The Romney File

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    He Has Many Supporters, or Maybe Just a Few Rich Ones, and You Don't Need to Know Who

    Those who celebrated the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United can now see what free and equal political discourse looks like:

    A mystery company that pumped $1 million into a political committee backing Mitt Romney has been dissolved just months after it was formed, leaving few clues as to who was behind one of the biggest contributions yet of the 2012 presidential campaign.

    The existence of the million-dollar donation — as gleaned from campaign and corporate records obtained by NBC News — provides a vivid example of how secret campaign cash is being funneled in ever more circuitous ways into the political system.

    The company, W Spann LLC, was formed in March by a Boston lawyer who specializes in estate tax planning for “high net worth individuals,” according to corporate records and the lawyer’s bio on her firm’s website.

    The corporate records provide no information about the owner of the firm, its address or its type of business.

    Six weeks later, W Spann LLC made its million-dollar donation to Restore Our Future — a new so-called “super PAC” started by a group of former Romney political aides to boost the former Massachusetts governor’s presidential bid. It listed its address as being in a midtown Manhattan office building that has no record of such a tenant.

    The Boston lawyer, Cameron Casey, dissolved the company on July 12 — two weeks before Restore Our Future made its first campaign filing of the year reporting the donation from the now-nonexistent company, the corporate records show.


    (Isikoff)

    Former FEC general counsel Lawrence Noble said he doesn't see how this work, and suggested, "There is a real issue of it being just a subterfuge", if the whole purpose of the company was simply to donate a million dollars to a political campaign. Noble called the situation "a roadmap for how people can hide their identities".

    Cameron Casey, the attorney who filed the Certificates of Formation and Cancellation, works for Ropes & Gray, a high-profile law firm whose client list includes Bain Capital, an investment firm previously run by Mitt Romney.

    Given that ROF's other major contributions have come from a hedge fund manager who profited well by betting against the American housing market and a high-ranking official in the CJC/LDS (Mormon Church), perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that there is a donor out there whose name is so potentially damaging to the Romney campaign that a company needs to be formed and dissolved simply to hide his or her identity.

    In the end, it's not the "speech" or "speaker" that the Citizens United decision protects, but, rather, the beneficiary.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    ____________________

    Notes:

    Isikoff, Michael. "Firm gives $1 million to pro-Romney group, then dissolves". MSNBC. August 4, 2011. MSNBC.MSN.com. August 4, 2011. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44011308/
     
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  3. superstring01 Moderator

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    Romney, who?

    ~String
     
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Romney is rational, that is a big step forward for Republicans. Given the scare Teabaggers have inflicted in the business community with their refusal to raise the debt ceiling, I expect a lot of money to be funneled into Romney's campaign coffers from special interests of every sort. He is their only hope of regaining absolute control of government.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
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  7. superstring01 Moderator

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    Only Republican I liked (passed tense), was Jon Huntsman. That was, until his idiotic "Impeachment" comment.

    ~String
     
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    I have to agree with you. Unfortunately, in order to get the Republican nomination these days candidates feel like they have to appease the crazies among them with crazy talk. It is a sad state indeed when in order to gain the nomination of what was the Grand Olde Party one has to talk the crazy talk. I think Romney and Huntsman are smart enough to know it is crazy talk, the others I am not so sure about.
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    A neat little package

    The Mystery Solves Itself

    Maggie Haberman for Politico:

    The anonymous donor behind the headline-making $1 million contribution to a pro-Mitt Romney super PAC is a former Bain Capital official with long ties to the candidate, who's asking the outside group to amend its filings, POLITICO has learned.

    The check-writer is Ed Conard, who was a top official at Bain, the private-equity firm Romney helped create, and who has been a strong supporter of his over the years.

    The donation, made to the super PAC "Restore Our Future" - which was founded by former Romney advisers and is able to take in unlimited contributions, but must report them to the FEC - showed up in the group's first round of filings. It was listed as coming from a W Spann LLC.

