Dealing with the Mormon factor

Roth rocked, Romney rolls at Imus show

Republicans begin long road to 2008
As the Republican Party begins the task of choosing its candidates for the 2008 presidential election, Justin Webb observes one of the early hopefuls, Mitt Romney, Governor of Massachusetts.

Romney to attend O’Malley’s elevation to cardinal

Did you notice the "Trend Results" link over on the right side of the page? Right now I have a link comparing the number of mentions Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George Allen get in the blogosphere. It's not a totally scientific tool, but it's interesting and gives at least a sense of who is getting the most buzz. Let me know how you like it and if you have any suggestions.

And finally...from the what were people saying five days ago file, Chuck Todd from National Journal discusses the possibility of a McCain/Barbour matchup.
The pairing makes so much sense that now we're convinced it will never happen.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday's Buzz

There's a lot in the news today about Mitt. The more I hear and read about him, and particularly the more attention I pay to the way he is portrayed in the media, the more I think he has a legitimate shot at the White House. You always hear about how in some poll (not trying to denigrate it, I just don't recall who did it) something like 30% of respondents said that they wouldn't vote for a Mormon for president. I guess I really need to find the poll and disect it, but I can imagine that when it comes down to a primary or a general election people are not going to say, "Hmm, I'm going to sit this one out because my party's guy is Mormon." My feeling is that when voters get to know a particular candidate -- like Mitt, for example -- any prejudices or preconceived notions will pale in comparison to the substantive issues that candidate espouses and even the personality of the particular candidate. Off the top of my head -- and any and all of this is subject to change after I see the poll -- I would guess that the people who responded that they wouldn't vote for a Mormon are thinking along these lines: "Mormons...they're the people that knock on my door right? No way!" Am I wrong about this? I think as people see what kind of a person Mitt Romney is -- and frankly how eloquent and charming he is -- many will forget any prejudices against Mormons and vote for the guy.

Oh yeah, the news. Thanks to Marc for the heads up on this National Journal roundup of all things Mitt this week. Also, Dick Morris gave his assessment of 2008 in The Hill this week. The portion relevant to this blog:
Romney probably carries enough baggage with him from Massachusetts to make his pursuit of the Republican nomination futile. You cannot be elected governor of the People’s Republic and hope to keep your positions conservative enough to win the Republican nomination.

I'm not so sure about that. I think Dick Morris may be selling him short. I'm really starting to think Mitt may be able to make a successful transition.

There's a ton of other news. I'm done for today though, so click on the links to the right.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Two Mitts and More gay Adoption

I've been doing this for about a month now, and I just realized that there is a Boston Globe AND a Boston Herald. Who knew?!!

Anyway, the Globe has a couple of interesting articles today about Mitt. The first is the standard article about any politician with presidential ambitions and the tension between governing in his present capacity while at the same time playing to a wider national audience. It's no different really than John McCain suddenly getting all snuggly with President Bush or Hillary Clinton finding new ways to talk about abortion. Politicians shifting with the wind is not necessarily news.

The second is about the continuing saga of gay adoption in Massachusetts. Apparently Mitt filed legislation that would exempt religious organizations from being bound by certain criteria that violate their religious principles. Like I said earlier, it is a matter of religious liberty if a Catholic adoption agency does not want to place children with gay couples. The issue gets stickier if that agency is funded in part by the state, which apparently Catholic Charities is. At any rate, it appears that Mitt has taken on this issue. We'll see how it turns out.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

In The News

Mormon Mitt not ‘Big’ on HBO polygamist series

I have no problem with news stories discussing the Mormon church and the connection between Mitt Romney and the church and Mitt Romney and polygamy, but this article, which reports on the confusion many Americans have regarding the church, clouds the issue further:
Romney is a Mormon but HBO obviously didn’t call him when it cast its new series -which debuted Sunday night - featuring a Viagra-popping suburban polygamist with three wives and an elder Mormon “prophet” who weds a young teen.

The author leads the reader to believe that the polygamists in the show are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, traditionally called Mormons. Is it any wonder why people are confused about the church's stance on polygamy when media outlets like the Boston Herald can't even get the issue straight? I didn't watch the show - that's not what I'm critiquing here anyway - but unless in the show the Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints married a young teen (which I doubt, but maybe I'm wrong) this article is confusing, not informing, its readers. Thoughts?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Weekend Roundup

GOP Faithful Get a Preview of 2008 Contenders
Almost 1,000 days before the elections of 2008, nearly 2,000 Republicans from the South and Midwest have come to Memphis looking for a new president.

