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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"Running Against the Right Hillary ": Michael Reagan likes Romney's Chances

Michale Reagan (son of Ronald Reagan and talk show host/columnist/potitical pundit) has a column up where he has some great things to say about Romney. Essentially, he says that Romney and Giuliani are the type of leaders/candidates that could beat Sen. Hillary Clinton. Part of the article is quoted below:

Consider her record as a senator. She admits she voted for the war and now she says it was a mistake, not exactly the kind of consistency we expect from a president.

Senatorial candidate Hillary Clinton promised to bring 200,000 new jobs to New York. She failed, claiming that she didn’t have the benefit of a Democratic Congress to help her achieve that goal, but adding that even though there had not been the kind of environment she hoped for, there had been some progress.

The fact is that there hasn’t been any progress. New York is not improving – it’s getting worse. New York has lost 112,000 jobs since sending Senator Clinton to Washington.

In contrast, consider the records of two Republicans, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. Both governed with Democratic majorities in both state legislatures.

Back on April 12, 2006, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed into law an act to provide health insurance to virtually all citizens of Massachusetts and did it without raising taxes.

Working with Democrats in the state legislature and others, he developed a plan that starting next July will make mandatory health insurance for all state residents, providing a plan is available to the individual that is deemed affordable according to state standards.

Romneycare won in 2006, Hillarycare lost in 1993.

Romney has done much more and been credited with creating an environment that has attracted new jobs to his state, especially in the field of technology. Massachustts added jobs, New York lost them.

Another executive facing Democratic-controlled city and state legislative bodies was New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. His leadership in the nation’s toughest city created jobs, brought down crime, and shepherded the city through the darkest days after 9/11.

Those are genuine records of accomplishments, and when you run candidates with such records you can win against candidates with dismal records such as Senator Hillary Clinton’s.

The point is when you argue on the merits you can win. When you argue on personalities, you lose.

It’s no wonder Senator Hillary Clinton, who has the media in her pocketbook, wants you to attack her as Hillary Clinton and not as Senator Clinton who has accomplished nothing meaningful as a senator.

Matched against a Republican with a solid record for getting things done, she’s a sure loser.
Romney is such a leader that "gets things done". He exudes competence and confidence and would be quite a contrast running against "SHrillary" (doesn't her voice bother anyone else?). This article

Mr. Powerpoint Goes to Washington helps highlight just how successful and competent Romney is.

I can't wait for Romney to officially announce so that he can start defining his message (rather than having the MSM and opponents define it for him; such as has happened during the last few weeks).

Sunday, December 24, 2006

K-Lo's Take on Romney's Religious Issues

Great stuff from K-Lo about how Romney might/should address "The Mormon Issue"

Drawing on the valuable elements in Kennedy's speech, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has said that Romney is running for "commander in chief," not "theologian in chief." Land's advice is the right advice; as he told the "Boston Globe," "I just encouraged (Romney) to do it forthrightly and honestly and say, 'Look, this is my faith, and we don't have a religious test for office, and here's how my faith informs my values system.'"

This seems to be the direction Romney is headed. When asked about "the Mormon problem," Romney says he is "a person of faith," and talks about "common values" among Mormons and other denominations: "The great majority of people -- Christian, non-Christian, and of different faiths -- look for values, character, integrity and vision and don't disqualify people on a religious test."

There is, of course, a worry that too much "common values" talk can water down one's religion, and thus weaken the overall role religion plays in public life. "Downplaying temple garments? What else do we want to demystify and de-weird for the sake of gains in popular opinion?" one LDS blogger recently wrote. "I'm all in favor of clarifying misconceptions, but eventually I am worried that we lose something vital."

This is a challenge that people of faith face in all walks of life --integrating what their faith teaches into their secular lives. Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., says that Romney "needs to spell out clearly his understanding of the separation of church and state" -- and to stress that this does not mean the separation of religious values from public-policy disputes.

In other words, Romney should go back earlier than JFK, and emulate George Washington. In his farewell address, the original George W. said: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness -- these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them."


K-Lo is a devout Catholic and a devout Romney fan as well.

I read 1776 (by David McCullough) earlier this year and was impressed with the personal faith that guided "the original George W." I'm glad K-Lo brought out this wonderful quote.

A Christmas Gift from Hugh Hewitt: Globe's Incessant Romney Attacks are Sure Sign of His Candidacy's Viability

Go to the article at Townhall for the embedded links:

Part 218 of the Boston Globe's attempt to derail Mitt Romney's accelerating presidential campaign details the governor's travels and his PACs' spending this year.

(The Globe neglected to give us the citation to its parallel story on John Kerry's absences from DC or Massachusetts in 2002, or Mike Dukakis' journeys in 1986. Perhaps they are in the same file as the Globe's stories on the citizenship/green card status of the crews working on Kerry's many homes?)

Rarely have we ever had such a clear demonstration of the hard-left nature of a modern MSM paper than in the side-by-side comparison of the Globe's Kerry/Romney coverage.

What the paper's staff doesn't seem to understand is the incredible lift they are giving the Romney campaign. There is no surer signal to the GOP base of a candidate's conservative principles, competence and electability than an early and sustained attempt to damage him by the MSM. One of the reasons that Senator McCain is viewed with such distrust by the Republican base is the fawning coverage he receives from the Beltway-Manahattan media elites. One of the reasons Rudy Giuliani has credibility with base despite his views on abortions rights etc is that the MSM clearly fears him. Negative MSM coverage of Republican candidates is like a divining stick pointing towards those Republicans the Democratic Party fears the most.


Gotta believe Hugh will continue to be a voice of reason about a Romney candidacy. He's spot on with this one.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Romney's Journey To the Right"--It's not been as long a trek as some say.

So, the pokes and jabs at a Romney run keep coming from the Boston Globe . . .

I know this was linked to already . . . but wanted to offer some commentary before the story got buried.

They lead off this article with the following:

On that day, Romney and two aides met in his State House office with renowned Harvard University stem cell researcher Douglas A. Melton. In Romney's retelling, Melton coolly explained how his work relied on cloning human embryos.

" I sat down with a researcher. And he said, 'Look, you don't have to think about this stem cell research as a moral issue, because we kill the embryos after 14 days,' " Romney recalled on " The Charlie Rose Show " last June, characterizing the meeting as a watershed moment for him. "That struck me as he said that."

Melton remembers the session differently.

