Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 8, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE REAL DEAL....So why did Mitt Romney crap out against a field of weak competition? The press narrative is pretty clear:

Boston Globe: "In the end, his campaign foundered for one basic reason: He lacked authenticity." New York Times: "Mr. Romney's advisers...conceded that they had failed to overcome doubts about Mr. Romney's authenticity as they sought to position him as the most electable conservative in the race." LA Times: "Romney failed the 'authentic' test." Slate: "[Romney] faced one fundamental problem that almost all the papers summarize with one word: 'authenticity.'"

Well, maybe. That's certainly how Romney seemed to me. Still, I can't help but notice that none of the news pieces hawking this narrative really presents much evidence for it. And based on a scientific poll of a friend I had lunch with yesterday, I'm beginning to wonder about this. To battle-hardened reporters and cynical liberals, Romney probably did seem phoney. But when I mentioned this offhandedly at lunch, not really expecting an argument, my Romney-supporting friend was clearly taken aback. That had never occurred to him. To him, Romney seemed like the real deal: conservative, good business background, command of the issues, good looks, etc. etc.

So I'm not sure. But I will say this: it felt to me that Romney's real problem was a lack of passion from his opinion-leader supporters. I read National Review's The Corner pretty regularly, and the magazine was editorially committed to Romney. Despite that, The Corner's actual support was lukewarm at best: only a few of their contributors agreed with the editorial line, and even those who did never seemed especially committed to the cause. He was sort of the anti-Obama in that regard.

But judging from his spittle-flecked CPAC speech yesterday, he's learning. Maybe by 2012 he'll have figured out how to act more authentically wingnutty and he'll be ready for a second losing run. And why not? He even has the "little man atop the wedding cake" look made famous by the Republican Party's best known two-time loser, so he's well cast for the role. Now about that Mormon thing.....

Kevin Drum 12:46 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (84)

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Comments

"The campaign never recovered from the fact that Mitt Romney is a douchebag."
-The Daily Show

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on February 8, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

The reporters are a bunch of lemmings.

Another example: Joel Stein picked up the Obama cult theme, that you wrote about yesterday, in the LA Times today. Perhaps he reads your blog.

Posted by: gregor on February 8, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

We could get further into it, but the douchebag explanation is clinically correct and contains all other relevant information.

Posted by: Kenji on February 8, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think Romney looks like Space Ghost, and his advisors remind me of some of Space Ghosts's guests and co-workers on Coast to Coast.

Posted by: anandine on February 8, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Alternative Theory: Romney got absolutely creamed in every possible match-up against Democrats. Only McCain stood a chance. Thus, reluctantly the GOP voters picked the only guy who had a chance.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on February 8, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Romney has seemed to me to be completely phony.

The data sample of your one friend, it seems, is of insufficient size from which to draw a conclusion to modify your understanding of Romney's phoniness.

Posted by: Chris Brown on February 8, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Colbert always showed Romney as "Guy Smiley" from Sesame Street. Glitzy talking-head Muppet game show hosts are not very authentic.

Posted by: rusrus on February 8, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Now about that Mormon thing....."
Such a shame. So unfair that a guy chooses to promote the party of bigots, and is then subject to their bigotry.
What's next? Some well-meaning gay guy sadly learns that the Republican party is not his route to the presidency? (We've already had the nutcase Republican black guy learn this --- did Alan Keyes even run this year?)

Posted by: Maynard Handley on February 8, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously? K-Lo wasn't "committed to the cause"? I don't know if I've ever seen more vocal support of any candidate anywhere.

Posted by: JN on February 8, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

I never understood Romney. I liked the guy until he started running for President but then me liking someone means he has no chance in the Republican primaries.

I don't understand why the conservatives are screaming.

Wasn't Brownback a true conservative?
Tancrado, Fred Thompson, Tommy Thompson, Gilmore, Hunter?

OK Tancrado was a jerk and Fred was lazy but didn't that leave 4 picture perfect conservatives???

Could it be that the wingnut base is not as big and as powerful as they claim to be?

