Floridians for Romney

We may not know how to vote, but we do know for whom to vote ;)

Location: Florida, United States

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Horserace Rankings update

National Journal has their monthly ratings out again...and nothing's changed. Gov. Romney is still solidly entrenched at #2.

What's most interesting is the degree to which the pack seems to have fallen off.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Direct Link Now Available

You can now access this site simply by typing www.floridiansforromney.com.

Special thanks to Ann Marie Curling of electromneyin2008, who I will be joining as a co-blogger, for setting us up.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Minimum Wage falls on Romney's Desk

The Mass. Legislature has handed Gov. Romney a bill to raise the minimum wage to $8 an hour. That sounds a bit high to me. Gov. Romney's past position on minimum wage to about $7 and pegged it to inflation.

Here's my take on this: Unlike what most people seem to believe, the minimum wage does not exist so that people can live off of it. You can't and, frankly, you shouldn't. Not every job in the country is worth supporting a family with. The minimum wage exists to prevent the exploitation of workers.

Pegging the minimum wage to inflation is just common sense politically and as a matter of policy. If we think a worker is being exploited below a certain wage one year, then the equilivant wage should be considered exploitive the next. Furthermore, pegging the minimum wage to inflation makes the issue go away. Every year the Democrats don't get to make a fuss about the so-called "living wage".

That the national GOP has successfully stopped any raise in the minimum wage for the last nine years. This stand on principle has had negative effects across the country as several states (including Florida) have raised the minimum wage on their own. Basically they've cut their own wrist to satisfy their voters. Companies then move out of town in order to find cheaper workers. This is bad all-around.

As a national problem, the national minimum wage should be increased to the level of the 1997 wage indexed to inflation and then pegged.

What will Gov. Romney do? I think he'll veto it as too high and be overridden.

Stupid Question

I was having a conversation just now about the Israeli situation in which I suggested that maybe they should all just come to the U.S. where Jews at least don't need to place armed guards in front of their temples. It was pointed out to me that the Jewish vote is usually around 75% Democrat. I didn't mind so much, losing a net 1% of the country to the Dems would be worth it to end the problem. At this point I decided to stop talking to myself and pose a question to those in the audience.

Why do Jews vote so disproportionately Democrat? Off the top of my head I can't think of any major offenses against the religion from the GOP. As a matter of fact it can be said that the strongest support for Israel in the world comes from the Bible Belt. Income and education levels don't support the trend. Maybe there's some regional explanations, but not nearly on this level.

And yet President Bush did almost as well in the gay community after actively campaigning to deny them the ability to marry. It's a mystery to me. Perhaps someone in the peanut gallary can provide an explanation.

Disclaimer: This is an intellectual question on demographics, not a bigoted one. My grandparents were Jewish and left Germany in the 30s when things started looking nasty. Any racist comments will be deleted.

Taking Control

Seems the legislature agrees with Gov. Romney and has given him emergency control of the Big Dig. Good. Wonder if this little incident will make it to the Discovery Channel's next special on the project. Harry Shearer made a comment about Gov. Romney running for governor of Louisiana...but it turned out to just be a jab at the Army Corps of Engineers.

And, finally, Democrats wasted no time in attacking Gov. Romney immediately after giving him this new authority.

At least he'll be used to it when he walks into the Oval Office.

Friday, July 14, 2006

GOP Convention in Tampa?

Didn't realize Florida was in the running. But apparently we've got the leg up on the competition. Hoozah!

Of course, I missed a good chunk of the 2004 GOP Convention because Hurricane Frances decided to park herself about 40 miles north of my house for 4 freakin' days. So it would be super-convenient if I could commandere my aunt's couch and enjoy the atmosphere this time around.

Who wants to go to Busch Gardens?!?!

Michigan Primary

Y'know, I'm not sure how I missed this article, but it's pretty interesting. For one thing it has The Weekly Standard putting the primary (of Michigan at least) as a two-man race between Gov. Romney and Sen. McCain. And it calls it the key primary to boot (certainly good news for a certain native Michiganlander.....if that's what you call them).

Hemmingway ends the piece by going into a detail on the internal wrangling of Michigan politics, how Chris Romney (Mitt's bro) almost short-circuited Gov. Granholm's political career before it started, and split the state party, a rift that has not yet ended.