"Governor Romney has mischaracterized my position; we didn't discuss killing or anything related to it," he said in a statement last week. "I explained my work to him, told him about my deeply held respect for life, and explained that my work focuses on improving the lives of those suffering from debilitating diseases."


So, essentially the Globe sought out this guy and have now quoted him as proof that Romney is/was lying about their encounter. I've heard Romney speak about or write about that experience on several occasions, and he's never had the poor taste to name them man. The Globe, however, lacks such tact, and have printed his name and asked him if he said this "wasn't a moral issue, because we kill the embryos after 14 days." Heck, I'd probably deny saying that too and paint it in a more positive light. And, everytime I've heard Romney relating that story, he's PARAPHRASED the researcher. Researchers probably wouldn't use the word "kill"--I'll give him that. I've done Embryonic stem cell research on mice and we tend to use words like "sacrifice", or "harvest", or "destroy" the embryos. The researcher doesn't view this as "killing" but it is ending the possibility of life for these embryos. Also, Romney had Beth Meyers with him and, if necessary, she could clarify the situation.

Moving on . . .

The most recent wrinkle for Romney has been the resurfacing of his comments on gay rights during his unsuccessful 1994 Senate challenge to Edward M. Kennedy. He promised "more effective leadership" than Kennedy on winning "full equality" for gays and lesbians, opposed a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and advocated gays serving openly in the military.


Some of this is a correct representation, but, again, some of it is flat out wrong, and I hope this globe writer, Scott Helman, gets called on the carpet for getting things wrong. Romney has NEVER "opposed a federal constituational amendment banning gay marriage" . . . that's just FLAT OUT WRONG! I blogged previously on this increasingly common misrepresentation.

What Romney actually said:

On whether he supported the civil marriage rights of same-sex couples:

“I line up with Gov. Weld on that, and it’s a state issue as you know — the authorization of marriage on a same-sex basis falls under state jurisdiction. My understanding is that he has looked at the issue and concluded that certain benefits and privileges should be offered to gay couples. But he does not feel at this time that he wishes to extend legalized marriage on a same-sex basis, and I support his position.

On whether he’d want more studies done on the marriage issue:

That will occur at the state level. I’ll let the governor in Massachusetts, and the governors of others states, as well, study it, evaluate it, discuss the alternatives with psychologists and social workers and health care specialist and so forth to gather information and consider it in a very reasoned way. I have confidence the governor will take the right action.”


So, Romney made a statement of fact, that states DID AND DO decide marriage laws (the laws being proposed/ratified by the executive and/or legislative branches). Nowhere did he state his opinion on whether or not it SHOULD be a state's right's issue (as the Globe falsely stated). I believe that, down deep, Romney wishes this issue could have remained just a states issue . . . however, when activist judges started deciding to make up laws (instead of interpreting them) a new course of action was needed to protect the institution of marriage and the children it produces . . . Romney has picked up the gauntlet in this cause and been a stalwart in defending marriage and fighting against activist judges.


I'm emailing this Helman guy to ask him to stop getting this issue wrong.

Next topic: EMBRYONIC stem cell research

Here, the liberal MSM tactic is to blur the usage of the terms "stem cell research" and "EMBRYONIC stem cell research" . . . knowing that the average reader either reads by these terms too quickly, or doesn't know the difference.

At a campaign appearance at Brandeis University in June 2002, Romney strongly endorsed stem cell research. At that event and in several instances since, he declined to offer an opinion on embryo cloning, which many scientists believe holds the most promise for curing disease. His aides said he needed to study it more.

But on Feb. 10, 2005, three months after his meeting with Melton, Romney came out strongly against the cloning technique, saying in a New York Times story that the method breached an "ethical boundary." He vowed to press for legislation to criminalize the work.

Romney's opposition stunned scientists, lawmakers, and observers because of his past statements endorsing, at least in general terms, embryonic stem cell research. Six months earlier, his wife, Ann, had expressed hope publicly that stem cells would hold a cure for her disease, multiple sclerosis.


First off, EVERYBODY "strongly endorses stem cell research"--this is not even an issue and this is the research that is currently yielding the most promising treatments.

And on Romney's so-called "at least in general terms" endorsement of EMBRYONIC stem cell research . . . believe me, if the Globe had an incriminating quote proving a "flip-flop", you would have seen it in print. Don't buy what the Globe is selling on this one.

Next up: "Contraception"

The tangible result of Romney's abortion shift was his veto of a bill in July 2005 to make the so-called morning-after pill available over the counter at Massachusetts pharmacies and to require hospitals to make it available to rape victims. The governor returned from a New Hampshire vacation to veto the bill.

The emergency contraception pill, also called Plan B, is a high dose of hormones women can take within days of having sex to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Supporters say it halts ovulation, fertilization, or implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine wall, but has no effect on a firmly implanted egg. Opponents who believe that life begins at conception contend that it can cause a "chemical abortion" by hampering implantation in the uterine wall.

The veto, which the Legislature eventually overrode, drew condemnation from reproductive rights advocates, because in 2002, Romney had answered "yes" to their survey questions about whether he supported efforts to increase access to emergency contraception.


Another maze of words and terms . . . and again, a dishonest representation. Plan B is more than a contraceptive . . . it is an abortifacient. Romney's promise not to change abortion laws as the MA Governor made his stance here utterly consistant with his pre-campaign statements.

Next: Abstinece ONLY education. . .

Almost not worth responding to . . . but they're trying to make a "flip-flop" out of this when there is none at all. Romney wanted "Abstinence" to be taught as an ALTERNATIVE method of contraception. The kids, with parental permission, could participate in these programs IN ADDITION to their normal sexual education programs (which usually cover contraception methods pretty well--except that good old Abstinence method). Hardly "Abstinece Only."

Tying things up:

And at the 2004 Republican National Convention, Romney accused Senator John F. Kerry of being a flip-flopper. But now, as Romney's candidacy has gained steam, he's getting similar treatment.

Andrew Sullivan, in his blog last week, slammed Romney for his evolution on social issues. "He really is John Kerry's successor as a candidate from Massachusetts," Sullivan wrote. "He'll say anything and everything to get elected."


I guess I should not be surprised that the Globe is giving Sullivan a forum to peddle his trash, but really! Sullivan will hang himself and nullify his credibility with that last statement. Just "rookie" journalism.

Romney supporters such as Fulton Sheen, a Republican state representative in Michigan who is helping to lead the governor's 2008 efforts in the state, say what is important is that Romney does not retreat from his current positions on social issues.

