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Thursday, October 26, 2006

THANKS!!!!

Just a post to say "THANKS" to all of you who visit this Blog.

This Past week the Blog hit a total of 25,000 hits and we're quickly closing in on 50,000 page views. All this since this blog launched just over 5 months ago. Thanks for visiting and we'll all "keep on keepin' on" together.

Though I'm excited about Romney's visit to Iowa today and tomorrow I am leaving the state to take the last "test" in my education/training (at least I hope it's the last . . . I don't want to shell out another $1500 to take my Oral Boards in Ophthalmology again . . . of course I only have the priviledge of doing that because I had passed my $1500 Written Boards a few months ago; I wouldn't complain if I wasn't still just making a training-level salary . . . maybe I still would--$3000 for two tests does seem like "extortion" to me.) Wish me luck!

The blog will be inactive through the weekend.

Romney Adds Native Iowan to Commonwealth PAC Finance Team

The Commonwealth PAC has announced the addition of Ann Woods Herberger to his Commonwealth PAC Finace Team.

Herberger is a native Iowan who began her political career in 1987 with the George Bush for President campaign during the “first-in-the-nation” Iowa presidential caucuses. She later moved to Washington, DC to work at the Republican National Committee for Mary Matalin, National Victory ’88 Political Director and Margaret Alexander, National Victory ’88 Finance Director as a part of the national Victory ’88 finance team. From 1989 to 1991 she served as the Western Regional Director for the RNC’s major donor program.


Also . . .

Jeb Bush asked Herberger to join his Gubernatorial campaign in 1997 as the Finance Director, a role she would also play in Gov Jeb Bush’s re-election in 2002. In all, she has handled fundraising for Gov Bush for the last nine years.


The people who know how to "pick the winners" are lining up and signing up with Romney!

See more coverage (with lively commentary) here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Romney Schedule for This Weekend.

From Tim Moran of the Commonwealth PAC-Iowa Division:

Friday October 27th

12:00 – 1:00pm
Mike Whalen Lunch
Thunder Bay Grille
Davenport, IA



3:45pm – 4:20pm
Scott County Headquarters Visit
3390 Utica Ridge Road
Bettendorf, IA


4:35pm – 5:15
Door Knocking with House Candidate Roby Smith


6:30pm – 8:00pm
Clinton County GOP Dinner
Vista Grande Room
2141 16th St. NW
Clinton, IA


Saturday October 28th

8:10am – 9:00am
Breakfast Fundraiser for State Senator Linda Livingston
Baymont Inn and Suites
Ames, IA


10:45am – 11:15am
Pottawattamie County GOP Headquarters Stop w/ Jim Nussle (and possibly Bob Vander Plaats)
1851 Madison Ave, Suite 716
Council Bluffs, IA


12:45pm – 1:30pm
Woodbury County GOP Headquarters Stop w/ Jim Nussle (and possibly Bob Vander Plaats)
506 Nebraska
Sioux City, IA


2:45pm – 3:30pm
Sioux County GOP Headquarters Stop w/Jim Nussle (and possibly Bob Vander Plaats)
415 1st Ave NE
Sioux Center, IA


5:45pm – 7:15pm
Fundraiser for State Representative Linda Upmeyer
Lakeview Room
Central Park
Clear Lake, IA

Monday, October 23, 2006

Globe Follow-ups . . . Romney and LDS church still clean--just like they've said.

Read about it here.

These poor reporters were apparently just "reporting the news" in an unbiased fashion and all of us are just making a big deal about it. Nice.

See the Bloggernacle Times response as well.

Lug Nutmegger has a great review of the whole episode here.

Even Orrin Hatch is getting into the fray (text here, video here). He rightly trashes the Globe as having an agenda to bring Romney down because he's a conservative.

Details about the BYU Business School Alumni part of the story found here.

Boston Globe's "Pious" View on Religion and Politics

The Globe has gone too far with this editorial--"Romney's Mormon Allies".

I know that I linked to the NewsBusters story previously which highlights the Globes utter hypocrisy here, but there was no link to the actual editorial.

Some of the Globe's "High and Mighty" statements:

After quoting Jesus (huge red flag when the Globe editorial staff is quoting the Bible!) saying the "Give unto Ceaser . . ." line as evidence of the importance of the seperation of church and state; obviously selectively using the Bible (I'm guessing the whole homosexual-acts-are-"an abomination" part of the Bible weren't quoted by the Globe as they supported the same sex marriage ruling by the SJC.) The Globe then sternly warns:

"The Mormon church and Mitt Romney should make sure that the church stays out of his nascent presidential campaign."


Also,

The church also ought to make sure that all its leaders, including Jeffrey R. Holland, who organized the meeting, stop helping the campaign. As one of the 12 Apostles, advisers to church president Gordon B. Hinckley, Holland's involvement is tantamount to a Mormon endorsement of the candidacy.


In light of church statements denying Holland's presumed actions during this whole affair and prior to the publication of this editorial the Globe is effectively calling Holland and the Church liars. That's just infuriating to me . . . but I guess it just makes the Globe look desperate and dishonest in the end.

Romney defended his campaign, saying: ``Clearly I'm going to raise money from people I know, and that includes BYU alums, people of my church, people of other churches." His lack of concern about the issue raises doubts about his ability to keep church and state separate should he move to the White House.


"Lack of concern"? How about Romney's rights as a politician. Is he precluded from raising money from fellow church members? This has gone too far and the Globe has reared it's anti-religious head too strongly. I wonder if they feel the same about the church of secularism . . . should liberal candidates not be able to take money from environmental groups, Move-on.org, trial lawyers, etc . . . ?

They finish . . .

But Romney appears all too willing to entangle religion and politics. Voters who practice a different faith, or none at all, deserve assurances that he can separate the demands of public life from the urgings of Salt Lake City.


"Urgings of SLC?" What in the world are they referring to? I'd like to hear what urgings Romney has been following. This could be the most inappropriate and outlandish editorial I've ever read from the Globe. I think they must be convinced that Romney will win the GOP nomination because they're already attacking him for a general election run.

I can only feel that this kind of religious discrimination against Romney will elevate his status among faith-based individuals of all denominations to nearly "martyr" level . . . especially when he did nothing wrong in this whole matter. Ironically, the Globe may end up being Romney's biggest ally in the end. Ya never know.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Iowa Press Romney Mention

On the Iowa Press show they ended the show with Kay Henderson asking the Republican and Democrat representatives present to name one 2008 POTUS hopeful that was "doing everything right." John Edwards got the nod from the Democrat (who is a Edwards consultant). Then, Steve Roberts (Republican National Committeeman and former Iowa State GOP Chairman) said that several on the GOP side were "running strong." When re-asked if there were any "suprises" Roberts mentioned that Romney has come on very strong lately and the Democrat was nodding in agreement.

Globe REALLY Digs in Now--Sinks to publishing private email communications

Trying to "save face" from their poorly reported stories . . . the Boston Globe writers have now come forth with their "Documents" that they were claiming showed the link between Romney operatives and the LDS church. They've even stooped to the level of publishing personal e-mails (how they were obtained is not mentioned, but I bet that is more scandalous than the "expose" that they are trying to push).

Obviously, Romney, personally is 100% clean on this one. In fact, the dubious nature of the documents makes it hard to pin anything on anyone.

However, assuming the "documents" are real, lets put this in a little perspective:

Don Stirling is NOT a staff member of Romney's PAC; he's just a consultant. His email was to Sherri Dew . . . a prominent woman in the LDS community and CEO of Desert Book (and has been on the record before as being VERY pro-Romney). In trying to tie this to President Hinckley there are just too many "degrees of seperation." The e-mail says that Sterling heard Kem Gardner say that Elder Holland said that Elder Faust and Pres. Hinckley (get the picture) "voiced no objections" to the MVP program and use of the BYU Management Society to promote it. Kem Gardner is a long-time friend to Romney and he or Stirling himself may have either 1) misunderstood, 2) exaggerated, or 3) took out of context Holland's meaning. This is all assuming that the emails are legit.

I'm sorry, but this kind of poorly founded journalism is what I expect from Hollywood tabloids, not from the Boston Globe.

Addendum:

Another point that crossed my mind is that all of these people are well known to eachoter. Dew, Stirling, Gardner, Holland etc . . . they're all among the "elite" of the Salt Lake City crowd. It's not a huge city and being a member/leader in the church makes that that much smaller. What I'm getting at is that this is not some targeted scheme by Romney's people to "get in good" with the church heirarchy. More likely this could just be some in the "Salt Lake Elite" excited about one of "their own" becoming POTUS (Romney's stint as SLOC chair made him an adopted member of that crowd.) Again, Romney and his PAC are 100% clean on this one. This episode just sends up a warning flare to people who personally support Romney but happen to hold positions of power in the Church/Utah/BYU to be more careful in their personal communications--you never know who may break into your system.

