The PJ Tatler

New Hampshire Blogging: Mitt Romney Benefits by Looking Sane

Watching Manchester’s MMUR news between radio hits and campaign events. The news broadcast is allowing all of the GOP candidates competing here to give their “final argument” to the voters of New Hampshire. They’re given about 90 seconds to just talk and explain themselves and what they believe.

Such long leashes can be dangerous.

Buddy Roemer was first up. The former Louisiana governor is actually still in the race, polling at about 3 percent right now despite (or maybe because of) the fact that he has been more or less living in New Hampshire for the past six months. His pitch amounted to repeating “Live free or die” to hypnotize voters.

Ron Paul followed Roemer. He started off ok, talking about spending, but left to his own devices he veered off into “the empire will have to end and we have to bring the troops home from all over the world” and he, frankly, started to look shaky and slighly mad. The anchors were about to cut him off when he finally ran out of wind.

Mitt Romney followed Paul. The contrast between the two was striking. Romney looked and sounded like, well, a normal guy. Someone who isn’t scary the way the Ron Paul and Buddy Roemner were. He talked about bringing his family to visit New Hampshire over the last 40 years and about being governor. It was unmemorable and fluffy, but steady.

Laced through these appearances were reports from the campaign trail, and a whole lot of Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman ads. I have to say, Paul’s New Hampshire ads are very good. If he actually was the candidate presented in the ads, he would be a beast candidate who could unify the entire conservative movement. But he isn’t. For instance, his ads depict him as “the one we’ve been looking for,” the “one man (who) stands alone” against Washington corruption. Got a record to back any of that up? No. He has passed one bill in his decades in Washington and has been an earmark king. Ron Paul’s ads are his best sales pitch, while Mitt Romney is his own.

Huntsman’s ads are solid but not as strong as Paul’s. One touts his record as governor of Utah and then asks “Why haven’t we heard of this guy?” Maybe because he’s running a terrible campaign that started with him insulting Republican voters as “anti-science” instead of touting that record?

A few segments later, Huntsman appeared wearing a casual flight-style black jacket emblazoned with JON HUNTSMAN GOVERNOR. He fared a bit better than Roemer and Paul but came across a bit dour.

After Huntsman, the sportscast came on and I had to head off to a PJTV interview with Roger so I missed Santorum and Gingrich.