January 9, 2008


Time for a graceful Romney exit (Holly Robichaud, 1/09/08, Boston Herald)

Last night Mitt Romney tried to spin his loss as a silver medal. The better analogy is that he was disqualified last night.

The fact of the matter is that Massachusetts officials win in New Hampshire. They don’t lose. When Clinton first ran for President, he was the comeback kid for placing second to Tsongas. It would have been a significant victory if McCain had placed second, but he placed first. For McCain this is a mega victory and a mega loss for Romney.

There was no reason for Romney to lose in New Hampshire. He had the Massachusetts advantage. He owns a second home in the granite state. And he significantly out spent all of his opponents. Therefore, you must conclude that not only did Iowa voters completely reject Romney, but so did New Hampshire voters. There is no excuse for this loss. There is no credible spin for this spanking.

We'll give him the benefit of the doubt, for now, and assume he's only staying in for MI in a nod to his dad.

The All-Too-Resistible Romney: He has everything going for him but voters. (Fred Barnes, 01/14/2008, Weekly Standard)
There's a painful truth about Romney's candidacy: Republicans in general and conservatives in particular are resisting him in droves. This was first suggested in poll after poll that found Romney stuck in the high 20s. And it was confirmed by his dismal showing in the Iowa caucuses, in which he captured only a sliver of the conservative vote and roughly a quarter of the Republican vote overall.

Here's the profile of a Romney voter in Iowa: upper middle class, urban, someone who thinks a candidate's religion shouldn't matter. That's a pretty narrow constituency, and not only in Iowa. To win the Republican nomination, Romney has to reach well beyond that core.

The voters he needs are the ones Mike Huckabee, the guitar-strumming Baptist preacher from Arkansas, grabbed to win in Iowa. And they're the same ones who earlier rallied behind Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Their profile: lower middle class, rural, evangelical Christian.

Romney won't attract them by generating excitement--for the simple reason that he's incapable of generating excitement. His speeches are solid and forward-looking and serious and strike all the conservative notes. They qualify as thoughtful, and they stir a polite form of enthusiasm. But excitement? No. He'll have to leave that to others.

Nor is Romney in a position to artfully change his positions on issues. He moved to the right on social issues--abortion, stem cells, marriage, guns--before entering the Republican race.
He was born to be Secretary of Transportation or Commerce.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 9, 2008 6:11 PM

From above:
The fact of the matter is that Massachusetts officials win in New Hampshire.
McCain sure smells like a Massachusetts Rino.

Posted by: Bonzo at January 9, 2008 6:23 PM

he significantly out spent all of his opponents

Well, at least now the googoos will have to stop complaining that money buys political office and thus must be regulated.



Posted by: Ibid at January 9, 2008 6:25 PM

If Reagan had been from MA.

Posted by: oj at January 9, 2008 6:50 PM

People who keep bringing up Reagan as their all purpose excuse/counter-example have a lot in common with the people who keep bringing up the '60s as some sort of Golden Era and Viet Nam as their only example of America in the world at large. It's like I remember my grandparents on the subject of FDR. Ronnie was a quarter century ago, and believe it or not, times and places do change.

And why should the guy who's currently in first place be the one to drop out? When Senator Crooked Talk assumes that position (if ever), then maybe it'll be time to make those suggestions. Notice that Crooked Talk won fewer delegates on Tuedsay than Romney did on Saturday. Let's at least wait to see what happens when they start competing in states where it's possible for the winner's total to get into double digits or more.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 9, 2008 8:44 PM

After visting this site for 4 years, I have grown and matured politically.

To the point that now I think Reagan was a real schmuck, sell-out, and generally like President Eisenhower was a "conscious, dedicated agent of the communist conspiracy"

Posted by: h-man at January 10, 2008 5:57 AM

Reagan was a great president because he sold out. It's called compromise and it's how a republic works.

True believers are a cancer no matter their putative party--their actual party is always themself.

Posted by: oj at January 10, 2008 7:35 AM

The pity of Romney is that he, like so many political sons, was shaped by his father's defeat. He saw his father's career derailed by one ill-chosen word ("brainwashed"), and has made himself into a man who could never make that mistake.

Unfortunately, being so blatently scripted turns out to be a fatal political flaw, too...

Posted by: Mike Earl at January 10, 2008 10:58 AM