Friday, March 02, 2007

Romney News Round Up

Here's a smattering of recent news that's relevant to the Mitt Romney campaign:
  • Tally In Straw Poll Resumes; McCain Even With Giuliani and Hunter (The State) - Preliminary results from yesterday's Spartanburg straw poll (with 81 of 92 precincts reporting) are: (1) Rudy Giuliani - 158 votes (2) Duncan Hunter - 152 votes (3) McCain - 116 (4) Sam Brownback - 83 votes (5) Mitt Romney - 80 votes (6) Mike Huckabee - 21 votes. The AP reported this morning that McCain had pulled even with Giuliani and Hunter when counting resumed this morning. Low turnout for the straw poll was attributed to bad weather, which could have hurt Romney's turnout. The results make me wonder if it was a mistake for Romney to push the straw poll as hard as he did though. He ran advertising in South Carolina and reportedly had his organizers heavily pushing his candidacy. That sort of emphasis can make otherwise relatively meaningless straw polls like this matter. What's more, it ends up highlighting Giulani's strong showing in the face of only light campaigning in the state on his part.
  • Les Mitts (Slate) - Slate has another caustic article on Romney. While I personally found Romney's leaked memo strategy to demonize Europe and France a little annoying, I think this article is absolutely terrible and reeks of religious bigotry: "But by far the best part of Romney's strategy is his campaign's primal code for Brand Mormon. As the Globe explains: 'Enmity toward France, where Romney did his Mormon mission during college, is a recurring theme of the document. The European Union, it says at one point, wants to 'drag America down to Europe's standards,' adding: 'That's where Hillary and Dems would take us. Hillary = France.' The plan even envisions 'First, not France' bumper stickers.' According to his campaign, Mormonism is not some new-fangled, outside-the-mainstream religion. It's Romney's lifelong crusade against heathen France."
  • McCain in Utah - McCain skipped out on CPAC and held a fundraiser in Utah yesterday at the invitation of Governor Jon Huntsman. The Deseret News reported that McCain raised over $150,000 as of last night and was expected add to that this morning. Why did McCain come to Utah? The Salt Lake Tribune quotes Utah State University professor Peter Galderisi saying "If [McCain] can get support and money in Utah, which obviously has a religious connection to Romney as well as an ideological one, it's like saying 'I'm still a contender. I can play his home turf.'"
  • Romney Says Media Are Focused On Him (Boston Globe) - The Globe picked up on comments Romney made in his CBN interview Wednesday which attributed the media scrutiny against him to the media seeing him as the more conservative front-running candidate.
  • Regent Students Upset At Romney's Choice As Speaker (Virginia-Pilot) - "Selecting presidential candidate Mitt Romney as its May commencement speaker has riled some of Regent University's students and alumni who say his Mormon faith clashes with the school's bedrock evangelical Christianity. 'What we're against is the fact that Mormonism is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from Christian values and what we believe,' said Doug Dowdey, a Virginia Beach pastor who said he graduated from Regent's divinity school last year."
  • Candidate Ancestry - Romney's not the only candidate that has the press focusing on his ancestry. Various press outlets are reporting that Barack Obama's mother's ancestors purportedly owned slaves. More news, like Romney's polygamous ancestry, that's not relevant to the current presidential campaign. I believe, however, that it bolsters my argument (in the comments) that reports on Romney's polygamous ancestors were not necessarily religious bigotry or a "liberal" hit piece, but rather another example of headline grabbing sensationalistic journalism.

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