Posted by: neil wilson on February 8, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

The Corner is truly an alternate reality. Of Mitt's godawful hideous speech a commentator remarks:

Just finished watching Romney's terrific speech, and I bet a lot of people are wishing that he displayed more of that inspirational quality and verve in the campaign.

???

Posted by: Lucy on February 8, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Amen to JN. KLo clearly was the most ardent supporter of Romney anywhere, including the five sons.

The real problem for Romney was that he mispandered. He expected to be able to sew up the right wing, while Guiliani and McCain battled for the centrists.

In retrospect, the Iowa Straw Poll turns out to be one of the most important moments of the GOP campaign. Huckabee gave a lights out performance, and surged ahead. Brownback performed extremely poorly, and dropped out. If Brownback and Huckabee had split the Evangelical vote, then Romney likely would have won Iowa.

Posted by: Ephus on February 8, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Does any Republican have a chance in 2008? Maybe Mitt the Twit wants to run against President Clinton or President Obama in 2012. Lord knows, the next President will have to make a lot of unpopular choices to clean up the mess Bush43 is laving behind. Mitt the Twit can then figure out what Dole did wrong in 1996 and do something different. Given that Bob Dole had at least a few principles, the Bush-Cheney playbook would be perfect for 2012 after memories of what sacks of S**t Bush and Cheney have been have had four years to fade from memory!

Posted by: pgl on February 8, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think changing your position and story at least two times a week could give people the impression your less than authentic.

Posted by: Daryl on February 8, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

The one constant in Romney's behavior is his ambition-- Ambition, ambition, ambition. Romney's ambition goes beyond 'naked', 'driving', or 'intense' into weird places that even the NRO wingnuts just don't wanna go.

Posted by: MattF on February 8, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand why he came off that way. He studied under George Allen.

Posted by: DevilDog on February 8, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

To this bleeding-heart liberal, he had all the appearance of conservative authenticity. But that just doesn't sell! His background, including his gubernatorial tenure in leftwing MA and Mormonism, seems so textbook that you really can't get excited about him. He's never had the national facetime that McCain has had. Huckabee, for a while, garnered the image of the down-to-earth hick with his Norris ads and appeal to evangelicals. Romney just never moved beyond the image of the suited family man. Reagan had the iconic image, to be sure, but he also had a distinctive ideology to vote for. Plain vanilla Romney didn't have the movement traction.

Posted by: Andrew on February 8, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

As a Mass. resident, I can tell you. He's the real deal. An authentic weasel.

Posted by: thersites on February 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

As another Mass. resident, He's as phony as a $3 bill. Will say anything to get elected.

Posted by: David on February 8, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ever since gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts, their stiff, imperious, aristocratic Prince Charles type politicians have not been well-received nationally.

Clearly, it's all caused by the Santorum Curse. When it comes to Mitt, most Americans would rather watch a workout video by Richard Simmons.

;-)~

Posted by: Kevin Hayden on February 8, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

As yet another Mass resident, his phoniness was truly world-class IMO. His treatment of his would-be successor Lt. Gov. Healy was instructive.

Posted by: genome on February 8, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Well, not like this is actually wrong. Romney was and is and ever shall be the Quintessence of Suit. But.

Our Dear Media are nothing--absolutely nothing--if not the Final Arbiters of Authenticity, self-appointed. It involves no hard knowledge about anything, therefore they can indulge in it without let or hindrance. Worse, the one kind of expertise it does call upon is that developed during the teen years through the demanding exercises of clique formation, status-ranking, and pecking-order enforcement. Therefore they love it and it loves them.

The absolute fons et origo of Villager Heatherism.

Posted by: DrBB on February 8, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Like my daddy used to tell me: Authenticity. Once you can fake that you've got it made.

Posted by: spaz on February 8, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno. Those CPAC types seemed to think he was awfully authentic, at least compared to McCain.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on February 8, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see how inauthenticity hurt Romney. McCain is a very different beast than he was 20 years ago. So is H. Clinton. They've let politics -- and the drive to succeed in politics -- change what they say (not necessarily what they think). No surprise there. Romney just wore his inauthenticity on his sleeve.

Posted by: Angela on February 8, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

As still another resident of the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I must take exception to thersites's comment. Weasels are noble animals, and this comparison is insulting--to weasels.

