Thursday, October 25, 2007

Jump on the band wagon, Rudy!

Apparently, the promise of the Presidency is enough to lead Rudy to abandon his beloved Yankees for arch-rival Boston Red Sox. And what has brought about this sudden change of heart?

New Hampshire is Red Sox territory. Giuliani has been campaigning there, recently. Despite telling a reporter, last year, that even a deal with the devil to put him in the White House could not pull him from the Yankees, Rudy is claiming to be a Sox fan because he's rooting for the American league. Right. Is that what we are calling political expediency, now days?

I can't help but ask myself: would Mitt become a Yankee fan if they had won the ALCS?

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You can't make up fiction this good!

A lot of my friends are what I call "closet supporters" of Mitt. Given that I live in Utah, it's a sure bet that they would like to see Romney, a Mormon and local hero due to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, in the White House. They would love to see him win, but they don't have the confidence to suggest that he can do it. They seem to think that the Giuliani steam engine is so strong it can't be beat. Without even knowing where I stand, they say "How's Romney going to beat Rudy?" They can't reconcile Rudy's social policies with his fiscal policies. He's pro-gay rights, pro-gun control, and pro-abortion; Mitt is anything but these.

And their worries are legit. The race, due to dynamics unique to this election cycle, will be touch and go all the way down the line.

This year’s unique factors—no vice-president running for his boss's office, lots of candidates, primaries moving up to December and constantly in flux, Super Tuesday, huge amounts of cash, a viable black candidate, a more than viable female candidate and wife of a very popular former president, a very unpopular war, tons of money (did I already mention that?), neither party with any real direction, etc, etc, etc—make for a very high amount of unpredictability. I like what one commentator said when he compared it to trying to predict who will win the World Series in May; October is so far away, how can anyone guess the winner at this point?

It used to be that if a candidate won in New Hampshire and/or Iowa, it would be a good bet to he would win the whole nomination (and that's certainly been Mitt's strategy; he's spent multiple fortunes and practically moved to Iowa and New Hampshire). Today's race, however, with Democratic candidates not even campaigning in Michigan and Florida, and the voting demographics in South Carolina a polar distance from New Hampshire, is anyone's guess.

It doesn’t make it any easier that the GOP is at sea without a rudder. Rudy is an opportunist dressed in fiscal conservative clothes, yet he's still winning the betting donor's cash. Yet, with more in common with Hillary and Obama than with Mitt, Mike (Huckabee), and John, conservatives who are paying attention have reason to pause before giving the New Yorker their vote. The most dramatic indicia of this was the endorsement yesterday of Mitt Romney by an influential evangelist who traditionally shows anti-Mormon films. It’s a well known adage that politics makes strange bedfellows, but who would have ever thought that the list of choices would be so difficult that an evangelist would pass over a Tennessee native (Law and Order's Fred Thompson) in order to endorse a Mormon for the highest political office in the country?

You can’t write fiction this good! No matter what happens in the next few months, voters will need to make some careful analysis of what they want out of the next Presidency. The potential differences in administration between the candidates could not be more significant, and that's without even leaving the Republican party. Don't ask me what happens if a Democrat is November's winner in '08.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Why Mitt

Sometimes I get caught up in pointing out the weaknesses of other candidates (which admittedly is the easy part of my job here) that I forget to make the positive case for Mitt. Therefore, let me make a few points for why Mitt is the right candidate, not through comparison to other candidates, but independent of them.

A complete approach to the presidency
One of the things that has impressed me most about Romney's candidacy as it has developed has been his complete approach to the presidency. It indicates to me that he understands the full range of roles and responsibilities that the president undertakes: Commander in chief, chief executive of the largest bureaucracy, chief domestic policy advocate, nominator of federal judges, role model, etc. All of these are hats that the president must wear while in office. Recent history has given us presidents that have abdicated or neglected one or more of these roles. Mitt, on the other hand, addresses all of these roles. He does not excuse himself in one area by trying to compensate in another. Indeed, I strongly believe that Mitt tenure in office would restore much of the lost feeling and confidence in the presidency. No longer would there be gaping sores on the office of the president for immorality or incompetence. Mitt could heal those wounds felt by the American people. This is the kind of person I want leading the country.

Facts drive the analysis
I talked a little bit about this a couple of weeks ago after the last debate. Perhaps this I'm alone in this, but this is something that has been increasingly important to me as I go through law school. One of the things that undermines an advocate most is to have the facts wrong or to abuse their interpretation. On the other hand, advocacy based on solid facts and rigorous reasoning persuades in a way that neither alone can accomplish.

Mitt is an ideal advocate. As can be documented through those that have worked with him, Mitt requires two things when he approaches a problem: mountains of data and vivid debate. This is the most consistent and reliable method by which to find the right solutions. This is what the great Abraham Lincoln did in his time, not surrounding himself with "yes-men", but with both dissenting and concurring voices. Additionally, when Mitt has resolved upon a solution, he has the ideal basis by which to persuade. He is backed by facts and reasoning. He is essentially the antithesis of an ideologue. This is the kind of person that I want running my country.

Previous success indicates future success
This was the first thing that I (and probably other people) noticed about Mitt: he has excelled at everything he's done; in education at BYU, Harvard Business, Harvard Law; in the private sector at Bain Consulting, Bain Capital, the 2002 Winter Olympics; in the public sector as Governor. (Of course, on some level, this inspires a small amount of jealousy at his perpetual success.) Recent history of has given us presidents with a mixed bag of pre-presidency successes or presidents who have been successful in a narrow field. Mitt's success is broad and extensive. This type of sucess leads to a very optimistic projection of his ability to succeed in governing the nation. This is the kind of person that I want running my country.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

News Round-up

From the Politico: Fred? Thompson is not a believer in Reagan's 11th commandment:
“I am more of a 12th Commandment man: Don’t speak ill of them until they speak ill of me. And then really speak ill of them.”
Hard to believe that religious leaders aren't flocking to him.

From KJL at NRO: Ann Romney has an amazing life story to tell and is doing her part to advance the cause of MS victims:
“Helping raise awareness” about MS, money, and helping find a cure are unsurprisingly a big part of her charity work. As First Lady, she also intends to continue her work with “at risk youth,” which includes groups like Elayne Bennett’s Best Friends Foundation, whose mission it is to help kids make “smart choices.”

From RCPblog: ARG's Dick Bennet defends the poll showing Romney is leading in South Carolina:
"There is always the possibility that it is the sample, but the interviewers alerted me on Wednesday night that Romney was way up in SC so I added some follow-up questions and it is tied almost exclusively to recall of Romney's TV advertising. We saw the same thing in IA and NH."

From The Corner: Rudy is causing an uprising among social conservative leaders:
[Tony Perkins:] "But I think, Chris, there comes a point where you draw a line on principle. And I think this — this is the principal issue, the issue of life. We are not going to sit down at a table and negotiate away the protection of human life and shake hands and get up and go forward. That's not going to happen on my watch."