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November 20, 2006

Comments

Giuliani's greatest asset was Police Commissioner William Bratton. Bratton was the brains behind cleaning up NY.

Shane

I think people are highly underestimating the potential for Mitt Romney's candidacy, for a few reasons. One is that he is a genius politician who knows exactly what his problem is and is focused heavily on changing that. One example of this is his recent anti-gay marriage gathering which was broadcast into many evangelical churches nationwide. This was a very large event, and there's no question that it helped somewhat.

Another reason, and perhaps the most important reason, is that he has that certain quality that makes a candidate very difficult to defeat. Bill Clinton had it. Barrack Obama had it. Here in Massachusettes, the recently elected governor Deval Patrick had it. This man was able to win when the vast majority of the state admitted that they believed his ideas were crazy. People voted for him in spite of having ideas that even Massachusettes liberals thought were insane, because he has that certain type of charisma, and that ability to project himself as a leader, and a likable guy. Mitt Romney has that, too, and he has it much better than any of these men, including Bill Clinton. I believe that this quality in particular will neutralize any effect that his Mormonism would have on evangelicals once they begin to see him and hear him. More importantly, this quality is the key to winning moderates and independants. He would be very difficult to defeat unless his opponent was also strong and charismatic.

On top of that, polls a few months ago reported that 48% of Americans would never vote for Hillary under any conditions. Obviously, in two years this number will change. However, political junkies will tell you that that type of poll reporting that result two years out means that it is essentially impossible for her to be elected. She has, according to those who devote their lives to studying such matters, no chance whatsoever of being elected.

Todd

It would be a shame if religious conservatives in this country would not vote for a politician that met their moral standards just because they have a problem with his religion. That would be bigotry, pure and simple. If the choice is between Mitt and Hillary, I'm voting for Mitt. The fact that he doesn't believe in the Trinity and Hillary does(or so she claims)is beside the point.

DeeDee!!

I am a conservative evangelical Lutheran who is considering the Catholic Church(whole 'nother post) pro life and pro family, but I would NOT have a problem voting for a conservative "mainstream" Mormon (Not a member of one of the break away groups) My whole family is LDS on my Dad's side, and while I strongly disagree with their theology ( and I have studied it at some length) I know most of them are good, pro- family,pro -life people. Orrin Hatch is a Mormon, although I have disagreed lately with his stance on stem cells.
As far as Mitt Romeny, I don't know enough about him yet to know whether or not I would vote for him(if he even runs) but just being a Mormon would not be a problem, if he were a pro-family conservative.

Tim J.

I am not familiar with Romney and have never heard him speak, but I would probably consider voting for him if he lined up with the Catholic Church on all the major social issues... marriage, abortion, etc...

I am not really that fearful that the country will "go Mormon" if he were elected. We're going pagan, right now.

Actually, that's not true, either... we're just a bunch of self-absorbed materialists.

I would have to consider the possibility, though, that Mitt would allow Mormon leaders easier access to the halls of power, and that they might use this access to favorably influence Mormon evangelistic efforts here and abroad. I don't consider the spread of the Gospel According to Joseph Smith to be a good thing, for our country or for the world.

Tim J.

Oh, Harry Reid is a Mormon, also, BTW.

Pinchas

As long as Mitt stands for traditional marriage, real border security, real action in the WOT (i.e., carpet bombing sadr city and telling wahabis to ESAD), lowering taxes and drilling for oil, this religous Jew can vote for him. (He should re-clarify that Mormon aren't "baptizing" dead Jews... (: >)

PS I don't understand why most don't realize that Rudy would make a great VP; he he could draw in the center, and he would be too old to run for POTUS after...

Shane

Isn't the concern that Mitt Romney would somehow allow his Mormonism to dictate what he does or that he would somehow use his position of authority to advance the Mormon religion the same as the concern that John F. Kennedy would have cone the same with his Catholic religin?

Ed Peters

late Nov 2006 predictions about one's early Nov 2008 electability are interesting. But 23 months are an eternity in politics. A lot can change, no?

Tim J.

"Isn't the concern that Mitt Romney would somehow allow his Mormonism to dictate what he does or that he would somehow use his position of authority to advance the Mormon religion the same as the concern that John F. Kennedy would have cone the same with his Catholic religion?"

Yes. Thing is, Catholicism is right and Mormonism is wrong, to put it bluntly. Can we avoid turning this thread into a Catholic/Mormon debate? I don't know.

