February 21, 2005


Activists focusing on Romney in S.C. (Raphael Lewis, February 18, 2005, The Boston Globe)

When Governor Mitt Romney delivers a major speech to South Carolina Republicans Monday, many party activists there will listen with a key question in mind: Can a Massachusetts governor, with nuanced positions on gay rights and abortion, appeal to conservative Southern voters?

The speech, which some view as Romney's first step toward a bid for the White House, is expected to draw hundreds of GOP members to Spartanburg, including most of the state's Republican elite. South Carolina holds the first major Southern presidential primary.

Romney supporters have spent months quietly easing the way for his introduction to the key state, donating lavishly to GOP candidates and county committees. South Carolina political observers suggest he will arrive to a warm and open-minded audience.

''It stands to reason that folks will probably ask themselves, 'OK, here's a governor from Massachusetts, he could potentially be a presidential candidate, so let's size him up,' " said Luke Byars, executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, who will attend Romney's speech. ''If you ask me point blank if a candidate is for civil unions and is lukewarm on abortion, I would tell you it's hard and would take a heck of a campaign and a tremendous candidate to overcome those obstacles. Because those are obstacles."

He's no Jeb...

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2005 4:43 PM

Neither is Jeb.

Posted by: Anthony Perez-Miller at February 21, 2005 8:55 PM

Has Romney actually done anything in Massachusetts other than win election against a staggeringly flawed candidate?

Posted by: Bart at February 22, 2005 8:11 AM

Can't. Democratic legislator.

Posted by: oj at February 22, 2005 8:36 AM

The governorship isn't a 'bully pulpit?' He can't figure out a way to exploit differences among Democrats or to buy some off with the pork barrel? He can't create an alternative vision for a party to coalesce around so that they can run against the entrenched party in Mass?

If that's true, he may have won an election but he has all the substance of an eclair.

Posted by: Bart at February 22, 2005 9:18 AM

He could be Jeb's VP though.

Posted by: Luciferous at February 22, 2005 3:04 PM