Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Narrowing Field (Editorial)

That problem has been exacerbated by the withering away of the federal matching fund system, which was designed to boost lesser-known primary candidates but has now become functionally irrelevant, because the top-tier candidates can raise more on their own than they would be permitted to if they accepted matching funds. An increasingly front-loaded primary system -- on the Democratic side, candidates will need enough to get through four contests in 15 days -- intensifies the need for an early pile of cash.
-From Washington Post

Keeping the Faith: Considering the religion of our next president (comments)

Religion has always been a way of explaining an endermatic universe. We should not choose our national leader based on adherence to a more ancient and venerated irrationality than her opponent. The only rational religious question for a national leader is "does the person's belief interfere or assist the candidate." As Jesus said "by there fruits ye shall know them." Let's judge Romney and all other candidates on their life and what they have done. Romney is intelligent. First in his class out of Harvard. His life's work has involved turning around struggling companies. He did a great job with the winter Olympics and as a Governor. I am sure not every one agrees with these points. But that is what we should be talking about.

All comments in reaction to: Romney's Religion

Is America ripe for a Mormon president?

All these things I learned that morning.

But as 10 minutes became half an hour and an hour and more, I made a much more profound discovery about this faith: that its adherents are bright and intellectually open, and have a sense of humour, of humanity, that is sadly lacking in other strands of American religious life.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The delicate balance between religion and politics

Kennedy's September 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association is credited with having destigmatized his Catholicism as a campaign issue. No doubt the Romney camp would like to do something similar -- make it so that questions about Mormon temple garments are beyond the bounds of respectable journalism. But Romney, a man of faith, has another concern: at what cost?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Romney set for presidential announcement

The Massachusetts chief executive is expected to file paperwork as early as Jan. 2 with the Federal Election Commission, establishing a presidential campaign committee and permitting himself to begin raising money for his race on the first business day of the new year. Romney will leave office on Jan. 4.

Romney's Religion: A Mormon president? No way.

One may object that all religious beliefs are irrational—what's the difference between Smith's "seer stone" and the virgin birth or the parting of the Red Sea? But Mormonism is different because it is based on such a transparent and recent fraud. It's Scientology plus 125 years. Perhaps Christianity and Judaism are merely more venerable and poetic versions of the same. But a few eons makes a big difference. The world's greater religions have had time to splinter, moderate, and turn their myths into metaphor. The Church of Latter-day Saints is expanding rapidly and liberalizing in various ways, but it remains fundamentally an orthodox creed with no visible reform wing.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mitt Romney and the Politics of Sincerity

Some people believe that Mitt Romney had a genuine change of heart on abortion; some people believe that he has flip-flopped to win first the Massachusetts governorship and then the Republican presidential nomination. There is a middle possibility. Perhaps it is simultaneously true that Romney would pass a lie-detector test if asked whether he thought abortion should generally be banned and that he would not have adopted this position in different political circumstances.


But is Romney just another glib Bay State quick-change artist who's rearranged his stripes because he would like to be president? Is he angling for acceptance among GOP social conservatives by turning himself into something he's not?

Will Christians Back a Mormon Candidate?

As a clean-living, church-going father and grandfather, Gov. Mitt Romney has a natural appeal among conservative Christians.
The Massachusetts Republican, though, faces a delicate dilemma: How does a devout Mormon woo religious activists critical to winning the GOP presidential nomination when many of those same activists are openly hostile to a faith they consider no more than cult?


Mass. Governor's Rightward Shift Raises Questions

As he prepares for a 2008 presidential campaign, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) has championed the conservative principles that guided President Ronald Reagan, become an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage and supported overturning the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.