Given his ability to change his colors and his lizard-like cold-bloodedness, I think it is more apt to compare Romney to a chameleon.

Posted by: thalarctos on February 8, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Although people aren't willing to mention this, I believe his Mormon faith was his biggest issue. Had Mitt been a born again he'd be the Republican nominee notwithstanding his flip-flopping.

Posted by: Noel on February 8, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

But judging from his spittle-flecked CPAC speech yesterday, he's learning. Maybe by 2012 he'll have figured out how to act more authentically wingnutty and he'll be ready for a second losing run. And why not? He even has the "little man atop the wedding cake" looks made famous by the Republican Party's best known two-time loser, so he's well cast for the role. Now about that Mormon thing.....

Meow, meow, meow! That was the cattiest thing I've read since Maureen Dowd, sir.

As for whether or not Romney lost because he's a Mormon, please. The Republican Party is far more savvy than any of you give it credit for being. We are enlightened about religion, so long as you actually have a religion. Mormons are just the people you invite to parties where there isn't going to be a hot tub.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 8, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I never knew that "authenticity problem" was a synonym for "we hate Mormons". learn something new every day.

Basically, regular Americans were uncomfortable with the notion of government-prescribed funny undies.

It's as simple, and as complex, as that.

Posted by: POed Lib on February 8, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

I just read the Wikipedia page about that two-time loser, Thomas Dewey, and it was really interesting. I kind of like a guy who says "we're not going to go looking under people's beds" for Communists.

Of course, in the 1948 election, he took a road that was so high, he resorted to saying stuff like "the future is ahead of us". Which let Truman attack him with no negative consequences.

In contrast, in 1944 he got into mudslinging with FDR, and that didn't work either.

So the trick is, when you sling mud, make the other side feel like THEY want to take the high road. Let them feel like it was a mistake to attack you.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on February 8, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, the though of you in a hot tub is just about enough to make me straight.

Peace.

Posted by: Keith G on February 8, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Atrios has a quote from you on his front page. I think you need to explain it.

"If your opposition to war is based on the idea that Saddam does indeed possess illegal weapons but it's best to leave him alone anyway, well and good. But if it's based on the idea that the administration is lying and none of this stuff exists, you should tread carefully. I think it's pretty likely you will be proven wrong shortly." --Kevin Drum, February 2003

Posted by: anonymous on February 8, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

So why did Mitt Romney crap out against a field of weak competition? The press narrative is pretty clear:

Boston Globe: "In the end, his campaign foundered for one basic reason: He lacked authenticity."

Whoa-- all three of those sources repeated the same talking point, as if McCain is genuine and Romney isn't? How many times has McCain flip-flopped again? It's something like literally 20.

Sounds like they're trying to get people to feel satisfied with McCain.

Here's my version: McCain had too much insider support- the kind that gets TV personalities like Chris Matthews literally blowing you kisses. He had a lock on whatever it is that pushes both media adoration, and media condemnation of people like Hillary. Romney couldn't stand up against that, and those powers told him it was time to go, to both make McCain look better and make us look worse for not settling on a nominee of our own within the usual time.

Posted by: Swan on February 8, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think Romney just didn't go over well because:
A) He's Mormon.
B) The idea that he's a Republican Governor from a heavily Democratic State....so how conservative can he be?

When he and McCain started going back and forth about who was more conservative, it hurt both candidates. Huckabee benefitted from that. But moderates and independents sided more with McCain, giving him the edge since Huckabee just didn't have the gravitas that most Republicans are looking for.

Posted by: Quinn on February 8, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Geez, Duncan. It's one thing to have conservative friends, but such clued-out ones? I guess that's part of the conservative package, though.

Posted by: digitusmedius on February 8, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Atrios has a quote from you on his front page. I think you need to explain it.

"If your opposition to war is based on the idea that Saddam does indeed possess illegal weapons but it's best to leave him alone anyway, well and good. But if it's based on the idea that the administration is lying and none of this stuff exists, you should tread carefully. I think it's pretty likely you will be proven wrong shortly." --Kevin Drum, February 2003

If he said that, it turned out he was wrong. He's in good company.