    In a statement to POLITICO, Conard said, "I am the individual who formed and funded W Spann LLC. I authorized W Spann LLC’s contribution to Restore Our Future PAC.

    "I did so after consulting prominent legal counsel regarding the transaction, and based on my understanding that the contribution would comply with applicable laws," he said. "To address questions raised by the media concerning the contribution, I will request that Restore Our Future PAC amend its public reports to disclose me as the donor associated with this contribution."

    One still wonders why Mr. Conard felt an anonymous donation through a sham company was the better route. Perhaps he's trying to make some sort of point about campaign finance laws?
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Haberman, Maggie. "Mystery Mitt Romney donor comes forward". Politico. August 5, 2011. Politico.com. August 7, 2011. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/60776.html
     
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Romney Goes to Iowa; Nobody Notices

    Mitt Romney Goes to Iowa; Nobody Notices

    Oh, wait, whoops. Sorry, that's the headline for ... er, never mind. Can we ...? Oh, really. Okay. Damn.

    Anyway.

    It is almost as if Mitt Romney is writing the script for critics left and right who delight in pointing out his acrobatics, contortions, and otherwise astounding ability to flip-flop like few politicians in history.

    “You'll see me plenty in Iowa,” he told reporters, remarking that it was “joyful” to be back. When a reporter asked whether he thinks he could win the state's caucuses next year, Romney quipped: “I sure hope so.”

    Romney is waging a stealth campaign in Iowa, skipping Saturday's straw poll and campaigning enough to seem not to be ignoring the state while not appearing to be competing too hard.

    This was his second visit here, and his first since officially launching his campaign in June, putting Romney in marked contrast to his Republican rivals, who are barnstorming the Hawkeye State. Some Republicans here have criticized him for ignoring the state, while his visits to New Hampshire, which hosts the nation's first primary, have become routine.


    (Rucker)

    Perhaps it seems a deliberate construction of the narrative, an exploitation of the inevitable joke, but even so, this is how deeply Romney's waffling reputation is seeded; it might well be an accurate description of the Romney campaign's outlook on Iowa, but the suggestion of predictability stains itself at least as much as the candidate.

    Otherwise, Romney's appearance in Pella, Iowa was pretty much boilerplate: It's Obama's fault, it's Obama's fault, it's Obama's fault. Hell, even basic arithmetic is Obama's fault: "We have a president," Romney complained, "that has failed to lead in getting America to stop spending more than it takes in."

    That the general GOP outlook on the debt and deficit demands further reductions in revenue stream, then, is also Obama's fault, by logical consequence of Romney's complaint. That the Republican Party is determined to oppose Obama no matter what he does, then, is also Obama's fault. You know, by logical consequence of Romney's complaint.

    In other words, nothing to see, go about your business. Much as if he was never there at all.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Rucker, Phillip. "Mitt Romney returns to Iowa and says he'll be back". The Washington Post. August 10, 2011. WashingtonPost.com. August 10, 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...hell-be-back/2011/08/10/gIQA26z06I_story.html
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Hecklepalooza

    Poor Mitt

    Poor Mitt Romney. It seems he can't make a speech these days without pissing people off.

    Sometimes I wonder how the guy got to be a governor in the first place; quite clearly, he can't take the heat. Paul Constant suggests:

    This man can't do anything right. He can kind of make a speech without falling on his face, and he's great at photo ops, but if you put him in front of human beings, he will always, always fuck up. He's like Charlie Brown, if Charlie Brown was sinister and richer than Fort Knox ....
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Constant, Paul. "Mitt Romney Was Heckled All Around Iowa Today". Slog. August 11, 2011. Slog.TheStranger.com. August 11, 2011. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/08/11/mitt-romney-was-heckled-all-around-iowa-today

    Savage, Dan. "Up With Corporations!" Slog. August 11, 2011. Slog.TheStranger.com. August 11, 2011. http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/08/11/up-with-corporations
     
  12. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Mitt Romney has released his "Plan For Economic Growth and Jobs"

    He's certainly not my ideal candidate, I was hoping Daniels would run. But given the crappy field, Romney may be the the best option. As Joe noted, he also seems relatively sane and it would be difficult for Obama to portray him as some kind of "nut job tea-bagger".
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Romney's American Century

    Romney Hopes to Resonate With Voters: God is On Our Side

    Hoping to strike a chord with Republican voters, Mitt Romney argued today in his foreign policy plank speech for American imperial dominance:

    "This century must be an American century. In an American century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world .... God did not create this country to be a nation of followers. America is not destined to be one of several equally balanced global powers. America must lead the world, or someone else will."