Frist Aide to Lead Romney's Online Team

Frist Aide to Lead Romney's Online Team - The Right Angle @
"The tech-savvy Smith joins two other highly respected Republicans who recently signed on with Romney. Former RNC Research Director Matt Rhoades and Kevin Madden, who served as House Majority Leader John Boehner’s spokesman, form the nucleus of Romney’s likely campaign team."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Romney says he backs Bush’s Iraq war policies - National Politics: Romney says he backs Bush’s Iraq war policies:
"Romney told reporters in Iowa that Bush should talk with generals and others on the front lines in Iraq to decide how to proceed.
“We should not turn around and walk out of Iraq,” he said. “That would be a mistake.”
When asked if he supported a surge in troops, one of the options Bush is said to be considering, Romney declined to discuss such details. "

In South Carolina, McCain seeks reversal of fortune while Romney, Giuliani stand in way

AP Wire | 12/19/2006 | In South Carolina, McCain seeks reversal of fortune while Romney, Giuliani stand in way:
"'We're programmed to hate McCain,' explained Lisa Manini Sox, executive director of the state Senate Republican caucus. She couldn't pinpoint one reason for her opposition but cast doubt on whether she could be 'deprogrammed.' Added Katrina Shealy, the treasurer of the Lexington County GOP: 'He's explosive. He's the Howard Dean of the Republican Party.'"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Romney says his view of immigration policy hasn't changed

Romney says his view of immigration policy hasn't changed - The Boston Globe:
"'We need an employment verification system in this country, so that employers, legal employers, are able to determine whether the person they're hiring is a legal worker in this country,' Romney said. 'We don't have such a system, and I've been proposing for some time that we implement such a system.'"

The New World (blog)

The Corner on National Review Online - The New World:
"Still, it is remarkable that Romney would reach out to bloggers and a conservative radio personality for such a private event. Such pre-announcement affairs where donors and activists are courted and cultivated have almost always been kept under wraps and out of public view by campaigns that haven't yet officially started. If a candidate wanted a press hit from his stop in the area, he'd usually pay a visit to local paper; that was the most effective way to get your message out. But the times are a changin.' "

Romney meets with press 'off the record' at holiday party

Local News Updates - Romney meets with press 'off the record' at holiday party - The Boston Globe:
"Romney, who spent the weekend in Louisiana and Tennessee, is hosting his annual Holiday Press Party tonight in the Executive Suite at the State House. There is, however, one caveat that his staff made clear on the governor's schedule with bold letters and an asterisk.
The holiday party is 'off the record.' "

Monday, December 18, 2006

Romney quietly putting together meetings in New Hampshire

James Pindell - The Primary Source - Romney quietly putting together meetings in New Hampshire -
"Some Romney supporters have long worried the Massachusetts governor would because so familiar to neighboring New Hampshire audiences that there would be less excitement about his visits. Because of this concern, they put together smaller events that attract less attention."

Mitt Romney & Conservatives

Byron York on Mitt Romney & Conservatives on National Review Online:
"Another problem Romney might have is the sheer recent-ness of his change of views, which occurred at virtually the same moment Romney was making early moves in South Carolina. A change itself is not that unusual, says David Woodard, but the timing is. “There are a lot of conversion stories,” Woodard says, “people who say, ‘I was pro-choice until my daughter got pregnant,’ or ‘I was pro-choice until a friend got pregnant,’ and then they had a lot of misgivings. That worked in the ‘80s, or the early ‘90s, but in 2004, after this issue has been aired for many years? It’s going to be harder.”"

Romney has team in place

Romney has team in place | | Spartanburg, S.C.:
"The 2008 presidential primary is still more than a year away, but that hasn't stopped the likely contenders from parading through South Carolina in recent months. While some are content to make a quick visit and possibly leave behind a small contribution for local party coffers, a few are doing more than that."

Candidates have their hands out

Candidates have their hands out - Los Angeles Times:
"For Romney, the Massachusetts governor trying to mount a conservative challenge to better-known moderates, the three-day visit to California last week offered a chance to narrow his rivals' head start. Among the prominent California supporters helping to introduce him to donors was major Bush fundraiser Rick Caruso, builder of the Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles. "

Scrutiny and opportunity (blog)

Scrutiny and opportunity » GetReligion:
"It’s a nice and lengthy story that includes many perspectives. Some folks think the church will benefit from the increased scrutiny, some don’t. She looks at how the Mormon church handles public relations during times of increased scrutiny and what previous Mormon politicos have had to deal with:"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mitt Romney: America's First Mormon President?

