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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Romney speaks to Univ of Iowa Students


Mitt Romney visited my campus yesterday. Although I was busy seeing patients in clinic . . . I was able to break away for a 25 minute late lunch break to see him tie up his Q & A session. I arrived to see that every single seat was filled and several people were standing in the back. I also noticed that his wife, Ann, was in attendance.

The Johnson County GOP blogsite (from where I "lifted" the photo above) had an excellent write-up with photos to boot. Some interesting tidbits from one of their bloggers named "Cornfield Commentator" include:

"His speech was good -- actually very similar to Pataki's in talking about his unexpected election in a Majority-Democrat state and his record of accomplishments in bringing about conservative change in three main areas -- cutting spending, improving education, and health care. I think he did a better job than Pataki, however, in pointing to concrete things that he's done, which is particularly notable given that he's been in office for all of three years, versus Pataki's twelve."

"Overall, I would say that my impression of Romney was improved quite a bit by the visit -- he definitely deserves his slot in the list of top contenders, but I still wonder with the importance of foreign affairs right now whether he would really be able to go toe-to-toe with McCain. "

"the elevator talk after the speech was generally positive -- people thought he was genuine, knowledgeable, and credible as a potential President."

Looks like Mitt continues to impress!

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A write-up in the college paper highlights other points of interest (and, it must be remembered, is written for a student body that is largely independent/democratic leaning)

Some quotes:

Romney "spoke about his work to improve education, provide universal health-insurance in his state, and strive toward energy independence - issues that he said can be achieved through small government and low taxes." Romney said "Unlike the Democrats, we can actually solve problems in those areas," he said. "We can improve education, we can improve health care, and they can't." Romney contended that Democrats were ineffectual on these issues because "they are tied to special interests in those areas," citing the teachers' union as one such special-interest organization.

Further in the article it states: "Responding to a question from the audience about how he would curb rising gas prices, he offered boosting domestic use and production of nuclear power to free up oil for transportation use.He noted France derives 70 to 80 percent of its power from nuclear sources and said following suit here would offset the demand for such fuels as coal and oil.

He also supports agriculturally based energy sources, such as ethanol but said he wanted to see drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."I'd open different sources of oil, not because I want to suck all of the oil out of our continent, but because if we have additional sources of oil here, we will be able to do a better job moderating world prices on oil," he said.

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I spoke with a couple of friends who were able to be there for the entire address. They were impressed at Gov. Romney's ability to field difficult questions with direct and optimistic answers. They felt he was very charismatic and a "gifted orator." One of them spent some time afterward doing some internet research about Romney's answer to the being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and how that might affect his potential electability. This point is being philosophically discussed in depth by an Evangelical blogger and a Mormon blogger @ Article 6 Blog on a daily basis.

Gov. Romney closed with a gracious "thank-you for having me here" line and immediately received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the entire crowd. I agree with the Cornfield Commentator about the "elevator buzz" being positive. I rode down in the elevator with a tall, thin, red-headed sophomore @ UI who voiced how impressed he was with Romney's verbal and mental skills in convincing the crowd and fielding questions. When I mentioned that he was a likely candidate for the '08 WH he responded, "Well, he's got my vote!"

I think Romney could claim "Mission Accomplished" for this stop on this Iowa trail.

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