    (Peoples and Smith)

    His words bring to mind British comedian Mark Steel, who has often wondered if there has ever been a general who rallied his troops, as the battle drew near, by saying, "Last night, in this our hour of need, I prayed to God. Unfortunately, it seems he's backing the Turks on this one."

    You can fill in whatever "enemy" you want, of course, but the point holds: Who the hell says, "God is against us?"

    Well, aside from preachers like the guy up in Alaska who used to be Sarah Palin's pastor, or Pat Robertson, John Hagee, and so on. I mean, even Jeremiah Wright didn't go that far.

    Here we find a glimpse of Romney's domestic policy as well: Spend lots of money to kick people's asses around the world, but fuck the American people ... except for the rich—they need all the help they can get, and we need to protect them against the evil poor.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Associated Press.

    Peoples, Steve and Bruce Smith. "Romney: century of American dominance ahead". Associated Press. October 7, 2011. Boston.com. October 7, 2011. http://www.boston.com/news/local/ma...10/07/romney_god_wants_us_to_lead_not_follow/
     
  14. eyeswideshut Registered Senior Member

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    255
    What a nutjob if pusher of war fits in the definition.

    August 30, 2011 GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speaks at the Veterans of Foreign Wars 112th National Convention
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyuLTv3wUAI
     
  15. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    5,160
    We are living in tough economic times. To me it makes sense to elect someone who is competent in this area, like Mitt Romney. The liberals would prefer someone without any economic skills, like president Obama, which makes no sense. Maybe we can put the janiter in charge of the space program.

    President Obama, like other liberals are better at squandering the nations wealth on utopian fantasies, but such squandering is not a good idea when the country is in debt. Instead of helping the poor there are more poor than ever. They never seem to understand this. We are better off letting someone, like Mitt, with a proven ability in business, to build the nation's kitty back up, so the democrats can squander with less impact somewhere down the line.

    The decocratic party money laudering scam is based on moving tax payer money to unions through government jobs and union protection. They then get a cut from this tax payer money from union dues. This means the tax payer, whether you agree with union politics or not gets ripped off. It should be illegal for government to funnel money to one party this way. At least with Romney, noone is taking your money and rippingyou off without a choice. it is between them, without my taxes being funneled through the laundering machine.

    If you compare a tea party demonstration with the current liberal demonstration there is a big difference. The tea party does not get arrested breaking the laws. Breaking the law is a democratic specialty. After a tea party rally they leave the place cleaner than when they started; improve things. The current rally makes the placed dirtier that when they began; ruin things.

    What the blacks should compare the situation in life, of the democratic blacks, to the repubilican blacks. Which group of blacks is better off? The democratic blacks have more poverty, while the republican blacks have more success. Which of the two parties of holding back the blacks. The messy party of squanders is the problem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,887
    Romney's not my ideal candidate either. But yeah, given the field, it looks at this point like I'll probably end up voting for him.

    He does seem like the grownup in the room, even when the room includes Barack Obama who enjoys the aura of the Presidency.

    Obama won't do it directly, he'll likely try to remain above it all. Presidential. Lots of White House photo ops with him saying serious things. It will be the big-city national news and opinion media who will sling the mud.

    We both know that if Romney becomes the Republican nominee, much of the media will subtly (or not so subtly) try to redefine him as scary and extreme. They did the same thing with McCain last election, despite having loved McCain passionately when he was running against Bush a few years earlier.