Also, unfair bias toward Catholicism was never really a possibility with JFK, as he made it clear he was more than happy to ignore Church teaching when it came to setting policy, or when it came to his personal life, for that matter. The most prominent "Catholic" in the Senate is his brother, Teddy. Anyone think that HE poses a danger of Pope-ing up Congress?

chris K

Some differences:

from: http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/04/04/romney_finds_middle_ground_on_stem/

Romney's opposition to cloning may appeal to social conservatives who have great influence in GOP primaries. Yet his view is not held by some prominent antiabortion Republicans, such as US Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, who would allow the use of cloned human embryos for stem cell research, believing that an embryo created without fertilization is not a human life.

snip

But his (Romney's) position could also anger true believers on both sides. Among many religious conservatives, Romney's credentials are suspect because when he ran for governor he pledged not to tamper with the Bay State's abortion rights laws, even though he personally opposes abortion. On stem cells, he doesn't go far enough for some leading antiabortion groups, because he would allow scientists to harvest stem cells from embryos left over from in vitro fertilization. Leading antiabortion groups oppose all embryonic stem cell research.

Wish more people liked Brownback!

BillyHW

What if one of these seemingly unacceptable candidates (i.e. McCain, Giuliani, Romney etc.) were to win the nomination and pick Senator Brownback as running mate?

Would you guys consider voting for them then?

Just curious what you guys think, as a Canadian, I don't have a vote myself.

Curious

I'm not a big fan of Mormonism (the theology is horrificly blasphemous), but when compared against Rudy and Hillary, Mitt doesn't seem so bad. Also, would we reject a hindu candidate because of his hinduism, even if he stood with us on the culture of life?


However, I think the fundamental premise is wrong. From what I see of Romney's performance in Mass., I think he's very squishy on traditional values. He talks a good game, but the actions have been lacking. In general I find Mormons are pro-life, until it becomes inconvenient; then the exceptions start rolling in. If Romney had fought harder and smarter, he wouldn't have rolled over for the Mass Supremes on gay "marriage".

Publius

What if one of these seemingly unacceptable candidates (i.e. McCain, Giuliani, Romney etc.) were to win the nomination and pick Senator Brownback as running mate?

Would you guys consider voting for them then?

McCain or Romney, probably. Rudy, no. I doubt Brownback is the likeliest running mate, even to balance the ticket to the social conservative side: the governor of Kansas is a Democrat, so it would mean giving up a Senate seat should the ticket win. With the Senate so close the nominee will probably go with someone else. But then again Al Gore picked Lieberman and let Lieberman run for Senate at the same time as running for Veep: had they won, the Republican Governor of Connecticut would have replaced Lieberman with a Republican.

BTW, if McCain is nominated and wins, his Senate seat will remain Republican even though the governor is a Democrat: Arizona law requires the governor to replace a Senator who vacates his office mid-term with a member of the same party as that Senator. So the governor of Arizona would have to replace McCain with a Republican even though she herself is a Democrat. It's a pity Kansas has no such law.

Shane

Mitt Romney was governor in a state with a legislature that is 87% democratic. He couldn't get anything done. He couldn't even sustain a veto. He vetoed many (I believe hundreds) of bills in his time in office, and a grand total of zero (there may have been *one* exception) were able to hold up. There was nothing he could possibly have done about the Supreme Court ruling, not with the legislature as it stands, especially when taking into account what happened here two weeks ago when they refused to follow the constitution and take a vote on whether to allow an amendment banning homosexual marriage to be placed on the ballot in 2008. Mitt Romney though is doing something about that, and is poised to take whatever action he can to force them to vote on the issue. He cannot order them to, because they have done things in a way that makes that impossible legally.

I find that most people who criticize Mitt Romney have very little actual knowledge about him beyond minor anecdotal evidence. It's important that people take the time to really investigate before making judgments, even the sort of somewhat meaningless political prognostication that we are doing here.

Seamus

real action in the WOT (i.e., carpet bombing sadr city and telling wahabis to ESAD)

Well, if we do that to Sadr City, it's going to be hard to justify the death sentence against Saddam Hussein for what he had done to Dujail.

Fr Martin Fox

What essentially disqualifies Romney is not his religion, but his performance and credibility on issues of critical concern for conservatives and prolifers he wants to win over.