Ah, the joys of smoke-filled rooms.

Afterthought: I wouldn't hand out S. Carolina to Sen. McCain just yet. Gov. Romney has an excellent chance of picking it up if things have gone head-to-head by then. And if the race is still open, I wouldn't be surprised if Sen. McCain finished 3rd or lower.

Rudy Redux

AP this time with an actual quote from America's Mayor. I'm moving from doubtful to his candidacy to expecting it very quickly.

And, yes, I'm concerned. Sen. McCain seems eager to repeat the same mistakes that ultimately cost him the nomination in 2000, but with his main adversary being someone to the left of him on most social issues he can squeak through on conservative voters holding their nose and voting for him.

I could post more on Sen. McCain's love affair with sticking a thumb in the eye of the conservative base (and Hugh Hewitt does a pretty good job if you're interested), but for now I'm going to try and remain positive.

Taking over the Big Dig

That's what Gov. Romney wants to do. Works for me. Still can't believe we're paying that much for a freakin' road.

"When it comes to an issue of inspecting the tunnel system, to have the person who's been responsible for it for the last several years say, 'I'm going to inspect it' and tell us, 'It's now safe,' that's not enough," the governor said. "The public wants to see an independent inspection effort."

He added: "There should no longer be any doubt that the Turnpike Authority has failed to do its job effectively."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

What's this I hear of Running Mates?

For some reason it showed up on a couple blogs today (here, here).

As it happens, I ran through the analysis a comple months ago and, for various reasons, concluded Tommy Thompson to be a good candidate. Though Gov. Huckabee would be wonderful if we're looking for an heir apparent (though I almost can't imagine the GOP winning 5 straight elections).

I tend to dismiss the idea of Gov. Bush running for veep. Why bother? It really wouldn't help his stature within the party and might even do more harm than good to the ticket at this point.

Disecting the Mini-Platform

In the Yepsen Piece I highlighted yesterday noted a 10-point list of issues Gov. Romney sees. I sort of glazed over it, but thought I'd highlight the items.

•Raising the bar on education: Romney said, "It's time to raise the bar on education by making teaching a true profession, measuring progress, providing a focus on math and science, and involving parents from the beginning of a child's school career."

That's a thin quote. Gov. Romney has much more to say on the issue in his speeches.

• Extending health insurance to all Americans: Romney, who helped fashion a bipartisan health-insurance plan for Massachusetts, said, "The health of our nation can be improved by extending health insurance to all Americans, not through a government program or new taxes, but through market reforms."

We've been through the governor's innovative health-insurance plan a couple of times. Any big program is apt to have its problems, but I'm very optomistic on this one.

• Stopping runaway spending: A good idea and one Republicans used to practice. Romney says the problem goes "beyond pork-barrel spending. We must address entitlement programs." (We await the controversial details of just how he'll do that.)

As mentioned below. Excellent that Gov. Romney mentions the bigger proplem of entitlements instead of simply the safe political jab at pork.

• Getting immigration right: Romney said, "The current system puts up a concrete wall to the best and brightest, yet those without skill or education are able to walk across the border. We must reform the current immigration laws so we can secure our borders, implement a mandatory biometrically-enabled and tamper-proof documentation and employment-verification system, and increase legal immigration into America."


•Achieving energy independence: "This will mean a combination of efforts related to conservation and efficiency measures, developing alternative sources of energy like biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear, and coal gasification, and finding more domestic sources of oil such as in ANWR or the outer continental shelf," he said.

He's gotta say this. I have little hope of it happening for a long time. Good to know he's for drilling in ANWR.

Wind power is conspicuously absent.

• Simplifying the tax system: Again, Romney doesn't wade into thorny details. Should it be a national sales tax, a flat tax or a reconfiguration of the current system?

I suspect a reconfiguration of the current system. In which case it would take a couple volumes of the encyclopedia to get into details.

•Investing in technology: "Corporations today spend more on tort liability than they do on research and development," he said. "While the government already invests heavily in defense, space and health technologies, it is time to invest substantially in technologies related to power generation, nanotechnology, and materials science."