Addendum #2:

Great coverage of this by Guy Murray at Bloggernacle Times.

Addendum #3:

More updates here and here. See . . . Romney is 100% clean on this one.

Mitt-o-sphere Update

Fledgling Romney Blogs continue to pop up! There's now North Carolinians for Mitt (run by Peter Wiscombe) , Nuttmeggers for Mitt (A nickname for people from Connecticut; this quippy entry from today is worth a read), President Mitt Romney (looks to be a good source of thoughtful analysis and commentary), and Mothers for Mitt.

Nathan Burd from Americans for Mitt has informed us that there are now people signed on to the Americans for Mitt from all 50 states! Great work Nathan!

Texans for Mitt Romney keeps going strong with NINE different bloggers and some great entries like "Evangelicals Need Not Fear Romney" Parts One and Two, and "Romney is Articulate"

Washingtonians for Mitt also continues to keep going strong as well.

Nancy French is taking Evangelicals for Mitt in a whole different direction the last couple of days.

Sarcastic commentary is running strong at the Run Mitt Run Blog

Andru at South Carolinians for Romney had a great blog entry about the dangers of mixing religion and politics . . . it puts a new perspective about why Romney may not activly seek to discuss the details of his personal faith in a public setting. Also, there's a link to a piece claiming that Newt Gingrich is not going to be running for President, but is positioning himself to take over as the RNC chairman in 2008--could be (probably is) just speculation.

Jason at Illinoisians for Mitt has a couple of interesting blog entries recently. These two (here and here) are about him meeting Romney at the Chicago event (Cool shirt Jason . . . where have I heard of that before?). Also, he reports that Laura Ingraham was giving Mitt "some love" again (don't take that the wrong way) on her radio show and even seemed to bring Pat Buchanan along a bit. Jason also runs My Man Mitt.



Romney was on CNN's "The Situation Room" hosted by Wolf Blitzer last week and you can read the transcript here (scroll down about halfway). My favorit quote after Blitzer tried to grill Romney on the Gay marriage issue:

BLITZER: You know, Mary Cheney, when she was here -- and she is a lesbian...

ROMNEY: Yes.

BLITZER: ... she said that you -- she didn't know what your position was, but those who support what you -- you want a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage -- are on the wrong side of history, sort of like the old laws that would prevent African-Americans from marrying white people.

ROMNEY: I'm afraid that's not quite a good comparison.

It's not the wrong side of history, because, actually, in the whole history of the world, from the very beginning of recorded history, marriage has always meant a relationship between a man and a woman.

Look, if two people of the same gender want to live together and enter into a contract with each other, so be it. But don't pretend that it's marriage. And society, as a whole, will benefit by having its children, on the average, raised by moms and dads.


Blitzer, defeated, then changed the subject. Great stuff from Romney!

The Boston Globe--Your source of unfounded/fabricated Romney news

I apologize for trashing the Boston Globe so much lately, but really . . . they're bringing it upon themselves by writing headlines and articles like this: "Before different crowds, Romney offers different words on judges".

This time, even Hotline On Call picked up the headline and wrote this with a link to the story:
Gov. Mitt Romney praises judges while in MA; outside the state...eh...he says something a little different

It appears that Hotline's staff doesn't appear that they read the article though--Romney's comments were IN Massachussetts--not out of state.

Back to the Globe now . . .

BOSTON --Anyone who has listened closely to Gov. Mitt Romney in recent years has heard him rail against the Supreme Judicial Court and the "activist judges" . . . [next comes one of my favorite "unbiased" sentences]. Romney did so as recently as last weekend, when the potential 2008 presidential candidate interrupted his national travels to return to Boston for a televised religious gathering that condemned the concept of gay marriage.


Essentially, the article's conclusion hinges on kindergarten logic . . . Romney, to be consistent, must hate all judges since he criticized the 4 of 7 justices on the MA Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) that acted in an activist way by ruling that Gay Marriage is a constitutional right in MA.

So, according to their logic, since Romney criticized that ruling (as he should have and will continue to do), the Globe now labels him a hypocrite for praising his own appointee, Phillip Rapoza, for Cheif Justice of the MA APPELATE court (not even same court!)

Amid an elaborate ceremony in the Statehouse to commemorate the appointment of Phillip Rapoza as chief justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the governor showed no contempt for the Supreme Judicial Court or its leader, Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, who sat with him on the dais.


To my knowledged, Romney has never personally attacked Marshall . . . would this be the appropriate forum to start? Sorry Globe, Romney's too much of a class act for that (though if he did and maintained the apparent consistency that the Globe requires, the Globe headline would have read: "Romney Bashes First Woman Cheif Justice of Massachussetts")

Romney praised Rapoza and told the audience he embodied many of the expected qualities in a judge, presumably including those who are able to win appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court: intelligence, experience, legal understanding, "wonderful" judgment and "Solomonic" character.


Sounds good to me.
Marshall, who in the past has elliptically criticized Romney for creating a hostile environment toward jurists, also took a different tack in her remarks to the audience at Rapoza's swearing-in.

She praised the Massachusetts constitution as "one of the great, great documents in the long march towards human freedom" before celebrating the fact that Rapoza would be among those jurists to ensure it is upheld via his service on the appellate court.

"You could not have made a better appointment for this critical role," Marshall told Romney.


So, Marshall looks like the real inconsistant one here, eh? Why isn't that the headline then?

Rapoza is Romneys highest appointment in the MA judiciary and an impressive one too. Find out more about Rapoza here and here.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Pirating Laws

I had no idea that Mike Whalen was not just competing with Bruce Braley (in Iowa's 1st Cong district), he's also got to fight off the Pirate candidate.

Globe Digs in . . . Speculative Accusations Make them Look Desperate

The Globe writers have made an unwise maneuver . . . instead of dropping a poorly reported supposed "expose" about Romney's Mormon Political Network after clear evidence that the picture they were painting was highly erroneous, they instead dig their heels in and come out with this follow-up piece today that tries to escalate the level of "scandal." It's actually pretty funny to read . . . even a bit sad that these reporters work for one of the "top" newspapers in the nation and this is the best they can get on Romney. They are getting desperate to pin something on Romney.

They start off . . .

Governor Mitt Romney vigorously defended a plan yesterday by his political advisers to develop a network of Mormon supporters for his potential presidential bid,


What is this "vigorous defense" that they refer to? Romney said:

``Clearly, I'm going to raise money from people I know, and that includes BYU alums, people of my church, people of other churches, Harvard Business School graduates,"


So Romney essentially admitted to being a politician (real big story) . . . but I see no where that he defended any "plan" to specifically and exclusively develop this so-called "Mormon network" (unless their definition of a "Mormon network" is "two or more individual Mormons who decide to support Romney for President" . . . if that's the case, then we have a "Romney Mormon Network" right here in my own home!)

Romney's comments suggest that the fund-raising initiative, which his political advisers dubbed Mutual Values and Priorities, or MVP, remained an active effort.


Oh really? Where did they come up with that? Talk about hearing what you want to hear! A Romney spokesman even stated that the MVP program had been abandoned (that it never really took off). I guess these reporters see their big "expose" of the MVP program disintegrating and they're trying to breathe life back into it?

But they get even more desperate:

They quote a statement of Otterson, a church spokesman, about the LDS strong history of political neutrality and then mention that he "declined to elaborate" . . . like the church has something to hide about it's history with politics. Well, I guess they missed Otterson's response to the Globe article they wrote . . . looks like plenty of "elaboration" to me.

Then they line up some IRS "experts" to strengthen their "scandal story" that the LDS church is in violation of non-profit tax codes.

Donald C. Alexander, who headed the IRS from 1973 to 1977, said yesterday that the collaboration among Romney's political team and leaders of the church and school could run afoul of federal law.

``The massive effort described in your article is, if not over the line, I think much too close to the line," he said. ``I think individual Mormons can and probably will support the governor, but they should support the governor as individuals, not in their capacities as having responsibilities for a church or for a university."


That last sentence is true and is the lesson all church organizations should take away from this ordeal. However, what is this "massive effort" he speaks of? I'm offended I wasn't included. Funny stuff, eh?

Finally they bring in a voice of reason:

Milton Cerny, a retired lawyer who formerly oversaw tax-exempt groups for the IRS, had a different take, saying the actions of the church and BYU did not appear to violate federal law, because Romney is not officially running for president.

``You don't have an announced candidate," said Cerny, who lives in Virginia. ``These are committees being formed to see whether the individual could be a viable candidate or not."


So, even if the "spirit of the law" was violated (which it was not, IMO), all parties involved are completely in no violation of the "letter of the law".

This article redeems itself near the end with some entertaining coverage of Romney visit to Florida.