So what?

What are your thoughts on, ya know, the actual TOPIC of the thread?

Posted by: Quinn on February 8, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

thalarctos on February 8, 2008 at 1:37 PM :

I apologize for the insult to weasels. Now you must apologize for your insult to chameleons.

Posted by: thersites on February 8, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Here's my version: McCain had too much insider support- the kind that gets TV personalities like Chris Matthews literally blowing you kisses.

And your version is wrong, once again.

What is driving the McCain ticket are independents, who are voting for him in large numbers. Conservatives are not voting for him; no one who believes in the sanctity of life or lower taxes supports McCain, who is foolishly out of step on those issues. McCain is getting independent votes in states where he will lose, come November, because the Democratic brand is stronger.

I hate to admit it, but you people are going to win. And once you do win, it will be an orgy and a debacle and a seven hundred car pile up, all at once.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 8, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

His big mistakes were 1) trying to take stands on issues 2) not getting all offended when the press and his opponents attacked his religion.

He should have been totally noncommittal and vague. Just talked in generalities like how he wants to inspire and be hopeful and maybe since hope was taken talked about trust or some other feel-good word that is meaningless by itself.

Secondly he should have accused his opponents of religionism whenever they attacked him. Accusing your opponent of intolerance seems to have worked quite well this campaign season.

Then the press would have proclaimed him truly authentic.

Posted by: Chrissy on February 8, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon. These are the same people who thought W was a real Texas cowboy...

Posted by: SFMike on February 8, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Does this mean that his sons, who had been supporting America’s fight against the terrorists by campaigning for their father, will now:

1. Join the armed service and volunteer to fight in Iraq, or

2. Find some other way to fight terrorism 10,000 miles away from the battlefront?

My bet is on 2.

Posted by: patrick on February 8, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

His big mistakes were 1) trying to take stands on issues 2) not getting all offended when the press and his opponents attacked his religion.

He should have been totally noncommittal and vague. Just talked in generalities like how he wants to inspire and be hopeful and maybe since hope was taken talked about trust or some other feel-good word that is meaningless by itself.

Secondly he should have accused his opponents of religionism whenever they attacked him. Accusing your opponent of intolerance seems to have worked quite well this campaign season.

Then the press would have proclaimed him truly authentic.

How pissy, Chrissy.

Posted by: Quinn on February 8, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Spittle-flecked"

Pretty much. Heh. He's not even good at playing a lunatic before a crowd of lunatics. Not the France of the 21st Century? What wad of pocket lint did that come from? He lurches around like a replicant undergoing termination.

I see that Baby Hughey's big wet kiss of a book on Romney hasn't yet dropped to penny value on Amazon, like the painting the map red masterpiece (literally available for a penny). The market speaks--there's starch left in Willard's sails (and cash left in Tagg's trust fund) enough for a run in '11.

I cannot wait!

Posted by: trollhattan on February 8, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 8, 2008 at 2:16 PM

"And once you do win, it will be an orgy and a debacle and a seven hundred car pile up" as we Republicans can make it for you.

Posted by: Zit on February 8, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

And once you do win, it will be an orgy and a debacle and a seven hundred car pile up" as we Republicans can make it for you.

Paralyzed by your outrage much?

Not only can you idiots screw up a one car parade, you cannot adequately comment, either.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 8, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Romney lost against a weak field for the same reason that Huckabee, Giuliani, Thompson, Paul, and Hunter lost against a weak field: He's weak.

Posted by: reino on February 8, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,

Mormons are just the people you invite to parties where there isn't going to be a hot tub.

How in the world would it be a party if it didn't have a hot tub?

But really, tell me more about the orgies to come. That might be a good campaign slogan - "an orgy in every hot tub."

Posted by: Tripp on February 8, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

The word "Authenticity" was gleened from the same GOP Dictionary of Non-specific Fact-free Lollypop Logic that "Victory in Iraq" came from.

Posted by: Zit on February 8, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Oh I dunno....maybe it is the combination of all the flip flopping he did between his tenure as gov. of Mass., and his more recent efforts to declare himself a true conservative, coupled with the huge amounts of his own money he had to spend in order to keep up with the pack.