"I'm a Christian believer. If I didn't believe in redemption, I wouldn't be able to stand on my own beliefs," Sheen said. "As far as I'm concerned, if someone makes a change and says, 'At one time I was here and I've come to this conclusion now or I've changed my position here or there' -- you know, I can handle that."

Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Christian Alliance, notes that Romney's moderate past needs to be kept in perspective when thinking about who will win the 2008 Republican nomination. Every leading candidate, including Senator John McCain of Arizona and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, will have problems winning over voters in the conservative base, Scheffler said.


Cool, I know Steve. He's a pragmatist and has helped grow the ICA (my impression is that he may have some qualms about McCain and Giuliani, as the quote confirms). I've also heard Phyllis Schafly tell staunch social conservatives there are two things to remember about supporting candidates: 1) Jesus is not going going to be on the ballot, and 2) Somebody's got to lead.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Romney is Jim Leach's early GOP pick to "bring balance" to DC

First off, Leach's loss in November was the most surprising outcome of any race in Iowa . . . and arguably, in the nation. That he was ousted because he had an (R) by his name is not an understatement for he was less tied to Bush and the GOP congress than just about any Republican.

The dean of political editorialists, David Broder, wrote a great piece a little bit back about Leach. In it, Leach said:

"The Republicans have been governing from within" their party base, rather than reaching out to the other party, he said, and now that Democrats have the majority, they will be tempted by electoral dynamics to do the same thing.

It is possible, Leach said, that a new president could change the pattern, and he is rather hopeful that his early picks for the nominations -- Mitt Romney and Barack Obama -- might do that.


That's right Yoda! Romney is the one who will "bring balance!" (I'm expecting a good comment from you Yoda!)

Hat tip to the Johnson Co. GOP Blog entry for this one--and thanks for the mention!

Bayh OUT!

Looks like Indiana Senator Evan Bayh has decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for POTUS 2008.

Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana will not seek the presidency in 2008, saying he believes the odds of a successful run were too great to overcome.

"At the end of the day, I concluded that due to circumstances beyond our control the odds were longer than I felt I could responsibly pursue," Bayh told the Indianapolis Star. "This path -- and these long odds -- would have required me to be essentially absent from the Senate for the next year instead of working to help the people of my state and the nation."


Something tells me that current fellow senators Clinton, Obama, McCain, and Brownback will all be "essentially absent from the Senate" for the next year and a half (and that's understandable . . . to some degree). I'm sure Bayh would have stayed in if his odds were better . . . but the Democratic field now has it's "behemoth" (Hillary) and it's "Rock Star" (Obama--more like "flavor of the month" I think--just selling his book and "running for VP" IMO).

I think the exit of Bayh is huge. I really think he could have done well in Iowa and Michigan.

Bayh is a Democrat with a record of political success in a Republican-leaning state. He had been pointing toward a run for the White House for months, and had $10.5 million in his Senate campaign bank account as of Sept. 30. Money that could be transferred to his exploratory committee.

In addition, the senator recently hired his first paid organizer for Iowa, the state whose caucuses will be the opening competition of the campaign.


Bayh and Warner were the two Dems that, several months ago, I thought might pose the biggest threats to Romney (or other GOP nominee) in a general election (both probable would have a pretty strong appeal to moderate voters.) Now they're both gone from the race and that's making me feel happy that the Dems get to pick their own "left wing nut" for us to go up against.

The Battle for the Bushes

This recent article brings up an interesting behind-the-scenes battle being waged by the 2008 GOP frontrunners in the so-called talent primary. It's clear that the Bush family is the "king-pin" of the GOP fundraising and political advisory capabilities. Which frontrunner is winning this talent primary (and why)? Speaking of the Bush political empire . . .

At stake is access to an elaborate U.S. network of corporate givers, campaign strategists and grass-roots volunteers who have repeatedly propelled the Bushes to victory – a network that could now give a new contender the inside track to winning the GOP’s 2008 presidential nomination.

The leading potential heirs to that political fortune so far are Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a one-time rival to the current President Bush and presumed front-runner for the nomination, and, a bit surprisingly, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has emerged as a top-tier contender by wooing social conservatives considered crucial in the early primary contests.

Adding to the drama, a sibling divide appears to be emerging among aides closest to President Bush and his brother, outgoing Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Some key members of Jeb Bush’s inner circle have signed up to help Romney, though several of President Bush’s senior strategists have gone to McCain. They include the media adviser and political director for the president’s 2004 campaign.

The fight for the Bush mantle demonstrates that, even after the plunge in President Bush’s popularity and the GOP’s thumping in the midterm elections, the family network remains the single most powerful force in Republican Party politics.


So, is Jeb going to eventually line up with Romney? He's obviously "mum" on this issue . . . but is he really?

In this recent story about Jeb he said:

Bush said he would feel comfortable with Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or John McCain as president.

"I like Romney, but I'd also be comforted at night knowing that Rudy Giuliani was leading our nation in a time of war, and John McCain — all three of them," Bush said.

"Being president, your ideology is important, but your character matters a lot, too.

"One of the descriptors of being president that I think is one of the most important, frankly, is, can a father tell a daughter or a son about the president, ‘If you work hard and you play by the rules and you strive for greatness, you can be just like him,' warts and all? Because we're all imperfect under God's watchful eye, and in politics the imperfections are what everybody focuses on. I think they're all three admirable men."


I find Jeb's wording interesting and seems to put a heirarchy in that he "like[s] Romney" the best. Also, that phrase about character is something that Romney has truly embodied in his personal, professional, and political life. Phrases like that and the fact that Jeb's closest (and best) political advisors have recently gone over to Romney speaks volumes about where Jeb is lining up IMO (more evidence here . . . where Jeb has encouraged some of his staff to join up with Romney).

So Jeb's leaning Romney now . . . but why is big bro W leaning McCain? Does it strike anyone as strange that the 2000 rivals (in a mean S.C. primary especially) would be natural allies? What about McCain's outspoken record against Bush policies in so many areas (Detainee treatment, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Marriage Protection Ammendment, etc . . .)?

We'll, I detailed some months back that it seems pretty clear that McCain is now benefiting from a deal he struck with Bush for staying out of a presidential run in 2004. The relevant arguement from that post is below:

4) a promise from GW Bush that if McCain sat out in 2004 and campaigned for W, that the favor would be returned in 2008 (Oh, THAT IS WHY HE KEPT CHENEY ON AS VP!) Bush may not be many things, but he is a man of his word.

