Thursday, April 26, 2007

Romney Conference Call

I was forwarded along an invitation I thought I would post:
"Want to hear how the Romney campaign is going? Join a live conference call with Mitt on Friday, Apr 27 at 3:00 PM. To join call 1-866-213-1962, participant code number 6936235."

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Romney's Deputy Campaign Manager Resigns

Jason Roe, who joined Romney's campaign in early March of this year, is resigning citing "familial obligations." Roe had formerly served as Rep. Tom Feeney's Chief of Staff and the St. Petersburg Times reported Monday that the FBI had asked it about an email Roe had written the paper last year regarding his Congressman's interactions with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Given the recent Abramoff-related indictments and raids this month, did Roe resign from his post so quickly after being hired to avoid giving Romney any taint of association with Abramoff. If Feeney or any of his staff is likely to end up in hot water, it's probably a smart move. I wonder then if this is a voluntary resignation by Roe or a prompted one.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Romney Providing Cover For Rudy?

Chuck Todd at MSNBC's First Read raised an interesting thought today:
When Romney was "evolving" from a moderate to conservative, every move he made was chronicled and ridiculed (by McCain’s folks?) to the point where the flip-flop label stuck to him. Giuliani's conservative evolution of late has been just as stark on some recent issues (guns, immigration, and partial-birth abortion), but his foes haven't attacked him directly yet. Did Romney actually provide Rudy cover?

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Monday, April 23, 2007

This has nothing to do with Mitt Romney, but...

But it does at least have something to do with an old post. In February 2006 I asked if anyone had seen the Cheers episode where Rebecca mentions that she wishes that more men could send flowers and Sam says,"Mormons can't send flowers?! I knew they couldn't dance."

Well through the miracle of YouTube, I bring you that clip.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Romney Outlines National Energy Policy

Here's Mitt from a town hall meeting in Massachusetts and posted in the Hill yesterday.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

New Hampshire numbers

WMUR in New Hampshire is reporting the results of a University of New Hampshire poll.
Interviews with 306 respondents who say they plan to vote in the Republican presidential primary, conducted by telephone on March 27-April 3, 2007. The margin of sampling error for results based on Republican primary voters is plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.


Hotline TV: Wow Mitt

Hotline does a pretty good job breaking down what Mitt's 1st Quarter fundraising number mean:

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Why Romney's Right

The Boston Globe and others are reporting Romney’s remarks about Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Syria:
Romney brought up Pelosi's trip twice, both times unprompted.

"Frankly, the decision of Nancy Pelosi to go to meet with Assad in Syria is one which I find outrageous," Romney said, the second time.

Defying Bush, Pelosi, D-Calif., met with the Syrian president Wednesday in an attempt to pressure the Bush administration to open a direct dialogue with the Middle Eastern country. Democrats say the administration's attempts to isolate Syria have failed to force the Assad government to change its policies.

Certainly there will be outcry against Romney for his denouncement of Pelosi and whether this is a politically popular move is yet to be decided, but…

Romney is correct.

The President is the sole foreign policy organ under the constitution. This was understood early on in the history of the nation. In 1816, the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations stated:
The President is the constitutional representative of the United States with regard to foreign nations. He manages our concerns with foreign nations and must necessarily be most competent to determine when, how, and upon what subjects negotiation may be urged with the greatest prospect of success.

(U.S. Senate, Reports, Committee on Foreign Relations, vol. 8, p. 24.). The Supreme Court has reaffirmed this principle by stating that “[i]n this vast external realm, with its important, complicated, delicate and manifold problems, the President alone has the power to speak or listen as a representative of the nation.” (U.S. v. Curtiss-Wright, 299 U.S. 304, 319 (1936); Goldwater v. Carter, 444 U.S. 996 (1979)(concur. J. Powell)). Pelosi’s visit is, thus, patently unconstitutional so long as it conflicts with the President’s foreign policy.

Beyond the constitutional issues, the practical effect of the Pelosi visit is to present the United States as schizophrenic or bi-polar. One day nations are dealing with Bush-America, the next day nations are dealing with Pelosi-America. Neither schizophrenia nor bi-polarism is a healthy state for a person. Similarly neither is a healthy state for a nation. Which one is the one to deal with? Certainly the opposing viewpoints have their preferred representative, but that does little to solve the problem. Indeed it encourages similar behavior from other nations.

So Romney is right. He should be outraged that congressional representatives have acted outside the scope of their power and encouraged disregard for the Constitution itself.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Iowa Poll

The good news keeps coming. The University of Iowa is reporting the latest poll (still holding to my feeling about polls generally). Here’s the results:

The margin of error was +/- 4.5 percent. Poll was conducted March 19-31 (i.e. post Thompson announcement).

Sounds to me like Romney's picking up steam. Any other explanations?

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Romney's Results Trend

I’ve been trying to peg down a thought of late and I think that this is it: Romney has been extremely effective, if not victorious, in every “hard-primary” so far. By “hard-primary” I mean the firm, measurable contests between the candidates. Hear me out. See if you see a trend here:

1Q fundraising

What I see is that when it comes down to people making a firm choice, Romney has a knack for coming out ahead. I realize that grouping these three is particularly advantageous for my theory, but I think there is some substance there. Romney’s whole life has been about results when it mattered. Having lived his whole life in the results oriented world of business, Romney has been held accountable for producing measurable results at a certain deadline. At those times and places where Romney has been able to focus his attention, Romney has produced surprising results. SLRC. CPAC. 1Q fundraising. (I would distinguish the regular media polls from SLRC and CPAC because of the expectation going into the event: that there would be a vote for between the candidates that meant something. Thus the attendees were able to prepare themselves and vote in an informed way. Polls are less likely to select people who have informed themselves and there is little expectation that the poll has true significance from the polled person’s perspective.)