In Daytona Beach yesterday, Romney, speaking to about 50 Republicans outside a GOP campaign office, cracked a joke about the Massachusetts media.

``There are two factions of reporters where I come from in Massachusetts," he said. ``We have the Hillary-loving, Ted Kennedy apologists -- and we have the liberals."

The audience erupted in laughter and applause. Romney also heaped praise on Jeb Bush, calling him the best governor in America. ``There's no question about that," he said.

Later in the day, when Romney appeared with Bush at an event for congressional candidate Vern Buchanan, at an airplane hangar in Venice, Fla., he received a standing ovation from about 200 Republicans.

Romney mingled, signed autographs, posed for photographs, and sang an impromptu Irish blessing with a barbershop quartet before refusing to answer any more questions from the Massachusetts reporter.

``Hi, on our way," he said as he brushed past to a waiting van.


Of course they had to end with an insinuation that Romney was avoiding any more discussion about his huge "MVP-scandal." However, I'd love to hear more about him singing that impromptu Irish blessing with a barbershop quartet . . . Anyone know if he's got pipes?

Romney Gets Highest Fiscal Policy Grade of any US Governor Working With a Democratic Legislature

One full day on the Globe/Mormon piece was enough. Changing subjects . . .

The Cato Institute released it's "grades" for the fiscal policy records (taxes and spending) of the governors of all 50 states. The full report card is here.
While officially Romney got a "C" that is the highest grade that any Governor got that had to work with a Democratic legislature. That he tied for 12th in the nation when he has to work with a 87% Democratic legislature is truly amazing.

In the full report (warning . . . it's a 40 page pdf) there's a lot more info, data, and even commentary on each of the Governors. Of Romney they write:

As Mitt Romney launches his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, his fiscal record as governor should be scrutinized. Romney likes to advance the image of himself as a governor who has fought a liberal Democratic legislature on various fronts. That's mostly true on spending: he proposed modest increases to the budget and line-item vetoed millions of dollars each year only to have most of those vetoes overridden. But Romney will likely also be eager to push the message that he was a governor who stood by a no-new-taxes pledge. That's mostly a myth. His first budget included no general tax increases but did include a $500 million increase in various fees. He later proposed $140 in business tax hikes through the closing of "loopholes" in the tax code. He announced in May 2004 that he wanted to cut the top income tax rate from 5.3 to 5 percent, but that was hardly an audacious stand. Voters had already passed a plan to do just that before Romney even took office. In his budget for 2006, he proposed $170 million more in business tax hikes, almost completely neutralizing the proposed income tax cut. If you consider the massive costs to taxpayers that his universal health care plan will inflict once he's left office, Romney's tenure is clearly not a triumph of small-government activism.


Much of that sounds pretty harsh (and some of it is outright misrepresentation or speculation), but the Cato Institue isn't dishing out praise to anyone. Even Gov. Blunt of Missouri (the ONLY one who got an "A" grade) didn't get only kind words from Cato:

Blunt hasn’t had to fight against tax increases since they are nowhere on anyone’s political radar screen. The second year of Blunt’s tenure, however, indicates that his status as one of the most fiscally disciplined new governors may be short-lived. His second budget proposed a massive spending increase of more than 8 percent, and the legislature was only too happy to oblige. It even reversed some of the cuts to Medicaid that passed in 2005.


For comparison of other 2008 GOP hopefuls:

Pataki got a "D"

If he runs for the Republican presidential nomination on a record like that, it’s going to be very hard for him to convince the small-government advocates who vote in the GOP presidential primaries that he’s still one of them.


Huckabee got an "F":

Huckabee wants to run for the GOP presidential nomination next year. He’s already been hailed as a viable big-government conservative candidate by some. That seems about right: Huckabee’s leadership has left taxpayers in Arkansas much worse off.


Overall, Romney did better than anyone else who had to work with a Democratic legislature. He's a true fiscal conservative . . . imagine what he could of done if he had the chance to work with a fiscally conservative legislature!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Follow-up on Globe Article--They're worse than I thought.

After reading these links,

LDS Church's responses here and here

and

coverage from the Article6Blog

it looks like either the Globe was wrong (? outright misrepresentation) or LDS church leaders are openly lying. Hmmm . . . I wonder which?!?!?!?

Actually, I think that these early attacks are great for Romney. They add clout to his building campaign (that the OTHER side is already fearing him . . . because they don't want to face him in a general election) and gives early experience in how to handle these issues to both the church and the Romney campaign. Better now than in a year from now. Romney himself is distanced from this one pretty well. This one's not "sticking" to Romney at all.

Terry McCauliffe says Romney IS the "McCain alternative"

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman, Terry McCauliffe was asked by fortune magazine Washington Bureau cheif, Nina Easton, the following:

Terry, who do you predict is going to be the leading Republican alternative to McCain in 2008?

MCAULIFFE: Mitt Romney. I think he has a great business background [and] has done some great things on health-care initiatives in Massachusetts. You know, Ed and I have actually seen him on speaking engagements. He trudges around with his PowerPoint presentation. If he can deal with the religious issue [Romney's a Mormon], I think that he would be formidable.


Add one more to the list of political heavyweights that thinks that Romney's looking like "the man"

Romney camp consulted with Mormon leaders

Never let it be said that I just put the "pro-Romney" articles here on my blog . . . some of the anti-Romney stuff is just pure silliness. However, this story is going to be discussed, so I'd like to hear what people think of this issue.

The Boston Globe (ever the friend to Romney) ran a story that tries to tie Romney to an endorsement by the church (or at least that's the headline and picture they're trying to paint). This isn't a major scandal, but it's not good press either.

My quick take . . . the tie to BYU and the action of the associate dean were unwise maneuvers. There will be plenty of support for Romney among members of the church. Patience is required to let it happen the right way. However, being LDS and knowing our incredibly strong record of political neutrality and following the rules (we don't do "voter guides" like other churches/Christian organizations), it is sort of bothersome that the Globe would paint the church in this light.

A companion article is here which, just by it's subject matter/title, seems to suggest that the LDS church "better watch out" or else we'll lose our non-profit tax status. Pretty annoying.

Hotline's coverage is here.

Part of their disscussion . . .

Fact: the Globe story, read closely, does not suggest that anyone in the church did anything wrong or illegal, or that Romney's aides acted improperly. Fact: Bishops of Mormon churches are forbidden from using church directories for politics, which means that Romney needs to find other ways to collect LDS church membership lists across the country.


Since Hotline is big on McCain (and therefore not too hot on Romney) it's interesting that they don't seem to see much of a scandal here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

:atest Nussle vs. Culver Debate Available Online

You can link to the debate here.

The format was a little different allowing for direct questioning from candidate to candidate.

One bothersome thing was that the TV station had little 2 minute "issue blurbs" before some of the questions. They were highly biased and very pro-embryonic stem cell research and pro-raising minimum wage, etc . . . Not good journalism.

Despite that, Nussle out-performed Culver once again.

It's also bothersome how often Culver tried to tie Nussle to President Bush--pretty slimey if you ask me.

The choice is clear.

VOTE FOR NUSSLE!!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Text of Romney's Speech at Liberty Sunday/FRC Event

From the Governor's Website:

Remarks by Governor Mitt Romney
Liberty Sunday: Defending Our First Freedom
October 15, 2006

Welcome to this historic city. The authors of liberty recognized a Divine Creator who bequeathed to us certain inalienable rights. They affirmed freedom of religion and proscribed the establishment of any one religion. Today, there are some people would like to establish a single religion for America . . . the religion of secularism. They not only reject traditional religious values, but also the values of the founders. And they set aside the wisdom of the ages. Their allies are activist judges. Here in Massachusetts, activist judges struck a blow to the foundation of civilization, the family. They ruled that our constitution requires same sex marriage. I believe their error occurred because they focused on adult rights. If adult heterosexual couples can marry, they reasoned, then to have equal rights, adult homosexual couples must also be able to marry.

But marriage is not primarily about adults. Marriage is primarily about the nurturing and development of children. A child’s development is enhanced by the nurturing of both genders. Every child deserves a mother and a father. Of course, the principal burden of the Court’s ruling doesn’t fall on adults. It falls on children. We are asked to change the state birth certificate. To prevent “heterocentricity,” mother and father would become parent A and parent B. An elementary school teacher reads to her 2nd graders from a book titled “The King and King” about a prince who marries a prince. And a 2nd grader’s father is denied the right to have his child removed from class while that book is being read. Our state’s most difficult-to-place adoptive children may no longer be placed by Catholic charities because they favor homes where there’s a mother and a father.

The price of same sex marriage is paid by children. Our fight for marriage, then, should focus on the needs of children, not the rights of adults. In fact, as Americans, I believe that we should show an outpouring of respect and tolerance for all people, regardless of their differences or their different choices. We must vigorously reject discrimination and bigotry. We are all God's children. He abhors none of us.