Many have speculated on this fourth claim before . . . but two recent pieces seem to be putting the picture together pretty clearly now. First, a piece in the Washington Times called "McCain sitting pretty for 2008 race" starts out:
Some top Republicans at odds with Sen. John McCain on core conservative issues say privately that the party's 2008 presidential nomination is "his to lose."
They cite the Arizona senator's head start in fundraising, a primary calendar that is shaping up in his favor and a growing belief that he enjoys the tacit support of President Bush.
It then goes on to discuss former TEXAS Senator Phill Graham's support for McCain, despite not agreeing with him on some issues.
"There are plenty of things I don't agree with John on, but I don't think they are important, compared to things I do agree with him on," the former Texas A&M University economics professor said.
Later . . .
"What I've heard seems plausible to me -- that a deal was cut that if McCain supported Bush in 2004, the Bush team would get behind McCain for 2008," Republican media consultant Tom Edmonds says.
Among those who have signed on with Mr. McCain are Mark McKinnon, Mr. Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaign media strategist, and Terry Nelson, Mr. Bush's 2004 national political director.
A senior Republican senator from a Western state who opposes Mr. McCain says privately, "Look at who he's got in his camp and look at him in the polls -- I'm telling you there's no one out there strong enough to beat him. It's his to lose."
Sounds like a challenge to me!

. . .

4) Although Bush seems to have pointed the closest in his political machine in McCain's direction, it looks like the financial donors are thinking more independently.

This Bush-McCain "back-room deal" of trading support will not sit well with the media or the GOP electorate . . . it may just turn out to be McCain's "back-fire deal."


So, I can see how Romney has "earned" his respect and growing support from Jeb, whereas I see his chief rival as working the world of political deals and quid pro quos to get the tacit support of George W. At least that's the way a avid Romney fan sees it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Romney on Iraq Study Group

This wonderful interview Romney had with K Lo of NRO was linked to previously here . . . but I wanted to highlight Romney's response on the ISG.

Lopez: What did you make of the Iraq Study Group report that was released last week?

Gov. Romney: The members of the Iraq Study Group deserve credit for their hard work. But their recommendations read like the product of a flawed process — one more focused on reaching consensus for the sake of reaching consensus. There were a few recommendations that I found especially striking: Suggesting that somehow the Israel-Palestine conflict is a root of sectarian and insurgent violence in Iraq is just wrong. Sunnis are killing Shia and vice versa. Pressuring Israel won’t change that.

Proposing that we negotiate with terrorist regimes like Syria and Iran — without a rigorous analysis of how our incentives could ever be aligned — is just counter-productive. I have no quarrel with talking, especially if it yields valuable intelligence and insight about an adversary. But that’s a far cry from actually negotiating with Iran, which sponsors Hezbollah, has nuclear ambitions, and has been clear in its intention to wipe our ally Israel off the map. And Syria is systematically undermining the sovereignty of Lebanon and funding and arming terrorists. Any suggestion that we might trade something for their help or forbearance is out of the question. When considering a negotiation, one must ask what kind of leverage we have, and recognize that there are situations where we have more to lose than gain by negotiating.

Finally, inferring that our troops may be withdrawn from combat positions before Iraq is secure runs counter to my view and to the views I have heard from some of America’s most accomplished military leaders. I am not suggesting that there are simple solutions for Iraq. But it is clear to me that some of these recommendations will not meet our objectives in Iraq, or in the broader long war America is fighting today.


Nice to hear such an articulate and "common-sense-ical" opinion. Sure, it's easier to poke-holes in something like this than to offer alternatives, but at least it shows that he understands many of the important issues and can persuasively argue his points. I believe Romney has the biggest "upside" of any 2008 POTUS hopeful on either side.

Great Post over at "My Man Mitt"

Jason Bonham, of My Man Mitt has a great post up called "The State of Romney". He reviews that, despite the onslaught against him recently from the liberal press (Boston Globe, NYTimes, and AP), the ultra-conservative special interest groups (MassResistance--Brian Canemaker and Michigan AFA--Gary Glenn), and his opponents piling on (GOP frontrunner, as well as the DNC), that Romney has been shining through the fog and drawing top advisors/staff. He's linked to tons of anti- and pro-Romney pieces from the last week. Good stuff Jason!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

ROMNEY NEVER SAID/IMPLIED THAT HE WAS MORE PRO-GAY THAN TED KENNEDY!!

Sorry for the caps . . . but I've seen/read/heard so many people just flat out getting this wrong. Even talk show hosts/commentators are just not getting it and are either knowingly or unknowingly spreading this misinformation. I hope Romney clears the air on this one soon. Until he does, I'm on a mission to get the word out. Please join me and link to this explanation . . . email your friends. The mis-information must stop!

People are insinuating from some of Romney's 1994 comments that Romney was saying he was more "pro-gay rights" than Teddy Kennedy. The insidious implication of many authors/commentators is that Romney was effectively saying that he was "to the left" of Kennedy on gay-rights issues. That is simply not the case and everyone who knows their records knows this.

I've covered before that Romney, as of yet, has not "flip-flopped" on any gay-rights issues.

This whole hullabaloo comes mainly from the letter Romney sent to the Log Cabin Republicans about 4 weeks before the 1994 general election (for the context of that situation, please read this from Hugh Hewitt's Townhall.com blog). In the letter Romney stated " . . . I will provide MORE EFFECTIVE leadership than my opponent." and also promises to make "equality" for homosexuals "a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will."

Romney's point was that Teddy was such a left-wing figure that his advocacy COULD NOT make ANY of the "gay rights" issues "a MAINSTREAM concern." Romney could have, because he is not and was not a part of the liberal establishment.

Also, as our co-blogger, Thomas Alan, wrote here a few days ago (addendum by him at end of piece):

Also of note is that the New York Times doesn't say that Gov. Romney is to the left of Sen. Kennedy on gay rights (as many websites have stated in error), merely that he would be a "stronger advocate". Looking through the 1994 Bay Windows interview the Boston Globe bases its article upon we see this:

When Ted Kennedy speaks on gay rights, he’s seen as an extremist. When Mitt Romney speaks on gay rights he’s seen as a centrist and a moderate. It’s a little like if Eugene McCarthy was arguing in favor of recognizing China, people would have called him a nut. But when Richard Nixon does it, it becomes reasonable. When Ted says it, it’s extreme; when I say it, it’s mainstream.


