Saturday, February 17, 2007

Romney News Media Round Up

To follow up on Kyle's recent post on how the press covered Mitt Romney's announcement this last week, I thought I'd do another media round up. I've been away from the blog for a few days, and there's been some interesting stories:

Romney's Mormonism
Poll Numbers Looking Up - Much has been made about the large numbers of people who say they couldn't vote for a Mormon. The numbers seem to be softening a little though. 72% of those polled by USA Today last week said they could vote for a Mormon, much better than the thirty-something% of people that other polls have shown saying they couldn't. A closer look at the numbers suggest Romney still has his work cut out for him (58% said they could vote for a Mormon without reservation, 14% said they could with reservations, 24% said they could not, and 4% weren't sure). All in all, it's good news for Romney though, given how bad some polls have been in this respect.

Will Mormon Faith Hurt Bid For White House - In light of its new poll numbers, USA Today takes a look at Romney's faith and the hurdles he might face. "The emergence of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon waging a strong campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, spotlights a religion often viewed as odd despite its rapid growth and attempts to go mainstream. Hartley and others say they welcome the scrutiny. For Romney, set to announce his candidacy today, it may be less than a blessing."

Romney's Announcement
Romney's Family Values - "Just before Republican Mitt Romney formally embarked on his race for the White House, his high school sweetheart and wife of nearly four decades, Ann, called him to the podium in glowing terms. Their five grown sons, five daughters-in-law and 10 grandchildren gathered nearby. The images and speech provided far-from-subtle campaign messages -- an unspoken claim that Romney is an actual practitioner of family values and the spoken argument of the need to strengthen the country's families. . . . The family image was a reminder of how Romney differs from his top GOP rivals, the once-divorced Sen. John McCain and the one divorce, one annulment Rudy Giuliani. It also echoed of a more famous political family from Massachusetts -- the Kennedys." (Romney Announces Candidacy With Family)

Romney Downplays Massachusetts - I think the Boston Globe is still a little bitter that Romney chose to announce in Michigan: "It's been his foil, his punch line, and his source of political achievement, but yesterday Massachusetts earned just two passing mentions in Mitt Romney's presidential announcement." Friday, however, Romney "came home": "With the Boston skyline as a backdrop, Mitt Romney reclaimed Massachusetts as his home state last night, telling hundreds of supporters at a fund-raiser for his presidential campaign, 'My lifetime has been spent with you.'"

Parsing Romney's Speech - Over at the Fix, Chris Cillizza breaks down Romney's announcement speech. (Analyzing Romney's Announcement Speech)

Romney's Wife Ann
ABC Interview - ABC aired a fascinating interview with Ann Romney, who opens up about her battle with MS, her conversion to Mormonism, and her thoughts on her husband's candidacy (she says she is "totally onboard with it"). The Boston Globe had a run down of the interview yesterday. I think this was a good thing for Mitt, it really humanized him. We haven't heard all that much from Ann up to this point, if Romney's smart, we'll hear more.

Campaigning and Endorsements
Battle Over Massachusetts - Former acting Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift endorsed McCain over Romney last week (her opinion mattered again for all of 10 seconds). While Swift certainly has bones with Romney, the GOP in Massachusetts has certainly not been lining up behind Romney. Three prominent GOP State Senators were the latest Massachusetts Republicans to announce their support for non-Romney candidate, this time it was Giuliani.

Good News From Florida - "Jeb Bush, who hasn't publicly picked a favorite in the Republican presidential race, privately is talking up the candidacy of Mitt Romney and steering some of his closest advisers to the campaign." (Jeb Bush Steers Advisors Toward Romney).

Fundraising Juggernaut - Romney raised more than $1 million at a fundraising event in Boston on Thursday. Whatever his hurdles he may have, fundraising is not one of them. I think Romney will make some serious waves and raise a lot of eyebrows when he announces his first quarter's fundraising totals on March 31st.

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