Massachusetts is the front line on marriage, but unless we adopt a federal amendment to protect marriage, what is happening here will unquestionably enter every other state. The spreading religion of secularism and its substitute values cannot be allowed to weaken the foundation of family or the faith of our fathers who more than life their freedom loved.


Great stuff! That last sentence is masterful, IMO.

I watched the event and Romney was VERY well received by that religious crowd. He received multiple effusive and long-lasting standing ovations and was asked by FRC head Tony Perkins to give his speech a second time because the satellite feed/webcast went out early during his first speech. They didn't mind hearing him again one bit.

This is the kind of leadership we need by a POTUS if we're ever going to get a federal marriage protection amendment passed through.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A view from the other side: Romney is a "Bush Lieutenant"

Wisconsin politics looks like it is getting slimy. The Wisconisn Democratic Party recently sent out this press release aiming to "kill two birds with one stone" (Degrade the current GOP candidate for Governor--Mark Green and lay some groundwork against Romney's 2008 presidential bid). They list 5 areas where Romney and Green have similar records of bad governance.

ON EDUCATION
Under Romney’s Governorship, between 2002 and 2004, Massachusetts had the largest reduction in K-12 spending in the nation.


They forgot to mention that in late 2005 (after these "horrible cuts" occured) that Massachusetts "blew away" the rest of the nation on the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) exam, marking the only time in history that one state had the top performance in all 4 categories (4th grade Reading & Math and 8th grade Reading & Math). Sounds like vintage Romney . . . do more with less!

ON HIGHER EDUCATION
Romney has cut funding for higher education in Massachusetts by $12 million.


Mostly these cuts were for duplicative administrative positions and the "patronage" problem that Romney has been trying to fix in Massachusetts.

ON TAX BREAKS FOR THE RICH
Romney cut almost $3 billion from public schools, health care, and other public services to finance tax breaks that disproportionately benefited the wealthy.


This one is completely unfounded. Romney has tried to cut taxes in MA but the money-hunger MA legislature froze the voter initiative to bring the income tax rate to a lower level. The only truth to that comment is that he did gut the budget upon taking office in 2003 and turned a $3 billion deficit into a nearly $1 billion surplus.

ON FISCAL MISMANAGEMENT
Romney has increased government spending every year he’s been in office, increasing spending by 19 percent over his four years in office.


Oh, they conveniently left out that essentially all of his vetoes to cut spending each year are over-ridden by the Democrats in the legislature. Also, he balanced the Mass Budget and has consitantly called for spending restraint . . . but it falls on the deaf ears of the spend-happy legislature.

This accusation also flies in the face of their first three complaints . . . that he cut spending to all of these institutions.

Accusing Romney of "fiscal mismanagement"??? Now that's a good one!

ON A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE
Romney has vetoed legislation to require doctors to offer emergency contraception to rape victims and has vetoed a bill to expand access to emergency contraceptives.


Good for him!

I just think it's funny to read this stuff that the Dems put out. Some of it is just music to my ears.

In other Wisconsin politics news, it looks like former Wisc Governor Tommy Thompson is strongly weighing a bid for POTUS in 2008. He could be a player in the Iowa Caucus, but I don't see his candidacy "catching on" elsewhere.

LA Times is at it again: "Can a Mormon win evangelical support?"

The LA Times writers and editors must be enamoured with Romney's religion. It's all they seem to write about. (see here and here for their other recent coverage of Romney--plus, don't forget that they are the media source who ran the poll misleadingly showing that "37% of Americans don't want a Mormon POTUS")

However, the most recent installment "Can a Mormon win evangelical support?" by Times writer Gregory Rodriguez may signal a change. Rodriguez explains why he thinks Dr. James Dobson was wrong when he recently said he didn't think large numbers of Evangelicals would vote for a Mormon.

In a recent radio interview, prominent evangelical activist James Dobson said that Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's Mormon faith "could pose a serious obstacle" if he decided to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Dobson said he thought that conservative Christians wouldn't feel comfortable casting a ballot for a Mormon.

Chances are, he's wrong.


It's not the most doctrinally accurate piece I've ever read, but it is a move in the right direction for the LA Times.

Republican Governors Flex Their Fundraising Muscle

This Washington Post piece rightly gives Romney credit for the fundraising success the RGA (Republican's Governors Association):

Casting aside its traditional image as a minor player in campaigns, the Republican Governors Association raised $8.5 million over the past three months and has now raked in $20 million in 2006 alone.

The RGA's haul from July 1 to Sept. 30 eclipsed the group's previous three-month fundraising record, set in the first quarter of this year, by more than $2 million. The association also passed its total yearly record for fundraising ($18 million) in the first nine months of the year. The Democratic Governors Association raised $5 million in the period and has collected nearly $14 million this year, roughly $1 million short of its all-time high.


Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.), the RGA chairman, has also tapped his vast fundraising network to benefit the group and leaned heavily on a handful of fellow governors, including Sonny Perdue (Ga.), Matt Blunt (Mo.) and Haley Barbour (Miss.).

"No one has worked harder than Mitt Romney to ensure the financial success of RGA," Musser said. "The results speak for themselves."


Do you think the nickname I gave him several months ago of "Midas Mitt" will stick?

Mitt, the rising star, catches Thatcher vote

London-based The Sunday Times has an interesting article about Romney and his recent meeting with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
In an essential rite of passage for American politicians, Mitt Romney was ushered into the presence of Baroness Thatcher at a Washington think tank last month. If not quite an official anointing, the handshake and chat with so venerable a figure was an unmistakable sign to conservatives that he was “one of us”.

The improbably handsome right-wing governor of left-wing Massachusetts is generating enormous buzz as the conservative with the best chance of beating the independent-minded Senator John McCain for the 2008 Republican nomination.


Probably my favorite quote from the article was:

As governor, Romney has already proved his appeal to swing voters. One party-goer described him as an American Tony Blair. “He’s extremely eloquent with strong convictions. He’s a visionary . . .


I've been a HUGE Tony Blair fan for years. Maybe that's part of why I found myself like Romney so much too.

Also, the article quoted Luara Ingrahm saying of Romney, "he's the man" and it also gave a "shout out" to Evangelicals for Mitt.

Great article and well worth the read

Beltway Boys---Warner out potientially helps Romney, McCain or Giuliani

On Fox News show "The Beltway Boys" Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes were discussing the early "bowing out" of potential 2008 Democratic POTUS hopeful Mark Warner, and it's impact on the Democratic nomination, and the 2008 race as a whole.

They thought that Warner (a very moderate Democrat) saw that there wasn't much room to "the right of Hillary Clinton" in the race for the nomination (I continue to find that funny . . . that Hillary is occupying the centrist/moderate stance within her party). That Warner is out of the picture makes it even more likely that potential Republican nominees who are well positioned to capture much of the moderate vote (McCain, Giuliani, and Romney were the three they mentioned) would win the nomination.

Romney is the most socially conservative of those three and has a better standing among the GOP base. However, it has to be realized that he does have somewhat of a moderate streak (mostly this is just plain "pragmatism over ideology" that has stamped much of his pre-political and political life) and that is why some hard-core conservatives object to him. I also think that him being a "D.C. outsider" and not a life-long politician will help him in getting the moderate vote (looks and charisma won't hurt either, eh?)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Romney at Univeristy of Chicago School of Business

Jason Bonham at My Man Mitt has a great recap of Romney's recent visit and speech at the University of Chicago School of Business for their "Distinguished Speakers Series."

For those of us very used to his "stump speech" (which is great, by the way) he gives at political events this one was a nice change of pace.

Apparently, Jason wore the Napoleon Dynamite "Vote for Mitt" shirt to the event. They look like they're available here.

LA Times: Scared of Romney?---- Jeb Bush calls Romney a "formidable" candidate

OK, tell me how and why LA Times readers would really be interested in who Gov. Romney brings in as advisors to his Commonwealth PAC . . .

OK, is it just general informative news that they're covering? I'm not buying that because Romney has been bringing in LOTS of advisors for his pre-campaign team and the LA Times hasn't cared before. So what's different about this one? Look how they introduces this and judge what their angle is . . .

Sally Bradshaw, a longtime political advisor and confidante to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, confirmed Thursday that she has signed on as a consultant to Romney's political action committee.

Known in Florida circles as Jeb Bush's equivalent to President Bush's Karl Rove, Bradshaw will advise the Romney campaign . . .


Nice unbiased reporting guys! Linking a Romney hire to President Bush and Karl Rove (when they are hugely unpopular!) Are they trying to set Romney up as "just another Bush?" Don't look to the LA Times to be a source of positive or credible information regarding a possible Romney presidency (see here for their previous anti-Romney record)

The article finishes by tying Romney even tighter with Bush (but I think this part is good news for Romney!)