The theory being that Sen. Kennedy was such a left-wing fringe cartoon character that no matter what legislation he proposes on certain issues, it discredits itself. I wouldn't be surprised if Gov. Romney's reasoning in the NYT letter is the same as it is in the interview.


Also, as a case in point . . . Romney was on the record in 1994, in 2004 and today as being against Gay Marriage. Teddy Kennedy is/was for Gay Marriage. Teddy argued in Senate debates:

Little support was expressed in the Senate for gay marriage. Only Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, delivered an impassioned speech defending the right of same-sex couples to enjoy the same legal protections as heterosexual couples.

''The decision to bring up this divisive, discriminatory, and completely unnecessary amendment . . . shows the Senate at its worst," Kennedy added on the floor yesterday. Earlier, Kennedy invoked the recent anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and accused Bush administration and the Republican congressional leadership of seeking ''to write bigotry back into the Constitution, by denying gays and lesbians the right to marry."


Again, help get this message out.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Positive Romney Article from the Boston Globe?

I had to re-check the source to make sure it was from the Globe . . . and yes it was/is! "Romney is fast rising as a serious contender" seemed to hit the nail on the head . . . Romney's rise is hard to ignore (And McCain et. al. are on the warpath against him).

WASHINGTON -- Until very recently, Governor Mitt Romney has been a long shot preparing for a race -- the Republican presidential primaries -- that almost always goes to the favorite.

But through shrewd moves and good luck, Romney has steadily risen through the ranks of GOP prospects. Now, almost everyone in Republican politics ranks Romney as the second-likeliest nominee, behind Senator John McCain of Arizona.


And later:

Last week, Romney was the runner-up to McCain in an exhaustive National Journal poll of Washington insiders. And McCain himself has validated the early soundings by crashing the annual convention of the Republican Governors Association, which Romney chaired. McCain knew that Romney's ties to Republican governors could give him thousands of foot soldiers in the primaries. It was a testament to the extent of Romney's support that McCain felt a need to intervene so early and so directly.


Sounds like McCain is getting nervous! Crashing Romney's RGA party in Miami 2 weekends ago . . . E4M reported on that here.

As a governor of ultra liberal Massachusetts who ran as a moderate for the Senate in 1994 and for governor in 2002, Romney might reasonably have been held in suspicion by conservatives.

But since deciding not to run for re election, he's taken on the Massachusetts liberal establishment in such a showy way -- especially on gay marriage -- that national Republicans can't help but cheer at the fox in the liberal hen house.


And, to finish:

Romney is free of any responsibility for the war, and his reputation as a competent manager might seem especially appealing after President Bush's managerial failings . . .

Nonetheless, the country is starting to pay attention to the next presidential campaign, and Romney is near the center of the stage. Not a bad place to be, and far better than he had any reason to hope for six months ago.


I think many of us saw Romney's Rise as inevitable. The "speed-bump" of the last weekend are just Romney's competition (on both sides!) dropping the only bombs they have to slow Romney's Rapid Rise. I think this is wonderful that opponents/detractors are "taking of their gloves" this early . . . I mean, Romney hasn't even announced yet!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"Mister PowerPoint Goes to Washington"

Please read this excellent piece from The American by Matthew Rees titled "Mister PowerPoint Goes to Washington."

It is the best coverage of Romney's business background and CEO/Venture Capitalist style that I have ever read and deserves a read. It also has great coverage of the Mass Healthcare Initiative which is quoted below.

I've had an idea for several months that Romney would be the first "PowerPoint President" America has seen--someone who can present data, graphs, figures, pictures all along with an articulate delivery that we, as the American people, will come to appreciate . . . actually understanding what happens in government and with our taxes.

A great and refreshing read after the incessant bombs the Boston Globe and NYTimes keep trying to drop on him.

Here's the healthcare coverage:
It was inevitable that, as governor, Romney would go after the thorniest public-policy problem of all: health care. Tom Stemberg convinced him to take it on. In April, with a good deal of national attention, Romney signed a measure to provide universal coverage for the uninsured in Massachusetts without raising taxes or resorting to employer mandates. The conservative Heritage Foundation played an advisory role; the measure won grudging support from Ted Kennedy (who had beaten Romney, 58 percent to 41 percent, in a Senate race in 1994) and even The New York Times editorial board, which called it “a carefully crafted plan with elements that could serve as a model for elsewhere.”

Romney had started, naturally, with a Bain-style strategic audit, pulling together experts from business, academia, and government, and posing a few basic—though frequently overlooked—questions: Who exactly was uninsured? Why were they uninsured? What could be done to enable people to keep their health coverage even if they switched jobs or worked as independent contractors?

A survey of 5,000 state households turned up some surprises. Twenty percent of the uninsured were eligible for Medicaid but had not enrolled. Another 40 percent had annual earnings high enough to afford health care but had decided to forgo it. The remaining 40 percent were earning too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford health insurance.

Romney focused on the fact that so many people who could afford health care had decided to go without it. He asked for data on the bundled price of health care to be unpacked and looked for ways to change the market conditions that had driven up the cost of care. He ultimately settled on a measure, known as the Connector, which created an entirely new market for health care—enabling individuals and families to purchase private health insurance, with pre-tax dollars, at a savings of 20 percent to 40 percent. (Romney also pressed for eliminating a number of state-imposed mandates on health insurers, as these mandates had the perverse effect of driving up premiums and leading some companies to drop health insurance as a benefit. The legislature refused to go along, but did agree to a moratorium.)

Because, under the Connector system, health coverage was not tied to an employer, residents had a property right to the insurance and would not lose it if they switched jobs. “This is something conservatives have been trying to achieve for 50 years,” says Robert Moffit, a former Reagan administration official who, as director of Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, regularly consulted with Romney.

Romney created an Internet portal for hospitals and clinics to enroll eligible residents in Medicaid automatically when they sought treatment. For uninsured residents whose income was too high to qualify for Medicaid, Romney offered a subsidy funded from the state’s uninsured care fund, which totaled about $1 billion. Romney asked an MIT economist, Jonathan Gruber, to develop an econometric profile of this segment of uninsured residents. Gruber discovered that they were disproportionately young single males who were both educated and healthy, so the subsidies were unlikely to be greater than the $1 billion in the pool.

True to form, Romney became deeply immersed in crafting the health-care proposal. Moffit recalls that when he was asked to brief Romney, he found the tables turned. Romney was the one who gave Moffit the comprehensive PowerPoint presentation. “In 25 years of briefing elected officials and senior government executives, this was the first time I was the one who got briefed,” Moffit says. “It was like being in a private class with a very high-energy professor, and Romney was the professor and I was the student.”