    But I agree that it won't be easy to do that with Romney. The things that the Republican right-wing base don't like about Romney are precisely the things that will make it comparatively easy for him to slide into the center for the general election. (General elections are won by seizing the center and attracting swing voters.)

    And this time Obama isn't going to be the "ink-blot" candidate, a void into which everyone can project their most idealistic hopes. He's got a record that he has to run on and the Independents and swing voters have been abandoning his camp en-masse. That's not going to change significantly between now and the election.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, do you have proof that Democrats prefer someone as POTUS with no economic skills? Do you have any proof that Romney would be better than Obama? No of course you don't.

    Obama took the US economy from a state where it was loosing almost a million jobs a month and contracting at an annual rate of 9 percent to consistently adding a 100k jobs per month and growing at a consistent rate of 2-3 percent. Has Romney done anything similar? No he has not.

    And let's remember who it was that elected Deficits Don't Matter Cheney and Bush Jr. It was those wonderful Republicans who love competence or should I say incompetence. It was Deficits Don't Matter Cheney and his side kick George Jr. that got us into this fiscal mess (e.g. putting two wars and the largest expansion in entitlement programs on the national credit card during their 8 years in office).

    Obama has skills and experience in running the nation's finances and economy and it surpasses the previous Republican solution hands down.
    Like have pointed out many times before, this makes great rhetoric for the ditto head crowd. But where is the proof. Where is the proof that Democrats some how squander the nation's wealth on utopian fantasies? Oh that is right, ditto heads don't need nor want proofs.

    And just what is it you call the actions of the previous Republican administration? You know the Republican administration that is responsible for the largest expansion of entitlement programs since the creation of Medicare - all to keep senior citizens from going across the border to purchase cheaper prescription drugs? And did that Republican administration take the nation from a budget surplus to a state of huge deficit spending and debt? Yes it did.

    So sorry to bash your fantasy, but you claims cannot standup to the light of truth and honesty. I think you have been listening to too much limbaugh and company.
    Again, do you have any proofs? No you don't, this is just more right wing nonsense where no proofs are required or wanted. In no small part because they don't exist.

    Again, do you have proofs?

    You either seem to have a short memory or as missing something. Do you not remember the violence at Tea Party events? Do you not remember the Tea Party arrests or are you just lying?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dg4m-AzuKc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVD5pdS9EOw&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5pdwTQ4xA8&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXvzYch9Jkg&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92BItoNdpWM&feature=fvst


    This like the rest of the stuff you post just flies in the face of reality.

    This is just nonsense. Again where is your proof? And just how is it that the Civil Rights Act has held minorities back in this country? Please explain how seperate bathrooms and dining facilities for the races advanced minority prosperity.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  18. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    A good article on why Romney will get the nomination:
     
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    That is the accepted wisdom. But Cain keeps beating Romney's tail in all the most current polling.
     
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,887
    Hi Anthony. It's a pleasure talking to you. (As you know, the signal-to-noise ratio here on Sciforums isn't particularly high.)

    I think that there's some truth to it, but I don't really agree in typifying the recent Republican nominees as "establishment". That's a rather left-loaded 60's inspired way of describing it. (We're supposed to oppose the establishment, right?)

    I prefer 'moderate' or 'pragmatic' or something like that.

    The thing is, both political parties, Republicans and Democrats alike, are loose electoral coalitions composed of many very diverse and diseparate elements.

    Quoting from the Bloomberg text:

    I'd rephrase that as 'substantially to the right of the party's center of gravity'. It's true, on the national level at least, Republican primary voters do have a pretty good record of nominating Presidential candidates that have some chance of being elected in general elections. Since Barry Goldwater arguably, the Republicans haven't had any George McGovern-style disasters, where the party nominates a darling of its base who can easily be caracaturized by opponents as an extremist and who doesn't have a whole lot of attraction for anyone beyond that base.

    I think that both parties have grown more extreme and as a result polarized in the last 50 years. It isn't a good thing for the country.

