I understand that you quibble with Ann Coulter at your own peril because she’s wicked smart and very funny. And she makes a perfectly sensible argument in favor of Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee.
She does, however, oversell two points concerning his electoral powers:
* “Among Romney’s positives is the fact that he has a demonstrated ability to trick liberals into voting for him.”
That’s true enough–he won a single state-wide election in a very Democratic state. However, I’d remind people that Romney won this race with less than 50 percent of the vote. And also that it isn’t entirely unheard of to have Republican governors in Massachusetts. Romney was elected in 2002. At that point, Massachusetts had had a Republican governor for 11 years.
Romney was preceded by Jane Swift, Paul Cellucci, and Bill Weld.
Weld was elected in 1990 with 50.19 percent of the vote. He won reelection in 1994 with 70.85 percent.
Cellucci, who stepped in for Weld, won his own term in 1998 with 50.81 percent of the vote.
Swift, who stepped into office for Cellucci, did not run because the state party pushed her aside for Romney in 2002.
I’m not suggesting that a Republican winning the governorship of Massachusetts isn’t impressive–it is! But it’s worth understanding that Romney’s 49.77 percent of the vote in 2002–a generally very good year for Republicans nationally–was the worst showing for a Republican gubernatorial candidate in the state in a decade.
* “He came close to stopping the greatest calamity to befall this nation since Pearl Harbor by nearly beating Teddy Kennedy in a Senate race.”
Depends on what you think “close” is. Romney lost by 17 points in a mammoth Republican year nationally. And he ran 30 points behind a popular Republican governor on the same ballot.
I keep having to say this–I’m not anti-Romney. Maybe he’d make a good nominee and be well-positioned to fight Obama. Maybe his experience and intelligence would make him a really great president. And if Coulter is on that bus, then good for her.
I’d just caution that Republicans should have their eyes wide open about Romney’s electoral track record. And that, whatever his other merits, Romney’s electoral experience suggests more bugs than features.