Some might argue (and several people did after CPAC) that this is not a political asset. However, it seems hard to make the case that Romney’s results-oriented nature is NOT something that we should encourage or look for in a presidential candidate. Indeed results should be THE dominant attribute we look for in a candidate. Otherwise we get someone who “talks the talk” but does not “walk the walk”. Indeed the cliché is most forcefully applicable to Romney that he has “put his money where his mouth is”. The office of president is not primarily a job of motivational speaking or popularity in the polls (although those are also nice and have their place). It is a position of doing and acting. This is where Romney excels and has shown his strong ability to produce results.

Now, there are certainly those who would disagree with me and cite polls and such, but I still think that the theory (still fledgling I admit) holds. Romney produces results when it matters.

Of course we’ll see just how well it holds over the next few months.

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Money and Wives

So many good things to talk about today.

After NewsMax’s glowing article about Mitt over the weekend, NewsMax has another positive take on Romney’s big number yesterday:
When early polls showed him trailing Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, Mitt Romney urged all listeners to watch his presidential campaign blossom over the long election season.

On Monday, it burst into full glory after just three months.

The results not only cemented Romney's status as a first-tier competitor, but they also threatened to further erode support from McCain's already-flagging campaign, and to dry up funding for other lagging candidates.
I’ve been saying for a long while that the long election cycle favors Romney more than a short cycle would because he needs name recognition and time to persuade conservatives that he truly belongs with them. Both of these tasks are more easily accomplished over a longer period of time. The money primary is one of the first steps in that process, as described by NewsMax. Romney get to trumpet a win, get some more name recognition, and get a fresh look from previously skeptical voters.

In response to my prediction that the hedging on Romney’s numbers would start quickly, the New York Times has an article describing Romney’s support as mainly “Wall Street and the Mormon Church”. MyManMitt has a good response, so I won’t fully address the article here.

Noted Romney enthusiast Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO has gushing article about Ann Romney's speech to the NFRW. KJL ends with this contrast of Ann Romney and Judi Giuliani:

A wife isn’t going to make or break a campaign. But she is a reflection of the candidate and his character. And there, in the wives’ stories, the contrasts are no small thing. Even with the occasional she-hates-puppies headlines, Judith Giuliani is already being humanized from the New York tabloid image many, especially in New York, probably have of her. But the contrast of glamour shots of a third wife on her husband’s lap (a husband who was someone else’s husband when she started dating him) with a couple that’s been married for 37 years and still clearly in love is no small thing. It’s no small thing, especially, considering conservatives are being asked to compromise on both the character and policy fronts. Sure, Republicans have had personal issues before — but when they ask us to give in on important policy matters as well, the personal can’t help becoming even more political.

Finally, there is a new Rasmussen Poll out and there is good and not so good news. Important to note is that the polling took place from March 26-29, 2007. This means that the news about Romney’s fundraising was still unknown. First, the good news: Romney’s support remains steady from the last Rasmussen poll and Giuliani falls by 9 points to 26%, his first dip below 30% in 7 weeks. The not so good news is that Thompson, Fred Thompson, is ahead of Romney 14% to 8%. I think that the polling will continue to show a narrowing of the numbers so that there is a very close and competitive field. Also important is that this is the second poll where Thompson's numbers have largely come at Giuliani's expense. My question still is: Does Thompson, assuming he declares, have staying power?

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Romney's Big Number

Obviously the big news today is Romney’s 1st quarter fundraising totals. Other candidates also reporting fundraising totals today

$23 Million – Romney
$17 Million – Giuliani
$12.5 Million – McCain
$2 Million – Brownback
$500 K – Huckabee

What do the numbers mean? Here’s a few takes:

Captain’s Quarters: “What's encouraging is that both Rudy and Mitt look very competitive against Hillary. For Rudy, that has been a given. For Mitt, it might be a revelation -- and it might be enough to propel his numbers sharply upward.”

KJL at The Corner: “Now....this is just money, but money matters. I think you'll be seeing people give Romney a second look in the coming days of this still-early point in the whole process. People who hadn't really may start thinking — or thinking again: "Hey, maybe this dude could beat Hillary."

Jonathan Martin at The Politico: “So the Big News, said this person, is: "Romney surprises by topping the Republican side and coming close to Hillary despite having low name i.d., low poll numbers and not having done this before." Or, put more concisely: "Rookie Overcomes Veterans." Or better: "Where would we be at 15percent?"

Dean Barnett at Townhall: “Most of the money raised by all the top campaigns flowed in because rich guys vigorously twisted a lot of arms. In order to twist the arms of your friends to give money to a political candidate, you have to really believe in that candidate. That’s the main reason that today is a good day for Romney and a disappointment for McCain. Mitt’s strongest supporters are passionate. McCain’s support is tepid; six years of sticking your thumb in your party’s eye will have that effect.”

Personally, I’m thrilled with some needed good news. I’m sure there will be some hedging when the break down of the numbers comes out on April 15th, but it’s hard to take anything away from Romney when he clearly outdistances the other candidates in the money primary. I think that voters will start taking more notice of Romney, as KJL suggests. Certainly he still has some obstacles in proving his authenticity, but it would be hard to suggest that the Romney campaign is anything but legitimate and in it for the long haul.

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