    On the left, we've seen the rise of race-class-gender identity politics to central prominence.

    On the right, the defining event was the defection of white Southern Democrats to the Republicans en-masse after the civil rights movement, bringing their religious fundamentalism and strong social conservatism with them.

    As a result of these hisorical tendencies, both parties have to deal with stronger and more insistent militant bases than they saw a generation ago. That polarization has made American politics less stable, I think.

    It's not unlike trying to unite the Democrats' socially-conservative labor-union 'Reagan Democrats' with the campus Marxists, flag burners and gay activists. The point being that the various components of each party's broad coalition don't always share the same vision or even get along very well.

    Among the Republicans, there are religious-inspired social conservatives whose litmus-test issues are often things like abortion. And there are small-government individual-liberty libertarians who think that the government needs to damn-well keep its hands off precisely the kind of individual decisions that the religious-right obsesses about.

    It's not going to be easy to pull disseparate elements like that together as one under some generic label like "conservative". Whatever that means.

    What both parties have generally done is deemphasize the most internally divisive issues and nominate sort of a 'big tent' candidate that most of the party can support, even if for many of them that candidate isn't their ideal choice. What both parties hope to do is keep their eyes on the ultimate goal (winning the general election) and nominate a consensus candidate with appeal that's broad enough to win over not only a narrow segment of the party's own base, but moderates and Independent swing-voters as well. Those are the people who ultimately decide general elections.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    No Respect

    The latest polls showing Herman Cain in the lead are pre-scandal; we'll have to see what comes in the next couple weeks.

    Which leads us back to a point I have made repeatedly, that the polls are nearly meaningless at this time. For the time being, I'm running with the argument that the evangelical Christian camp within the Republican base is desperately searching for a reason to not send a Mormon to the Show.

    Meanwhile, Michael Goodwin of The New York Post offers a case—typically stylized for the sensational Murdoch rag—for understanding Romney's political woes in terms having nothing to do with his religion:

    Mitt Romney picked a rotten time to go wobbly.

    With Herman Cain facing a crisis over sexual-harassment allegations and the rest of the GOP field stuck in reverse, Romney has a golden opportunity to build a commanding lead in the presidential primaries.

    Instead, he has reverted to his old, tired self: hesitant, inconsistent, unclear and pandering to the latest fad.

    The flip-flopper tag he earned four years ago is taking on new resonance.

    Romney's dithering, which includes ducking interviews, is wasting a crucial chance. The wild swings in the stock market and Europe's begging China for a bailout throw a big dose of doubt into hopes the economy is rebounding. The new uncertainty and stubbornly high unemployment are tailor-made for Romney's big advantage—his successful background in both private business and government.

    Yet even as President Obama flails about for a coherent message that doesn't involve blaming everybody else for everything that's wrong, Romney isn't making progress. He can't break 25 percent in the GOP polls and, more important, seems to have lost the steady confidence that made him the front-runner.

    His recent wavering on cap-and-trade, his slobbering sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street vagabonds, and double-talk about an Ohio referendum on union powers all reinforce the narrative that he lacks convictions. In the zinger of the campaign, rival Jon Huntsman called him a "perfectly lubricated weather vane." Ouch.

    FOX News picked up the article under the title, "Is Mitt Romney Afraid to Lead?" But the Post headline would be astounding in any other major newspaper: "Acting like a dweeble".

    Perhaps this shouldn't be surprising. In June, McKay Coppins of the Tina Brown-run Daily Beast called Romney, "The GOP's Field's Rodney Dangerfield":

    "I'm Mitt Romney, I believe in America, and I'm running for president of the United States."

    Minutes after Romney uttered those words Thursday at a well-choreographed campaign event in Stratham, New Hampshire, a reporter popped out of his seat and turned to his colleagues in the press section at the picturesque farm.

    "Sarah Palin is in Portsmouth!" he announced.

    Several journalists looked up from their laptops.

    "Portsmouth?" one asked, incredulously. 

"Yeah, just 20 minutes from here."