With that kind of combination, my personal impression (and I am clearly biased by an overall aversion to most everything modern conservatism stands for...whatever it is these days) was that here was a guy so desperate to win the nomination and ultimately the Presidency that he would (a) take any position he felt would help him achieve that goal and (b) spend as much of his fortune as needed to do so. (What did it cost him..something like 4K per head or more to win those 1,300 straw poll folks in Iowa last year?)

If you are a voter with any degree of cynicism about the political process, here's the perfect combination of no principles and lots of personal money in pursuit of the grand prize. Add to that the under-the-surface concerns about Mormons and religious zealotry in general, and the Mittster was starting out from a deep hole, but one he clearly didn't realize he was standing in.

Sure Obama and Hillary are driven by a desire to win the prize, but they can command millions of bucks of small donations overnight from folks who really believe in them. Apparently, Mitt couldn't match that and had to keep dipping into his own pocket to stay in the running. Voters saw that and clearly didn't think that was an asset.

Posted by: dweb on February 8, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Not only can you idiots screw up a one car parade, you cannot adequately comment, either.
Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 8, 2008 at 2:41 PM

Not at all. I just love your reflex action. Press the comment bar and out you pop, like a pellet.

Seriously tho, you and I both know that WA Republicans will do their flat level best to make the next four years as miserable and as full of hate as they can make it, should a Dem take the White House.

As a liberal I have learned much living through the past 7 years as the fear-driven conservative's whipping post.

Posted by: Zit on February 8, 2008 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

As a liberal I have learned much living through the past 7 years as the fear-driven conservative's whipping post.

When I need to know where the drugs are hidden and where the freak-out victims are buried, I'll get on the Bat phone and call you.

Til then, you should hush up about what you think you know about this country. Most of you idiots haven't even been paying attention. For example, did you know we were at war? I didn't think so, what with most of you sitting comfortably in your fog of superiority and smugness. Get out of the way and let the rest of us carry the fight to our enemies, you dead weight fools.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 8, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I am old enough to remember the campaign of Mitt Romney's dad, George Romney. Old George had the same problem: he was a lousy campaigner. He was about as wooden as they get. Old George also had the chiseled good looks as his son, but like Mitt he just sounded like Ward Cleaver.

Mitt Romney is like Steve Forbes, but without the charisma.

Posted by: daveb99 on February 8, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,

Which part of the fight are you carrying to Iraq? Godspeed Sir, truly you are a valiant warrior, and we all honor your service and sacrifice.

Posted by: Captain Crunch on February 8, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Which part of the fight are you carrying to Iraq? Godspeed Sir, truly you are a valiant warrior, and we all honor your service and sacrifice.

I support the troops and the war, sir. I do so from the comforts of my own home, but remember--every home in America is a potential front line in the war against terror. Only by watching and observing and reporting what we see can we maintain the vigilance that we need to fight the enemy.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 8, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

As a constituent of a world-class phony, the very epitome of smarminess, former mayor of St. Paul, MN and now Senator, Norm Coleman I can tell you why Romney lost: yeah, he's a phony too.

You just have to compare Gov. Romney to Candidate Romney. Take your choice of issues, either he was pandering then or he's pandering now. Either way he's just another political opportunist. Once people recognize a phony panderer for who he is they quickly become disgusted with them. It's embarrassing for everybody to see someone debase themselves in public like that.

Likewise, thanks to Mitt's status as a multi-brazilianaire capitalist and phony he reminds everyone of the smug glad-handing pricks sitting in the executive suites at their workplace. How can you not love to hate someone like that?

Posted by: Joe Bob on February 8, 2008 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Mitt Romney's problem wasn't that he's Mormon...his problem was that he'd been governor of Massachusetts, as anathema to Republicans as being governor of Texas/Mississippi/Alabama now is to Democrats

Posted by: Vincent on February 8, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers!.........Why is there no mention of you or your family in Lewis Lapham's movie "The American Ruling Class" but you and your family are the subject of almost all the set-ups in the movie "The Aristocrats"?

Posted by: R.L. on February 8, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Damn Norman, you had me cracking up with that "Mormons are just the people you invite to parties where there isn't going to be a hot tub" bit. But now you got the chickenhawk squawk going and that shit is just annoying.