Interesting. Gov. Romney seems to be working on two tracks here (two more than most politicians can handle). He mentions tort liability which indicates that he's interested in easing the pressure on private industry so that they can work more on research and development. He also mentions government research. I'd like to hear more about this, but in the past, government research has been best used when persued for a specific purpose (most notably for defense and space exploration). Otherwise it's largely wasted.

•Defeating the jihadists: "The defeat of this radical and violent faction of Islam must be achieved through a combination of American resolve, international effort, and the rejection of violence by moderate, modern, mainstream Muslims," he said. "An effective strategy will involve both military and diplomatic actions to support modern Muslim nations....America must help lead a broad-based international coalition that promotes secular education, modern financial and economic policies, international trade, and human rights."

Nods head. Good, good.

•Competing with Asia: "This means ensuring our children are educated to compete in this new market, our trade laws are fair and balanced, and our economy and tax laws welcome new investment. If America acts boldly and swiftly, the emergence of Asia will be an opportunity," said Romney "Trade and commerce with these huge new economies can further strengthen our economy and propel our growth. If America fails to act, we will be eclipsed."

Personally, I see Asia having some difficulties over the next 25 years as Japan and China's populations age. Still, there's never a bad time to see that trade laws are fair, tax laws liberalized, and any economic opportunity seized.

• Affirming America's culture and values "American values are at the heart of America's historic rise to world leadership. These include, among others, respect for hard work, sacrifice, civility, love of family, respect for life, education and love of freedom," he said.

Y'know, that's been so overused by Republicans and Democrats that it's become more than a bit of a cliche. Luckily, we know that he means it.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More from Evangelicals for Mitt

I was wandering through their site today and came across their "Why We Support Mitt" section. I loved it so much I thought I'd repost it here:

Why We Support Governor Romney

What Are You Guys Doing?

Evangelicals for Mitt exists because we want a president who shares our political and moral values and priorities, can win in 2008, and can govern effectively thereafter. We believe that the leader of the free world should not only understand, but also articulate why, a values-based governing strategy will result in a more humane, just, and compassionate society. We believe we have found just a person in Mitt Romney, the governor of Massachusetts. He’s not just a candidate evangelicals can support—he is the best choice for people of faith. It’s not even close. That’s why we launched a grassroots effort earlier this year that helped earn him a terrific victory at the first presidential straw poll, and that’s why we’re starting this website.

So What’s Your “Values-Based” Game Plan?

We don’t want a Republican nominee who’s simply against the same things we’re against—same-sex “marriage,” abortion, and embryonic stem cell research—because there’s more to being a person of faith than standing against injustice. We want a president who embraces a comprehensive and positive values agenda: defending religious liberty and basic human rights at home and abroad, combating poverty and disease (including the scourge of AIDS in Africa) within the world’s poorest communities, and fighting for better quality of life for our citizens. We also believe the War on Terror is not simply a national security issue, but also a values issue. The enemies of our country who are responsible for 9/11 hate our very way of life. They hate our freedom, our values, and our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Okay, So What About Mitt Romney?

Gov. Romney is the best candidate to be the next president of the United States. He shares our values, and he’s fought for those values in hostile territory—the liberal state of Massachusetts. He’s not just right on the relevant issues (from the protection of traditional marriage, to the sanctity of life, to the importance of articulating a broader faith-based agenda); he’s a thoughtful advocate for these positions. America is ready for someone who doesn’t just act, but tries also to persuade, and someone who has the moral courage to back up his positions.

What Has He Done?

Any politician can fight for his positions, but not every politician can lead effectively. Gov. Romney is a leader. He doesn’t just say he can find a way to govern amongst partisan warfare: He was elected in an overwhelmingly Democratic state and went on to cut spending, reform taxes, and enact a revolutionary, market-based health care plan. And he accomplished those things while simultaneously fighting intense political battles over some of the most controversial social issues of the day. Gov. Romney led Massachusetts out of the economic wilderness at the same time that he held the line on same-sex “marriage,” opposed Democratic efforts to dramatically expand embryonic stem cell research, and resisted attempts to expand abortion services in the state.