The health care achievement quickly raised Romney’s national profile. “His candidacy is taken very seriously among insiders,” says Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution. “He increasingly appears likely to be the strongest challenger to John McCain for the Republican nomination.”
Some other great quotes:

Plus, Romney was obsessed with numbers. “My favorite thing to do is to bathe in data,” he says now, “do analysis, reach conclusions, and then find a breakthrough. There is nothing as exciting as that ‘aha!’ moment—seeing something that looks insoluble and finding a way to make it work.” . . .

Each week, the firm’s professionals would gather in a windowless conference room for what was known as a BCBR, or Bain Capital Business Review, reviewing the strategic audits and making decisions on whether or not companies were worthy of an investment. Unanimity among the partners was required for a commitment. Consistently playing the role of contrarian was Romney, who thrived on trying to find holes in his colleagues’arguments (even when fully supportive of the investment proposal). Bain Capital’s portfolio companies eventually included Sealy, Brookstone, The Sports Authority, and Domino’s, and the firm now has $40 billion in assets under management . . .
It doesn’t hurt that Romney has star power as well. He was named one of People magazine’s 50 most beautiful people in 2002 . . .
In a quest for the Republican nomination there’s no question that Romney will be well organized and well prepared. But how will he respond to the crises that are inevitable in every presidential campaign, when there’s no time for a strategic audit and decisions have to be made on nothing more than gut instinct? Stemberg, the Staples founder, is one who thinks he’s up to the task: “I have never met a better venture capitalist or corporate director than Mitt Romney. I suspect he will be an equally good president.” We may get a chance to find out.
Let's all hope so!

Announcing "MittSpaces" . . . join the fun!

I encourage you to join "MittSpaces" (a creative little knock-off of MySpaces that could be a great networking tool for RomneyMania). I like their format and I have joined. Let your friends know as well!

Romney Impresses in Beijing

Romney's trip through Japan, Korea, and China is looking like it's been productive:

‘‘I’d say he impressed me with his views,’’ said Guo, who, like most Chinese people used to watching stiff and dour Communist Party leaders, enjoyed watching Romney charm the audience. ‘‘Even when I compare him to Bush and Clinton [who also spoke at Tsinghua University in 2002 and 2003, respectively], I think he is good."


Later . . .


But the students’ interest in the US economy and American management was sharp, and Romney’s reminiscences about his days as head of Bain Capital had the audience hooked.

The room broke into laughter when Romney described the economic success of Bain Capital as ‘‘almost as good as China’s economic growth.’’

While many American leaders have annoyed their Chinese hosts by speaking up boldly in favor of democratic reform in China, Romney’s subtle but pointed words on how ‘‘debate and discussion’’ ultimately create the best policy went down well.

‘‘I really appreciated his view,’’ said Chen Weima, a 20-year-old senior. ‘‘Though Americans have very different perspectives from China sometimes, I think this approach shows he wants to understand our side.’’


I have yet to read anything but rave reviews from audiences Romney addresses. He truly has a gift.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"The Mitt Romney Deception"--It's all in the name

"The Mitt Romney Deception"--is very aptly named, for the piece itself is the true deception. Trusting a source like this is akin to seeking real information about US foreign policy from Hugo Chavez. Listen, ain't nobody gonna be conservative enough for these folks (Don't believe me? Look at this piece where they write about how President Bush has "abandoned God, Family, and Country" . Wouldn't you say they have a "flare for the dramatic?" . . . and, just like the liberal media, would rather distort the truth to support their own agenda than do honest research).

The article is compiled by a group called "MassResistance" whose 14 members (TIC) come onto the Romney Blogs frequently to copy and paste their whole diatribe. Their thesis is:
Indeed, this report will demonstrate that Romney was probably the most pro-abortion and pro-gay rights Republican official in the nation for the last decade.
This statement is utterly laughable on many levels:
  1. He hasn't even been a "Republican official" for a decade. The only political office he's ever held where he has an actual record is as MA Gov 2003-2006
  2. Gay rights groups and the liberal media incessantly lambaste Romney for his conservative actions/statements as Governor.
  3. "The most pro-abortion and pro-gay rights Republican official?"--ever heard of Lincoln Chafee, Mark Foley, Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki, Chuck Hagel, Michael Bloomberg, Olympia Snowe or the THOUSANDS of other Republican officials who ARE ACTUALLY pro-abortion and/or pro-gay rights? Romney IS pro-life and against same sex marriage AND civil unions.
Mass Resistance has perfected the science of running misleading headlines and quoting out of context. They've also compiled this list from quotes from such reliable (and "unbiased") sources as the Boston GLobe, Boston Herald, Bay Windows, and the Boston Phoenix . . . all media souces which have blatantly anti-Romney agendas and consistantly try to paint him as a hypocrite. They also don't link to the complete articles where "the rest of the story" can be evaluated en toto. This is the true deception.

Now for some clarification on the specific issues/accusations:
  • Top 10 RINO? . . . Human Events Online has more recently semi-recanted for including Romney in this list and now their main objection to his potential success seems to be "The Mormon Issue". See link here (an article in which they seem to say everybody is an unacceptable or unelectable candidate):
Mitt Romney is an interesting character. Although he is the outgoing governor of the very liberal state of Massachusetts and was named as one of the Top 10 RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) less than a year ago in HUMAN EVENTS, he's not as liberal as he might appear at first glance. He opposed raising taxes in Massachusetts, balanced the budget, fought gay marriage (although unfortunately, he lost) and has flip flopped on abortion (He now has a pro-life stance). He's even publicly calling himself a " conservative Republican." On the other hand, according to recent polls, even if you set aside the debate about how conservative he is or isn't, the "Mormon issue" is starting to look like an insurmountable obstacle to his candidacy. According to Rasmussen Polling, 43% of Americans and 53% of Evangelicals say that they, "wouldn't consider voting for a Mormon candidate." For good or ill, that probably means that Romney is unelectable.

  • Speaking of "The Mormon Issue" . . . "But all the polls say people won't vote for a Mormon as their President!" . . . I wrote this piece several months ago explaining how flawed such polling is, espeicially if they are trying to suggest that people won't want to vote for Romney because he's LDS.
  • On the abortion issue, I strongly recommend reading this article: "A Pro-Life Perspective on a Mitt Romney Candidacy". (Also, keep in mind that both George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan were "pro-choice" prior to running for president (Reagan even signed the California law that essentially allowed "aboriton on demand", yet became a strong "pro-life" champion as president.)
It must be recognized that Romney did have a few "unfortunate responses" during his 1994 campaign . . . especially during debates with Teddy Kennedy. Every politician has had a few of these in their careers . . . and they'll be brought up ad nauseum. What's more important is how Romney HAS GOVERNED . . . which has been consistantly as a conservative.