Mitt Romney: America's First Mormon President? - Newsweek Politics -
"In late October, departing Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney huddled with a godly group. Gathered in his kitchen were 15 of the country's leading evangelicals, including giants like Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention. They'd come to nibble sandwiches, slurp soup and quiz Romney on his faith. Why on earth should they support Romney, a Mormon, in his presidential candidacy in 2008? Richard Lee, a Baptist minister from Cumming, Ga., got to the heart of the matter. What did Romney really believe about Jesus Christ?"

Changing views

Changing views - The Boston Globe:
"When Governor Mitt Romney steps down next month, he will depart Beacon Hill a far more conservative voice on social issues than when he arrived in 2002 and when he ran for Senate in 1994. On stem cell research, abortion, emergency contraception, abstinence education, and gay rights, Romney has distanced himself from the more moderate positions he has held in the past."

Why a Mormon Can Be President

Meridian Magazine: Why a Mormon Can Be President:
"The 59-year-old venture capitalist, governor of Massachusetts, and white knight, who saved the ailing Salt Lake Olympics and turned it from a $400 million deficit to a $100 million surplus, has been methodically putting all the pieces in place with the flair and deftness of one who has built many organizations before. He has been staff-building, fund-raising, and reaching out broadly for support."

Mormons upbeat as Mitt hits spotlight

Salt Lake Tribune - Mormons upbeat as Mitt hits spotlight:
"More than a year ago, Mitt Romney sought the advice of LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley about a run for the presidency. At the meeting, as reported in a Mormon-focused magazine, Hinckley said the decision was Romney's to make, not the church's. But if Romney decided to go for it, Hinckley wasn't worried. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would survive the inevitable scrutiny. "

Can a Mormon be president?

Can a Mormon be president? | Chicago Tribune:
"The 2008 race for the White House is under way and the question already is in debate: Can a Mormon be elected president of the United States? In a country where the majority of voters tell pollsters that a president should have strong religious beliefs, potential GOP candidate Mitt Romney may soon find out whether that equally applies to a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."

Romney's Mormon faith an issue on its own as '08 campaign starts

Romney's Mormon faith an issue on its own as '08 campaign starts | | Spartanburg, S.C.:
"A common question that is posed to a newcomer in the South goes like this: 'Where are you from?'

'What do you do?'

'Where do you go to church?'

The answer to that last one could sway the 2008 presidential race."

Romney's journey to the right

Romney's journey to the right - The Boston Globe:
"'I sat down with a researcher. And he said, 'Look, you don't have to think about this stem cell research as a moral issue, because we kill the embryos after 14 days,' ' Romney recalled on ' The Charlie Rose Show ' last June, characterizing the meeting as a watershed moment for him. 'That struck me as he said that.'"

Hillary Trails McCain, Beats Romney in 2008

Hillary Trails McCain, Beats Romney in 2008: Angus Reid Global Monitor:
"Republican John McCain holds the upper hand in a United States presidential contest against Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, according to a poll by Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times. 50 per cent of respondents would vote for the Arizona senator, while 36 per cent would support the New York senator.

In a contest pitting Rodham Clinton against Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the Democrat holds a six-point advantage."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Romney masters the slip

Romney masters the slip - The Boston Globe:
"Romney has, for the most part, successfully avoided the press in Boston and elsewhere in recent days, even as questions mount about his past comments on gay rights, his conservative credentials, and the timing of his expected announcement about his 2008 presidential run."