Bradshaw's decision to work for Romney also confirms that the Florida governor, who is prevented by term limits from seeking reelection, is not planning his own White House bid for 2008.

"It should be no surprise that I am not running for president," Bush wrote in an e-mail late Thursday. "After all, that is what I have told you and others in the press for a long time."

Bradshaw said Thursday that Bush encouraged her to consider working for Romney, who will appear with the governor next week in Florida at several campaign events.


Wow, that's exciting . . . Jeb sends one of his main advisors towards Romney! The article finishes . . .

Bush said Thursday that he is not supporting any candidates, but said Romney would be "formidable" if he runs.


Looks like Jeb is seeing the writing on the wall.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Romney's Rise among GOP faithful--GOP Bloggers Poll shows Positive Trends

Governor Romney has made significant inroads with party activists. The political pundits have been taking note and praising Romney over the last few months. Also, trends in the GOP Bloggers Poll results over the last several months have confirmed Romney's Rise.

March:
Romney had a net positive rating of +9.5%--lower only than Allen and Giuliani

July:
Romney inched up to a +17.9% net positive rating--lower that Allen, Gingrich, and Giuliani

August:
Romney's net positve rating was +32.2% g at has been the "First choice" of 13% of voters--Both below only Gingrich and Giuliani

September:
Romney had a +41.1% net positive rating and was the "First choice" of 18.2% of voters.

October:
Romney has jumped up to a +53.4% net positive rating and has been the "First choice" of 19.3% of voters. That high net positive rating is not just the highest Romney's had . . . it's the highest ANYBODY'S had through all of these polls. That's a GREAT sign that he's viewed more positively than anyone else in the field. He still trails Rudy and Newt in the "First Choice" category and is losing to Rudy in head to head pairing.

Romney fans can add to these great numbers (and increase his "First choice" figure) by voting in this most recent October Poll (you can actually vote on it daily at the "Poll Roll" on the right hand sidebar)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

LA Times Beats Drum of Romney's "Mormon Problem" . . . Again. But now you can hear . . . "The Rest of the Story"

(Apologies to Paul Harvey for stealing his line.)

It wasn't enough for the LA Times to sponsor and publicize a misleading poll thay many have thought casts doubts on Romney's chances of becoming POTUS because he's LDS (That's the one that says that 37% don't want a Mormon POTUS--see the link above for why I think that's a poorly conducted and highly misleading poll).

Well, now the LA Times has run another story titled "Romney's 2008 Bid Faces Issue of Faith: Massachusetts' GOP governor has political promise, but voters may not embrace a Mormon.".

As is becoming a common theme with articles about Romney they essentially say that he's the PERFECT candidate . . . except for that darn religion that he ascribes to.

DES MOINES — In seeking a presidential candidate for 2008, why would Republicans look further than the governor of Massachusetts?

Tall and urbane, Mitt Romney has a prime political pedigree, an unblemished personal life and the cool confidence of a CEO. He is a conservative Republican who won easy election in a fiercely liberal state — then streamlined Massachusetts' government and enacted the country's most sweeping healthcare overhaul.

He is a passionate defender of states' rights and recently has embraced strong views against stem cell research and abortion — a reversal of earlier positions. He never swears, and his sole vice is Diet Coke. Not incidentally, the 59-year-old governor boasts Ivy League credentials and movie-star looks.


OK . . . they could have stopped the article there; but they go on to quote folks who seem to think Romney's Mormonism will be a BIG hurdle (some even think insurmountable).

As a devout Mormon — and a onetime bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Romney adheres to a faith that makes many Americans uncomfortable.


They quote their own lousy poll as evidence of their point and then quote a Poli Sci prof from Emory, Merel Black:

"He starts out with a deck stacked against him,"


Then it gets interesting:

[Romney's] reluctance to delve deeper into his beliefs, only add to the mystery of a faith that many Americans associate with polygamy — although that practice has long been outlawed by the church — and with customs such as marrying people after they have died and converting the dead.

"Evangelicals are appalled by all that," said Pastor Ted Haggard, president of the National Assn. of Evangelicals in Colorado Springs, Colo. "We evangelicals view Mormons as a Christian cult group. A cult group is a group that claims exclusive revelation. And typically, it's hard to get out of these cult groups. And so Mormonism qualifies as that."

In addition, Haggard said, evangelicals do not accept Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith as a prophet. "And we do not believe that the Book of Mormon has the same level of authority as the Bible," he said.


Boy, sounds like this Haggard guy is going to be leading the charge against a Romney presidency, right?

WRONG!

That same Pastor Ted Haggard, just one month ago spoke with a reporter from the Salt Lake Tribune and he didn't seem to be such an obstacle to a President Romney:

The Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, said Friday he would have no problem voting for a Mormon for U.S. president. . . .

"We rejected an Evangelical [Harriet Meiers] for the Supreme Court and accepted a Catholic [Samuel Alito]," said Haggard, who was in Salt Lake City to address the Religion Newswriters Association's annual convention. "It's a question of competence." Evangelical Christians are more interested "in good government," than in religious affiliation, . . .

But it's not all so rosy for Haggard:
"We believe Mormonism is a Christian cult," [Haggard] said after his speech. "But we have the same positions on many social issues, pro-life and so on." He said that Evangelicals and Catholics have long joined forces on these social issues and a similar dialogue about them between Evangelicals and Mormons is "in the early stages." "We are in search for areas where we can stand together," Haggard said.


At least the Salt Lake Tribune carried both sides of Haggard's comments . . . The LA Times wasn't quite so honest, eh?

But it's not just Haggard that they hold up as an obstacle to Romney. They quote a South Carolinian GOP County Chairman, Rick Beltram, about how much work Romney has to do to make any headway in that Bible Belt State:

But as he campaigns in South Carolina, "the biggest weakness for Romney is that he is a Mormon," said Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairman Rick Beltram.

"He's got to convince the rank and file that Mormonism isn't some strange cult religion, and persuade people that the beliefs he holds are very much mainstream USA."

Starting with Romney's first exploratory trip to Spartanburg, S.C., in February 2005, Beltram said, "Everyone said, 'Oh boy, what does a Mormon believe in?' "


Wait though, this the same Rick Beltram who was quoted just a few days ago in a South Carolina paper, The State:

“Romney has moved up the fastest,” said Spartanburg County Republican chairman Rick Beltram.


Obviously, Beltram isn't painting a picture of an insurmountable challenge (which seems to be the whole point of the LA Times article.) Very shady journalism, if you ask me.

Well, I just thought every one deserved to hear . . . "The Rest of the Story." One sided reporting of issues is something we've come to expect from liberal rags like the LA Times. But that doesn't mean that we have to take the trash they're trying to shove down our throats.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The incompetence factor: Handicapping the 2008 presidential race

This article by Kevin Horrigan stresses that the next presidential race is going to focus on "competence" as the main factor voters will be looking for. Obviously, that bodes well for our man Romney.

There are governors and ex-governors: Republican Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Democrats Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Tom Vilsack of Iowa and Mark Warner of Virginia.

There's an ex-mayor - Republican Rudy Giuliani of New York - and an ex-vice president: Democrat Al Gore of Tennessee.

No one with experience solely as a U.S. senator has been elected president since John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts in 1960. Senators don't manage anything. Americans prefer vice presidents or former vice presidents (Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush) or governors or former governors (Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush).

If you add to that the new consideration of proven managerial competence, it narrows the Republican field to Romney, who built a management consulting firm and ran the Salt Lake City Olympics, and maybe Giuliani, who successfully - and, after 9/11, heroically, - managed New York City.

Requiring managerial competence narrows the Democratic field to Mark Warner, who made a fortune in the cell phone industry (he co-founded Nextel) before serving as Virginia's governor from 2002 to January of this year.

Take it to the bank: Unless I've risen to the level of my own incompetence, the 2008 presidential race will be between Mitt Romney and Mark Warner. Consider it Brownie's revenge.


I've thought that would be an interesting match-up. A Republican Governor from a blue state vs. a Democratic Governor from a Red State . . . both former CEOs and wildly successful businessmen.

Romney's got him on charisma and articulateness though, in my opinion.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Talking Heads--START Making Sense (Even Rush Limbaugh starting to see the light?!?!)

Apologies to those not versed in 1980's alternative Rock music for the title. Essentially, this post is inspired by the recent praise and positive prognostication Romney's received from political pundits. Some almost seem like endorsements, some just predictions; but all may be helping Romney rise to near "frontrunner" status and will help to increase his still poor name recognition among the general populus. I'll put these down somewhat in order of influence on helping Romney secure the GOP nomination.