Romney winds up and makes a Southern pitch
Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts looked out over a crowd of about 2,000 mostly Southern Republicans yesterday and declared that he shared their staunch conservative values, even though he leads ''the bluest state in America."

Dealing with the Mormon Factor
Say the name Mitt Romney and three words invariably follow: The Mormon Factor. Especially now, as Romney considers a 2008 presidential bid at the same time HBO is premiering a polygamy sitcom, "Big Love," on Sunday.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Catholic Charities to end adoption services over homosexuality concerns

It's a sad day for religious freedom in Massachusetts if this actually happens. Romney calls it a "sad day for neglected and abandoned children." Truly there are no winners here.

If Romney is looking for an issue for 2008 to show the religious right his values, this is the perfect fight to fight, isn't it? It wouldn't be heaving his religious values on anybody, indeed it would be the opposite: he'd be protecting the Catholic Church from having the religion of secularism forced upon it.

Open Thread

We're gonna give this one another shot...

Topics might include Mitt Romney, Mitt Romney and the 2008 campaign, Mitt Romney shirtless, why there is not a picture anywhere on the Internet of Mitt Romney without his shirt on, etc. I'd also like to know why different people are interested in supporting Mitt Romney and why others will not support him. Thoughts?

Not Too Soon To Think Campaign '08

From CBS News:

It may be 2 years, 7 months, and 26 days until the next presidential election but that's not stopping a half a dozen potential Republican candidates from wooing potential voters in Tennessee this weekend.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Party Man: Romney 2008’s first test.

W. James Antle on Mitt Romney on National Review Online:
The field of candidates vying to succeed Gov. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts grew by one last week. For beleaguered Bay State Republicans, that may be one too many. Convenience-store magnate Christy Mihos bolted the party to run as an independent, increasing the Democrats’ chances of retaking the governorship. The reaction from a local blogger to Mihos’s announcement: “Welcome back, Dukakis.”

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Big VC Love

Nate Oman, who is familiar to many people who read this blog, got a mention on the Volokh Conspiracy today -- an entire post all to himself, actually. Nate will be teaching at William and Mary Law School starting in the Fall.

Is Giuliani Serious About 2008?

Mayor Giuliani's decision to skip a high-profile showcase for potential Republican presidential candidates this weekend is drawing quizzical reactions from some strategists and fueling debate about whether he is serious about seeking the presidency in 2008.

Does Giuliani think he can win without the South?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Tuesday's News

All Mitt-related news for Tuesday March 7, 2006, has been cancelled. Please vote in the very important poll to your right.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monday's News

Clicking on the Google news search for mitt-romney on the right side of this blog so you don't have to...

GOP to Get Early Look at Leading Hopefuls for '08
Those seeking to replace Bush are to address a party conference in Tennessee this week.

Does It Have To Be Bush/Cheney?
Later this week the first cattle call of 2008 Republican Presidential wannabes will take place in Memphis, Tennessee. Flocking to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference will be George Allen, Sam Brownback, home state Doc Bill Frist, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and the current leader of the pack, John McCain and well as scores of national political reporters. The pièce de résistance - a straw poll - will be conducted by the political digest Hotline.

And finally, for anyone who has lived in, spent the night in, or flown over Utah in the last five years, this should be of interest.

Computer Store Owner Blames Media for Business Closing
Schanze's former general manager is worried about him.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Weekend Roundup

The march of the Mormons
The Latter-day Saints are on the rise in the US, and a Republican named Mitt Romney has hopes of becoming the first Mormon president. But the church has one serious image problem: polygamy. Which is why HBO's new drama, about a man with three wives, is stirring up controversy.

Mitt Romney in Utah this weekend to shake money tree
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is in Utah today courting big Republican donors from across America and gathering some cash from high-profile residents of the Beehive State.

More potential candidates headed to NH
Last week, Republicans Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee visited; they are returning this month, along with seven others who may be lining up Presidential support in the state.

Romney veers right on abortion, gay adoption
Lunging to the right on two red hot social issues, Gov. Mitt Romney said he would sign a bill outlawing abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, and agreed to meet with the state’s Roman Catholic bishops to discuss their bid to exempt Catholic Charities from gay adoptions.