In fact, Gov. Romney has been a leader longer than he has been a politician. Prior to his political career, Gov. Romney helped to launch the very successful Bain Capital, and then led a turnaround at Bain Consulting. Thanks to his efforts, Bain Capital helped launch such successful franchises as (among many others) Staples and The Sports Authority. He also saved the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City which, prior to his leadership, were mired in debt and corruption but subsequently became one of the most successfully run Olympics in memory.

What About Social Issues?

Gov. Romney does not just say he supports traditional marriage; he has defended traditional marriage at great political cost. In 2003, through a breathtaking act of judicial activism, Massachusetts’ supreme court imposed same-sex “marriage” on the state. If not for Gov. Romney’s swift intervention, this action may have led to a national constitutional crisis. Same-sex couples from across the U.S. could have come to Massachusetts, gotten “married,” and then demanded that their home states honor the “marriages”—creating a national wave of litigation and conflicting decisions from state to state. Instead, Gov. Romney and his staff vigorously enforced a little-known 1913 law that prevents out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage would be illegal in their home state, keeping Massachusetts from becoming, as he called it, “the Las Vegas of ‘gay marriage.’” He followed this stand with a dynamic and articulate response to Democratic efforts to dramatically expand embryonic stem cell research.

But…He’s a Mormon.

Yes, Gov. Romney is a Mormon. We are not. According to the liberal media, this is an unbridgeable gap, and evangelicals will never turn out to support a faithful Mormon like Mitt Romney. As usual, the media have it wrong. And they root their error (as usual) in a fundamental misunderstanding about American evangelicals—seeing us as ignorant and intolerant simpletons who are incapable of making sophisticated political value judgments.

To be perfectly clear, we believe Gov. Romney is not only acceptable to conservative Christians, but that he is clearly the best choice for people of faith. He is right on all the issues, and he has proven his positions with actions. He is a gifted and persuasive spokesman for our political and moral values. Here is the bottom line: the 2008 election is for president, not pastor. We would never advocate that the Governor become our pastor or lead our churches—we disagree with him profoundly on theological issues. But we reject the notion that the president of the United States has to be in perfect harmony with our religious doctrine. In fact, that is not a test that has been applied before—after all, Jimmy Carter was probably more theologically in line with evangelicals than Ronald Reagan, yet we believe that Reagan was clearly the better choice in 1980.

Let’s leave the absurd religious litmus test to the Democrats. What we want is a president who shares our moral and political values and will put them into action. A President Romney would do that—just as he’s done in Massachusetts—making him stand head and shoulders above the rest of the field.

Finally, it is not just our theory that evangelicals will support Governor Romney. In March, 2006, he shocked the political establishment by finishing second at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll in Memphis, Tennessee. We led the grassroots effort that put him above John McCain and George Allen, and where did he get the vast majority of his support? From the very Southern evangelicals who the media is convinced will not support a Mormon from Massachusetts.

What about the Abortion Issue?

Many people know that Gov. Romney ran against Sen. Ted Kennedy back in 1994 as a pro-choice candidate. Clearly, one can be a convert on the abortion issue. Witness Ronald Reagan, the divorced movie actor who was elected president in 1980 on the strength of huge evangelical support after signing the nation’s most liberal abortion law as governor of California. Reagan later changed his heart on this issue and became one of the most effective pro-life leaders in history. Obviously, our movement can and should support true “converts” on the abortion issue. In fact, converts can be the best advocates.

Gov. Romney has proven he really is such a convert. As we pointed out earlier, he stood against embryonic stem cell research in Massachusetts, at great political cost to himself. He also pledged in his 2002 run for governor not to change the abortion laws in any way—which in his liberal state is frustrating to abortionists, not to pro-life voters. (His opponent wanted to dramatically liberalize the abortion laws, and we’re thankful she was stopped!) We are confident Gov. Romney will appoint the kind of pro-life, conservative judges people of faith (and the Constitution) demand. While there’s no perfect candidate in the field on abortion, no serious presidential contender has risked more for the pro-life cause than Mitt Romney.

Summing It All Up.