#1 Rush Limbaugh:
Jason Branham at South Carolinians for Romney reported that he heard an interesting exchange on Rush's radio show last week:

In other news, I know Rush Limbaugh has almost completely withheld commentary on the ‘08 race. But today he called George Allen the most truly conservative potential ‘08 candidate, then quickly said that Mitt Romney was a CLOSE second. I hope that’s a quick peak into Rush’s mind and an indication that Romney could receive Rush’s backing come campaign time. One thing’s for sure, after his daily McCain bashing, we know Rush isn’t going to be getting behind the senator from Arizona any time soon!


I'd say that's a dang positive sign . . . especially since, despite his solid conservative credentials, Allen has proven to be gaffe-prone ("Macaca-gate" and Jewish ancestry issues). Also, with his controversial history on race-relations he's someone that doesn't stand a very strong chance in a general election . . . imagine the attack ads that the Dems and 527s would be hurling at Allen ad nauseum.

#2 Bill O'Reilly:

(ranked behind Rush only because Limbaugh probably has more influence among staunch conservative Republicans than O'Reilly--who has much more of an independent/libertarian streak)

A couple of weeks ago, O'Reilly said that Mitt Romney is his early favorite. to win the 2008 presidential election over Hillary Clinton
(TRAVERSE CITY) — Fox News commentator Bill O'REILLY told a gathering here today that Massachusetts Gov. and former Michigander Mitt ROMNEY is his early favorite to win the 2008 presidential election over U.S. Sen. Hillary CLINTON (D-N.Y.) in what he sees now as the likely head-to-head race.

Speaking at the Michigan Future Forum, sponsored by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, O'Reilly said former frontrunner U.S. Sen. John McCAIN (R-Ariz.) will be hurt for his "soft" positions on the terrorist interrogation and border security issues.

The host of the "No Spin Zone" and the "O'Reilly Factor" added that another top-tier Republican candidate, Rudolph GUILIANI, the former New York City mayor, is being hurt by his inability to handle the press and his mushy positions on issues. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt GINGRICH and U.S. Sen. George ALLEN (R-Va.) round out the top five candidates on the GOP side.

But in the last two weeks, O'Reilly said he's seeing a lot of reasons to give Romney an edge.

"He's photogenic. He's articulate. He's got money. New Hampshire likes him. This guy . . . you watch him," O'Reilly said.


That's as close to an endorsement as I've seen from a pundit at this point of the game.

Further, when Bill O'Reilly interviewed Ann Coulter last week on "The Factor" the following exchange occurred:
O'REILLY: Is there anything that could make you vote Democrat? Is there any scenario that you could envision you supporting the Democrat candidate for president?

COULTER: If Zell Miller were running against John McCain.

O'REILLY: You're not a big McCain fan, are you?

COULTER: No. Actually, I don't really like any of our front-runners.

O'REILLY: Really?

COULTER: I think it's going to be somebody else.

O'REILLY: I think it's going to be Mitt Romney.

COULTER: Actually, of the ones they talk about...he's my favorite. It's somebody out of the blue.

O'REILLY: I think Mitt Romney is the guy on the inside track that very few people know about.


We know about him Bill!

#3 Ann Coulter:

. . . see just above. A conservative "shock jock" (even though she doesn't have her own show). Not the most tactful pundit, but does carry a lot of weight among staunch conservatives. Also, Coulter helps run an influential conservative news source and website--Human Events Online (which in the past hasn't been too friendly to Romney though one of there editors, Ivy Sellers, is a BYU alumnus-that can't hurt)


THE NEXT TIER (hard to rank these):

Mort Kondracke:

Frequent pundit (a proclaimed Moderate) on Fox News and Executive Editor of "Roll Call" has frequently had good things to say about Romney. In an opinion piece not too long ago Kondracke liked Romney's policy stances quite a bit.

Hugh Hewitt:
Conservative Radio Talk show host has long been hosting Romney on his show. He's not "on the record" as endorsing Romney . . . but he sure seems to be quite praiseworthy. It was at Hewitt's suggestion/request that Lowell and John started the Article6Blog.

Michael Medved:
Just yesterday, Michael Medved (Conservative talk Radio host) was inteviewing John Halpern about his book, "The Way to Win", and Medved had this to say about Romney:

“We’re talking with Mark Halpern, the author of “The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008” and political director of ABC News. One thing about your book that I mentioned, I was struck by something that isn’t in there. You talked about the likely Hillary Rodham Clinton race for the Presidency in 2008, but nowhere in your book, and I checked the index, do you mention the name of the gentleman I believe to be the most likely next President, and I’m wondering if that’s a conscious omission. I happen to believe that…it’s obviously a long way to 2008, but I think that Mitt Romney, Governor of Massachusetts, is a likely Republican nominee and winner.


Glenn Beck:
Prominent Talk Radio host (3rd most listened to talk show in America among Adults 25-54) and has a nightly show TV show on CNN's Headline News.

On his TV show he recently opined:

Well, today the real story is that someone with actual power and intelligence agrees with me. Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts. He issued a statement saying, quote, "State taxpayers should not be providing special treatment to an individual who supports violent jihad and the destruction of Israel. For him to lecture Americans about tolerance and violence is propaganda, pure and simple."

Thank you, Mitt Romney.
Finally someone besides a radio talk show -- a clown basically saying what the rest of America is thinking. If you want to know the truth, don`t listen to Harvard which calls the speech quote, "a free exchange of ideas."

Listen to Mitt Romney who says that Khatami is nothing more, quote, "than a wolf in sheep`s clothing," end quote. A wolf that we are allowing to walk right into the hen house. Mitt Romney will be on my radio program tomorrow morning to talk about this, and we`ll of course keep our eye on the rest of the Khatami visit and update you as things develop.


Also, it probably doesn't hurt that Beck is LDS (baptized convert in 2000)


Laura Ingraham (and Bob Novak?):

As reported at the Article6Blog . . .

I happened to be listening Laura Ingraham's show this morning during the second hour, about 40 minutes ago. In an interview with Robert Novak, Laura brought up Dobson's comments yesterday [that he thinks many Evangelicals will not end up voting for Romney because he's Mormon]. Going from memory, here's what I recall:

Laura expressed shock at Dobson's comments. She said she had received a great deal of e-mail from conservative Christians expressing strong disagreement with Dobson, saying "we love Romney."

She mentioned Novak's column. Novak said that there were a number of "respectable," well-known, and prominent evangelical leaders who are privately telling him the same thing Dobson was saying. I do not recall if he said those evangelicals told him that they personally would have trouble supporting Romney. Nor did he say if those statement were recent, or dated back to his April 27 column. I believe he used the present tense, as in, "they are telling me." Novak said those people "would blow your head off" if you revealed what they had privately said about evangelical support for Romney. Novak said rather forcefully that he thinks this is "un-American."

Novak also opined that Romney needs to address this issue– something we have also said many times.

Laura said that "we can't have this," or words to that effect. Novak said that with George Allen faltering, Romney was shaping up to be the conservative Republican standard-bearer for 2008, and that the campaign must not be a "theological debate." Laura heartily agreed.


Others that keep saying nice things about Romney are K-Lo (Kathrine Lopez--the editor in cheif at National Review Online), David Frum (the guy who came up with the "Axis of Evil" title/strategy for Bush) here and here, and Doug Wilson, the CHAIRMAN of Townhall.com (great conservative site where he recently wrote an Op/Ed titled "Mitt Romney for President?" that is pretty darn praiseworthy of our favorite candidate!)

In a different vein, David Yepsen and David Broder are two influential political reporters for presidential races for the MSM that seem pretty high on Romney.

Any others I missed?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

First Timer's Thoughts on Romney

Here's a report from a Cedar Rapidian, Kerri Davenport, who had the chance to see/hear/meet Mitt Romney for the first time at the Schulte fundraiser last week. Sounds like his standard stump speech, but I've heard it several times and it's always good. Here's Kerri's report for which we are very grateful (brought to us via Kristine Anderson who blogs at Confessions of a Moderate Conservative)
I attended a campaign breakfast for Renee Schulte on September 28, 2006. Governor Mitt Romney was a visiting guest. This was my first experience with a political meeting and I found it very interesting.

About forty people were gathered in a large, beautiful home in Cedar Rapids. A few were candidates in local races. When the governor arrived, he spent several minutes in the hall speaking with individuals and small groups. I chose to keep my seat and watch. He made his way to the front of the room and after Ms. Schulte addressed the crowd, she introduced Governor Romney. Mr. Romney opened his remarks by looking around the beautifully decorated and furnished living room and said that democrats would come into this home and say, “No one should have a home like this.” He then said that republicans would look at the same home and say, “Everyone should have a home like this.” At this point I prepared myself to be disappointed. I did not want to hear platitudes and participate in a pep rally. I wanted to hear ideas for solving some of the most pressing problems facing our
country.