    "Does anyone know where in Portsmouth?" someone inquired, squinting at his BlackBerry in pursuit of a lead.

    "Is that where her clambake is supposed to be?" another asked.

    "I love it!" exclaimed a giddy photographer as the group began buzzing with excitement. "We get to have some fun again!"

    And with that, a significant portion of America's political press corps packed up their things, headed for their cars, and left the site where the frontrunner for the 2012 Republican primaries had just declared his candidacy–all because a Fox News celebrity was planning to eat shellfish nearby.

    If you're a member of Team Romney, you've probably been channeling Rodney Dangerfield lately: You don't get no respect.

    It really is hard to figure the GOP's reluctance to embrace Romney aside from the Mormon issue; one could empathetically suggest that part of Romney's chronic waffling derives from the extra effort required to compensate for the disadvantage his religion presents when trying to capture the nomination of a party driven in no small part by evangelical Christianity.

    But it is also true that Romney does waffle, regardless of what pressures his faith might bring in such an arena. And while there are those who might suggest that his variable positions reflect his adaptability within the political ecosystem, his constantly transforming political outlook sometimes resembles random mutation more than any sort of logical evolution.

    Nonetheless, as his Republican colleagues each take their turn atop the preseason polls, Romney remains steadfast as the only GOP candidate who polls within reach of a president who, by dint of the unemployment figures alone, should be entering the ring next year bruised and wobbling, swinging with a broken left hand.

    It is, of course, reasonable to project that, as the primary season officially begins, Romney will likely emerge as the only viable choice for Republicans hoping to unseat President Obama. While we might wonder at the state of the Grand Ol' Party that this is the best player they can send to the Show, it is unclear how things will go as Romney officially earns the nomination. With astounding gaffes like, "Corporations are people, my friend", "Don't try to stop the foreclosure process; let it run its course and hit the bottom", and, "I'm also unemployed"—after having raked in at least a cool million in 2010—Romney might find himself unable, having finally earned his ticket, to mount a winning fight against Obama.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Goodwin, Michael. "Acting like a dweeble". The New York Post. November 2, 2011. NYPost.com. November 2, 2011. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/acting_like_dweeble_CldpZXKcPtmDL4pxOjGP1L

    —————. "Is Mitt Romney Afraid to Lead?". FOX News. November 2, 2011. FOXNews.com. November 2, 2011. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/11/02/is-mitt-romney-afraid-to-lead/

    Coppins, McKay. "Mitt Romney: The GOP's Field's Rodney Dangerfield". The Daily Beast. June 2, 2011. TheDailyBeast.com. November 2, 2011. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/06/02/mitt-romney-the-gops-fields-rodney-dangerfield.html
     
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,521
    Speaking of Flip-Flops

    Speaking of Flip-Flops ....

    The problem with partisans of any stripe is that they want it all. In the great war of ideas, the most determined of partisans brook no compromise. While liberals fume and wail over what seem a string of betrayals and abandonments by President Obama and other Democratic politicians, they can, more often than not, be expected to hold their noses and vote for the Democrat. Many conservatives chide liberals for every compromise and shift to the right by President Obama, and it's true that liberals wonder, then, at how the right wing can accuse him of extreme leftism. But that is beside the point, for now.

    That is, for the moment we might consider Mitt Romney. While his Mormon faith seems to count against him among the evangelical Christians of the right wing, there are, of course, other reasons conservatives are wary of the former Massachusetts governor. There is, for instance, the question of "Romneycare", a version of health reform developed by Republicans in response to the Clinton administration implemented in Massachusetts, and now the scourge of conservatives everywhere because the Obama administration styled its own healthcare effort in its image.

    But one key issue that drives conservative sentiments—abortion rights—leads Peter Wallsten and Juliet Eilperin's Washington Post article on Romney's relationship with liberals:

    Mitt Romney was firm and direct with the abortion rights advocates sitting in his office nine years ago, assuring the group that if elected Massachusetts governor, he would protect the state’s abortion laws.

