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Saturday, April 07, 2007

More Mainstream Media (MSM) Love For Romney (heavy sarcasm intended)

Newsweek just came out with a piece called "Mitt's Initial Public Offering". I'm not sure if it's an opinion piece or investigative reporting. For MSNBC/Newsweek there often isn't much there to distinguish the two. It's full of some zingers right from the get-go.

The sub-title is:

"Can Romney, a big shot from the private sector who is accustomed to control, handle the chaos of a political campaign?"

Phrases like "Big shot" are so endearing, aren't they? . . . especially big shots that are inflexible control freaks, eh?

The caption for their lead photo has a markedly negative tone:

President CEO: Romney jumped to the lead in the GOP presidential race with a fund-raising machine that is a marvel, but his base is narrow, and he seems to lack the common touch

All this "narrow base" crud comes from the fact that he "only" had 33,000 donors (compared to Hillary's 60,000 and Obama's 100,000). Romneyacs, this is something we can do something about. I implore even the poorest among us to donate $5 or $10 to Romney's campaign. Do it now before you forget . . . email your parents, adult children, and friends to do the same. If you've already donated in your name, donate (with apporval of course) in your spouse's name (names will not appear on any publically relased documents if you donate less than $200). Click on this link to donate. (ID # 225003)

I'm waiting for their evidence for their "lacks a common touch" line. My personal experiences with him have been that he connects well with the people he meets.

Romney was starting to move in the polls, and on the campaign trail he seemed loose, even funny.

So, they're talking about 2-3 days ago in the past tense . . . making it seem even distant. No, Romney IS moving in the polls.

Then they bring up "Hunting-gate" . . . the recent media circus where reporters latched on to Romeny's peripheral comment that he's been "a hunter pretty much all [his] life." When a campaign staffer said that Romney had only been hunting twice the media ran with it like wildfire and have been trying to dig up hunting licences, etc . . . (that staffer should be flogged a time or two.) Romney has corrected the record, that he's hunted small game on numerous occasions . . . but that was mysteriously left out of this Newsweek article.

Sure, Romney should have said that he's "hunted pretty much all his life", but even, as it was, his comment was not a lie and barely could be called an exaggeration. Just shows you how tightly the media are watching Mitt's every move and ready to "go for the kill."

But the explanations sounded stiff and lameone more example of Romney's trying to pander to true-blue conservatives and getting called out for it.

That's not a loaded sentence is it? I'll need to look into their coverage of other candidates . . . but I'm sure they don't call Hillary's courting of the unions or Obama's kissing up to trial lawyers "pandering".

Romney has tried to sell himself as a "turnaround" artist who can use his skills as a businessman to come in and clean up the mess created by the current administration.

Note to Newsweek . . . he IS convincing millions of Americans than he is the one who could best do this (not "trying to sell us").

But he doesn't seem quite ready for prime-time politics, and his stumbles raise a familiar question: can a big shot from the private sector, accustomed to control, handle the chaos of a political campaign? And can a high roller in the secretive world of finance stand the exposure of public life?

Another note to Newsweek . . . Romney's been continuously highly visible to the public and dealt with the media since 1999 (Olympics, Mass Gov campaign and Governorship, directly leading into this presidential campaign). That's not even counting 1994 and his US Senate GOP primary race win and general election loss.

The next paragraphs are fairly informative and have the good with the bad (I mean, with someone as clean and successful as Romney you can't write a piece entirely negativly and maintain credibility). I did chuckle at this line though:

But some colleagues found Romney to be manipulative. Romney had an "ability to identify people's insecurities and exploit them to his own benefit," says a source who worked with Romney but refused to be quoted for "fear of retribution."

That's right, Mafia Mitt will have their kneecaps blown off if they say anything bad about him.

I found the coverage of his business tactics very intersting . . . and the comparisons to Lincoln and FDR somewhat appropriate. Mitt will get results . . . he has the best track record of results of anyone on either side.

Another funny one:

. . . recalls Romney's arriving at meetings: he would "go into the room with his hair flowing, all of his people very well dressed, and he'd sweep through the room, touch who he needed to touch and then move on. It created power." Romney liked to play the white knight riding to the rescue.

They had to get the "hair" comment in there, eh? Moving on . . .

But he seems to lack good fingertips for the subtleties of politics.


But after some early successes, Romney had a hard time getting much done with the legislature. A kind of petty righteousness undermined him further. When the Democrats wanted to name a Big Dig tunnel in Boston after former Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill, instead of adopting Romney's proposed name—"the Liberty Tunnel"—the governor's spokesman implied the Democrats weren't sufficiently patriotic.

It wasn't just about the name . . . but Romney's proposal was to name the tunnel such in honor of the fallen soldiers in the War on Terror. The Dems wanted to play politics and honor the leader of the the unrestrained Democratic congress of the 70s and 80s and vocal opponent of Ronald Reagan.

His fund-raising machine is a marvel; in just one day last January, he raised $6.5 million, almost just to show that he could. But his base is narrow—mostly wealthy Mormons and Wall Streeters. And fund-raising alone does not mean much if the candidate lacks a common touch.

Where are they getting this stuff? The official papers of donors won't be made public for another week or two. And Romney does not lack "a common touch" though that is how opponents will try to define him.

They end the article with:

One of the most important qualities in any president is nimbleness—the ability to react quickly and flexibly to any number of crises that pop up routinely in and around the Oval Office. Romney's former colleagues at Bain say that dealmakers often have to move quickly with unclear or incomplete data. Romney knows when to hold 'em—often his smartest move was not buying into a particular company, saving Bain from backing losers in a plunging market. But he has yet to master the skills of, say, Bill Clinton, at rounding off corners as he repositions himself in the political world. Fortunately for Romney, he has money and time to learn from his mistakes. In business, turnarounds are matters of dollars and cents. In politics, they are all about character.

If they're trying to suggest that Romney lacks character, that is a very low blow. If it's just advice or foreshadowing then I feel confident that no candidate on either side has more character than Mitt Romney.


a waskly wabbit said...

Great article for an Easter morn.

Mitt's lost the religious right without any hope of recovergy and it appears that he's even lost the politicians he initially lobbied somewhat succesfully.

When Fred joins the frey, there will be and instant exodus from Rudy and flip flop which the prolife community will savor like fine wine.

Anonymous said...

to waskly wabbit:

WHATEVER. Romney has my vote, and has had it for a long time. You'll see that he'll gain momentum constantly, and the Democratic National Committee and the MSM will become all the more desperate to kill off his candidacy with bias.

Jeff Fuller said...

Waskly Wabbit is a DNC stooge.

"DNC press release" (Photoshopping a hunter's hat onto Romney . . . any adult Democrats out there?)

Kristine said...

i can't believe this passed as journalism

A Christian Prophet said...

It would seem that in a so-called "Democracy" the media should either (1) be honest enough to openly identify their political bias, or (2) maintain scrupulous political neutrality.

Please somebody, start a campaign to get advertisers to quit supporting news media which has no integrity.

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