He quickly shifted his focus from entertaining to informing. Gratefully, Governor Romney stepped right into political issues and communicated effectively his perception that Asia is closing the gap with America economically and technologically. He spoke of the Jihads, the threat they pose, and how he believes that now is the most critical time in American history. He spoke of needing a purpose driven society, strong families and excellent education. After spelling out these and other issues,
he said that despite these problems, he is optimistic! He offered well-thought out,
clear and convincing answers for the issues.

I was impressed as Governor Romney asked after concluding his remarks
if anyone had questions. He fielded a few and answered knowledgably, clearly, and without hesitation. After closing his remarks, he patiently waited as many, including my friend and me, came forward to shake his hand and have a picture taken with him. I came away from this experience believing Mitt Romney will make an exceptional president!

Kerri Davenport
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
What if Al Queda recruited like Mormons?

Too funny!

This video just fit my blog content too well to pass up. Foreign Policy meets Mormonism in perfect harmony--I'm sure Romney would be laughing

The Anti-Romney Glenn-ites

I hesitate somewhat to write this, but I think that the infromation should be available. I'm obviously reading between the lines with a lot of what is below. Some readers here will get the hidden joke in my title above.

A few weeks back the following letter was sent to all Michigan GOP politicians/activists warning them of Romney's abortion history. Oh great . . . another "ordained minister", this time Zandstra, has problems with Romney . . . and Gary Glenn is in the middle of it (Is Chuck Yob egging it all on for McCains benefit?).

More recently, Jerry Z's MI pro-life organization has given 2008 presidential GOP hopefuls a grade on their abortion stance. Laughingly, they give Romney a D minus when he has a 100% pro-life political record as governor.

Now some more on Gary Glenn: Glenn tried to make a career of political activism in Mormon-heavy Idaho back in the 80s and 90s before taking up residence in Michigan . . . He's still got ties up there and endorsed Bill Sali for Congress in Idaho District 1--the non-Mormon district--although one of Sali's cheif rivals was a Mormon.

Although not a minister, Glenn has a strong religous background (And it ain't Mormonism)

Glenn himself sure seems to have something against Romney.

Glenn's buddy, Brian Fischer (head of the Idaho Values Alliance and retired pastor) pulled a Glenn and sent a letter just before the Idaho state convention, calling into question Romney's conservative stances. The Glenn-Fischer connection is strong. The above link gives a little detail on their organized (and not forthright and honest) attacks on Romney.

But wait . . . surprise, surprise . . . Fischer and Sali are tight too

Then Sali went back to lunch in the farthest corner of the convention hall. His dining partner was Bryan Fischer, the former pastor who caused the convention's other dissonant moment by condemning Sullivan for inviting Massachusetts GOP Gov. Mitt Romney to the convention. Fischer said Romney "has staked out some fairly radical positions on abortion and homosexual rights."

Romney, a Mormon, opposes abortion, same-sex marriage and civil unions. His sins are that in his 2002 campaign he backed domestic partnerships "in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship" and said women, not government, should make choices about abortion.

For Fischer and Sali, purity comes first.


Ties between Zandstra and Glenn (Glenn --AKA "AFAMichigan" . . . posts an article to Free Republic pimping Zandstra)

This group of men seems to have a hatred of Romney that goes beyond policy disagreements. Their effort is just so passionate and so organized. It makes one wonder . . .

Now, I'm not accusing Glenn, Fischer, or Zandstra of Anti-Mormonism. However, I will say that opposition to Romney because of his religion will not be head on attacks, but will take the guise of opposing Romney on his suppossed moral misgivings. Attacking Romney on religious grounds will be taboo and any public figure doing so will lose respect quickly . . . therefore the attacks will be directed along other paths, but the root cause of their actions should always be questioned.

Since Glenn, Fischer, and Zandstra are calling for Romney to sign statements and fill out surveys about his views on abortion, I think the anti-Romney trio should likewise be willing to sign statements and fill out surveys about their views of Mormonism . . . I believe in full disclosure.

So, consider yourself informed on this trio that I call the "Anti-Romney Glenn-ites"

The MittFits

OK . . . Romney's rise has been remarkable to watch the last few months. He's making strong inroads among pundits, GOP activists, major donors, and those that have taken the time to become informed. He will continue to rise in the polls and gain wider support with each passing month.

However, such blessings have their curses. For one, the target on Romney's chest is getting bigger and bigger, and lots of folks are already taking aim at it. I refer to these as "The MittFits"

Fit #1:
"The Mormon Issue"--the vague approach.
One tactic here is to poll people about what they think about Mormonism or about having a Mormon president. Building an idea of opposition to the PERCEIVED un-electability of a Mormon candidate is much easier than building opposition to such a stellar individual as Mitt Romney. That was the tactic used in the LA Times/Bloomberg poll a couple of months ago where 37% didn't want a Mormon POTUS. A more recent Gallup poll said that 66% of those polled thougth that our country "was not ready" for a Mormon President.

Obviously, Mormonism is a largely misunderstood religion and many people see it as a "fringe theology" or even a "cult." Liberals know that Mormons are strong social conservatives and that obviously influences many of these polls. The person, not the religious affiliation, is what will end up trumping all. Witness how many Democrats polled would be excited about voting for a Southern Baptist . . . now what if you further detail that the Souther Baptist is Bill Clinton --- you'd get a completely different result.

Also, bear in mind, that most people who might have misgivings about Mormonism and oppose Romney on those grounds WILL NOT OWN UP TO IT. Rather, they will find other objections to hide behind (some of which may tie in to Fit #2)

Fit #2: The Frontal Attack (conservative angle)
How many 2008 presidential hopefuls that you know are met with protesters/outspoken detractors when they visit to speak at GOP conventions? Organized efforts have met Romney at the Idaho, the Michigan, and the New Hampshire GOP conventions where he was the keynote speaker.

In Idaho, Brian Fischer (head of the Idaho Values Alliance and retired pastor), sent a letter to the state GOP chairman protesting Romney as the keynote speaker at the convention. He played this up to the local media quite heavily.

Michigan's GOP convention a few weeks back livened up by the following letter which was sent to all Michigan GOP politicians/activists warning them of Romney's abortion history. This was done by Jerry Zandstra.

(for the full ties in this anti-Romney network see this previous blog entry.)

Lastly, the New Hampshire GOP convention last weekend was greeted by folks from Mass Resistance handing out the this flyer.

All these frontal attacks will continue to twist the facts and make wild claims such as "Romney is the father of gay marriage". Other favorite attack points from fellow conservatives will be abortion, gay boy scouts, and gun control . . . get used to hearing these . . . I'm already sick of it. Believe me, Romney is no "Gay loving baby killer" as many of these folks would have you belive.

Fit #3:
Liberal Attacks Ramp Up:
Romney's still being accused of being "racist" for using the term "tar baby." Just this week, an AP article "Old racial comments hurt candidates" where Romney gets lumped in with those that do/did use truly racial remarks.

The following was released from the Denocratic National Committee (DNC) a few days ago. WOW! Attacks from the DNC already:

Romney Used "Tar Baby" Racial Epithet at Fundraiser.

Responding to Romney's use of the word "tar baby" to describe the Big Dig on July 29, 2006, Leonard Atkins, president of the Boston NAACP, commented, "(Romney) obviously has lived a sheltered life. He's completely disconnected with reality in terms of racial sensitivity. He just does not get it." (Associated Press, 7/31/06)

-- Romney Suggested Wire-Tapping Mosques at 2005 Heritage Foundation Event.

On Sept. 15, 2005 the Boston Globe reported that, "Romney raised the prospect of wiretapping mosques and conducting surveillance of foreign students in Massachusetts, as he issued a broad call yesterday for the federal government to devote far more money and attention to domestic intelligence gathering." The Globe quoted Romney, speaking at a forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation on September 14, stating, "How many individuals are coming to our state and going to those institutions (foreign students in higher education) who have come from terrorist- sponsored states? Do we know where they are? Are we tracking them? How about people who are in settings -- mosques, for instance -- that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror. Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what's going on?" (Boston Globe, 9/15/06)

-- Romney's Wiretapping Mosques Comments Drew Ire from Civil Liberty & Muslim Groups.

On Sept. 16, 2005, the Washington Post quoted, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, stating, "It's irresponsible for the top elected official in any state to suggest blanket wiretapping of houses of worship." The Post also quoted, Ali Noorani, the executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, stating, "There's a need for the U.S. government and the intelligence system to better understand the Muslim community. The way not to do it is to wiretap and surreptitiously surveil an entire community." (Washington Post, 9/16/06)


Fit #4: His Foreign Policy qualifications "Stop at the water's edge"
I think Romney will work through this better than some realize. He's showed he can be strong with the Khatami affair last month (denying state protection or VIP teatment.) More importantly, he has considerable experience "beyond the water's edge" prior to becoming governor. He lived outside of the USA for 2.5 straight years. He was CEO of a multi-billion dollar INTERNATIONAL company. Also, his experience running the Salt Lake Olympics in the post- 9/11 world was truly an international acheivment. Also, his Homeland Security profile is unparalleled.