Boston Globe's Deception: Romney HAS NOT FLIPPED-FLOPPED on gay-rights issues.

Following up on Mike's response to the NYTimes piece on Romney's gay rights record, I thought I'd contribute my opinion in response to a similar piece published yesterday in the Boston Globe. They initially linked to the actual statments made by Romney in the said interview, but that link is gone . . . so here it is.

Bottom line . . . Romney has always been opposed to gay marriage and civil unions and he has always been against discrimination (and therefore "unequal or lesser rights") of gays and lesbians. Those are the facts, no matter how anyone else tries to paint them. These pieces take Romney's statements wildly out of context and try to get the reader to believe that there is no room for someone to be against sexual-orientateion discrimination and in favor of preserving the traditional family unit.

BOSTON --Gov. Mitt Romney's beliefs on gay issues are under scrutiny after the re-emergence of a letter he wrote during his 1994 run for U.S. Senate in which he promised a gay Republicans group he would be a stronger advocate for gays than Sen. Edward Kennedy.


One paragraph and one lie already . . . Romney never promised to be "a stronger advocate for gays" than Teddy . . . he promised to be a more effective leader and a more respectable voice against gay-discrimination. Romney IS an effective leader and he made some good points about Romney, as a Republican, could be a more effective voice among possible Senate colleagues than Teddy on these issues.

I think the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party and I would be a voice in the Republican Party to foster anti-discrimination efforts.


SEE, IT'S ALL ABOUT ROMNEY BEING ANTI-DISCRIMINATION . . . NOT about him wanting to grant special rights and priviledges to gays.

Romney even ended his interview:

I believe that while I would further the efforts Ted Kennedy has led, I would also lead the country in new and far more positive ways in taxing and spending, welfare reform, criminal justice and education. That's why I believe many gay and lesbian individuals will support my candidacy and do support my candidacy.

Romney wasn't trying to be more "pro-gay" than Kennedy, and he realized that it was these other issues would draw some gay voters to him.

GAY MARRIAGE ISSUE CLARIFICATION:

A follow-up piece from today's Globe continued the deception:

The Times story follows a Globe story published yesterday that reported that Romney told a Boston-area gay newspaper in 1994 that legalizing gay marriage should be left up to individual states, contrasting with his more recent position that marriage should only occur between men and women and his support of a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.


What Romney actually said:

On whether he supported the civil marriage rights of same-sex couples:

“I line up with Gov. Weld on that, and it’s a state issue as you know — the authorization of marriage on a same-sex basis falls under state jurisdiction. My understanding is that he has looked at the issue and concluded that certain benefits and privileges should be offered to gay couples. But he does not feel at this time that he wishes to extend legalized marriage on a same-sex basis, and I support his position.

On whether he’d want more studies done on the marriage issue:

That will occur at the state level. I’ll let the governor in Massachusetts, and the governors of others states, as well, study it, evaluate it, discuss the alternatives with psychologists and social workers and health care specialist and so forth to gather information and consider it in a very reasoned way. I have confidence the governor will take the right action.”


So, Romney made a statement of fact, that states DID AND DO decide marriage laws (the laws being proposed/ratified by the executive and/or legislative branches). Nowhere did he state his opinion on whether or not it SHOULD be a state's right's issue (as the Globe falsely stated). I believe that, down deep, Romney wishes this issue could have remained just a states issue . . . however, when activist judges started deciding to make up laws (instead of interpreting them) a new course of action was needed to protect the institution of marriage and the children it produces . . . Romney has picked up the gauntlet in this cause and been a stalwart in defending marriage and fighting against activist judges.

SELLING THEIR SOULS:

I got a kick out of this last paragraph in today's follow-up article:

In a recent posting titled "The Mitt Romney deception" that touches on Romney's gay rights positions, local conservative activist Brian Camenker wrote: "Despite recent statements across the country by Governor Mitt Romney claiming he's pro-life, pro-family and a committed conservative, a broad investigation of his actual statements, actions, and public positions over the years indicates that he has spent his entire career speaking and governing as a liberal."


The "Mitt Romney Deception" is really entertaining--a production of MassResistance . . . a group that has long called Romney "The Father of Gay Marriage." I've blogged on that pitiful piece here. It bases most of it's content on statements/headlines from liberal media sources (Boston Globe, Bay Windows, Boston Phoenix). I just think it's SCARY when MassResistance (ultra right wingers) and the Boston Globe (out in left field) our QUOTING EACHOTHER as authoritative sources. I guess when it comes to being "anti-Romney" they've both got it down pretty good.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Latest Liberal "Hit Piece" on Romney: "The Two Faces of Mitt Romney--In the New York Observer

Want to know what the rich and liberal elite of New York will be reading shortly? The New York Observer article, in true liberal fashion, is trying to paint Romney as just another hypocritical northeastern Republican (see this interesting and brief Wikipedia entry on the NYO)

I see this as a good sign. That the liberals and Democrats are already trying to smear Romney this early shows that they see him as a real threat. They should be worried.

Essentially, this piece brings up the same old issues and Romney's apparent "flip-flops" on abortion and gay-rights and brings up a less-discussed "Romney reversal" on the environment--RGGI.

From Romney's Wikipedia entry

Romney supports regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through voluntary measures[69] He issued a 72-point Climate Protection Plan. His staffers spent more than $500,000 negotiating the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI--pronounced "Reggie"), which Romney praised in November 2005, saying "I'm convinced it is good business."[53][54] As plan details were being worked out, Romney pushed for a cap on fees charged to businesses who exceed emission limits citing concerns of increased consumer energy costs. He stated: "New England has the highest energy rates in the country, and RGGI would cost us more." This ongoing disagreement eventually led Romney and Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri to pull out of the RGGI in December of 2005. [55]


The article's treatment of the gay-rights issues really bugs me. They take his '94 quote that he's for "equality for gay and lesbian citizens" and extrapolate that to mean "gay and lesbian couples". Romney's always been against gay marriage and civil unions, but he's always been for equality for all citizens (hey, aren't "all men created equal"?) I see ZERO hypocrisy or "flip-flop" on this one and it bugs me when people make this misleading accusation.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Romney win's Krusty Konservative's Online Poll (Again). New Poll up.