    Then, as the meeting drew to a close, the businessman offered an intriguing suggestion — that he would rise to national prominence in the Republican Party as a victor in a liberal state and could use his influence to soften the GOP’s hard-line opposition to abortion.

    He would be a “good voice in the party” for their cause, and his moderation on the issue would be “widely written about,” he said, according to detailed notes taken by an officer of the group, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.

    “You need someone like me in Washington,” several participants recalled Romney saying that day in September 2002, an apparent reference to his future ambitions.

    Romney made similar assurances to activists for gay rights and the environment, according to people familiar with the discussions, both as a candidate for governor and then in the early days of his term.

    The encounters with liberal advocates offer some revealing insights into the ever-evolving ideology of Romney, who as a presidential candidate now espouses the hard-line opposition to abortion that he seemed to disparage less than a decade ago.

    The question arises whether Romney's past positions represent some sort of betrayal of conservative principles, or wise politics in a state with a longstanding liberal habit.

    The abortion rights supporters came away from the meeting pleasantly surprised. Romney declined to label himself “pro-choice” but said he eschewed all labels, including “pro-life.” He told the group that he would “protect and preserve a woman’s right to choose under Massachusetts law” and that he thought any move to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision would be a “serious mistake for our country.”

    “We felt good about the interview. He seemed genuine,” said Nicole Roos, the NARAL official who took the notes and shared them with a reporter.

    Romney aides declined to comment Wednesday. Aide Eric Fehrnstrom referred The Washington Post to quotes he provided the Los Angeles Times four years ago in which he said that Romney had been true to his words and that activists’ recollections were colored by their political agendas.

    “People’s memories change with time, and change depending on which way the political winds are blowing,” Fehrnstrom said then.

    Of course, there is some reason that people's positions change with time, and depending on which way the political winds are blowing. Running for the GOP nomination, Romney has every reason to distance himself from his former stances on abortion, healthcare, and even gay rights:

    In an Aug. 25, 1994, interview with Bay Windows, a gay newspaper in Boston, he offered this pitch, according to excerpts published on the paper’s Web site: “There’s something to be said for having a Republican who supports civil rights in this broader context, including sexual orientation. 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.”

    In his campaign for governor eight years later, he again courted Log Cabin Republicans, meeting with them at a gay bar in Boston and sitting for another interview with Bay Windows.

    In that interview, he called himself the “token Republican” who could use the power of his office to push lawmakers toward supporting certain domestic-partner benefits. He singled out the speaker of the state House at the time, who opposed legislation on that issue.

    “I will support and endorse efforts to provide those domestic partnership benefits to gay and lesbian couples,” Romney said.

    Myriad questions press against Romney, a headwind of history swirled in prognostication. How far can he push away from his former positions before the right wing will trust him with the nomination? How far can he push away without wrecking his chances with the more liberal minded of the so-called independent voters? If the best he can promise the public at large is Obama-like centrism with a parenthetical (R) after his name, will it be enough to court voters who are desperate for change, who the GOP hopes to win over?
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Wallsten, Peter and Juliet Eilperin. "As governor, Romney worked to reassure liberals". The Washington Post. November 2, 2011. WashingtonPost.com. November 2, 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...ure-liberals/2011/11/02/gIQAookxgM_story.html

    See Also:

    Englehart, Bob. "Mitt Running In the Wrong Direction". Englehart's View. October 25, 2011. Courant.com. November 2, 2011. http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/cartoons/hc-oct-26-2011-20111025,0,6564885.story
     
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,521
    The Clincher

    The Clincher

    Reuters brings us the latest in the GOP endorsement scramble:

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will pick up the endorsement of former Vice President Dan Quayle at an event in Arizona on Tuesday, a Romney campaign official said.

    One wonders what effect such an endorsement might have.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Holland, Steve. "Romney to pick up Dan Quayle's endorsement". Reuters. December 5, 2011. Reuters.com. December 5, 2011. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/05/us-usa-campaign-romney-idUSTRE7B42LW20111205
     

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