Posted by: elmo on February 8, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

All the rightwing crazies I know just love Mitt. Now that he's gone, they're sitting out November. Their hatred for McCain is unbounded.

I mean, they hate Hillary and they hate Obama. But they're just going through the motions.

It's McCain who drives them fucking berserk.

Posted by: Auto on February 8, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Chickenhawk? No, I would serve if I could. Unfortunately, I'm going to turn 66 here soon.

You "chickenshits" will never see the inside of a uniform. Half of you can't stand to wear matching shirts and ties.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on February 8, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,

Which part of the fight are you carrying to Iraq? Godspeed Sir, truly you are a valiant warrior, and we all honor your service and sacrifice.Posted by: Captain Crunch on February 8, 2008 at 3:38 PM

I served, but I guess only Republican service counts.

I guess only Republican lives lost in war counts.

I guess only Republican disabled vets deserve quality health care.

I guess only Republicans know what this new kind of patriotism is.

I guess only Republicans have the right to an opinion in this new America.

I guess my tax- and voting- status should be revoked because I don't agree with Norman Bates of NH.

Your comment, Norman, is exactly the kind of fear-driven conservative whipping post hate speech I have heard for the past 7 years.

You say nothing new, your self-centered God complex is nothing new.

While I do appreciate the effort you put into hurting people who don't think like you, the originality aspect is lacking a bit. :)

Posted by: Zit on February 8, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Wait... Kevin has a Romney-supporting friend?

Posted by: Toast on February 8, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

That Phony stuff is just that: Phony. G.W. Bush is the biggest goddam phony on the planet and most of the very serious folks in the Washington press don't see that, so why in the world did they suddenly wake up and notice Mittens is full of it?

Republicans, unlike Dems, have a knack for picking the one most electable. Usually fairly early in the process. The reality is that Mittens has a little bit of a religion problem. I know, I know we aren't supposed to mention it, especially after the great speech he made explaining it, but I just can't help but feel that hard core Republicans had doubts about his electability. I mean come on, a Mormon, there's some pretty crazy shit they believe in and they wear that magic underwear and all. It would have been a tough one.

Posted by: Henk on February 8, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Bob,

As a constituent of a world-class phony, the very epitome of smarminess, former mayor of St. Paul, MN and now Senator, Norm Coleman

Wow. You stated my feelings exactly! You failed to mention Coleman was a Democrat before he was a Republican and he is from New York but runs in Minnesota.

Coleman sees which way the crowd runs and then sprints ahead of them and calls himself their leader.

Posted by: Tripp on February 8, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Norman,

Half of you can't stand to wear matching shirts and ties.

I hear that tie-dyed is coming back! Doesn't that just plump your feathers? Ziiiing.

Posted by: Tripp on February 8, 2008 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Another Mass native chiming in;
It's interesting that Romney won the primary vote here.
My conclusion, given Romney's proven ability to say whatever he thinks he should say to close the deal (See Daniel Day-Lewis' character in "There Will be Blood when he 'repents' to get a lease signed) is that many conservatives are more offended by McCain's occasional transgressions against their sensibilities than by Romney's pandering.
I must not have been paying attention: What did McCain do or not do again? He seems pretty far off on the right hand plane to me.

Posted by: GVC on February 8, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, once he had that $400 haircut, the media decided to know him out. No, wait—that only happens if you actually believe in something. You can't mock a mocker, it seems. And that Mitt is like mock tofu.

Posted by: Kenji on February 8, 2008 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

First, Kevin, thanks from a right-winger who enjoys a good challenge to his positions.

Second, among my circle of Republican friends, all aged 20-25, it was universal: Romney's a phony. To much telling people what they wanted to hear. The 'change begins here' line that he picked up after Obama took off was insufferable. Every popular wave (even ripple) over the last four months had one thing in common: Romney was surfing it.

Posted by: rjack on February 8, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

rjack,

There are Republicans aged 20-25? Seriously?

Posted by: Tripp on February 8, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp,

Seriously. The way this campaign is going, there's more of us in the age group than there are Clinton supporters.