Omarosa gets water-bombed at Rowan
There she goes gain. Omarosa has gone all, well... Omarosa, at Rowan University in Glassboro. The former Apprentice contestant and self-promoting business she-devil - full name Omarosa Manigault Stallworth - walked out of a scheduled speech at Rowan's Student Center after she was assaulted by... two water balloons.

[Franz] Ferdinand copy Bon Jovi wardrobe
Rock legend Jon Bon Jovi has accused Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand of stealing his style.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Here's a article discussing Mitt's trips to South Carolina. Here are a couple quotes that indicate maybe the outlook isn't as bleak as some may tend to think:

Dr. Bob Taylor is a dean at Bob Jones University, an evangelical school in Greenville, and generally the political thermometer for the most faithful of South Carolina voters. Political types close to Taylor quote him as not viewing Romney's religion as a crippling issue. As long as Romney maintains his faithfulness to conservative principles, the faithful will accept him.

Scott Malyerck, Executive Director of the South Carolina Republican Party, believes South Carolina voters have been thoroughly impressed with Romney. “His remarks have been well-received by both moderate and conservative Republicans,” said Malyerck in an interview with

Continuing, Malyerck said, “I think Mitt Romney understands that if he decides to run for president, he will spend many weeks talking to South Carolinians about the future of our country and the challenges that lie ahead. So far, Republicans seem to be impressed with him, like his enthusiasm, and enjoy hearing what he has to say. I suspect we will be seeing a lot of Governor Romney in the future.”

This link has the C-SPAN video of his South Carolina speeches.

So my question is, how much of a factor is his religion really? If he can show that he actually is a Christian and doesn't have horns, won't that be enough? I don't want to see him get to the level of George W. Bush as far as religious pandering, and I don't think he'll have to. If he goes too far -- picture Rick Santorum with a Bible in his hand everywhere he goes -- people will see through it and it will focus more attention on the doctrinal differences between him and the Religious Right.

If Policy Agendas Count in 2008 Race, Romney’s a Winner

Well, well. Mitt's a winner in Mort Kondracke's book. That must count for something. It would be really awesome if I had a Roll Call subscription so I could actually read this.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Gun foes take shot at Mitt’s absence

This one's a little weird. So Mitt didn't show up to a gun control rally and everyone is up in arms (ha!) How was he invited? Email, naturally.
“Nothing. No response,” said Stop Handgun Violence’s John Rosenthal, about the invitation he e-mailed last Wednesday to Romney scheduler Erin Brenner.

Apparently it takes more than an E-vite to get the next leader of the free world's attention.

In other news, I wonder what Mitt thinks about Franz Ferdinand being named best live band.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Judy Came From Ohio, She's A Scientologist

I wonder what Mitt thinks about San Francisco mayors dating Scientologists...

Elsewhere, Romney shifts on adoption by gays. This is at least a little less noticeable than his evolving views on abortion and stem cell research -- here the shift is only from comments in January to the effect that he had no authority in the matter of the Catholic Charities of Boston and the state's antidiscrimination policy -- but the "Romney Shifts" headlines aren't a good sign, especially when the headline could have been "Romney Favors Religious Freedom"

Does Wonkette Read LSFR?

Judging by the number of people who have been reading this blog, probably no. But this does show that I'm not the only one confused by the stem cell/abortion logic. Shouldn't this be something he hammered out long ago, or is it just so indefensible that there's no adequate explanation? Here's the relevant part of Wonkette's post yesterday about Mitt's FNC interview:

Mitt Romney looks like he was grown in a lab and appears to be wearing an elephant tie. Feels need to prove something? Has the solidly tangood looks of George Clooney + George Hamilton. Has yet to say anything outside of the middle of the road. Grilled on abortion flipflop: his logic about coming to call himself "pro life" has to do withstem cell research. Huh? Mormonism: "People want a person of faith, most people don't care what brand of faith he has." Looking forward to the next Zoroastrian nominee.

Do you believe in the book of Mormon? "I'm not going to get into a discussion about the particulars of my faith."

And again with the humiliate the third tier candidate time: "How do you beat the Republicans who are better known than you are?" Essentially, he says, to know me is to love me. Chris admits that they have time to kill. Why else would any ask "The word is that you're really running for vice president."

In other news, I wonder what Mitt thinks about Antonin Scalia carrying a rifle around NYC.