Mitt Romney has been a standout conservative governor of a very liberal state. And it’s not just us saying that: National Review, the conservative journal of record, and many others have said the same thing. He believes in the traditional family, and he has fought for it because he truly believes it gives children the best chance for a future. He, like us, is pro-life because he wants to support the weakest and most defenseless members of society. He opposes embryonic stem cell research because he wants to protect the sanctity of human life from speculative and open-ended scientific research. Perhaps most importantly, he holds these values because they are good, not because they are politically expedient. (For him, they have not been politically expedient at all!) He’s shown courage under fire in several challenging situations, and has lived out his values (both publicly and privately) during a time when other Republicans, sadly, have not.

Seriously, make these guys a daily stop.


Gov. Romney has been attempting to remove Matthew Amorello from the Turnpike Authority for several months now. The little feud was a side-show of some of the links on this site. Unfortunately, things just got serious. A woman was crushed to death by a

Is Mr. Amorello responsible? Who knows. Sometimes **** just happens and I'm not going to point fingers just yet. However, Gov. Romney lost confidence in his ability to lead that agency and, as governor, he should have been able to find a person he felt more qualified for a position where, as we are reminded, lives are at stake.

As a side note, hopefully this indicates there will be no Mike Browns in the Romney Administration.


David Yepsen on Gov. Romney

This gets special mention because it comes out of Iowa and doesn't have mention the man's religion once!

• Stopping runaway spending: A good idea and one Republicans used to practice. Romney says the problem goes "beyond pork-barrel spending. We must address entitlement programs." (We await the controversial details of just how he'll do that.)

Indeed. I do as well. This is the first time that I've seen Gov. Romney directly address our real spending problems. It is a wonderful sign that he already is moving beyond the simple problem of pork and will address the long-term fiscal disaster that is slowly coming over the horizon.

President Bush failed on this with his Social Security plan, which was, unfortunately, never even taken up in Congress.

Nice to know the Sun Sentinel is on top

They just printed that Cal Thomas piece on the Mormon Issue™ this morning.

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Blog you should check out

Evangelicalsformitt.org opened a few days ago and so far they're doing a great job. Head on over there and check them out.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bush Machine Helping McCain

Jeff Fuller has an interesting post that touches on the matter. It wouldn't surprise me at all if this type of a deal was struck. Remember, Newsweek reported that Sen. McCain was offered the vice-presidency by Sen. Kerry. Sen. McCain naturally turned him down flat. Being the vice-president to Sen. Kerry would have effectively ended his career. He would be too old by the time 2012 rolls around, and even if he weren't, neither party would ever nominate him. His only path to the presidency would be Kerry's death (and then not even for a full term). Not to mention that he probably realized that Sen. Kerry is a bozo who had no business being the president.

But a person as deep in intrigues as Sen. McCain is very capable of seeing how he could use the offer to his advantage. All he would have had to do was let the White House think he was considering it and he'd have them on their knees. President Bush would have lost to a unity ticket, of this I'm sure. Put in that position, it's easily conceivable that a deal was made.

K-Lo Takes on the Mormon Issue™

Y'know, it's pretty sad that I've already memorized the code to make the "™".

Anyway, early Romney-adopter Kathryn Jean Lopez of The National Review Online gives us her take on the Mormon Issue™. Her main theme is that generic polling often disintegrates once a real candidate presents itself. A very good point. As any good Republican knows, we always trail the "generic" Democrat by a solid 10 points even during a good year, and yet we always seem to maintain our majorities.

What You Can Do

Iowansforromney.blogspot.com has a list of suggestions.

Rudy to Run?

Robert Novak is reporting that he's leaning in favor. It's the first report of that kind that I've seen in awhile and I'd long thought that he probably wouldn't run.

What's this mean? Well, for one thing Giuliani is a man that I greatly respect despite my differing views on his politics. He's the only person I went out to see speek during the 2004 campaign. Even though Sen. Miller had the most memorable speech during the Republican Convention (and I must admit that I'm giggling at the memory of it), Giuliani's speech was, by far, the most elequant and persuasive. Above all this is a man that was born to be the mayor of New York City. He's a bull who can dominate local politics, but I don't think he could effectively govern as president. The Congress would quickly tire of him and his foreign policy is just too blunt (though I still support giving parking tickets to the U.N.).

In a broader sense, he's a potentially dangerous candidate. Out of all the politicians out there, he's the only one that can hold a candle to Gov. Romney as a speaker. He's just as well known as Sen. McCain, and isn't nearly as hated as the base. Plus he hasn't been in Washington so long that he doesn't know which way is up anymore.