Posted by: rjack on February 8, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell are you talking about Norman? I served four years in the US Army Infantry. You know, a stud. Oh wait, maybe you don't know...

Posted by: elmo on February 8, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

By the way Norman, what were you doing in 1968?

Posted by: elmo on February 8, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

It was the Mormon thing. It wouldn't have been such a problem if the South wasn't the primary source of GOP votes.

John McCain is no ideal Southern conservative, either, but his POW experience gives him cred with the Chuck Norris types.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on February 8, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

I, for one, trust the media to decide who is truly authentic. After all, we were told constantly that Bush was authentic an Gore a big phoney, so they obviously know what they are talking about. Right.

Posted by: BernieO on February 8, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Norman: Half of you can't stand to wear matching shirts and ties.
What is this "tie" of which you speak, master?

Posted by: thersites on February 8, 2008 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'd have to agree that the "phony" thing is insufficient. I've always thought he was a phony myself, based on his speaking style (which seemed inauthentic) and the flip-flopping on issues. But the speech style doesn't bother everyone and Mittens was clearly not the only candidate with inconsistencies.

Besides which, as soon as you dislike a candidate, everything they say seems phony.

So what's the explanation? I don't know either, but let me throw out two things. I'm not sure he spent enough money and in the right races. And once McCain got a head of steam, Mittens seemed to choke right up. Boy, that slick thing just vanished overnight, didn't it?

Posted by: The Pop View on February 8, 2008 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Chickenhawk? No, I would serve if I could. Unfortunately, I'm going to turn 66 here soon.

"You "chickenshits" will never see the inside of a uniform. Half of you can't stand to wear matching shirts and ties."

Hey, Norman, you've been asked where you were in 1968, and you haven't responded yet. I'll tell you where I—just a few years younger than you—was then. I was out in them jungles, man, fighting for truth, justice and the American way.

Given your stated attitudes, I'm sure you were right there with the rest of us. You're no "chickenshit," I'm sure. And, man, it was the last really good war. Lots more blood and guts than this one. Against evil Commies, to boot. Guy like you can't stand Commies, right? They're even worse than religious nuts. So let us know your unit in the 'Nam. Maybe you can get an invite to a reunion or something.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on February 8, 2008 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Don't hold your breath for a response, Nixon Did It.

Posted by: elmo on February 8, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Norman didn't come back because he knew I'd be out there...lurking...

Posted by: elmo on February 8, 2008 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Good night Norman. You pansy ass little chickenshit you...

Posted by: elmo on February 8, 2008 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

I think the authenticity gap with Romney was with his switch to pro-life and pro-guns which seemed more calculated than sincere. So much of his strategy was about winning Iowa. Huckabee's challenge meant that Romney never got started before McCain took off.

Personally I can't blame the evangelicals for voting for someone who actually seems to believe in what they believe. Karl Rove and others brought these people into the party. They are now fighting for their place in the party.

Posted by: PE on February 9, 2008 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

McCain calls Democrats to soft on national security, the Democrats are not to soft the only difference from you and them is they are not blood thirsty war hawks like you, folks McCain is much more dangerous then Bush, when a hard core Republican like Tom DeLay says he is not sure if he would vote for McCain or not, then I would say you had better think twice before you cast a vote for McCain, vote for McCain only if you want war on three fronts after he hits office in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and there is no telling where he would take us next, he is a nut case to the highest degree.

Posted by: Al on February 9, 2008 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

rjack: First, Kevin, thanks from a right-winger who enjoys a good challenge to his positions. Second, among my circle of Republican friends, all aged 20-25...

"The Republican Party is fragmented, and it really poses a problem."

..from 1997 to 2007....18-to-34-year olds dropped from 25% to 17%

- Tony Fabrizio, a GOP pollster July-2007

Posted by: mr. irony on February 11, 2008 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

Umm... I think if you want to know why Romney failed to launch with Republican primary voters, a Romney supporter is the last guy you'd ask to determine whether phoniness was the problem.

The last people I'd ask to point out the problems of the current administration are the 30% who still think Bush is doing a GREAT job!

Posted by: Other Mike on February 17, 2008 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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