Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mitt Romney Can't Seem to Win For Winning

And the winner of the Iowa straw poll is...Mike Huckabee, who came in second? That's what one would think if one relied on the pundits on the Sunday morning news and analysis programs, NBC's Meet the Press, CBS' Face the Nation, ABC's This Week.

True, the actual winner was Mitt Romney. True, the Romney Campaign turned in a very strong performance, just as Governor Romney predicted. True, Romney trounced the other GOP contenders, leading second-place finisher Huckabee by some 14 percentage points. True, Romney's well-oiled and well-financed campaign discouraged Rudy Giuliani and John McCain from even showing up in Iowa to compete in the straw poll. True, Romney's showing among the Republican Party activists who participate in the Iowa straw poll should have dispelled any lingering doubt about whether Romney can appeal to the GOP base, or whether his Mormon religious faith would put off fundamentalist Christians.

But the emphasis on every program except Fox News Sunday was the second-place finish by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and speculation on whether his showing vaulted him into the "first tier" of GOP Presidential candidates. Only Chris Wallace on Fox actually interviewed the winner, Governor Romney.

At some point, the talking faces will have to acknowledge the achievements of a politician who says what he is going to do--in this case, win the Iowa straw poll--and then goes out and does it, convincingly. That type of performance characterizes the leadership of Mitt Romney, whether in politics, business, community service (such as his rescue of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics), and, not unimportantly, his family life. At some point, whether it is in the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, the South Carolina primary, or on the February 5th Super Tuesday, a string of victories by the Romney Campaign will undeniably begin to mean something to our political analysts. At some point, one can't ignore success, and it wouldn't matter even if one does, because the voters have the final say.


Blogger VSteven said...

Wow! You said what I was thinking but you said it much better. Everything I've read on the Internet and everything I seen on TV has been about the surprising fact that Huckabee beat Brownback. I was beginning to wonder if anyone else noticed Gov. Romney was even there ... and WON.

Gov. Romney is not the darling of the MSM, the fundamentalist conservatives, or the 'progressive' Republicans and those weeds are making it a tough row to hoe. I think the Governor will succeed but it will be the fight of his public life.

Monday, August 13, 2007 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

This is hardly unique. After all, Clinton "won" in New Hampshire in 92 by finishing second to Tsongas as the "Comeback Kid." Once Rudy and McCain decided to skip the fight, a lot of us knew that Romney wasn't going to get a media bump. Beating the also-rans (and scaring away the other top tier guys) just doesn't sell papers. The focus was always going to be on who finished second. The only way Romney could have made news was by losing.

Monday, August 13, 2007 4:33:00 PM  
Blogger VSteven said...

Robert, that was an excellent analysis. You are right and shows that I'm pretty new to the politics battlefield. Perhaps the Iowa caucus vote will have more meaning but Florida or California would surely raise eyebrows. Good point.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 8:25:00 AM  

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