Mitt Romney

Political Hay

No U-Turns

By 7.15.14

The Netflix documentary Mitt ought to be required viewing for American voters, and particularly the low-information types who cast their ballots for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election. Mitt chronicles the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and in it one can see the effects a long and grueling presidential campaign can have on a candidate and his family.

One can also see the chasm between who a man really is and what he’s portrayed to be by his political opponents and the media. The Romney in Mitt is a man America would happily choose as its president: successful in business, faithful to God, blessed with family, easygoing with friends, and possessed of the intelligence and skill to serve in a high executive role. He’s funny and down to earth. The Romney clan is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

He’s a man you can root for.

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Political Hay

The Wrong Fight

By 5.20.14

For many Republican voters, the whittling down of the 2012 GOP presidential field to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum was a window into the alarming state of leadership on the Right and the sorry state of the Republican Party as an electoral force.

Romney was, by most accounts, the “next in line” candidate after running and failing in 2008. The GOP establishment rallied around him just as it had done with John McCain in 2008 and Bob Dole in 1996, with the same disappointing results.

But Santorum, whose 2012 candidacy went further than anyone could have imagined, managed to cobble together a coalition of disaffected GOP base voters out of the wreckage of the Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Perry camps to emerge as the standard bearer for the conservative wing of the GOP.

Santorum's success was surprising, given that his previous foray into elected politics had been an abject disaster—a 59-to-41 drubbing in the 2006 Senate race at the hands of Democrat Bob Casey that swept him out of office.

For most politicians, a loss like that would be career-ending. But for Santorum, it’s merely a bump in the road.

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Romney Gives Smug Liberals Rhetorical Ammo

By on 5.9.14 | 5:12PM

Much has been made of Mitt Romney's comments this morning that Republicans should back a minimum wage increase. Here at AmSpec, for example, Ross Kaminsky and Larry Thornberry have expressed their disappointment at Mitt's pandering. I'd like to jump on the pile in asking why we should have expected anything else. Mitt was the governor of a liberal state who developed the prototype for Obamacare. Romneycare should have been enough of a sign that Mitt has a strong progressive streak--and a poor enough understanding of economics--to support a minimum wage.

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Et Tu, Mitt?

By on 5.9.14 | 12:33PM

How disappointing is this?

Romney urges GOP to back minimum wage hike

We would have had cap-and-trade if John McCain had become president, because congressional Republicans would have been likely to comply with McCain's buy-in to the hoax of man-made "global warming".

And apparently we'd get stupid economic policy (though certainly not as stupid as what we have now) if Mitt Romney had won.

I note that Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty have also caved on this. It's lucky that nobody cares about them anymore.

Please, people, let's nominate someone who actually stands for something...and can win. Is that too much to ask?

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The Nation's Pulse

Nice Guys Finish Last

By 2.14.14

In watching both the recently released Netflix documentary Mitt, as well as NBC’s putting out to pasture of Jay Leno (again), I was struck by the current cultural attitudes toward those generally perceived as “nice” people. Apart from the hackneyed “If it bleeds, it leads” response you’ll get from most people when the topic of how we treat household names in the media comes up, there is a real (and I would add sick) pleasure Americans experience when nice guys finish last.

We like jerks. And if someone isn’t a jerk, but we don’t like their politics or street-cred as a performer, we call them jerks louder and longer than the actual ones all around us.

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Political Hay

Maybe the Right Guy

By 1.28.14

The recently released Netflix documentary MITT opens on a scene of Mitt Romney, his team, and his family anxiously counting electoral votes in a hotel room. The candidate himself fights back tears in a final shot before everything fades to black, the moment you assume he knows that he will not win, the moment that a nearly-decade long quest to win the presidency comes to an end. The movie goes on to follow the private life of a man fighting for the nation’s highest office, at a time when his life is far from private.

And, if you are one of the few Republicans still reeling from the 2012 election cycle, convinced that Mitt Romney was systematically robbed by a media that unfairly portrayed him as a cyborg with superhuman hair follicles, the movie will probably fulfill your private quest for emotional closure. Because 10 minutes in, you’ll be elbow deep in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s New York Triple Fudge Chunk, crying your eyes out at the future that never was, perhaps in the survival bunker he thinks you’re building to wait out the coming apocalypse at the end of Obama’s second term, a concern Mitt voiced in private that probably should have stayed there.

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New Mitt Romney Documentary From Netflix Comes A Year And Change Too Late

By on 1.26.14 | 10:26PM

"All I know about politics is what I get from The Daily Show and Colbert," a hotel desk clerk tells the camera in the new documentary Mitt. And that seems to have been the problem for Mitt Romney's failed 2012 presidential bid. It was not uncommon during the campaign to hear Romney called opportunistic, unprincipled, even sociopathic. He was an out of touch, rich guy candidate impugned by conservatives and liberals alike for—as Romney himself puts it in the film—his willingness to "say or do anything to get elected." The Romney we meet in the documentary (available to stream on Netflix), however, is earnest, likeable, vulnerable, and all too human.

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Acts of Terror, etc.

By on 10.16.12 | 11:36PM

One of the weirder exchanges tonight? The discussion over whether Obama called the attack on the Benghazi consulate an "act of terror." Candy Crowley jumped in to defend Obama (oddly) and fact-check Romney, to say that Obama did, in fact, call it one. The video of Obama's speech in which he supposedly called it an act of terror is below.

One problem: He never calls it that. He mentions the extent to which acts of terror will have an impact on American life (not much, apparently), but he never calls out this particular act as an act of terror. And whatever the case, it takes four whole minutes -- a lifetime in speechwriter years -- to get to that word. Terror.

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Biden’s goal was the wrong one

By on 10.11.12 | 11:25PM

The expectations were set incredibly low for Joe Biden. As Ryan would put it to him during the debate, "Sometimes words don't come out of your mouth the right way," eliciting laughter from the gallery. As a man who wouldn't be taken seriously entering this debate, he couldn't possibly be more buffoonish. So why not go ballistic and interrupt Ryan at every turn?

The move paid off. The only times Ryan got to enjoy uninterrupted time to make his pitch to the American people were during his opening and closing statements. Every other moment was shared with Biden or the moderator, Martha Radditz.

Ryan's strength comes from his knowledge of the math and the numbers. He needed to establish with the American people that he was a competent, thoughtful aspiring vice presidential candidate who could work across the aisle. Just a month ago, he was being protrayed as a right-wing radical with ideas too crazy for independents. That's why his pitch was so focused on how he would focus on working with Democrats to reach a solution on the budget or on foreign policy, contrasting that to the experience of Obama's first term. 

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Washington Post Quotes the Dead to Defame Romney

By on 5.11.12 | 11:52AM

A key element of the Washington Post’s 5,000-word account of Mitt Romney’s alleged high-school bullying is based on a second-hand account of a conversation with a dead man. Ben Shapiro of Big Journalism highlighted this crucial passage in Washington Post reporter Jason Horowitz’s article:

Sometime in the mid-1990s, David Seed noticed a familiar face at the end of a bar at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
“Hey, you’re John Lauber,” Seed recalled saying at the start of a brief conversation. Seed, also among those who witnessed the Romney-led incident, had gone on to a career as a teacher and principal. Now he had something to get off his chest.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to help in the situation,” he said.
Lauber paused, then responded, “It was horrible.” He went on to explain how frightened he was during the incident, and acknowledged to Seed, “It’s something I have thought about a lot since then.”
Lauber died in 2004, according to his three sisters.

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