Of course he's saying things that make prolifers get all warm and fuzzy; he's safely past re-election as governor of Massachusetts, and he's eyeing GOP presidential primaries. Gee whiz, how naive can people be? "Oh, gosh, just listen to what the politician is saying!"

That he was governor of a liberal state doesn't absolve him from wavering and contradictory statements in the past about his actual position on abortion. To say, "well, he had to be weak on abortion, because it was Massachusetts," however valid, does not mean he'll be any better than that as president.

Sadly, there is no upper limit of wishful thinking in politics.

Also realize that a lot of the "buzz" about Romney is being manufactured by his crowd, and their advocates. It's not unusual for such buzz to be very impressive, right up until the voting starts; then the media-darling candidate crashes and burns. Just ask former President Jack Kemp.

To those who are going to argue, "oh, but he really means it," I have to say, I'm sick of it, and I'm not alone. We got that line from George W. Bush apologists in 1999, his dad in the '80s, and so on and so on. I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid.

Curious

Shane,
I'll ignore the insulting tone of your response. I am fairly aware of the difficulties Mitt had in this situations, but this crisis should have been a fall-on-your-sword situation because of the severity of the implications. Instead, he just threw up his hands. Someone must start challenging the judiciary or we're going to be ruled by judges. I'm with Fr. Fox on this one.

JC

I believe in voting based upon a candidate's positions, not his "electability." Romney seems OK, at least the best of the bunch so far.

Giuliani is a creep. Prior to 9/11, his administration was more scandal-ridden than Clinton's, between his open adultery & divorce. He's a pro-abortion "Catholic."

Paul H

Pinchas wrote: As long as Mitt stands for traditional marriage, real border security, real action in the WOT (i.e., carpet bombing sadr city and telling wahabis to ESAD), lowering taxes and drilling for oil, this religous Jew can vote for him.

Sounds to me like YOU should run for office! :-)

Paul H

To those who are going to argue, "oh, but he really means it," I have to say, I'm sick of it, and I'm not alone.

I know what you mean. Just how stupid do these politicians think we are? I saw John McCain on TV the night of the election, talking about how the Republicans were losing seats in Congress because they had strayed from their conservative principles, and that now they need to move back to those principles. Well, yes, I agree, but COME ON!!! McCain pretty much led the charge in moving the Republican party toward a more "moderate" (or I would argue, liberal) position on a whole host of issues, from immigration to judicial nominations to campaign finance "reform". How stupid does he think we are???

Actually though, the sad truth is that we just may be that stupid. Only time will tell. :-)

Jack Grimes

Curious,

What "fall-on-your-sword" actions do you think Romney should have taken to fight the Supremes? Should he have put hemlock into their coffee? Opened up with an AK-47 on the first gay marriage ceremony?

Forgive the snydeness, but it frustrates me when people expect the impossible in politics without knowing what they are asking for..

Jack

bill912

Paul H: I think the Republican leadership is where the stupidity is. They have a winning playbook, if they'd just use it. Ronald Reagan wrote it and used it to win 2 landslide victories. Bush41 used it the first time he ran for president and won a landslide(he ran for re-election as a "moderate" and lost). The Republicans running for the House in 1994 used it. When Republicans run as principled conservatives, they win. When they run as "moderates", they lose. Or, as former House majority leader Dick Armey recently wrote: "When we run like us, we win; when we run like them, we lose.

bill912

To use a football analogy, the Republicans' best play is Off-Tackle Right; This past election, it looked as though their game plan was: "Take a knee and hope the defense can hold them."

what did Mitt name his kids? Glove, Leather and Ball?

JohnD

It kinda nauseates me when I see some republicans calling a pretty unimpressive canditate "good enough". Learn from history. Squishy, mushy candiates don't inspire, don't reverberate, and demoralize when they act squishy (as predicted). It's a losing proposition. "Good enough" is never good enough.

If an army operated on the "good enough" principle, they'd rightly get their butts whooped.


Tim M.

I heard the other day that current NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg is seriously considering throwing his hat in and running in '08 as an independent. He certainly has the capital to finance his own campaign.

He is taking his inspiration from fellow super-rich former PM of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi.

Besides being a successful businessman, does anyone know any of his view on the "issues"?

bill912

Bloomberg makes Giuliani look like a conservative.

