Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What Romney Would Bring to The Ticket

Ralph, who probably is about to put out an all-points bulletin for me, asks below:

"From the perspective of pure electoral politics, what does Mitt Romney bring to the table? Is he the best choice in order for the Republicans to retain the White House? If not, who would be better?"
Here are just a few quick thoughts about the first question:

Temper. Romney brings a steady adulthood to the ticket. McCain's poor temperament is, well, tempered by Romney's even-keeled, patient, classy demeanor. Of course, this is merely psychological window-dressing for the McCain campaign, but is is worth something.

Money. Romney knows how to raise it, and he had the best fund-raising machine of anyone in the race on the GOP side, by far. All of Mike Huckabee's whining about how he lacked the funds to compete against Mitt ignored the fact that no Republican campaign organized its fund-raising effort better, worked harder at raising money, or actually raised more than Romney's. That's one reason the other campaigns disliked him so much: He had the money they wished they had. If McCain adds Romney to the ticket, he has that fund-raising machine. In fact, it's been reported that the Governor's top fund-raisers have already met with McCain's people.

Conservative credentials. Remember, Mitt got National Review's endorsement. Yes, his most ardent foes will want to talk about statements he made in 1994, but Romney has something no other serious candidate in the GOP race has: A consistently conservative record as an office-holder.

Values voter credentials. Some will scoff at this, but Romney consistently won the votes of this demographic, even against Huckabee, except in anomalous Iowa and the Deep South, where he still was close to Huck.

A candidate who could be president. Romney's qualified and has the gravitas to serve if a President McCain falters. Let's face it: The idea of a President Huckabee scares people. A President Romney scares no one, except perhaps Al Mohler, some religious extremists, and hard-core lefty politicos.

So there you go, Ralph. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!


Anonymous Joel from Iowa said...


I stumbled on to your blog and wanted to say a few things.

Let me preface this all by letting you know I'm an ardent Huckabee supporter, even though he's no longer in the race for POTUS. Second, I'll be happy with any R ticket whether it be Huck, Romney, or anyone else as the VP. But here's my few cents on your post:

Temper: anyone looks good when compared to McCain. Romney does not hold a monopoly on this category. I would dare say Romney showed more of a temper than Huckabee did during the POTUS race. I usually like that flair when defending one's self, but when balancing McCain, it just doesn't fit.

Money: You're totally right. However, can Romney loan the campaign the millions of dollars he did to his POTUS bid? I don't think so. In politics, much like business, it takes money to raise money. So a $20 million seed investment pays dividends in the end. Ads make recognition, recognition raises polls, polls raise money. It's much easier to raise money when you can prime the pump. But Romney did, indeed, do a good job of raising money. His spending practices (negative ads) were moronic.

Conservative Credentials: I don't care what Reagan did--Romney's switch on key social conservative issues was way way way too politcally convenient. There are plenty of other possibilities out there that have much more solid cons. creds. than Romney. Huckabee included.

Values Voters: please. If it weren't for the online voting, no one would have come close to Huck in Florida at the Values Voters Conference. Take a look at the percentage of those who voted who were actually there. I don't doubt Romney could bring some in, but not like Huckabee would.

Candidate who could be president: You win on this one. Romney looks more presidential than any other candidate in the field, period. But while Huck may scare some folks in the middle and on the left, Romney scares people on all sides because they can't trust him.

I expect Charlie Christ to get the VP nod. Florida will be just as important as the last few elections and carrying it will go a long way. The best thing Romney can do is not change his views in the next 8 years. That would go a long way in proving he can be trusted. But holding opinions for 16 years is not something Romney is used to. Lets hope he doesn't run for another office.

Go Republicans!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008 3:21:00 AM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

Joel: Thanks for your comment. C few thoughts in response:

On temper, I know you like Huck, but he has an undeniable mean streak. It's very unattractive in an executive. He also hold grudges. Another flaw. (In his self-congratulatory concession speech he was still taking shots at Romney. He cannot get over Iowa, where he won,, for Pete's sake! Romney was on the receiving end of a lot of shots from Huck, but have you heard Mitt say anything about that?) You cannot compare the two men on the temperament score.

Money: Mitt did not loan his campaign a dime until he had already raised money. Huck was terrible at raising money early. There is no unfair advantage there; money is a part of politics. Huck's whining about it was part tactic, part smallness and economic envy.

Conservativeness and values voters: Prior to Huck's rise (and I was following closely) values voters loved Mitt. At the Family Research conference in 2007 he had the crowd on its feet, stomping and asking for more. Yes, he has a big problem convincing people he was sincere. But the fact is that as governor of Massachusetts, he adhered to conservative principles more than Huck did. Why did National Review endorse him? Laura Ingraham? The list goes on. Huck only did well among that group because Evangelicals flocked to one of their own, who reminded them he "came from" them. Don't get me started on anti-Mormon bias. You don't want to go there.

McCain needs to choose the V.P. candidate who will most help him win. It might be Romney; I am not sure. It certainly will not be Huck. If it's Crist, McCain will be gambling on a 2-year governor simply because he needs Florida and needs to pay back a debt, because it was Crist and the win in Florida that put McCain on the road to victory. Prior to that, Mitt was either tied with McCain or pulling away in the majority of polls.

Saturday, March 15, 2008 9:19:00 AM  
Blogger Polzoo said...

Hi there,

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Monday, March 17, 2008 12:34:00 AM  

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