Romney won Krusty's Kaucus Poll again with over 2000 votes. Romney won the inaugural Kaucus Poll back in July as well. The new Kaucus Poll can be found here--go vote for Mitt!!!

Also, Romney still leads "The Cooler Line" over at Caucus Cooler (though McCain's recent staffing additions here in Iowa have moved him closer).

Don't forget to be ready to support our favorite candidate in the all-important Iowa Caucus. Keep Aug 11th, 2007 on your calendars to help Romney win the Ames Straw Poll (McCain staffers are already anonymously posting on all the Iowa Political blogs that if Romney doesn't "Win Big" @ Ames that it will be a big disappointment and a sign of his weakness---funny that they're "spinning" their loss this early!!).

Will Team Frist Hop on Romney Express?

Over at Human Events Online's Right Angle blog, Jon Gizzi's posted the latest "inside dish" about much of now-out-of-the-running Bill Frist's team to be migrating over to Romney.

No sooner had the word gone out yesterday that outgoing Sen. Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.) would not seek the Republican nomination for president in ’08 than sources close to the physician-politician were telling me: “Watch where Team Frist goes.” And immediately after saying that, a source close to Frist said: “They’ll go to Romney.”

By “Team Frist,” people close to the senator usually mean Linus Catignani, who headed up Frist’s personal political action committee and is a partner in the Cat-Bond fund-raising company (along with Linda Bond, wife of Missouri Sen. Kit Bond), and Alex Vogel, past chief counsel to Frist and to the National Republican Senatorial Committee when the Tennessee senator was its chairman. In addition, Washington “superlobbyist” Jack Oliver -- former deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee and longtime finance director for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign -- had been considered a likely player in a Frist-for-President campaign. With Frist out of the ’08 sweepstakes, the Missourian President Bush dubbed “Ollie” is expected to throw his considerable fund-raising weight behind Romney.

Can Frist himself be far behind the “Romney Express” if his top campaign team is poised to hop on? According to the same source that tipped us on “Team Frist,””The Leader [what intimates call Frist] will back Mitt Romney, in part because he can’t stand John McCain.”


I find it pretty natural that Frist's team/backers would flow to Romney anyways. Frist's family runs the largest for-profit Hospital chain in the nation (HCA) which is the definition of "big business"--and a lot of Frist's supporters/backers are tied with that company/industry. Romney is obviously the "candidate of choice" of business-owners. He's a capitalist through and through.

Team Romney is looking GOOOOOOOOOD already, but could still grow by leaps and bounds!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

"Mormon political clout grows"--USA Today

Interesting article in the USA today titled "Mormon political clout grows" and focuses on Harry Reid more than Mitt Romney . . . but thought readers here would be interested.

WASHINGTON — When Sen. Harry Reid becomes Senate majority leader next year, he will be the most powerful Mormon in Washington.

But that reign could be short-lived if Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney makes a bid for the presidency in 2008 and wins. Romney is considering a run in what is expected to be a wide-open field.

Reid is a Democrat from Nevada and Romney is a Republican. Though they have chosen different political stripes, they are bonded in a faith whose leaders encourage members to become active in public life.

Mormons are heeding the call. Typically conservative, they are more politically active than average Americans, according to a recent study. And the 15 Mormons in Congress is a slightly greater representation than the religious group's percentage of the general population.


Another interesting snippit:

Quin Monson, a political science professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, says Romney's faith would likely matter to only a minority of voters.

"If a Mormon can be elected as governor of Massachusetts and a Mormon can be Senate majority leader, certainly a Mormon can be president,"
he said.

A religious minority, Mormons represent less than 2% of the American population with 5.5 million members across the country. The church, which claims a total of 12 million members, is one of the fastest growing faiths in the world.

Roughly 80% of Americans consider themselves Christians, with Protestants making up about half of that group. About a quarter are Catholic.

Like Mormons, Jews and Episcopalians are also overrepresented in Congress. For example, Episcopalians make up less than 1% of the American population but 8% of Congress.

"Romney to Travel to Asia"---Romney's Not "Weak" on Foreign Policy

Romney's heading to Asia after his stint in Miami for the RGA conference.

Japan, Korea, and China are on the itinerary. Looks like a good mix of political, economic, and education-related events.

Part of the article is quoted below:


``This is an opportunity for Governor Romney to learn more about an important region of the world,'' said Eric Fehrnstrom, a spokesman for Romney. Fehrnstrom added that the governor, who will meet with Asia-based representatives of Massachusetts companies, was also hoping his trip will promote ``cultural, educational, and commercial exchanges'' with the state.

The trip is being paid for by Romney, not the commonwealth, Fehrnstrom said. Traveling with Romney will be Bob White, a close friend of the governor's from Bain Capital who's been instrumental in raising money for Romney's political career, and Mitchell B. Reiss, a former director of policy planning for the US State Department who is now a vice provost at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

On Sunday, Romney will leave from Miami, where he has been leading the annual conference of the Republican Governors Association this week, and fly to Tokyo, where he will meet with government officials, a top Japanese journalist, the US ambassador, and members of the American Chamber of Commerce.

Then on Wednesday, Romney flies to Seoul and heads straight to the demilitarized zone upon his arrival. Romney will meet with soldiers from Massachusetts serving in the region, Fehrnstrom said. The governor will also meet with the US ambassador, South Korean officials, and representatives from American businesses.

Romney is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Thursday night, and will spend Friday and part of Saturday meeting with students at a top university, meeting with business representatives, and sight-seeing. He arrives back in the United States later on Saturday, Fehrnstrom said, and plans to be back in Massachusetts the following Monday.


Of course, skeptics and detractors will see this only as a "feeble attempt" to bolster Romney's foreign policy resume (as the Globe writer managed to "fit in there" TWICE in his first three paragraphs).

Personally, I've never bought the argument that Romney is "weak on foreign policy" or even relatively unexperienced. First off, who among his competetion (on either side) has made any executive decisions in international affairs? Giuliani, as a MAYOR, I guess has made some. However, Romney's senatorial competition on both sides of the aisle only get to hear about a lot (breifings)--but they don't make any executive decisions. Some of my arguments on the Romney/foreign policy issue (from over 5 months ago) are detailed here.

Also, in a previous post I also surmised that this would be one of the major criticisms of Romney as things ramp up.


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.