Romney's response

Inside Politics - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper - Romney's response :
"'I'm committed to promoting the culture of life,' the Massachusetts governor told the conservative magazine. 'Like Ronald Reagan and Henry Hyde and others who became pro-life, I had this issue wrong in the past.'
The comments were Mr. Romney's first public explanation of his stance on the two key social issues since the publication last week of a 1994 letter — sent in the final weeks of his failed campaign against Sen. Edward M. Kennedy — in which he cited his sensitivity to the concerns of Log Cabin Republicans, the Republican homosexual group. "

GOP Contenders on a Tightrope

George F. Will - GOP Contenders on a Tightrope -
"Events are accelerating the 2008 Republican nomination contest. When the president speaks on Iraq next month, McCain might be compelled to choose between endorsing a troop withdrawal leading to a 'catastrophic' defeat or an 'immoral' policy of futile perseverance. And by then Romney must explain the ballast of belief he carries as he attempts to become the social conservatives' candidate."

Friday, December 15, 2006

McCain's Michigan nightmare: Romney

DETNEWS | Weblog | Politics - McCain's Michigan nightmare: Romney:
"John McCain played the spoiler in 2000, upending frontrunner George W. Bush in the February Michigan primary and momentarily casting doubt on Bush's party coronation.

As 2008 looms, McCain is the frontrunner - and, ironically, Michigan could prove his undoing."

'06 rearranges '08 presidential chairs

'06 rearranges '08 presidential chairs -
"Romney: He 'absolutely blew away New Hampshire Republicans with his smooth talking,' Luntz said. But Romney also was 'blown away by Iowa Republicans for evasive answers and lack of national experience.' Romney 'looks and sounds presidential,' Luntz said, but his Mormon faith was a hurdle for some focus group participants. "

Romney: I’ve evolved into the right’s stuff - Local Politics: Romney: I’ve evolved into the right’s stuff:
"Addressing the issue for the first time yesterday, Romney told National Review Online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez - who admitted to having “pro-Romney tendencies” in the transcript - that his position on gay marriage has changed."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ehrlich sought by 2008 maybes

Ehrlich sought by 2008 maybes - Metropolitan - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper:
"'Mitt and I have similar views on issues,' he said. 'He obviously being a Northeastern Republican had some of the same obstacles that we have had as well.' "

A Primary Factor: Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in an exclusive pre-Christmas 2006 interview

Interview on National Review Online: Gov. Mitt Romney:
"Lopez: Will an exposé on Mormon Christmas celebrations hurt you in the primaries?

Gov. Romney: This may sound strange to some, but my grandchildren will be eagerly awaiting presents to be delivered to their homes by a bearded man in a red suit led by a pack of flying reindeer. The lead reindeer, by the way, has a red light bulb for a nose — certainly a YouTube scandal waiting to happen."

It's religious bigotry | It's religious bigotry:
"For that matter, polls have shown a percentage of Americans today hold onto their religious bigotry and would refuse to vote for Romney — should he run for president — because of his membership in the LDS Church."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Clinton and Giuliani Have Early Edge in '08 Race, Poll Shows

Clinton and Giuliani Have Early Edge in '08 Race, Poll Shows -
"There was another potentially more significant issue of concern for Romney in the survey. Asked whether they would be more or less likely to vote for a candidate who is Mormon, as Romney is, 35 percent said they would be less likely and 3 percent said they would be more likely. Sixty-one percent said it would make no difference."

Romney's Aspirations Take a Hit?

Romney's Aspirations Take a Hit?: "Barbara Comstock, a senior advisor to Romney's Commonwealth political Action Committee defended Romney saying 'In 2003, when activist judges on the Supreme Court of Massachusetts redefined marriage by court order, Governor Romney stood up and defended traditional marriage. Governor Romney opposes same-sex marriage, but he also opposes unjust discrimination against anyone.' "

Latter-day Saints: A look at the Mormon church - National Politics: Latter-day Saints: A look at the Mormon church:
"Q: What moral values does the church embrace?