My sense is, though, that he would take the most votes away from Sen. McCain. Gov. Romney would not be as affected. The biggest threat would be that he would take up so much face time that Gov. Romney's rise might conceivably stall as the media sets up its McCain vs. Giuliani storyline.

Keep watching this.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Next Governor of Florida

We're soon to lose a great governor in the state of Florida. Through almost eight years he's finally put Florida's education system on the right track (though the critical school vouchers program was taken away by a unjustifiable decision from our Supreme Court), kept an economy that relies heavily on tourism strong despite the national downturn at the beginning of the decade, cut taxes, kept the budget under control, and has left the state much more conservative than when he gained office. It's my belief that if Gov. Bush had a different name that he would be a juggernaut walking into the White House in two years (though he still would not make as good a president as Gov. Romney will).

However, there are term limits, and Gov. Bush must be replaced. Tonight I saw the first campaign commercial, so it's time to start paying close attention here. Our choices are Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher. According to Rasmussen and any other poll I've seen, the Republican candidate will most likely win this seat, so we again get to pick whoever is best. At the moment I'm leaning towards Crist, however, my loyalty is not set in stone yet.

For what it's worth, I'm a little annoyed at both of them for not just drawing straws and working it out where one will run for governor and the other for Sen. Nelson's vulnerable seat. But you can't get too angry at politicians for wanting what is arguably the office most likely to gain you the presidency outside of the vice-presidency.

I Love the Smell of Vetoes in the Morning

Over half a billion dollars vetoed. Always fun. Look for every penny to be reinstated though :(


Well, this is the first time that I've seen a left wingnut compare Gov. Romney to the KKK. Congratulations to him.

Just a reminder: Slavery was ended with a public vote. As was Woman's Sufferage.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Homeland Security credentials?

Jeff Fuller is at it again and explains why Gov. Romney is at the top of this list too.

The Mormon Issue™ rears its ugly head again

There's been a flurry of articles on Gov. Romney's faith over the past few days here, here, here, and here.

What's it mean? Well, someone did a poll. And, like almost any poll nowadays, it was taken to make a headline. The headline being that 37% of voters wouldn't consider a Mormon candidate. I'll just take a moment to state that I don't believe it for a second, and even if it approaches reality, most doubts would be swept away long before election day.

In good news, someone thinks Gov. Romney is such a threat that they're spending money on a bogus poll to derail him.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Enjoy your holiday folks, I'll be back tomorrow.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What are you doing to help Gov. Romney?

Myself, I'm contributing to this blog and plan to volunteer for Rep. Shaw's campaign in the fall. Volunteering for a campaign can be a lot of fun if you have the right attitude (which Republicans usually do). Like what brings Trekkers together for their conventions, there is a nice comraderie and buzz that goes along with volunteering. More importantly, for our purposes, it gives you a chance to extoll the virtues of Gov. Romney on dedicated conservatives who may not have given him a chance but will certainly be open to your enthusiasm. If you don't live in a competitive district (they are pretty rare) you can, of course, campaign for the next governor or even Rep. Harris's run for the Senate.

Don't forget the primaries!

Romney having a great 2006

At least so far according to Hotline.

-- And who had the best six months? Mitt Romney, incredibly, now an "outsider" who has distanced himself from his MA pedigree.

To say that no other WH ‘08’er had a better 6 months than Romney would assume that there was another politician in America who saw his stock rise as much as the MA gov in the first half of ’06.

--A governor (outsider) in a GOP field dominated by Senators (insiders), Romney engineered a bipartisan healthcare solution that won front-page notice from the WSJ, WP and NYT – on the same day. The bill later drew favorable reviews from the likes of Yepsen, Brownstein and Alter – on the same day. Not even McCain got that sort of MSM love this year.

--A New Englander by way of Michigan, Romney came into Memphis for the SRLC and stole the headlines with an unexpected second-place finish in the straw poll, besting two Southerners and the primary’s putative front-runner

--A lame-duck RGA chair with a national fundraising base, Romney has spent more combined time in IA, NH, SC and MI than any other ‘08’er, planting staff, seeding candidates and earning chits along the way in all four early-nominating states.

