Shut Up and Eat Your Awesome
September 26th, 2012

Courtesy of Galley Friend M.F.: Our prayers have been answered!

There more–so much more–where this came from. Run, don’t walk.


Dept. of Electability
March 29th, 2012

Here’s Romney connecting with Wisconsin voters:

Talking by conference call with thousands of Wisconsin voters Wednesday, Mitt Romney told them he had a humorous connection to their state.

But it didn’t take long for “funny anecdote” to become “campaign fodder.”

Romney’s story involved the time more than 50 years ago that his father, George, an American Motors executive, shut down a factory in Michigan and moved the work to Wisconsin.

“Now later he decided to run for governor of Michigan, and so you can imagine that having closed the factory and moved all the production to Wisconsin was a very sensitive issue to him, for his campaign,” explained Romney, who described a subsequent campaign parade in which the school band marching with his father knew how to play Wisconsin’s fight song, but not Michigan’s.

“Every time they would start playing ‘On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin,’ my dad’s political people would jump up and down and try to get them to stop, because they didn’t want people in Michigan to be reminded that my dad had moved production to Wisconsin,” said Romney, laughing.

Ahh. Closing factories; talking up your dynastic roots; laughing about your father freaking out over political optics so as not to upset the dim-witted voters. Good times.

But don’t worry: Romney is a hedge for down-ticket Republicans.


Pots. Kettles.
February 24th, 2012

“This sounds like another case of Rick Santorum abandoning his principles for his own political advantage.”

Breathtaking, isn’t it?


Pravda: Mesa Edition
February 23rd, 2012

Even when Romney wins, there’s something about him . . .

Update: Jon Huntsman edges closer to becoming the Spartacus of Boston. In a remote corner of the dungeons, a Minnesota governor’s eyes are fired wide with hope.


Quibbling with Ann Coulter (Again)
February 22nd, 2012

I’m not trolling here–I was honestly kind of taken aback by this passage in Ann Coulter’s latest column, because I wasn’t aware that this reading of the Iowa caucuses existed:

Purely to hurt Romney, the Iowa Republican Party fiddled with the vote tally to take Romney’s victory away from him and give it to Rick Santorum — even though the “official count” was missing eight precincts.

Is that something people think out there–that Romney was the rightful winner and that the Iowa GOP stole the caucuses from him? I ask because, considering the 8-vote margin, I saw surprisingly little conspiracy-theorizing about Iowa. And in the very few instances of it that I did see, the alt-reading was that it was Santorum who got jobbed on caucus night.

So is Coulter’s alt-reading something that’s out there?

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The Importance of Field Trips
February 19th, 2012

From the American Prospect: “However, the media couldn’t predict how bad a candidate Romney would be.”


Look, there are plenty of perfectly good reasons to have supposed–and even to suppose today–that Romney had/has a fair chance to win the nomination. (I’ve always thought his odds were somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-in-5.) But anyone who has ever spent 30 minutes watching Romney interact with voters on the stump will have noticed how bad he is at retail politics. It is, literally, the second thing you notice about him in such settings.

The first is the hair, obvs.

He may be great in a board room and awesome with donors and really good with advisors and other professionals. On paper, he’s amazing. And that’s why the people who have tended to see him as inevitable have tended to be analysts who don’t do much reporting from the field. What has struck me since 2008 is that Republicans like to bag on John Kerry, with good reason. But on the stump Kerry was an infinitely more gifted campaigner. This isn’t to say that I’d prefer Kerry to Romney for anything–president, dog-catcher, neighbor. Only to suggest that if you believe that native political skill is an important predictor of electoral success (which I do), then it is difficult to watch Romney up close and believe in his inevitability (which I have not).

One other note, per Ben Domenech at Ricochet: If Romney loses the nomination and if the eventual GOP nominee loses to Obama, there will indeed be recriminations from the three Republican die-hards who were not on the Romney payroll. But I don’t think they’ll carry much weight for the following reason: The primary case made by most, though not all, of Romney’s media supporters was utilitarian. They argued not that Romney was uniquely qualified for the presidency and that his election would advance unique, important agendas of policy and ideology. No, instead they argued that Romney’s electability was his chief credential. Well, if Romney can’t beat Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, then it will mean that this primary rationale–“electability”–was a mirage.

That’s the problem with arguing on such practical grounds: If it turns out the candidate can’t deliver, then his supporters have no one else to blame.


Thought Experiment
February 13th, 2012

Mitt Romney’s big calling card is his experience taking over troubled enterprises with underperforming assets and laying off all the workers selling them for component parts turning them around. I wonder what Bain Romney would say about Campaign Romney if he were brought in as a consultant.

Would Bain Romney think that the campaign, as an organization, is using resources wisely and efficiently? Would he think the management structure was sound? Would he like the way the campaign’s product line has been reshuffled, while the management team remained mostly intact? What would he make of the campaign’s HR-side of the house–which keeps Norm Coleman but fires the worker who coached the candidate to two winning debates?

Most of all, it would be interesting to know what the famously data-driven Bain Romney makes of Campaign Romney’s leadership.

I’m not asking this to be snarky–honestly–but because I’d love to read someone smart (Megan McArdle? Avik Roy?) do something along these lines. If he was still with us, my friend Dean Barnett (a Romney guy, through and through) would have crushed this piece. Just one more reason to miss him.


Romney 2016!
January 24th, 2012

Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that Mitt Romney is not elected president in 2012–either because he loses the nomination or wins the nomination, but loses to President Obama. What would you guess the odds are of him putting himself forward again in 2016? Here’s Galley Reader D.R. laying down an early line:

Odds he runs again if Obama is the lame-duck incumbent?  2:1

Odds he takes on an incumbent President Gingrich for the nomination (while labeling him a “career politician who’s spent the last 4 years in Washington”)?  Even money.

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Romney. Bain. Vanity Fair.
January 20th, 2012

Amidst the attempted hit job is a story which, if accurate, is an interesting lens through which to view Romney’s political career.

P.S. On Laura Ingraham’s show this morning, Romney said the following about Gingrich:

“[Gingrich] has a message that he’ll carry,” Romney said. “I think the great difference between the two of us is that he spent the last 30 or 40 years either being an elected official in Washington or being a person that connects people in Washington—a lobbyist, if you will. And I just can’t imagine that the United States of American is going to replace a Washington politician with another Washington politician.”

It’s completely fair to characterize Gingrich as a “Washington politician,” but it’s much less accurate to label Obama as the same. Obama is actually a counter-example of what can happen when you drop a true political outsider into the presidency.


Romney as Skrull King
January 19th, 2012

I recommend this Peter Suderman piece on Romney not (just) for the text, but for the clever picture embedded. There are levels.

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How Many Cheers for Bain?
January 10th, 2012

Turns out that I’m not only a squish on immigration, but I’m a Saul Alinsky radical socialist, too.

Who knew?


Let’s Play Two
January 8th, 2012

A recap of the second New Hampshire debate. Now, with more blood!