February 22, 2005


Romney talks 'right' on social issues in S.C. (Raphael Lewis, February 22, 2005, Boston Globe)

Governor Mitt Romney, addressing 350 Republicans in a speech here last night, decried efforts by Massachusetts Democrats to legalize certain cloning for stem cell research, blasted the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that legalized gay marriage, and praised Ronald Reagan and President Bush for their struggles against worldwide tyranny and higher taxes.

The 25-minute address, carried live on C-SPAN, won Romney a standing ovation in a state that is key to Republicans with presidential aspirations. The first-term governor struck a deeply patriotic and religious tone that he rarely takes in Massachusetts.

''Americans are religious; from our Declaration of Independence to our currency itself, we recognize our creator," Romney told the appreciative crowd at the Spartanburg County Presidents' Day fund-raiser, as he lamented the SJC's court ruling on same-sex marriage. ''The fundamental building block of American society is the family. Through the family we prepare the next generation. America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home."

The speech, viewed by many in the crowd as Romney's initial step on the road to South Carolina's first-in-the-South presidential primary in 2008, was received with near-unanimous enthusiasm, and Romney was approached by several audience members afterward for autographs and photos. Some in attendance who had voiced skepticism about the electability of a governor from liberal Massachusetts emerged believing that Romney speaks the language of the party of Reagan and President Bush, whom he extolled as heroes in his speech.

''It was fantastic; you've got a good governor in Massachusetts," said Gary Towery, a Spartanburg County GOP committeeman who had initially fretted that Romney might be too liberal. ''He spoke to the crowd well, covered family values, economics, jobs, the life issue."

You have to wonder if the early start and immediate move Right mightn't signal that he's not running for re-election.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 22, 2005 8:04 AM

At a Christmas party last December I learned the buzz on the left was there is a Morman conspiracy to take over the nation using the support of unsuspecting far right Christian evangalists. Remember you read it here first. I live in a small college town and get in early on all the latest conspiracies.

Posted by: Genecis at February 22, 2005 8:46 AM

I like Romney but still don't see him as presidential caliber yet. Perhaps if he had another governor term under his belt he would have more heft. Also being a MA resident I fear that Mitt will not run for reelection and thus we will get stuck with a Dem governor to go with the Dem legislature.

The GOP '08 presidential crowd appears that it will be crowded with 2nd tier politicians who all have an obvious flaw. Jeb is the best candidate but if he doesn't run then we'll have to see if any of the GOPers can defeat Hillary.

Posted by: AWW at February 22, 2005 9:03 AM

McCain would stomp Hilary into a mudhole, as would Giuliani if he could get the nomination.

Jeb has to prove that he is more like his brother than his father to have a chance.

Posted by: Bart at February 22, 2005 9:06 AM

Bart - Disagree. Hillary is solid with the hard left and simply needs to capture some of the middle to be viable. McCain has lived in the middle for awhile now and the solid right would have to be forced to support him. And much of McCain's MSM support would shift to Hillary, leading the MSM to portray McCain as simply another heartless GOPer.

Guiliani is possible but the farther one gets from 9-11 the higher the chance that Guiliani drops down to being simply another politician.

Jeb has an 8yr governor record which voters can analyze to see if he is as conservative as W.

Posted by: AWW at February 22, 2005 10:09 AM

Assuming Jeb won't change his mind (to early to say), Guiliani is the toughest one in the field. He has few, if any, real problems with the base, despite what self-appointed "leaders" of the base might say.

Posted by: Dan at February 22, 2005 10:28 AM

There will be someone serious running to her left, perhaps Kerry. McCain played the good soldier in 2004, an act of contrition which helped him more than it would people who always play the good soldier.

The MSM has invested so heavily in McCain as a Republican they can love, that unless they can get some other media darling who is an erstwhile Republican, like the execrable Chuck Hagel, to criticize him, they have no cover to change horses now. If they turn from about a decade of constant fawning over McCain to hammering him on behalf of the Hildebeest, their partisan bias will be apparent to anyone smarter than a tree slug, i.e. most voters if not most journalists. McCain also gets secular centrist votes scared away by Bush's embrace of the Religious Right, despite the fact that his issue positions are not that different on social/cultural matters. He kicks the Hildebeest's butt in Bergen and Nassau County.

Giuliani's starting to be out there with ideas, and there is nobody out there more anti-terrorist and anti-crime than he is. I think he is a long-shot because he would have to make compromises to win the nomination that would harm him in the general. But what is a bigger longshot than running for Mayor of NYC as a real, not a Rockefeller, Republican?

Jeb is a governor, which is a good place to be. But he will have to show, in this post 9/11 world, some real competence and appreciation on foreign policy. If Brent Scowcroft and James Baker the Turd show up heading his foreign policy team, stick a fork in him, he's done.

Posted by: Bart at February 22, 2005 10:33 AM

We need a rest from the Bushes.

It won't be Jeb.

Posted by: Sandy P at February 22, 2005 10:36 AM

Condi '08!

Posted by: Mike Morley at February 22, 2005 10:47 AM

who was the front runner for the GOP in 1997 ? if you catch my drift, and i think that you do.

seems like the democrats won't have time to loop around pluto and get back to earth in the time remaining before the next election so pencil in another republican president.

that leaves 'who'. they won't have so many defense and security issues to deal with meaning they should come across as a good manager.

my pick: karl rove succeeds bush :)

Posted by: cjm at February 22, 2005 11:57 AM
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