To be sure, pitfalls await Romney on his Road to the WH (Mormonism, Yankeeism and Globe’ism, among them), but if his next 6 months are like the last, he goes into ’07 at or close to the top of the field.

More and more insiders are taking notice of Gov. Romney. Also, the Democrat field is pretty amusing. When Sen. Kerry and Edwards are your big movers (VP Gore would probably be in there as well if he were running), your party is in trouble. For all the talk about her vulnerabilities, Sen. Clinton still seems like a shoe-in.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Best Man for the Job

I'd like to take a moment to explain how I ended up so strongly in support of Gov. Romney and why, exactly, I'm doing this.

As with most journeys, the first step was on the wrong path. I'm a pretty restless guy. After taking a short break after the 2004 elections, I was started looking forward to the next election even if my interest was only mild. When President Bush began to disappoint, I started looking more seriously. Early on I came to what was a critical conclusion:

Sen. Clinton will almost certainly be the Democratic nominee and is such a polorizing figure and horrendous speaker that she is sure to go down to defeat as long as the GOP puts forth a strong candidate.

Don't underestimate the importance of that truism, for it frees us in the Republican Party to ignore who would necessarily be the candidate most likely to win (the undeserving Sen. McCain) and instead focus on the candidate that will make the best president.

So the search was on for the best our party has to offer. Most of the candidates I looked at had their good points and their bad points. Sen. Frist has a first-class mind and a pretty good personal story, but his performance as Majority Leader was unexceptional at best. Gov. Huckabee seems conservative enough and probably wouldn't scare too many people, but his biggest platform seemed to be based on his weight loss. Newt Gingrich is the party's greatest idea factory, but he's almost as polorizing as Sen. Clinton. I respect Rudy Giuliani very much, but he's just too liberal on social issues and is probably not suited for the presidency anyway. Sen. Allen seems like a good guy, but he just doesn't excite me and his football stories got old quick.

I was pretty much prepared to back Sen. Allen and hope he could break through against Sen. McCain. Honestly, I wasn't sure he could, and I can assure you I wasn't motivated enough to start a blog on the subject. You see, I hate voting against somebody. I can't say that I've never held my nose and voted for somebody (not that I would have needed to in order to vote for Sen. Allen), but I much prefer to actively want my candidate to win. None of the other candidates gave me that feeling. Then I gave Gov. Romney a second look.

I hadn't ignored Gov. Romney, I just didn't know much about him. Truthfully, I was more than a little annoyed with him at the time because it was becoming clear he wouldn't be running for a second term as governor (the GOP was already looking at a bad year for holding governorships). But, for the time being, he was a governor which is always a plus when looking for a presidential candidate. So I gave him a chance and caught a speech of his on one of the Road to the White House episodes on C-Span one weekend and I immediately pegged him as a speaker at least on par with Giuliani and well above anyone else in the field.

Still not giving him his due attention, I didn't pay too close attention to the content of what I assume was a variation of the standard speech I've become used to over the past few months. Certainly I found nothing disqualifying. It was enough to gain a bit of my interest.

A few weeks later I was pondering 2008 again. I did some google searching on the various candidates again. His health care solution was very impressive. I was very suspicious of the idea of socializing the whole medical industry, but thought that eventually something had to get done. Gov. Romney set out and actually found a solid balance between a system that wasn't working, and one that wouldn't work (and would bankrupt the state/country to boot).

Successfully tackling the most difficult domestic problem was more than enough to get me digging for more. And the more I dug, the more I liked. His strong response to the Gay Marriage ruling assured me that he was strong on my most important social issue, the judiciary. Being highly disappointed in the GOP's spending binge, his ability to balance his state's budget (yes, without raising taxes) was critical. An excellent politician, he would be elected easily and would probably expand the GOP majority while he's at it. Good businessman. Unlikely to have any skeletons in the closet.

I watched him in action on a few more television appearances and I just got to liking the guy more and more at a simple gut level. Not only is this the best man for the job, but he's someone worth getting excited about to boot. I had my candidate I wanted to go out and campaign for.

Eighteen months to primary season. I don't know how I'll feel then, but right now I'm exactly where I want to be.