May 23, 2011

MITT ROMNEY: The Last Man Standing? “The Republican Party has a history of nominating the fellow whose turn it is, and the reforms instituted in 2010 are apt to reinforce this propensity. They reward the candidate who finds it easiest to raise money and who is the best organized. Generally, that means the fellow who lost last time. . . . Enter Mitt Romney. Last time, he was the initial front-runner – until Mike Huckabee beat him in Iowa and exploited the tensions between evangelical Christians and Mormons in such a way as to damage his candidacy. Governor Romney knows how to run a national campaign, he has the remnants of his old organization, and he can easily raise money. Moreover, he has an advantage not unlike the one possessed by Michael Dukakis in 1988.” Okay, that part is just mean, but there’s also this: “The reason why I oppose Mitt Romney is simple, He was born to destroy everything that we have accomplished since the Tea-Party Movement emerged in the Spring of 2009. Romney is the very model of a managerial progressive. He has one great virtue. He knows how to run things; he knows how to organize things. He would make a good Secretary of Commerce. He has no understanding of the principles that underpin our government.”

I’m not crazy about Romney. The Insta-Wife kind of likes him, but the Smith women have a well-known weakness for Romney men — at least, her mother, growing up in Salt Lake City, had a crush on one of the Romney boys in high school. But if he’s the nominee, I think a lot of Tea Party folks will be less motivated.

I’m thinking that the response might be for Tea Party folks to focus more on House and Senate races. Even a squishy Republican President will be less squishy if the House and Senate are Tea Party friendly. And if the GOP loses the presidential election in 2012, a more Tea Party friendly Congress would limit Obama’s options. What do you think?

Related: Bill Quick: “The Palin/Cain ticket’s chances keep looking better and better.”

UPDATE: Little Miss Attila writes:

Romney is evil; we need T-Paw!

I’m going all in, especially on the Polish angle.

And reader Dave Martin writes:

If a shifty, professional politician is nominated, it will not only focus indy’s like myself on House/Senate races but also on backing a third party candidate. Prior to the 2008 election, I had never given money to any politician. Since the begining of that race, I have given to Thompson, Hoffman, Rubio, Brown and last week, Cain. If Romney or Newt get the Republican nomination, I will not play ball.

It is not a threat, it is a promise. If independents are needed to beat Obama, then give us a straight shooter for a GOP nominee and Obama will lose. Am anticipating the line “a third party vote is not a vote against Romney, it is a vote for Obama” and would like someone to frame it the other way- nominating a professional politician for the presidential race will ensure Obama gets a second term- I trust that sentiment will be understood after the McCain fail and further hope that the Tea Party movement provides all the proof any RNC types may need to support a reformer. I am probably wrong but this time I have hope for a change.

Well, the third-party threat is a credible one, this time. But, of course, if people back the right guy in the primaries, it won’t come to that.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Well, by hitting Limbaugh upon launch (“The American spirit is being crushed and discouraged by this president and the direction he’s taking this country.”), Pawlenty’s obviously taking a shot at the stop-Mitt slot. I’ve had issues with Pawlenty before, but going straight to Limbaugh suggests he’s ready to talk to the base.

MORE: The Utah Tea Party’s David Kirkham writes:

“Even a squishy Republican President will be less squishy if the House and Senate are Tea Party friendly.”

The last thing we need is squishy.

We need to draw a line in the sand between the hogs and the trough.

We need someone to stand up for everyone’s freedom, not someone who blows with the global warming wind (Pawlenty), or defends Romney care (Romney).

I emailed back to ask who he likes.

MORE STILL: He responds: “Sadly…no one. None of the above.” Well, back to the House and Senate races, I guess. . . . Or maybe Bill Kristol’s right that the next president isn’t running yet.

Also, Herman Cain says the GOP gives him no respect.

AND EVEN MORE: Reader Daniel Tenney writes:

While I am enjoying the lively debate you’ve started, I feel like I have to say a word or two in defense of Romney. I am a stalwart Tea Party supporter here in Arizona, and all of the flak that Romney gets from Tea Party types frankly troubles me. I thought the one, single overriding issue in the minds of Tea Partiers was fiscal restraint–a candidate could have any other kind of record, but if he or she promised fiscal sanity, Tea Party backing was almost a guarantee (see Brown, Scott). Isn’t his managerial, CEO-type “turnaround” leadership Romney’s biggest selling point? You can nitpick Romney’s record on social issues (which I know aren’t important to you, Glenn), disagree with him on foreign policy (where he seems just fine to me) or take RomneyCare to be heresy. But his fiscal record is more or less impeccable. He took a liberal state, with a hard-left legislature and a massive defecit, and somehow balanced the books without sending taxes through the roof. If fiscal restraint is the Tea Party’s number one issue, how is this guy not the Tea Party favorite?

Well, keep the debate going.

And Professor Stephen Clark writes: “Rove and Krauthammer amuse me with their response to Herman Cain. Since when has it become self-evident that a man with the professional accomplishments of Herman Cain is unfit to hold the office of President for not having spent the better part of his life as an elected politician and has, unforgivably, remained unknown to the likes of Rove and Krauthammer? Paging Professor Codevilla.”

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