A: Mormons emphasize hard work, volunteerism, education and chastity; they oppose abortion, gay relationships, gambling and pornography. Family is especially important to Mormons, rooted in their belief that marriage and family relationships among the faithful are 'sealed' and may continue through eternity. As just one example of this emphasis, the church directs members to reserve Mondays for what they call Family Home Evening, when families gather on their own for prayer and instruction, followed by fun activities. "

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Romney's Record on Gay Rights Questioned

Romney's Record on Gay Rights Questioned | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited:
"The statement said the governor has been a ``champion of traditional marriage.''

At a gathering of San Diego County Republicans on Monday night, Romney brushed aside a question from The Associated Press. ``Thanks, I have other people to talk to right now,'' he said."

Mitt Romney and gay rights

Power Line: Mitt Romney and gay rights:
"The article goes on to show that as governor Romney has appointed openly gay individuals to state office, has continued to speak generally in favor of defending civil rights without regard to sexual preference, and has continued to fund (though at a very modest level) the pre-existing Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. I don't see anything here that Romney should be embarrassed about."

Romney is fast rising as a serious contender

Romney is fast rising as a serious contender - The Boston Globe:
"Until very recently, Governor Mitt Romney has been a long shot preparing for a race -- the Republican presidential primaries -- that almost always goes to the favorite."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Blue Bayou: Old Romney vs. new Romney (blog)

Blue Bayou: Old Romney vs. new Romney:
"As Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney works on pumping up his right-wing social conservative credentials as part of his presidential campaign, he faces an interesting issue: the statements of Mitt Romney, candidate for US Senate, in 1994. As Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney works on pumping up his right-wing social conservative credentials as part of his presidential campaign, he faces an interesting issue: the statements of Mitt Romney, candidate for US Senate, in 1994. "

Candidates Seem to Be Emulating Reagan

Candidates Seem to Be Emulating Reagan -
"In these early days of the 2008 presidential campaign, when politicians still are exploring the notion of a run and trying to fill out their political profiles, candidates are trying to glom on to a little of the luster from the Reagan glory days."

2008 hopefuls woo Bush clan donors, aides

2008 hopefuls woo Bush clan donors, aides - Los Angeles Times:
"The presentation was produced by one of the governor's longtime advisors, Sally Bradshaw, who is now a Romney strategist. Bradshaw is so close to Jeb Bush that it is unlikely she would work for any of the 2008 candidates without his blessing. In an interview, Bradshaw said that Jeb Bush only 'encouraged me' to meet with Romney, insisting that the Florida governor is not trying to indicate a favorite in the race."

Mister PowerPoint Goes to Washington

Mister PowerPoint Goes to Washington —
"Mitt Romney, Massachusetts governor and Olympics savior, aspires to the White House. What does his background as a Bain consultant and hyper-successful venture capitalist tell us about how he’ll perform?"

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Romney reaching to right

Romney reaching to right - A Concord Monitor Article - Your News Source - Concord NH 03301:
"The Mitt Romney who twice ran for statewide office in Massachusetts is a different politician from the Romney who will likely court New Hampshire voters in the 2008 Republican presidential primary."

A dream come true dream come true::By Kathryn Jean Lopez:
"Back in 1963 on the Washington Mall, he proclaimed his dream, 'deeply rooted in the American dream.' He had a 'dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.''"

Diverse '08 presidential field

Diverse '08 presidential field | :
"And on the GOP side, with an equal number of possible candidates, the hard-charging challenger is a Mormon, the front-runners are more moderate than the average Republican and the only Southerner of any stature is a Pennsylvania-born former House speaker who resigned amid a swirl of controversy."

Romney charms key Bush backers

Salt Lake Tribune - Romney charms key Bush backers:
"Among the 160 or so wealthy Republicans the Romney campaign had invited for the weekend were a particularly important group of potential supporters - the 40 or so men and women who were ''Rangers'' or ''Pioneers'' in the 2000 and 2004 campaigns of President Bush. "