Fits #5 and up:
Some other complaints you'll hear about Romney are:

He's too good looking/smooth.
**I've seen some comment that they feel like they can't trust him because of these attributes . . . like they feel like they're being sold something they don't want to buy. That sounds like a personal problem to me.

The "Stepford Wives" complaint . . . that Romney has "too perfect" of a personal life and family life . . . married high-school sweetheart, five good-looking scandal-free sons and 9 grandkids.
**There is an inherent skepticism by espeically the Mainstream Media and the liberal left of "the perfect life"

"He's bought his support and big-business is his big-buddy."
**Romney is very well-off and is an INCREDIBLE fundraiser. He's also been creative in organizing pre-campaign teams and dispersing PAC money. However, he has gained his support the good old-fashioned way . . . he's earned it! Also, people want to sign on to the winning team (remember Karl Malone and the LA Lakers?) . . . the Money will follow Romney as his standing increases.

I'd love for others to chime in with comments and suggestions for what they see will be attacks on Romney.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Few Funny Fotos

The first is an alternate caption for a recent photo from Townhall.com's Chairman Doug Wilson's great article "Romney for President" Devon Murphy, a fellow on-line Romney supporter, offered this caption for the photo below:

"Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney illustrates his plan to put Hillary in a headlock during the 2008 presidential debates"








The next is a good-old photo-shop job of Romney titled "Mini-Mitt" for a recent "Get Religion" entry titled "Is a Mormon the top candidate for the religious right?"

"Mitt gains ground in the blogosphere"

A recent Front page article in the Salt Lake Tribune mentioned the Blog efforts of us here at I4R and elsewhere. I think Romney has the strongest online movement of anyone on either side. Get the full article here.

The O'Romney Factor?

Bill O'Reilly was interviewing Ann Coulter (how's that for two non-controversial people talking together) yesterday on "The Factor" and the '08 presidential race came up. O'Reilly has said before that he thinks Romney will be our next president. ANN COULTER SEEMS TO LIKE HIM TOO!
O'REILLY: Is there anything that could make you vote Democrat? Is there any scenario that you could envision you supporting the Democrat candidate for president?

COULTER: If Zell Miller were running against John McCain.

O'REILLY: You're not a big McCain fan, are you?

COULTER: No. Actually, I don't really like any of our front-runners.

O'REILLY: Really?

COULTER: I think it's going to be somebody else.

O'REILLY: I think it's going to be Mitt Romney.

COULTER: Actually, of the ones they talk about...

O'REILLY: I think Mitt Romney is the...

COULTER: ... he's my favorite. It's somebody out of the blue.

O'REILLY: ... is the guy on the inside track that very few people know about.

COULTER: And as he's pointed out, although his...

O'REILLY: All right. One more question real fast.


Dang it Bill . . . why'd you have to cut Coulter off!?!? Wonder what she was going to say . . .

I'm pretty shocked that Coulter is warm to the idea of Romney . . . that's passing a pretty tough litmus test of conservatism. Romney's momentum is building among the "talking heads."

(Hat Tip to Yoda--posts at Krusty Konservative and Caucus Cooler a lot--for the term "The O'Romney Factor")

The Economist article on Romney

The very well-respected British publication "The Economist" recently ran an article about Romney titled "Mitt Romney's problem". I love this magazine and it has a worldwide readership.

Some highlight quotes:

Mr Romney is a scarily perfect presidential candidate. He has handsome looks—a mixture of Ronald Reagan and JFK, according to fans—and fearsome intelligence. He graduated from both Harvard Law School, cum laude, and Harvard Business School in the top 5% of his class...


John McCain has made a good job of turning himself into the party's heir presumptive. But now Mr Romney is mounting a powerful assault from the right...


On September 22nd he delighted 1,800 “values voters” gathered in Washington, DC, with a barn-storming defence of traditional marriage and patriotism. He has vocally defended Mr Bush's policies on the interrogation of suspected terrorists, and suggested that the authorities should spend more time monitoring mosques. For a growing number of conservatives he is the answer to their prayers: a man who can not only derail the McCain Express but also hold the White House in 2008.


Count me in among that group!

Mr Romney's emergence as a conservative champion owes something to luck. His two biggest rivals on the right have imploded: Bill Frist because of his lacklustre performance as Senate majority leader, George Allen because of his gaffe-ridden Senate campaign. But it owes more to years of investment. Mr Romney has not only fought harder than any other governor on “social issues”, particularly gay marriage. He has done so in the heart of enemy territory.


Amen, amen, and amen! That's something I always try to remind people . . . he's been fighting the good fight in "enemy territory."

Mr Romney won the governorship of a state where only 13% of the voters are registered Republicans, and where the congressional delegation is 100% Democratic. And he succeeded in working with a legislature where 87% of the members represent the other party. When he was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he found a $3 billion budget deficit; two years later he was running a surplus of more than $700m.


And, of course, the obligatory coverage of "The Mormon Issue":
So will the whiz-kid governor be doomed by the Book of Mormon? Not necessarily. That 37% is certainly not an encouraging figure. But back in 1960 35% of people told pollsters that they would have qualms about voting for a Catholic, and in that year a Catholic reached the White House. Today, 21% of people say they would have qualms about voting for an evangelical; time may tell differently. For most voters, religion is just one factor among many that they consider: there is a difference between rejecting a generic Mormon and rejecting a smooth operator with a plan for universal health insurance.


Again, just remember that "univeral health insurance" a la Mass plan DOES NOT EQUAL SOCIALIZED MEDICINE . . . people "knee-jerk" to this conclusion all too quickly.

Great coverage for Romney. Can you feel the momentum building? Exciting times for us Romney fans!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Interesting Read . . . maybe goes a little far.

Remember the LA Times/Bloomberg poll about 37% not wanting a Mormon POTUS? I picked a lot of that apart in a previous blog entry. Bruce Wilson wrote an opinion piece "Mitt Romney's faith is an asset for 2008 race" about that same topic and we make many of the same points.

No, this poll isn't about Mormon theology. It's about the political views held by the vast majority of Mormons. And that's actually very good news for Romney.


Many of his points thereafter hold water but I still think it's going a little far to say that "Romney's Faith" will be more of an asset than a liability. We just don't know that yet . . . but Bruce may be right in the long run.

Mitt Romney for President?

Doug Wilson, the CHAIRMAN of Townhall.com (great conservative site), has written an article titled "Mitt Romney for President?" at Townhall.

The reception marked the fourth time I’ve met Romney; each time I’ve noticed something special about him. First, he’s a family man. Romney almost always travels with his wife, Ann, who is an attractive woman and the mother of five boys, all of whom are now grown and productive adults. In my opinion, a couple who can raise a family, stay in love, and still be wildly successful must posses great wisdom and personal character. Let’s say it’s a good start for a man who wants to hold the most powerful leadership role in the world.

Second, Romney is a self-made businessman. He didn’t have a father who paved the way with gold. He wasn’t set up in a business so he could then run for president. No, Romney first worked at Bain consulting and then started Bain Capital, which made millions of dollars investing in growing companies. Bain made it big and Romney was the undisputed leader. I have spoken with several of the people that Romney personally financed, and every person says he was brilliant, easy to work with, and a great strategic player. For further evidence of Romney’s leadership capabilities, consider that Bain Capital continues to thrive without Romney because the governor developed a first-rate leadership team to build upon the culture of success that he started.

Third, Romney has the proven ability to govern across America’s increasingly vast political divide. In a state where Republicans are only slightly more common than dinosaurs, Romney passed a health care bill with the support of a Democratic legislature—not to mention Teddy Kennedy—that serves as a model for other states and the federal government. Indeed, The Heritage Foundation, the most respected conservative think tank in Washington, wholeheartedly endorsed—and worked behind the scenes to help create—Romney’s plan. Why does Heritage like it? Because it does not provide universal health care financed by the government; rather, it keeps private insurance in the loop and only subsidizes people who are too poor to pay all of their insurance premiums—but even then, everyone must pay something. Far from a government hand-out, this plan embodies the innovative, forward thinking that America so desperately needs to respond to an escalating health care crisis.

Fourth, Romney is highly analytical and collaborative. He likes to look at a problem from a lot of different angles and then he asks the all-important question, “How do I build coalitions to get a viable solution passed through a legislature?” By 2008, the American people will demand a president who can think broadly about an issue based on principle, AND who can also build bridges to get things done. I think Romney can do both.


Wilson then lays out the potential problems for Romney including a perceived lack of foreign policy experience and how conservatives may have reservations about Romney's religion and geography.

All in all, It's a pretty darn positive column. Romney continues to make strong inroads with those "in the know" about 2008 presidential politics.