Publius

The one who has to worry about a Bloomberg run is the Democrat. While Giuliani has conservative appeal to those who don't put social issues at the top of the list, Bloomberg is basically a liberal all around. I'd be very surprised if he didn't siphon more votes from the Democrat if he ran.

franklyn

People have short memories or times radically change.Governor Mitt Romney's father Governor George Romney was governor of Michigan and ran for the republican presidential nomination.He was also a Mormon bishop.I lived in Michigan at the time and supported him (he was pro-life) and he was favored to win the nomination.Noone mentioned at the time his religion as an obstacle.He dropped drastically in the polls and withdrew from the race after he said he had been brainwashed about Vietnam.

JohnD

//I'd be very surprised if [Bloomberg] didn't siphon more votes from the Democrat if he ran.//

Why would democrats vote for a knockoff when they can vote for the real democrat? Further, why would they "worry" about getting a liberal in office?

Why can't we fantasize about Alan Keyes running for president on the Dem ticket? It's just as absurd.

bill912

Correction to my earliar quote. I believe Armey wrote: "When we act like us, we win; when we act like them, we lose."

Domenico Bettinelli

As a prolife Catholic from Massachusetts I am completely mystified by the infatuation with Romney. He's a pro-abortion flip-flopper who tarted up state government with patronage appointments and pork.

As for his vaunted stance on gay marriage, few people realize that he ordered city and town clerks to issue marriage licenses to gays when the Legislature failed to pass a law before the Court-imposed deadline. The court didn't change the law on marriage, but ordered the Legislature to change the law.

When the deadline came, the matter should have died, except Romney created an issue for him to run on.

Now that he's running for president, suddenly we see "conservative" Mitt replace "liberal" Mitt once again. Don't be fooled by slick packaging.

His religion is unimportant compared to his political views and record.

Publius

Why would democrats vote for a knockoff when they can vote for the real democrat?

Democrats who for one reason or another are displeased with their candidate. It happens all the time with both parties. I doubt it would amount to much, but I still think more Democrats would vote for him than Republicans.

Further, why would they "worry" about getting a liberal in office?

First of all, I didn't say "Democrats" should worry, I said "the Democrat" should worry, i.e., the Democratic nominee in 2008. Obviously whoever runs wouldn't want to lose, even to a liberal. Secondly, I didn't say anyone should be worried about Bloomberg winning. I meant that the concern should be over Bloomberg being a spoiler; I thought that was pretty clear.

Brent Robbins

I think Jesus would be the best candidate for the GOP. He gets my vote.

Mark Wyzalek

Romney is a pro-abort:

"On a personal basis, I don't favor abortion," he said. "However, as governor of the commonwealth, I will protect a woman's right to choose under the laws of the country and the commonwealth. That's the same position I've had for many years."
Source: Erik Arvidson, Lowell Sun Mar 20, 2002

Romney disclosed that he became committed to legalized abortion after a relative died during an illegal abortion. The disclosure came after Romney, who said he is personally opposed to abortion, was asked to reconcile his beliefs with his political support for abortion rights. "It is since that time that my family will not force our beliefs on that matter," He said the abortion made him see "that regardless of one's beliefs about choice, you would hope it would be safe and legal."
Source: Joe Battenfeld in Boston Herald Oct 26, 1994

Endorsed legalization of RU-486, the abortion-inducing drug.
Source: Boston Globe review of 1994 canpaign issues Mar 21, 2002


Marie

I wouldn't think the Republicans would want Romney as President given what has happened to them in Massachusetts since he has been governor.

1) The Republicans couldn't even field candidates for all the offices with a state-wide vote (they also didn't have any candidates on the ballot in my municipality, but I don't know how they prepared for other local elections). The Green Party had candidates for all the state-wide races.

2) Romney's lt-governor lost the election. In a 4 candidate election, the Democratic candidate had more than 50%. For the first time in more than a decade there isn't a Republican governor here.

3) I lived here for his whole term in office and the only acomplishment of his I can think of is getting the head of the Turnpike board to resign - and that wouldn't have happened with out the tragic accident on the Big Dig; Amorello (sp?) had done a power grab the week before that probably would have prevented Romney from exercising any control under normal circumstances.

RalphJ

A major difference between Mormonism and most varieties of Christian faith is that Mormonism is more starkly anti-rational. It would almost be like voting for someone who believes in the Tooth Fairy. Atheists might say the same about Christians, but Christianity has a historical record. The archeological record supports the Bible but not the Book of Mormon and my understanding is that American Indians have been shown not to be the "lost tribe of Israel".

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